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'd like to see below the water's surface 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 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 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 want to check it out, you'll find this site found in Ti Kaye, in the western part of St. Lucia.

L'Anse la Raye is a fifth option 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 table just below for a listing of 8 of the best locations 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

Typhoon Tours

Some people believe the most enjoyable snorkeling is experienced away from the shore.

If you're ready to snorkel during a boat trip, you might want to 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 to consider is Wave Riders. Offering the only power catamaran tours on St. Lucia, Wave Riders will take you out on the water to spend your day sailing in a luxury setting as you see the island from the sea. They're located in Rodney Bay, in northern St. Lucia.

A third good option is Julian Boat Tours. Recovery day trips and fishing tours are offered along with private fishing, honeymooner, and party charter packages. Complimentary rum punch, lunch, and snorkeling gear are included in the recovery package along with natural waterfall spa treatment and cliff jumping.

Review the following table to see day sails and boat trips that offer 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
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

Snorkeling Services

If you're looking for a place that offers snorkeling excursions, rentals, or other services, you might want to check with Scuba St. Lucia. In addition to snorkeling instruction at the Anse Chastanet Reef, they also offer guided snorkeling tours to many of the island's other popular snorkeling sites. They are located within 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 company worth contacting 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 found in downtown Castries.

Some details regarding 6 companies that provide snorkeling related services are displayed down below.

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 about snorkeling, including helpful suggestions and tips 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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