Some of the most scenic and ecologically rich snorkeling spots in the Caribbean

Most snorkel spots in Saint Lucia can be found along the island’s west coast, which is sheltered from trade winds. Many small bays and shallow reefs well suited to snorkeling can notably be found around the city of Soufriere and the Pitons.

Snorkeling Anse Chastanet
Anse Chastanet reef, partly protected by a marine reserve, is the most popular snorkeling spot in St Lucia (right, a French angelfish).

Anse Chastanet and Anse Mamin (separated only by a 700m long path) are probably the best spots directly accessible from the shore in Saint Lucia. As they are included in a marine preserve where fishing is controlled, the shelter has a thriving aquatic life and preserved seabeds.

In the Pitons region, snorkeling along the shore is possible north of Soufriere bay or in Sugar Beach. Heading north towards Castries, Anse Cochon and Marigot Bay are also nice spots.

view over Soufriere Bay and Petit Piton
View over Soufriere Bay and the Pitons.

Saint Lucia’s steep landscape made it impossible to build roads in many coastal areas. Those isolated coastlines can only be reached by boat. Many local agencies offer snorkeling day or half-day tours to the most remote sites. Petit Piton and Gros Piton, which include drift snorkeling (following the current) are the most popular.

Operators also offer tours to Trou au Diable and the Keyhole Pinnacles, but these spots are pretty deep and less suitable for snorkeling.

Coral reef at Anse Chastanet
A foureye butterflyfish among gorgonian in Anse Chastanet.

Saint Lucia’s coastal waters attract a colorful aquatic life, typical for the Caribbean reefs. Snorkeling along the island’s shore, you will easily spot several species of butterflyfish, blue tangs, grunts, triggerfish, and French angelfish over seabeds packed with sponges and gorgonian.

Several moray eel species, including the green moray, the spotted moray and the chain moray, also dwell on the reef, as well as lobsters, abundant in the marine reserves. Green sea turtles occasionally visit the reefs, notably in Anse Chastanet, but they remain rare along Saint Lucia’s coastline.

Chain moray in St Lucia
A chain moray, photographed in the marine reserve in front of Sugar Beach.

If you are planning a snorkeling trip to St Lucia or anywhere else in the Caribbean, we recommend the excellent Reef Fish Identification: Florida Caribbean Bahamas (also available in ebook), the reference guide to ID the fish you will encounter snorkeling the island.

When to go snorkeling Saint Lucia?

Snorkeling is possible all year round in Saint Lucia, thanks to its warm tropical climate tempered by trade winds. Temperatures seldom vary from their yearly average (77°F/25°C to 82°F/28°C). The dry season (January to May) is ideal to practice snorkeling, even if temperatures can be lower than the rest of the year.

The rainy season (June to December) is wetter, but the sky rarely remains overcast all day long. It is often advised to avoid the months of July, August, September and October, when hurricanes can occur.

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Hotels nearby Saint Lucia snorkeling spots

Anse Chastanet

1000 Anse Chastanet Road PO Box 7000, Soufriere St. Lucia

A dozen rooms are tucked in behind the coconut palms that line the beach and the remainder tiptoe up a flower-decked hillside. To make the most of the panoramic views and the refreshing Tradewinds octagonal whitewashed cottages come with wrap-around flower-draped balconies and louvered windows. In one suite, the balcony is built around a full-grown red gummier tree; in another, a flamboyant tree drapes its red blossoms around the balcony.

Snorkeling spots nearby

Anse Chastanet House reef Free shore access

Jade Mountain

100 Anse Chastanet Rd, Soufriere St. Lucia

The 29 luxury suites are called sanctuaries, sweeping spaces where bedroom, living area and an extravagant private infinity pool glide into one another to form extraordinary platforms floating out into nature. With the fourth wall entirely absent, Jade Mountain’s sanctuaries are stage-like settings from which to embrace the full glory of St Lucia’s Pitons World Heritage Site and the Caribbean Sea. Jade Mountain has set a new standard in the Caribbean whether it is for modern design, luxury living or unique resort and guest service experiences.

Snorkeling spots nearby

Anse Chastanet House reef Free shore access

Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort

Val des Pitons, Forbidden Beach, La Baie de Silence, Soufrière, Saint Lucia

Located in beautiful grounds overlooking Pitons Bay, offers luxurious accommodation with views of the surrounding valley. Set on Sugar Beach, it features a spa, outdoor pool and 3 restaurants, attractive rooms and villas with private plunge pools or swimming pools. All accommodation has a flat-screen TV, an iPod docking station, a coffee maker and a fridge. All rooms come with complimentary Piton beer, soda and water.

Snorkeling spots nearby

Sugar Beach House reef Free shore access

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