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're ready to see what's below the surface you might want to visit 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 located in the western part of St. Lucia.
Jalouise is another option. 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 location 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, you'll find this site found in Ti Kaye, in the western part of St. Lucia.
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.
Some key information about 8 of the best locations where you can experience snorkeling in this area are listed directly below.
|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|
For some people, the most enjoyable snorkeling is accessed away from the shore.
If you'd like to snorkel during a boat trip, you should consider 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.
Another option to investigate is Sea Spray Day Cruises. The available tours include a Tout Bagay Day Tour, Pirate's Day Adventure, a Botanical Gardens Zip excursion, and Sunset Cruise. The vessels at Sea Spray Day Cruises may also be reserved for private events. They're situated in Rodney Bay, in northern St. Lucia.
A third option is Spencer Ambrose Tours. Several speed boat and island tour activity packages are available, including the West Coast Island Delight and Spencer's Land, Sea, and Beach Adventure. Aboard his speedboat, you will be lead to areas like Bat Cave, Gros Piton, and Jalousie Beach, to name a few.
Information with regard to boat operators that offer snorkeling opportunities are provided in the following table.
|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||(758) 518-8236||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 looking for a business that offers snorkeling gear, excursions or similar services, you might want to check with 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. They are found within Soufrière, in the southwestern part of St. Lucia.
Another place catering to snorkelers 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.
A third option 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. They're situated in Gros Islet, in the northern part of St. Lucia.
You can look through the table below if you want information concerning 5 firms that offer snorkeling related services.
|Discover Soufriere||(758) 489-7077||0.2 mi. East-Northeast of Central downtown Soufriere|
|Dive Fair Helen||(758) 451-7716||Downtown Castries|
|Eastern Caribbean Diving||(758) 453-3483||3.6 mi. North-Northeast of Central Castries|
|Scuba St. Lucia||(758) 459-7755||1.4 mi. West-Northwest of Central downtown Soufriere|
|Scuba Steve's Diving||(758) 450-9433||0.3 mi. South-Southwest of Central Gros Islet|
To learn more concerning snorkeling, including useful tips and suggestions for beginners and "pros" read this extensive guide to snorkeling in the Caribbean.
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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