Snorkeling Around Castries

Although Castries itself may not be highly recommended as a destination for snorkeling on St. Lucia, tourists planning their getaway here don't have to worry – there are plenty of top snorkeling sites within easy reach.

The thing about Castries is that looks can be deceiving.  Hotels and resorts line the beaches, and from the shore conditions look great.  Visibility is often between 25 and upwards of 100 feet and water temperatures are never lower than the upper-70s in degrees Fahrenheit, while the surf generally remains calm and inviting.  You can certainly grab your snorkeling gear and head out into the waters of any beach in this town and not be bothered.  The problem is, the underwater landscape is less than thrilling.  Sure, you'll probably see a few rays hiding in the sandy bottoms, but the true sites to be seen are best accessed by boat.

Many of the island's best snorkeling sites are about 20 to 30 minutes away by boat.  You can access them by participating in a sailing boat charter, as many captains are happy to stop and let their guests do a bit of snorkeling.  There are also tour guides that specialize specifically in taking their guests to the top snorkeling destinations including the Coral Gardens and Anse Cochon.  One of the more popular options is to hook up with your local dive center.  Most allow snorkelers to travel along with them as they take divers out – that is, if they don't offer a snorkel-specific tour of their own. 

When you do make it out to the gorgeous underwater sites, you'll be treated to several different colorful and shapely species of coral that form into healthy reef systems dotted with sponges and sea fans.  Clownfish, parrotfish, barracudas, seahorses, eels, stingrays, and even sea turtles can be seen in these areas. 

Snorkeling Boat Trips

For some people, the best snorkeling is accessed away from the shore.

If you want to go snorkeling during a boating adventure, you should consider Barefoot Holidays. Barefoot Holidays offers half day, full day, and evening excursions, as well as tours from hotels in Vieux Fort and Soufriere. These include both land and sea activities, most notably island tours, day sails, and whale watching.

Another option worth investigating is Carnival Sailing. Four custom designed catamarans make up the fleet of this highly acclaimed sailing tour group. In past years they have won not only the Best Leisure Award and the Best Coastal Cruise Award, but they are known for their return customers and ability to cater to every occasion. They're located in Bisse.

A third good option is Herod's Island Tours. Herod's Island Tours specializes in both land and sea excursions. With them you may spend the day on the Caribbean Sea or stop to relax a while on shore.

Some details about boat operators that offer snorkeling can be found in the following chart.

Day Sails and Boat Trips In Castries
Name Phone Location
Barefoot Holidays (758) 450-0507 Downtown Castries
Carnival Sailing (758) 452-5586 Bisse
Herod's Island Tours (758) 716-6540 Downtown Castries

Snorkeling Services

If you looking for a place that offers snorkel rentals, excursions, or similar services, you should check out Eastern Caribbean Diving. Explore the underwater world with a team that is professional and courteous when you choose this dive center that is PADI International Resort Association Member to help you get your snorkeling adventure started. They are located in La Brelotte Bay, easily reached by taxi North-Northeast of central Castries.

Another place that offers snorkeling related services is Dive Fair Helen. Make your next snorkeling adventure a comfortable one, but traveling with this tour operator aboard their luxury boat as you go from one snorkeling site to the next. This is also a great option for families who may have people who want to relax and enjoy the ride while other members of their party take to the water.

A third place to consider is Saluna Watersports. Water sports are always a great way to spend your vacation time, and Saluna makes renting equipment fast and easy. Along with their {% link_to 1710393 using 'boat tours' %} and {% link_to 5056412 using 'water taxi services' %}, Saluna will get you out on the water in no time, with incredibly fun activities like water skiing, wake boarding, banana boats and tubing. They're found in Rodney Bay, easily reached by taxi North-Northeast of central Castries.

Information about 4 firms that offer snorkeling services are displayed down below.

Snorkeling Services In And Around Castries
Name Type Phone Location
Dive Fair Helen Snorkeling Tour Operator (758) 451-7716 Downtown Castries
Eastern Caribbean Diving Snorkeling Tour Operator (758) 453-3483 La Brelotte Bay, 3.6 mi. North-Northeast of Central Castries
Saluna Watersports Snorkeling Equipment Rental Service (758) 727-0009 5.3 mi. North-Northeast of Central Castries
Scuba Steve's Diving Snorkeling Tour Operator (758) 450-9433 Gros Islet, 5.5 mi. North-Northeast of Central Castries

For more information about snorkeling, including helpful suggestions and tips for both "old pros" and beginners, check out this exhaustive Caribbean snorkeling page.

By now, you're surely intrigued by the possibility of snorkeling during your Castries vacation.  A great way to begin is to book your snorkeling excursion in advance of your trip so that you can ensure you have time to spend participating in the sport – and you may just find a good deal waiting for you if you book early. 


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