Free shore access
This spot have a free shore access: you can go snorkeling there freely and without having to book a tour or pay an entrance fee.
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Sugar Beach sits at the foot of the Petit Piton on the southwest of St. Lucia. The small bay comprises a variety of habitats, including sandy beaches, rocky shores and an area, rich in marine life, within a Marine Reserve. While snorkeling at Sugar Beach, you may encounter, among dozens of other species, butterflyfish, moray eels, boxfish, filefish and angelfish.
The beach is managed by the Sugar Beach, a Viceroy Resort. To snorkel this spot, you have three options:
1. Stay at the Sugar Beach, a Viceroy Resort, the hotel set in front of the beach;
2. Access the beach as a day visitor. Check with the resort, as entry conditions change regularly (free access on foot, payment of a day pass, etc.);
3. Get to the spot by boat: either by boat tour or by taking a water taxi.
Depending on the area you want to snorkel, you can enter the water from the beach, or from the steps that can be found just past Sugar Point (see map above).
The best area for snorkeling is in the northern part of the resort, directly beneath the Petit Piton. This is part of the Marine Reserve and is marked out by guide ropes and marker buoys.
From the beach, this area is on the right-hand side past the landing jetty and no boats are allowed access to the area.
The reserve includes a wealth of brightly colored sponges, corals, and algae. It is also the best location to see the numerous fish species that shoal in the area. Snappers, groupers, and moray eels are also common here.
In the center of the bay, the beach initially shelves gently into a sandy subtidal area, then rapidly descends over a seagrass bed. This area has less diversity than the rock areas but still supports a variety of species, including well-disguised juvenile lionfish, banded butterflyfish, sharptail eels, and wrasse.
Around Sugar Point is a boulder and mixed rock area. The diversity of coral and sponge life is reduced compared to the reserve area but good examples of shoaling fish species were observed as well as the start of a sea fan and sea plume area.
The southern sandy bay has a variety of habitats, initially including extensive seagrass areas, with small rock outcrops in the shallows and sporadic sea plumes and numerous sea cucumbers. In total, nearly 220 marine species have been recorded in the resort area.
This spot is the Sugar Beach, a Viceroy Resort‘s house reef.
These snorkeling spots are accessible to beginners and kids. You will enter the water gradually from a beach, or in a less than 3ft. deep area. The sea is generally calm, shallow, with almost no waves or currents. These spots are usually located in marked and/or monitored swimming areas. It is not necessary to swim long distances to discover the sea life.
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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