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With dramatic towering mountains, picturesque bays, exotic marine life, and clear turquoise waters, if you’re a watersport enthusiast, Saint Lucia is a bucket list must!
A mountainous island, volcanic in nature, St. Lucia is known for its pristine sugary beaches, lush vegetation, captivating waterfalls, and landmarks like The Pitons, the twin mountains on the west coast between the communities of Soufriere and Choiseul. Not only are these mountains a World Heritage Site, but they are the backdrop of some of the most amazing dive and snorkel sites on the south end of Saint Lucia.
The appeal of the Pitons does not end where the waters begin; divers can spot all kinds of marine life right at the base of the mountains. Underwater, the Pitons are part of a dynamic ocean ecosystem that includes a variety of hard and soft corals both near the shore and further out to sea.
Located in the Eastern Caribbean between Martinique and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Lucia has some of the best snorkeling sites in the Caribbean, especially along the west coast where the calm waters are protected from trade winds.
From all-inclusive resorts with house reefs to remote bays requiring a boat ride, St. Lucia offers diverse snorkel spots to suit various preferences.
We’ve found these top snorkeling spots that shouldn’t be missed when visiting this pristine island destination.
Near Soufriere on the southern side of the island, Anse Chastanet Beach is one of the best places in St. Lucia to explore the underwater world. The gorgeous beach offers views of the Pitons, St. Lucia’s twin volcanic peaks, and easy access to a coral reef.
This site is suitable for beginners and experienced snorkelers and is a top location for scuba diving in St. Lucia. The Anse Chastanet Reef is marked with buoys, making it easy to find and safe for snorkelers since boats are prohibited from entering the roped-off area.
Parts of the bay are protected as a marine reserve, which contributes to healthy sea life. If you want to explore the marine reserve, head to the snorkeling area at the south end of the bay.
Snorkelers at Anse Chastanet can view squid, corals, sponges, moray eels, and reef fish, including sergeant majors, trumpetfish, French angelfish, and parrotfish.
In addition to snorkeling, the bay is an ideal spot to enjoy other water sports, including windsurfing, kayaking, and stand-up paddle boarding.
Anse Cochon Beach is as beautiful in the water as it is out. On shore, relax on the dark sand and take in views of the calm cove surrounded by lush vegetation. In the water, you’ll see coral reefs, shrimp, eels, stingrays, and nurse sharks.
Between Soufriere and Castries, the best snorkeling is along the northern side of the bay.
You can reach Anse Cochon by boat or car, but you’ll want an all-terrain vehicle capable of navigating the bumpy access roads. Because the beach is a popular stop on catamaran tours, it can get quite busy around midday.
Located between the Pitons, this scenic bay is a top place to visit in St. Lucia for snorkelers and scuba divers. The towering peaks offer a breathtaking backdrop to the sandy beach, and the sea is teeming with marine life.
The best spot for shore snorkeling is Sugar Beach, also called Jalousie Beach. Head to the northern side of the bay beneath Petit Piton to access the protected marine reserve, which is marked off with ropes and buoys.
Coral Gardens at the base of Gros Piton is another excellent snorkel and dive site around Anse des Pitons. As the name suggests, the coral here is abundant, and you can spot sea whips, gorgonians, feather duster worms, and numerous reef fish.
On the northern side of the island, Marigot Bay is one of the most famous places in all of St. Lucia and has made an appearance in several Hollywood films. In addition to a variety of restaurants and beach bars, Marigot Bay offers a wide array of activities like kayaking and boat tours.
The best snorkeling in Marigot Beach is on the north side of the bay where the sheltered cove has shallow waters that are suitable for beginners and children.
Although sea life is richer at some of the island’s other sites, you’ll have the chance to see coral formations, seahorses, and various tropical fish. But more experienced snorkelers will likely be happier exploring a different spot.
Pigeon Island National Park is a great stop for snorkelers looking to do some hiking. Visitors can enjoy two beautiful beaches, military ruins, an old fort, and scenic hiking trails.
The best snorkeling starts about 15-20 feet from the beaches where marine life includes starfish, barracudas, eagle rays, moray eels, and lobsters.
Despite the name, Pigeon Island National Park is no longer an island since a man-made causeway connected it to the mainland in 1972.
Located in the Rodney Bay area on the island’s northern end, Reduit Beach offers easy shore snorkeling. The calm, clear waters and sandy bottom make this site suitable for beginners and families with children.
Marine life is more diverse and plentiful at some of St. Lucia’s other top sites, but there is still plenty to see. Snorkelers at this beautiful sandy beach can view eels, crabs, and a range of tropical fish.
With a variety of amenities for tourists, Reduit Beach is a popular place to spend the day. But be warned, the area is quite crowded with tourists, so it may not be ideal for those looking for a quiet, off-the-beaten-path spot.
Smugglers Cove is a small and relatively secluded beach in the north of Saint Lucia. You’ll need to drive to an area known as Cap Estate to get there, and it’s a good idea to ensure you understand the directions before you go.
At this beach, you’ll be able to get into some snorkeling fun in a safe place. You won’t even have to get too far out in the water to get the best experience, as sometimes sea turtles and a variety of tropical fish can be spotted near the shore.
Snorkeling on this beach gets more exciting though if you do decide to venture out with a boat. Some of the sea life you’re likely to come across while diving here includes flying gurnard, lobster, and large trumpet fish. Many of these creatures live in the trenches and shelves along the seafloor. Smugglers Cove is great whether or not you want to dive as it’s one of the coziest beaches on the island even boasting its own beach bar.