Looking for a new scuba diving destination for your next vacation ?
The Eastern Caribbean offers more excellent scuba diving opportunities than you may think. Saint Lucia in particular has excellent dive sites most of which are located in the south west of the island, near the town of Soufriere and near their landmark mountains, the Pitons, which are now a Unesco World Heritage site.
Almost 20 years ago, in July 1992, the island took a very pro active step to ensure that scuba diving would remain an enjoyable activity for many years to come; it established the Soufriere Marine Management Authority with the responsibility to protect and manage the island’s precious marine resources.
Scuba divers looking for quality accommodation and a professional dive operation can find both at ANSE CHASTANET. Just a mile and a half from the picturesque town of Soufriere on St. Lucia’s south-western Caribbean shoreline, ANSE CHASTANET is nestled amidst a 600 acre tropical estate with two soft sand beaches bordering excellent snorkel and scuba diving sites.
SCUBA ST LUCIA is a Padi 5* resort operation, situated on the beach at ANSE CHASTANET just steps from the water. Perfectly set up for both beach and boat dives, Scuba St. Lucia offers guests National Geographic Specialty Programs, Enriched Air Nitrox; a well equipped scuba store; three compressors; rental dive gear and an underwater Photo and Video center.
Anse Chastanet is as popular a St. Lucia honeymoon spot as it is a scuba diving resort destination.
“ Our strength here at Anse Chastanet is our amazing location not only in the heart of the marine reserves, but also in the most scenic part of the island”, says Karolin Troubetzkoy, the Director of Marketing. “ Pair this with the great hospitality and Caribbean charm of our resort team, fabulous food and many other adventure activities and services available here and you ‘ll understand why the resort is so popular. “
Below here is a listing of Saint Lucia’s most popular dive sites, all of of which are within a easy reach from Anse Chastanet beach and Scuba St.Lucia.
The Anse Chastanet Reef was voted one of the ‘top five’ shore dives in the Caribbean by Scuba Diving Magazine and is just feet away from the dive center. Just 10 yards beyond the water’s edge, the reef’s remarkable ecosystem offers an amazing profusion of unusual tropical marine life in 20 to 140 feet of calm clear water.
The Anse Chastanet Reef makes for an amazing dive day or night. Just 15 yards beyond the waters edge, the reefs remarkable ecosystem offers an amazing profusion of unusual tropical marine life in 20 to 140 feet of calm clear water. In the shallow areas be sure to keep your eyes open for peacock flounders, octopus, needle fish and turtles. Or drop down a little deeper over dense coral growth to see puffers, moray eels, parrot fish, lobsters and even sea horses.
The Anse Chastanet Reef is a unique dive site for all abilities and is especially good for macro photography.
Boat Diving around Anse Chastanet
Dive along dramatic walls beneath the majestic Piton Mountains, Superman’s Flight, a drift dive in the shadow of the Petit Piton, Coral Gardens and Jalousie under the Gross Piton, Piton Wall, the wreck of the “Lesleen M”, Anse La Raye and Anse Cochon. Equally spectacular are Fairyland, Turtle Reef, Grand Caille, Trou Diable and The Pinnacles. (see our map of dive sites below)
Wreck Diving in Saint Lucia
Whilst there are some wrecks near the southern tip of the island, these are located in rough waters and not easily accessible. Dive operations offer wreck dives mostly to the Lesleen M. The wreck of the Lesleen M is located near the bay of Anse Cochon, approximately 20 minutes by dive boat from Scuba St.Lucia. The 165 foot freighter was sunk in October 1986 as part of a project by the Department of Fisheries to provide artificial reefs. It is covered in soft coral, sponges and hydroids and provides an ideal habitat for many juvenile fishes. The wreck sits on an even keel on the sand. It is 30 feet to the deck and 65 feet at the deepest point.
Divers staying at Anse Chastanet Resort can partake in night diving right off shore.After a briefing at dusk you enter the warm, clear water in search of eels, octopus, lobsters, sleeping parrot fish and even THE THING. The dive guides are experts in finding all those little creatures you don’t see during the day. Night dives are offered at least twice weekly on the Anse Chastanet Reef, which really “wakes up” at night, with many interesting crustaceans on the move, large basket stars, sleeping parrot fish, octopus and squid, bioluminescence, and the “THING”.
Anse La Raye Wall : A dramatic wall falls from the surface, covered in Sea Whips, Gorgonians and soft coral. Delicate soft corals and large feather duster worms can be found in this site.
Grand Caille: Patois for “Large Reef”, Grand Caille is known as a very dramatic dive site with deep water gorgonians and sea whips. On this dive site you can see huge brain corals and barrel sponges in pristine conditions.
Trou au Diable: Patois for “Devil’s hole”, Trou Diable is a fascinating location with large barrel sponges and well developed coral heads with schools of chromis and grunts in profusion..
Anse Cochon: A steep slope with large boulders covered in sponges and gorgonians. In the shallower parts of the reef Seahorses, Scorpion Fish and cleaner shrimps are found in abundance.
Pinnacles: A visually stunning dive site with four spectacular seamounts that rise dramatically from the depths to within a few feet from the surface. These structures provide a shelter for trumpet fish, filefish and sometimes seahorses.
Turtle Reef: A crescent-shaped reef that drops quickly from a plateau area starting at 40 feet to over 150 feet. Spectacular pillar coral and barrel sponges can be seen. On turtle reef you are very likely to see hawksbill and green turtles as it is adjacent to turtle grass beds.
Superman’s Flight: Situated at the base of the Petit Piton where the cliff face was used in the filming of Superman II. The steep slope is covered by many soft corals and there is a great profusion of fish life. A fantastic drift dive.
Piton Wall: Also at the base of the Petit Piton with a dramatic wall that drops to many hundreds of feet below. A great opportunity to see many varieties of crustaceans and critters.
Fairyland: This reef sparkles with vibrant colors of many varieties of corals and sponges. The plateau area slopes gently from 40 to 60 feet. Turtles are occasionally seen on this site. This dive site offers great drift diving along one of the most colorful walls in the Caribbean
Jalousie: Situated at the base of the Grand Piton with lots of schooling fish, creole wrasse, bar jack and occasionally the southern sennet. A great range of different corals and sponges can be seen.
Coral Gardens: The unusual sargassum trigger fish can be spotted in the deeper areas with the odd barracuda. In the shallows you can swim through dense sea plumes forests. These forests are great hideaways for the juvenile offspring’s of the reef.
To book your St.Lucia scuba diving at Anse Chastanet, please visit SCUBA ST.LUCIA or call 1-800-223-1108.Dive Deal packages start at US 2119 this summer for a 7 night stay including accommodation, airport transfers, breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner, all tax/service, welcome drink and fruit basket on arrival, 12 beach or boat dives incl of tank, weights, belt, mask, snorkel, fins (other equipment at a charge if needed, marine park fee to be paid locally) comp non motorized watersports. Anse Chastanet currently offers a US 250 per person package credit for travel June 1-Dec 19, 2011, for any new dive deal reservation made no later than July 15, 2011. Restrictions may apply.