Snorkeling Around St. Lucia

Photo credit: © David Pearson
 

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. 

Maps

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 Anse Chastanet Snorkeling 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 Coral Gardens and the Roseman's Trench.  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.

Snorkeling Sites

If you're ready to experience what's below the surface you might enjoy visiting 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 situated in 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 place 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 where you can 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, this site is found within Ti Kaye, in the western part of St. Lucia.

L'Anse la Raye is a fifth site 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.

Be sure to look through the chart below for summary info concerning 8 of the best places to go snorkeling in this area.

Snorkeling Sites Near St. Lucia
Site Location Island
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
L'Anse la Raye 0.4 mi. South West of Central Anse La Raye Saint Lucia
Trau au Diable 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

Snorkeling Boat Trips

Sea Spray Day Cruises

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

If you're hoping to snorkel during a boat trip, you can check with Sea Spray Day Cruises. Family owned and operated for nearly 25 years, Sea Spray Cruises offers local knowledge and true passion for the Caribbean Sea. Their fleet consists of 3 catamarans and 1 schooner.

Another option to investigate is Typhoon Tours. Fully ensured and licensed by the National Conservacy, the 28' Typhoon Bowen speedboat will lead you to all of the beautiful destinations St. Lucia has to offer on its exclusive tours. They're found within Rodney Bay, in northern St. Lucia.

A third good option is Mystic Man Tours. With a fleet of 8 well maintained vessels and an excellent reputation, Mystic Man Tours is conveniently located near some of St. Lucia's most beloved landmarks and historical sites. They offer a surplus of charters and activities that will introduce you to some of the local culture.

Be sure to look through this table for a list of day sails and boat trips that provide snorkeling opportunities.

Day Sails and Boat Trips On St. Lucia
Name Phone Location
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
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

Snorkeling Services

If you're looking for someone that offers snorkeling excursions, rentals, or other services, you can check with 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 are located in the western part of St. Lucia.

Another place that offers snorkeling related services is Scuba Steve's Diving. Specializing in guided tours that the whole family can enjoy, this watersports center and tour guide operator wants their guests to experience the best of the island with them at your service.

A third option 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. They're located in downtown Castries.

The following table provides information about 6 firms that provide snorkeling services.

Snorkeling Services On St. Lucia
Name Type Phone Location
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" read our exhaustive Caribbean snorkeling article.

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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