A hidden gem for snorkelers in the Caribbean, St. Lucia is not commonly mentioned as a top location for the sport; however, if you know where to find the right spots, just a few moments under the sea will have you convinced that this destination rivals any other in the region.
The island's volcanic make up plays a huge role in the unique underwater landscape of St. Lucia. Mesmerizing trenches, coral reefs, and caverns are what set this destination apart. Visibility is anywhere from 25 to 135 feet, and temperatures range from the high 70s to the low 80s in degrees Fahrenheit. This means great conditions as you explore underwater viewing various species of coral, sponges, and rock croppings that are home to flounder, blue tang, parrotfish, squirrelfish, spiny lobster, arrow crabs, octopus, sting rays, and sometimes nurse sharks.
For the best snorkeling on St. Lucia, head to the waters in front of the Anse Chastanet. The is the perfect haven for snorkelers because it is buoyed off for snorkeling safety, so no boats are allowed in the area. There is a plateau on the reef that reaches from 5 to 25 feet deep, and at its end, falls away from 20 to 140 feet into a coral wall full of amazing sea life. Photographers favor the reef as one of the most picturesque sites in St. Lucia. There is a dive shop right on the beach where you can rent your gear if you haven't brought it along, and if you choose to snorkel elsewhere, just keep a look out for a dive center or watersports shop nearby. Some of the most popular beaches have kiosks right on the beach that offer rentals for around $15(USD) a set.
It is also important to note that some of the best snorkeling sites of St. Lucia are only accessible by boat. These include the and the . Many sail boat charters will make stops for snorkeling, but if you want an option that focuses on the sport you'll find that many dive centers and a few local tour guides offer these specialized tours.
If you'd like to experience what's down below you should consider a visit to Anse Chastanet. Considered to be one of the top snorkeling sites on the island, the reef here ranges from depths of five to 25 feet for snorkelers, then plateaus and continues as low as 140 feet for divers. In addition to the healthy reef, sponges, and sea fans, there are 150 or more different species of sea creatures including creole wrasse, sea horses, sergeant majors, eels, blue tangs, peacock flounders, turtles, octopus, needlefish, and much more. This snorkeling site is found within the western part of St. Lucia.
Jalouise is another place you might enjoy. Perhaps the most popular snorkeling site on the whole of the island, its unique location creates a dramatic underwater landscape that forms a crescent and is home to several varieties of coral and dozens of schools of fish.
A third location to consider is Reduit Beach. Although you have to be on the lookout for surfers and boaters, this beach is a great site for snorkeling thanks to its diverse array of marine life.
A fourth place to go snorkeling is Anse Couchon. Locals favor this snorkeling site. Despite being a small area, the marine life that lives here is dense and active. If you're interested, you'll find this site found within Ti Kaye, in the western part of St. Lucia.
is a fifth location to consider. Snorkeling is popular here because the visibility is so good. Under the surface there are several coral formations of sea whips, gorgonians, and soft corals, plus rock clusters that are home to active fish.
The following table provides you with more information about 8 of the most popular places where you can enjoy snorkeling in this area.
|Anse Chastanet||1.4 mi. West-Northwest of Central downtown Soufriere||Saint Lucia|
|Jalouise||Southwestern part of St. Lucia|
|Reduit Beach||Northern part of St. Lucia|
|Anse Couchon||1.7 mi. South West of Central Anse La Raye||Saint Lucia|
|0.4 mi. South West of Central Anse La Raye||Saint Lucia|
|1.1 mi. West of Central downtown Soufriere||Saint Lucia|
|Rodney Bay||0.5 mi. South West of Central Gros Islet||Saint Lucia|
|Pigeon Island National Landmark||1.1 mi. Northwest of Central Gros Islet||Pigeon Island|
Some people believe the most enjoyable snorkeling is experienced away from the shore.
If you want to snorkel during a boat trip, you can check with Typhoon Tours. The tours available include half or full day excursions, sunset cruises, and snorkeling expeditions. Captain Typhoon will lead you to beloved locations such as the natural Tunnel of Love, Bat Cave, Souffriere, and the Twin Pitons, to name a few.
Another option worth investigating is Wave Riders. Wave Riders offers two different tours, the Martinique Splendor and the Martinique Shop Hop. Both bring passengers from St. Lucia to Martinique for sightseeing and/or shopping. They're found in Rodney Bay, in northern St. Lucia.
A third good option is Julian Boat Tours. Julian Boat Tours has been operating since 2009 by Julian and Kennedy, two experienced tour guides who offer sincere customer service and a passion for the beauty of St. Lucia.
Look through this table for information concerning boat trips and day sails that provide snorkeling.
|Barefoot Holidays||(758) 450-0507||Downtown Castries|
|Benny's Boat Tours||(758) 519-7416||0.2 mi. East-Northeast of Central downtown Soufriere|
|Carnival Sailing||(758) 452-5586||Bisse|
|Endless Summer Cruises||(758) 450-8651||0.5 mi. South of Central Gros Islet|
|Herod's Island Tours||(758) 716-6540||Downtown Castries|
|Julian Boat Tours||(758) 519-8586||1.8 mi. Northeast of Central Castries|
|Mystic Man Tours||(758) 459-7783||Downtown Soufriere|
|Saluna Watersports Boat Tours||(758) 727-0009||0.4 mi. South-Southwest of Central Gros Islet|
|Sea Spray Day Cruises||(758) 458-0123||0.5 mi. South of Central Gros Islet|
|Spencer Ambrose Tours||(758) 721-8844||Downtown Vieux Fort|
|Typhoon Tours||(758) 284-7575||0.5 mi. South of Central Gros Islet|
|Wave Riders||(758) 452-0808||0.5 mi. South of Central Gros Islet|
If you're looking for a place that offers snorkeling gear, excursions or similar services, you should check out Eastern Caribbean Diving. In addition to participating in snorkeling courses or signing up for an excursion, you can purchase National Geographic Snorkel gear from this shop. They are located within La Brelotte Bay, in the northern part of St. Lucia.
A second place catering to snorkelers is Discover Soufriere. Helping you to plan all of your adventures and explorations of the island, this tour guide even makes an effort to get their guests out to do some snorkeling.
A third option is Scuba St. Lucia. One of the best snorkeling sites on the entire island is located just off shore from this dive center, and if you're interested in learning to snorkel they can help make it happen. They're located in the western part of St. Lucia.
Some details concerning 6 companies that offer snorkeling related services can be seen in the table below.
|Discover Soufriere||Snorkeling Tour Operator||(758) 489-7077||0.2 mi. East-Northeast of Central downtown Soufriere|
|Dive Fair Helen||Snorkeling Tour Operator||(758) 451-7716||Downtown Castries|
|Eastern Caribbean Diving||Snorkeling Tour Operator||(758) 453-3483||3.6 mi. North-Northeast of Central Castries|
|Saluna Watersports||Snorkeling Equipment Rental Service||(758) 727-0009||0.4 mi. South West of Central Gros Islet|
|Scuba St. Lucia||Snorkeling Tour Operator||(758) 459-7755||1.4 mi. West-Northwest of Central downtown Soufriere|
|Scuba Steve's Diving||Snorkeling Tour Operator||(758) 450-9433||0.3 mi. South-Southwest of Central Gros Islet|
For more information concerning snorkeling, including useful tips and suggestions for beginners and "pros" check out this exhaustive Caribbean snorkeling page.
St. Lucia may not be on your radar now as a top snorkeling destination, but just a few minutes exploring and you'll be ready to spread the word. Don't miss out on this experience by forgetting to leave some time during your getaway to participate in the sport.
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