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Saint Lucia: The Ultimate Scuba Diving Getaway

Escape to this award-winning Eastern Caribbean island and find the perfect blend of tropical beauty, adventure, romance and superlative diving.
By Scuba Diving Partner | Created On February 7, 2022
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Saint Lucia: The Ultimate Scuba Diving Getaway

A scuba diver swimming in the ocean looking at yellow coral

Diving in Saint Lucia offers a world class experience with the island ideally situated between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.

Photo courtesy of Scuba St. Lucia

The past year was a remarkable one for the island of Saint Lucia. It made Condé Nast Traveler’s Top 10 list for best destination in the Caribbean and Atlantic and was named the Caribbean’s best honeymoon destination. Heaped on top of these awards were the ones it received in Scuba Diving Magazine’s 2021 Readers Choice Awards — the island ranked among the Top 10 in the Caribbean and Atlantic for Best Overall Dive Destination, Macro Life, Wreck Diving, Shore Diving, Wall Diving, Snorkeling and Health of Marine Environment.

Best Overall Dive Destination: Gifts From Nature

The Top 10 list naming the best destinations in the Caribbean and Atlantic region is the most prestigious of Scuba Diving Magazine’s Readers Choice Awards. Saint Lucia delivers an experience that is truly special. From the moment you see the iconic twin peaks, the Pitons — a UNESCO World Heritage Site — the crystalline blue sea, lush rainforest and breathtaking waterfalls, you will be completely captivated by this island’s natural bounty. Underwater, the vibrant coral reefs and marine life are equally exquisite. Capping all that off are the activities you can do besides diving — zip lining, mountain biking, kayaking, chocolate-making, visiting the world-famous Sulfur Springs Park and Soufrière Volcano, hiking through the rainforest to a secluded waterfall, and playing or lazing on the quiet beaches.

The ancient volcanic activity that gave birth to this emerald-green jewel of an island also shaped its dramatic underwater seascape. The result is colorful coral reefs, abundant marine life and beautiful formations. Dive sites are located on the western lee side and are only a short boat ride from the dock, and many of them are ideal for both novices and experienced divers.

Best Macro Life: Small Treasures

The saying that “big things come in small packages” applies to the abundance of macro life on Saint Lucia’s reefs, earning the island a Top 10 ranking in this category. Divers will spot frogfish, seahorses, nudibranchs and cleaner shrimp, as well as critters that are made for an underwater photographer’s macro lens — flying gurnards, moray eels, trumpetfish, pipefish and flounder. You’ll get loads of bottom time at Anse Cochon South, in just 25 feet of water, and spot frogfish in a variety of colors — black, yellow, white.

Best Wreck Diving: Sunken Treasures

It’s easy to see why Saint Lucia was ranked in the Top 10 for Best Wreck Diving when you explore the Lesleen M, a 165-foot former freighter that is now beautifully encrusted with corals and perfect for all skill levels of divers. Purpose-sunk in Anse Cochon Bay, the Lesleen M is a magnet for marine life, including swirling schools of yellowtail snapper. You can explore in and around the ship’s wide-open cargo hold, which has enough natural light to make it safe for even beginner divers.

The Daini Koyomaru wreck is bigger, deeper and more advanced, but it also allows for penetration for experienced wreck divers. Look for swirling shoals of fish, including jacks, barracudas, sardines and blue chromis, as well as turtles, rays and crustaceans.

A fish hiding in pink coral

Scuba Diving readers recognized Saint Lucia as home to one of the healthiest and most diverse reef systems on the planet.

Photo courtesy of Scuba St. Lucia

Best Shore Diving: Easy Entry, Easy Exit

If you’re a fan of shore diving, a host of easy in-and-out sites await. Access to both Anse Cochon North and South is from Ti Kaye resort, where you can also enjoy relaxing on the cove’s black sand beach. If you’re a history buff, visit Pigeon Island National Landmark, where you can see the ruins of this historic military base and dive from either of the island’s two secluded beaches. At Anse Chastanet, the house reef is just steps from shore. You can stay shallow, in as little as 25 feet of water, or you can drop down on a spectacular wall that offers much deeper depths. Hawksbill sea turtles, spiny lobsters, spotted eagle rays and schools of grunts are often found here.

Best Wall Diving: Epic Drop-offs

Is there anything more exhilarating than a wall dive? Depths at Anse La Raye Wall — one of the most beautiful drop-offs in the Caribbean — range between 60 and 110 feet. Piton Wall is located at the base of Petit Piton, which starts at the surface and then drops off into the blue below recreational depths. It offers a crazy patchwork quilt of colors, including sea whips, gorgonians, soft corals and feather duster worms. Keyhole Pinnacles are four extraordinary seamounts that rise from the ocean floor.

While drift diving is not a category in Scuba Diving’s Readers Choice Awards, Saint Lucia boasts a couple of spectacular drifts, including Superman’s Flight, which takes divers past some of the most colorful reefs in the Caribbean.

Best Snorkeling: Beauty in the Shallows

Almost every dive site is appropriate for snorkeling, including Anse Chastanet, Anse Cochon, Sugar Beach and Piton Wall. Even more advanced sites such as Superman’s Flight can be snorkeled when conditions are calm. Coral Gardens — at the base of Gros Piton — is a popular site for divers and snorkelers, who will spot loads of juvenile reef fish in just 15 feet of water.

A coral reef with fish

The picturesque island of Saint Lucia offers more than 22 breathtaking dive sites.

Photo courtesy of Scuba St. Lucia

Healthy Marine Environment: Protect and Preserve

The magazine’s readers recognized Saint Lucia as home to one of the healthiest and most diverse reef systems on the planet. The island’s dive association, along with other island agencies, support the efforts of the Soufriere Marine Management Reserve. The island’s conservation efforts pay off at sites such as Fairyland in the Pitons Management Area, where ocean currents converge and provide a nutrient-rich spot for stingrays, octopuses, turtles and eels.

Saint Lucia’s gorgeous natural beauty is found both below and above the water’s surface. It’s the perfect vacation spot for solo divers or vacationing groups, couples seeking romance or families looking for adventure and fun. With consistently warm water year-round, dive sites appropriate for both beginners and advanced divers, and topside activities for every type of vacationing diver.