St. Lucia Diving and Snorkeling Sites
Scuba Diving and Snorkeling Sites in St. Lucia
Cruise Ship Visitors please click HERE. All the dive and snorkel sites that we visit are along the west coast of St. Lucia in the Caribbean Sea which has calm, warm blue water with a temperature range of 79 – 85 F/26 – 29 C. Visibility varies from 20ft/6M to over 200ft/60M depending on the site and weather conditions.
St. Lucia is a volcanic island with stunning scenery above the water. The majestic twin Pitons, our world famous landmark, rise to over 2619ft/805M, dominating the island and the Soufriere diving/snorkeling sites. This stunning scenery is duplicated underwater with white sand, volcanic pinnacles, sheer walls, shipwrecks and coral reefs with a multitude of marine life. We regularly visit over 25 diving/snorkeling sites suitable for all levels from absolute beginner to avid dive nut. Depth ranges vary from 12ft/3.6M to around 140ft/43M. For those who prefer to snorkel, there are many beautiful shallow reefs with an abundance of fish and aquatic life easily visible from the surface. Unlike many popular dive destinations, St. Lucia is very concerned with conservation and the Soufriere Marine Management Agency protects the reefs which means that they are still very beautiful for snorkelers and divers to visit. Saint Lucia has some of the best diving and snorkeling sites anywhere in the Caribbean and they are never crowded with divers. Come and take a look, we promise that you won’t be disappointed.
Dive and Snorkel sites at the north of St. Lucia
Travel time by boat is 5 – 10 minutes from the Dive Center making our dive sites at the north end of the island quickly accessible and popular with people who have limited time to spare. There are some beautiful snorkeling and diving sites in the north with a wide variety of scenery. You tend to see the same tropical reef fish as you do in the Marine Reserve, but we see more Rays and large species in the north.
Diving and Snorkeling Sites in the north (10 minute boat journey each way)
La Roche (The Rock)
(Also known as Barrel ‘O’ Beef), is a small island about a quarter of a mile outside Rodney Bay Marina. Maximum depth is around 50ft/15m. This dive has underwater trenches and valleys where you will often see Triggerfish, lots of Lobsters and Great Barracuda.
Bird Sh*t Rock!
This is a popular stopping place for birds and you will soon see why it gets its name! Underwater you will see sloping walls and huge boulders covered with coral. The maximum depth is around 60ft/18m. Apart from the usual tropical fish, Eagle Rays and Stingrays are often seen here.
There is a nice secluded sandy beach making this an ideal beginners dive. Further out, diving from the boat, max depth is around 40ft/12m and there are lots of trenches and shelves. This is home to Flying Gurnard, Lobster and large Trumpet Fish.
Here the base of Pigeon Island looks remarkably like a sleeping Dinosaur. Underwater there is the wreck of a small freighter which is nicely intact and usually sheltering many Lobsters under the keel. Max depth is around 50Ft/15M. Usual sightings include many Parrot Fish and Moray Eels.
This dive is located at the base of Pigeon Island. The dive starts in about 15ft/5M over sand and coral and progresses over reef and huge boulders to its maximum depth of 60ft/18M. Eagle Rays, Moray Eels, Lobsters and Great Barracuda are all seen regularly on this dive.
This is our most northern dive site and it is where the Caribbean Sea meets the Atlantic Ocean. The max depth is 60ft/18M. This is a popular place for Scorpion Fish and the Flying Gurnard, with occasional sightings of Turtles and Rays. Look out into the deeper water for glimpses of Barracuda.
Dive and Snorkel sites at the south of St. Lucia (Marine Reserve)
The Soufriere Marine Reserve starts close to Anse La Raye which is about 10 miles by boat from the Dive Center, and extends south for about 12 miles to Soufriere and the Pitons. We regularly dive and snorkel 8 sites in the Anse Cochon area which is about 12 miles and 35 minutes (each way) by boat from the Dive Center and 8 sites in the Soufriere area (by the Pitons) which is about 22 miles and 50 minutes by boat. There is an additional daily charge per person to dive south in the Marine Reserve as follows:- US$12.50 to cover fuel and US$5.00 to cover the SMMA Dive Permit. If you dive for more than 3 days, the charge will be US$12.50/day for fuel plus a single charge of US$15.00 for an annual SMMA dive permit.
There are many stunning sights both above and below the water with Anse Chastanet, Superman’s Flight, Rosemond’s Trench and Anse Cochon (south beach) being particularly colourful. Anse Cochon is also home to the fabulous Lesleen M and Daini Koyomaru shipwrecks which were sunk as artificial reefs and are home to many species of marine life. (The Daini is one of my favourite dives in St. Lucia. (Steve S.)) We also offer a unique Top Dive Package which provides the discerning diver with an opportunity to dive the very best of the Marine Reserve sites with their own private guide. The top dive package gives you up to an hours dive time per dive (air permitting) and gives access to some sites which are not on our regular dive schedule. If you would like to combine a tour of the Volcano and Sulphur Springs (and lunch) with your Soufriere dives, please check out our Dive & Drive package.
Marine Reserve Diving and Snorkeling Sites in the Anse Cochon Area (35 minute boat journey each way)
Anse Cochon (North Beach)
Starting in as little as 5ft/1.5M of water and progressing to around 60ft/18M, this reef has a wide range of scenery. There are patches of coral, large fields of boulders and sandy areas. This is a great snorkeling site and we regularly see Turtles, Trumpetfish, Moray Eels, Octopus, Squid and much more.
Anse Cochon (South Beach)
Anse Cochon means Bay of Pigs although we haven’t seen any underwater yet!. Max depth 40ft/12M Very varied topography including reef, boulders, walls, pinnacles, all on one dive!. This breeding ground is full of juvenile marine life and home to many Flounder. Usual dive profile is 1 hour.
This horseshoe shaped reef has a small wall and then flat coral reef with a maximum depth of around 50ft/15M. You will find lots of Crabs, Lobsters, Spotted Drums and sometimes Stingrays hiding in the sandy bottom. We usually do this as a second dive with a dive time of around 1 hour.
This pretty dive has coral shaped like the fingers of a hand with valleys and trenches in between. There is also a small tunnel leading into a chimney. Max depth is around 36ft/11M. Home to Seahorses, Frogfish, Turtles and the “usual” tropical fish. We usually dive this for around 1 hour. This is a “must do” Marine Park dive.
Lesleen M Wreck
Wreck of a cargo vessel sunk as an artificial reef in 1986. Sits upright on a sandy bottom at a max depth of 65ft/20M. The 167ft/51M long wreck offers open access to the surface and is inhabited by many types of marine life including Lobster, Moray Eels and reef fish. Stunningly colourful and pretty dive.
Daini Koyomaru Wreck
Wreck of a Japanese dredger sunk in 1996 as an artificial reef. The 244ft/75M long wreck landed on its side, mostly intact. Max depth is 108ft/33M making this dive suitable for Advanced Divers only and ideal for Enriched Air (Nitrox). It is home to large French Angelfish, Jacks, Barracuda and a huge Puffer.
Anse La Raye Wall
This dive site was named after the village of Anse La Raye (bay of rays). Depth is from 60 – 110ft/18 – 34M. This dive features a beautiful sloping wall that is alive with a multitude of different fish life and many different types of coral. Rays are often seen on this pretty dive.
Named after a shipwreck which killed a party of Nuns and is today commemorated by a Cross which has been erected on the point above the dive site. Shaped like a figure “9”, maximum depth is around 70ft/21M. There are lots of large Barrel Sponges, Brain Coral and occasionally Stingrays.
Marine Reserve Diving and Snorkeling Sites by the Pitons in the Soufriere Area (50 minute boat journey each way)
Situated right in front of the world famous Anse Chastanet Resort, this is a particularly nice site for snorkeling and for first time divers. There is a shallow reef starting in around 15ft/5M and progressing to around 60ft/18M. This is home to many species of marine life including large Trumpet Fish and Turtles.
Named after a scene from the movie Superman II. Entry to the water is at the base of Petit Piton towering 2619ft/805M above you. This sloping wall dive has a depth of around 1500ft/461M. You will see massive fluorescent Sponges, large Gorgonians and many species of colourful tropical fish. A “must do” Soufriere dive.
This area is on a major headland and is sometimes subject to strong currents which keep the coral and sponges very clean so that their vibrant colours are visible. The depth ranges from 40ft/12M – 200ft/61M. Turtles are often seen on this dive and are usually quite friendly.
Four spectacular volcanic peaks rise up from the depths to within a few feet of the surface. The peaks are encrusted with Black and Orange Gorgonians and are home to Trumpet and Filefishes as well as larger species such as Grouper, Jack and Snapper. Seahorses are also seen here.
Le Trou Diable (Devil’s Hole)
A very easy going dive with flat coral reef at around 40ft/12M, however the maximum depth is over 100ft/30M. Features of the dive are Finger Coral, Brain Coral, Barrel Sponges, the usual tropical fish and on a lucky day maybe as many as three turtles. A nice second dive for around 1 hour.
Located at the base of Petit Piton this dramatic wall drops from the surface down many hundreds of feet. It is covered with Sea Whips, Gorgonians, delicate soft corals and lots of Feather Duster Worms. This is a colourful dive with lots of different things to see.
Located at the base of the 2438ft/750M Gros Piton which towers above you. Depth on this site ranges from 15ft/5M to 90ft/27M. Visually stunning scenery both above and below the water. Plenty of five-finger corals and lots of juvenile reef fish make this a favourite diving and snorkeling site.
Named for its crescent shape not because this is where Turtles hang out (although they sometimes do). Depths range from 40ft/12M to around 140ft/43M. Lots of Pillar Corals and Barrel Sponges in the shallows and plenty of varied marine life make this an interesting “critter spotting” dive.