Snorkeling Around St. Kitts

Photo Credit: © Christine Olson CC BY
 

St. Kitts may not be noted as the best snorkeling destination in the Caribbean, but that is only because there are so many amazing spots in the region that they can't all be at the top.  If you're visiting this island, you'll definitely still want to make time to explore under the surface of the sea. 

Maps

To snorkel, you simply wear a dive mask, flippers, and a snorkel, and swim along the surface of the water. With your head dipped just under the surface, you will allow the top of your snorkel to stick out into the air, feeding you fresh air to breath as you take in the underwater sites. It is recommended that snorkelers remain in shallow waters, but good swimmers and those with floatation can venture out a bit further. Many island resorts have snorkeling equipment available free of charge, but you can also purchase everything you need to get started at a dive shop. 

The water conditions here vary depending on where you're visiting.  For the most part, you'll experience waters that range in temperature from the mid-70s to mid-80s in degrees Fahrenheit.  During the winter months, a wet suit may be necessary to keep you warm, but during the summer you should have no problem swimming your regular bathing suit.  Additionally, visibility ranges from 40 to 100 feet deep. 

There are a few beaches on St. Kitts that you can snorkel from, though some of them may not look like it.  White House Bay, for example, is a great shore snorkeling spot, but the beach itself is rocky and rugged.  

Most snorkelers have the best success when they book a sailing or snorkeling charter that will take them out some deep water snorkeling sites.  There are numerous reef systems that surround the island that are just too far to swim to, and a tour will help you get there.  Shitten Bay is perhaps the most popular of these deep water sites. There are also several underwater shipwrecks that are just shallow enough and in waters with clear enough visibility that you can happily get some snorkeling in at these sites as well. 

A few things you'll want to keep in mind as you plan to snorkel around St. Kitts are that there are spiny sea urchins to watch out for in most of these sites, and snorkeling off the east coast is not advisable.  This is where most of the island's undercurrents can be found, making for a dangerous conditions.

Snorkeling Sites

If you're ready to explore what's down below you might enjoy visiting Dieppe Bay. Where there Caribbean Sea meets the Atlantic Ocean, the waves meet in opposite directions and create a unique landscape that is like nothing else you can imagine. This bay is protected by a reef system, which helps to keep things calm as you snorkel off a black sand beach. This snorkeling site is located within Dieppe Bay Town, in the northwestern part of St. Kitts.

Sandy Point National Marine Park is another option. A beautiful, natural reef plunges down over 100 feet under water at this site, where snorkelers have a chance to visit with turtles, lobsters, creole wrasse, barracuda, and many more species of fish.

A third location to consider is White House Bay. This pebble beach leads out to sheltered waters that are great for snorkeling. Jagged coral reef is where sea life makes their home and you'll see brightly colored fish darting in and out of the nooks and crannies looking for food to nibble on.

A fourth location where you can go snorkeling is Frigate Bay South. A beach of soft sand leads out to calm Caribbean waters that are great for snorkeling thanks to a narrow reef that an abundance of sea life call home. Here, you can expect to see eels, lobsters, and turtles in addition to the colorful reef fish. If you're interested, this site is found within Frigate Bay, St. Kitts.

Nags Head is a fifth site to consider. A rock formation on the southwest tip of the island, this spot is great for snorkeling thanks to its underwater reefs that are filled with sponges, parrot fish, lobsters, stingrays, sea urchins, corals, and more.

The chart right below provides some details concerning 13 of the most popular locations to enjoy snorkeling in this area.

Snorkeling Sites Near St. Kitts
Site Location
Dieppe Bay 0.3 mi. North of Central Dieppe Bay Town
Sandy Point National Marine Park 0.8 mi. West-Southwest of Central Sandy Point Town
White House Bay 5.1 mi. Southeast of Central Basseterre
Frigate Bay South 2.5 mi. East-Southeast of Central Basseterre
Nags Head 7.1 mi. Southeast of Central Basseterre
Paradise Reef 2.0 mi. South of Central Sandy Point Town
Pelican Cove 1.4 mi. East-Southeast of Downtown Basseterre
Majors Bay 6.7 mi. Southeast of Central Basseterre
Cockleshell Bay 7.4 mi. Southeast of Central Basseterre
Sandbank Bay 6.2 mi. East-Southeast of Central Basseterre
Shitten Bay 6.4 mi. Southeast of Central Basseterre
Frigate Bay North 2.6 mi. East of Central Basseterre
Turtle Bay 4.3 mi. East-Southeast of Central Basseterre

Snorkeling Boat Trips

Captain Sunshine

For some people, the most enjoyable snorkeling is located off shore.

If you're hoping to go snorkeling during a boating adventure, you can check with Blue Water Safaris. Blue Water Safaris offers several different tours that are tailored to what you are looking for. Their tours include half and full day catamaran tours, kayak tours, snorkeling excursions, sunset sails, and the Sail 'n' Spice evening trips.

Another option worth investigating is Captain Sunshine. Aside from the land tours offered, Captain Sunshine offers group boat trip tours around St. Kitts including the Discovering St. Kitts Tour, kayak and snorkel excursion, sunset sail, and half and full day catamaran cruises, to name a few. Additionally, they offer activities such as scuba diving, swimming with dolphins, segway adventures, and flyboarding, among others. They're situated in Old Road Town, St. Kitts.

Still another option is Speedy 4 Charters. Excursions aboard the 32-foot Speedy 4 will lead you to you a 'water'-ful experience, whether it be fishing, snorkeling, or sight seeing. With Captain Guishard, you can can choose from six different snorkeling sites or you can go deep sea fishing at the best spots!

Information concerning boat trip providers that offer snorkeling opportunities are provided in the table below.

Day Sails and Boat Trips On St. Kitts
Name Phone Location
Blue Water Safaris (869) 466-4933 Downtown Basseterre
Captain Sunshine (869) 663-9290 5.7 mi. West-Northwest of Central Basseterre
Leeward Islands Charters (869) 465-7474 Downtown Basseterre
Speedy 4 Charters (869) 466-1472 0.5 mi. East-Northeast of Downtown Basseterre

Snorkeling Services

If you looking for a place offering snorkeling excursions, rentals, or other services, you might want to contact Reggae Beach Watersports. Reggae Beach is actually a favorite bar and grill that just happens to have watersports equipment on hand. Grab a bite to eat then ask your server about rentals. They are located in Saint George Basseterre Parish, in the southeastern part of St. Kitts.

A second company worth knowing about is St. Kitts Snorkeling Tours. The Morning Star is their boat, and if you want to spend some time snorkeling, you can book a day on the boat. They will take you out to those sites only accessible by boat such as Shitten Bay and Whitehouse Bay.

A third company worth contacting is Kenneth's Dive Centre. Custom boats, a friendly crew, and knowledge of all of the best snorkeling sites around, this tour operator will make sure you get in touch with the beauty of the island's underwater world. They're found in downtown Basseterre.

The following chart enables you to get some information regarding 7 firms that offer services related to snorkeling.

Snorkeling Services On St. Kitts
Name Type Phone Location
Dive St. Kitts Snorkeling Tour Operator (869) 465-1189 1.5 mi. East-Southeast of Downtown Basseterre
Kenneth's Dive Centre Snorkeling Equipment Rental Service (869) 465-2670 Downtown Basseterre
Kittitian Taxi Tours Snorkeling Tour Operator (869) 762-8994 Downtown Basseterre
Pro-Divers Snorkeling Tour Operator (869) 466-1358 Downtown Basseterre
Reggae Beach Watersports Watersports Equipment Shop -- 9.1 mi. Southeast of Central St. Kitts
Reggae Beach Watersports Snorkeling Equipment Rental Service -- 7.4 mi. Southeast of Central Basseterre
St. Kitts Snorkeling Tours Snorkeling Tour Operator (780) 628-2344 Downtown Basseterre

For more information concerning snorkeling, including helpful suggestions and tips for beginners and "pros" read our comprehensive discussion of snorkeling in the Caribbean.

Your best bet for snorkeling will be to steer clear of the east shore and arrange for a snorkeling boat.  If you can make this happen, you are sure to have stories to tell of the wondrous world off the coast of St. Kitts for years to come. 

 

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