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Anse Chastanet is a renowned snorkeling spot of Saint Lucia’s west coast. As it is easily accessible from the shore and protected by a marine preserve, it is a must-do for every snorkeling lover coming to Saint Lucia. A wide variety of colorful fish typical of Caribbean coral reefs are to be seen over swaying gorgonian forests.
Anse Chastanet is located north of Soufriere bay. Car drivers can get to the beach taking a small road from Soufriere (1 mile). If you happen to stay at either Anse Chastanet Resort or Jade Mountain Resort, you already are in front of the spot. The reef can also be reached by boat. Day or half-day excursions leaving from Soufriere or Castries often stop here, they sometimes include some more stops at neighboring snorkeling spots. Anse Chastanet is also a popular mooring spot for catamarans cruising through the Lesser Antilles.
We recommend entering the water at the south end of Anse Chastanet beach (on your left when facing the sea) in order to get as close as possible to the reef. If you participate in an excursion, you will enter the water directly from your boat.
The snorkeling area encompasses the seabed located in front of the beach as well as the coral reef bordering the rocky point occupying the bay’s southern end. A coral reef also fringes the other side of this point (facing south), but it is too risky to swim there from the beach, as strong west-east currents often occur in the area. If you want to explore this side of the reef, consider arriving by boat.
Anse Chastanet’s reef is a shallow flat (↕1-3 m) about 30 to 40 meters-large, edging the coastline and ending in a steep drop-off (↕5-12 m).
The seabed is mainly made of rocks covered with sponges and colorful yellow and purple gorgonian, making the waterscape look like a mesmerizing forest swaying with sea movements. Some hard coral, notably fire coral, can also be seen. Beware of sea urchins, they are particularly numerous in some areas.
Anse Chastanet reef is part of a marine preserve in which fishing is forbidden. Consequently, a great density of reef fish can be observed here, notably schools of grunts and blue tangs, several species of butterflyfish, but also filefish, porcupine-fish and wrasses.
Two hotels are set in Anse Chastanet: Anse Chastanet Resort and Jade Mountain Resort. Many other food and accommodation options can be found nearby, notably in Soufriere.
These spots are accessible to anyone with basic snorkeling skills, and feeling comfortable in the water and with his snorkeling gear. You will enter the water from the shore (beach, pontoon, ladder, rocks) or from a boat. The water height in the sea entrance area is reasonable, but you will not necessarily be within your depth. Moderate currents can occur in the area, even when the sea conditions are good. The distance to swim to reach the most interesting snorkeling areas of the spot does not exceed 200 meters.
This level only apply when the spot experiences optimal sea and/or weather conditions. It is not applicable if the sea and/or weather conditions deteriorate, in particular in the presence of rough sea, rain, strong wind, unusual current, large tides, waves and/or swell. You can find more details about the definition of our snorkeling levels on our snorkeling safety page.
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Snorkeling spots are part of a wild environment and their aspect can be significantly altered by weather, seasons, sea conditions, human impact and climate events (storms, hurricanes, seawater-warming episodes…). The consequences can be an alteration of the seabed (coral bleaching, coral destruction, and invasive seagrass), a poor underwater visibility, or a decrease of the sea life present in the area. Snorkeling Report makes every effort to ensure that all the information displayed on this website is accurate and up-to-date, but no guarantee is given that the underwater visibility and seabed aspect will be exactly as described on this page the day you will snorkel the spot. If you recently snorkeled this area and noticed some changes compared to the information contained on this page, please contact us.
The data contained in this website is for general information purposes only, and is not legal advice. It is intended to provide snorkelers with the information that will enable them to engage in safe and enjoyable snorkeling, and it is not meant as a substitute for swim level, physical condition, experience, or local knowledge. Remember that all marine activities, including snorkeling, are potentially dangerous, and that you enter the water at your own risk. You must take an individual weather, sea conditions and hazards assessment before entering the water. If snorkeling conditions are degraded, postpone your snorkeling or select an alternate site. Know and obey local laws and regulations, including regulated areas, protected species, wildlife interaction and dive flag laws.
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Fringing coral reef with a vibrant marine life
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