The volcanic island of St Lucia in the Eastern Caribbean is famed far and wide for its tropical beauty – and the views below sea level are every bit as beautiful as those above! Here are five of the best spots to experience “scuba St Lucia”.
The island of St Lucia is actually the tip of an underwater volcano; it’s been described as “as mountainous below sea level as it is above”, and that’s a pretty fair description. Hot water vents create perfect living conditions for marine life usually found in the Caribbean’s remotest spots.
Under the sea is where you’ll see some of St Lucia’s most colourful and diverse wildlife and spectacular sights. In the warm Caribbean waters that surround St Lucia, divers and snorkelers can see a huge variety of interesting marine life. If you’re diving in St Lucia, look out for an amazing variety of coral, sponge, weird and wonderful rock formations, pinnacles, trenches and arches. You’re likely to see frogfish, seahorses, black coral trees, large gorgonians, massive barrel sponges, nurse sharks, angelfish, stingrays, golden-spotted eels and turtles.
Choosing St Lucia’s best diving and snorkelling spots is not an easy task; there are so many to choose from, ranging from easy to challenging, from gentle slopes to shipwrecks. If you’ve dived in St Lucia before, you may have your own ideas about the best dive sites and disagree with those we’ve chosen, but for the sake of brevity we’ve kept this list to just five of the best dive sites in St Lucia, and these are as follows.
This dive site gets its unusual name from a scene filmed on St Lucia for the movie Superman 2. Superman’s Flight is a drift dive on a gentle wall, dropping to 1,600 feet. Strong currents at Superman’s Flight create excellent visibility in crystal clear waters. To get there, enter the water at the foot of the mountain Petit Piton. Look out for golden spotted eels and turtles, frogfish and stonefish.
You’ll find Coral Gardens at the foot of Petit Piton’s big brother, Gros Piton (the Pitons of course being the steep, sharp-tipped mountains that are the most famous landmarks of St Lucia). At Coral Gardens you’ll have the dual pleasure of spectacular scenery both above and below water. Here, the coral is in excellent condition and there are plenty of fish to see, including schooling snappers, soldierfish, squirrelfish, feather stars and harlequin shrimps. This is a highly recommended dive site for underwater photographers.
As its whimsical name implies, Fairy Land is a truly magical site for diving in St Lucia. You’ll find Fairy Land at the point of Anse Chastenet, where the beautiful plateau slopes gently down from forty to sixty feet. This is another site where strong currents help keep the visibility crystal clear, and again it’s a great spot for photographers. The many colourful varieties of corals and sponges make Fairy Land one of the Caribbean’s prettiest diving sites, and those strong currents bring in large shoals of horseye jacks, silversides, the occasional turtle and a delightful shoal of squid that has been reported as a regular sight.
The Keyhole Pinnacles
The Keyhole Pinnacles were voted one of the ten best dive sites by Caribbean Travel and Life, so they’re definitely worthy of inclusion here. This spectacular dive site’s four pinnacles thrust up to just below the surface, and are also home to several other types of coral including finger coral and gorginian coral, the latter providing a home to the seahorses that can be seen clinging to its branches.
Last but not least on our list of spectacular places to go diving in St Lucia is Anse Chastanet Reef, in the south west of St Lucia. This stunning spot is one of our most dramatic dive sites, where the shallows at depths to 25 feet can be accessed easily from the beach. The unique coral wall of the reef falls away from 20 to 140 feet, providing a home to more than 150 species including peacock flounders, octopus, needle fish and turtles. Deeper down, over dense coral you’ll see puffers, moray eels, parrot fish, lobsters and seahorses. Again, Anse Chastanet Reef is a spectacular site for underwater photography; if you don’t already have one, it’s worth investing in an underwater camera before you dive in St Lucia so you can wow your friends with beautiful photos when you return home.