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. 


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 experience what's below the surface 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 in 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 place to 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 want to check it out, you'll find this site located within Frigate Bay, St. Kitts.

Nags Head is a fifth location 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.

Be sure to look at the following table to learn more about 13 of the most popular places to go 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

Some people believe the most enjoyable snorkeling is located off shore.

If you're hoping to go snorkeling during a boat trip, you can check with Blue Water Safaris. Sign up for one of Blue Water Safaris' legendary tours, and you can experience St. Kitts by sailing around the perimeter on one of their catamarans.

Another option worth investigating is Captain Sunshine. Devin and Kenny Richardson are known as the Captain Sunshine Brothers, for they have been hosting guided tours through Captain Sunshine for 15 years. They offer a variety of tours on land and sea as well as holistic massage therapy. They're located in Old Road Town, St. Kitts.

A third option is Speedy 4 Charters. Captain Glen Guishard has over 25 years of experience and an extensive knowledge of the St. Kitts, and he is also a certified advanced open water diver and first aid instructor.

View the table below to find out more about boat trips and day sails that offer snorkeling.

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 2.5 mi. East-Southeast of Central Basseterre

Snorkeling Services

If you looking for a place that offers snorkeling excursions, rentals, or other services, you should check out Reggae Beach Watersports. Snorkeling equipment and kayaks are available for patrons to rent for a few hours of water fun. They are located in Saint George Basseterre Parish, in the southeastern part of St. Kitts.

Another company that offers snorkeling related services is St. Kitts Snorkeling Tours. Part snorkeling boat, part fishing boat, part party boat, this tour operator offers visitors a great way to spend some time out on the water, both above and below the surface.

A third option 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 located in downtown Basseterre.

A few details regarding 7 places that provide services related to snorkeling are shown in the table below.

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

To learn more concerning snorkeling, including helpful suggestions and tips for both "old pros" and beginners, read this detailed guide to 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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