Scuba diving inSt Lucia
- Impressive coral coverage, wrecks, walls, and more
- Explore stunning, shallow dive sites suitable for all levels
- Beautiful beaches, dramatic peaks, and dense rainforest
- Discover a vibrant island culture with something for everyone
Throughout the years, St Lucia has embraced a variety of cultural influences, creating a unique and spellbinding blend of character, customs, and cuisine that has become iconic across the Caribbean. Despite its small size, this island nation offers an outstanding diversity of experiences, allowing visitors to cultivate their ideal holiday – be it limitless luxury, scenic seclusion, or rhythmic revelry. And, no matter your choice of getaway in St Lucia, you’ll enjoy easy access to coral-clad scuba diving sites suitable for all experience levels and interests.
Diving in St Lucia
Schooling reef fishYear round
Macro CreaturesYear round
Situated between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, St Lucia is a varied dive destination offering underwater experiences that will entice all levels of divers. The island has around 25 individual sites, the vast majority of which are concentrated on the sheltered western coast where marine protected areas have helped the local reefs to flourish – particularly around Soufriere, Canaries, and Anse La Raye. As a result, St Lucia has become well-known for its picturesque underwater scenery, boasting around 50 coral species and an abundance of tropical reef fish vying for attention.
St Lucia’s shore dives and shallow sites
Those in search of more laid-back dive sites will appreciate the shore entries in St Lucia, with the likes of Anse Cochon and Anse Chastanet offering sought after experiences at surprisingly shallow depths. These sites are also popular among photographers, with a wealth of critters hiding in the coral, including frogfish, seahorses, pipefish, and more. Plus, Anse Chastanet is also one of the top sites to spot St Lucia’s fabled sea monster, the “Thing” – a segmented underwater worm which can grow surprisingly large. Though requiring a boat ride to reach, sites such as Rosemond’s Trench and Coral Garden are also shallow enough to be enjoyed by divers of all experience levels.
Advanced dives in St Lucia
While they often start shallow, many of St Lucia’s reefs drop away sharply into deeper waters, offering plenty of excitement for more advanced divers. Anse La Raye Wall is one of the most beautiful drop-offs in the Caribbean but is relatively shallow when compared to sites such as Piton Wall which falls beyond recreational depths. Like the reefs, St Lucia’s walls are adorned with multi-coloured sea fans and bulbous barrel sponges.
Advanced divers can even find a few drift dives around the island. Superman’s Flight is aptly named, as the towering cliffs above featured in the film Superman II, and divers can now ‘fly’ along the wall below alongside schools of jacks and barracuda. Not far away, the underwater plateau known as Fairyland features almost magical coral formations that flourish in the strong currents, making it another popular drift.
Perhaps one of the more unique sites around St Lucia, Keyhole Pinnacles consist of four coral-encrusted seamounts that rise up from depths of around 100-metres to within touching distance of the surface. Currents funnelling between the peaks have given rise to forests of black and orange gorgonians where seahorses, trumpet fish and filefish hide, while schools of snapper and jacks circle high in the water column.
Wreck diving in St Lucia
St Lucia is home to two worthwhile wrecks situated within easy reach of recreational divers. Found in Anse Cochon bay, Lesleen M is a 50-metre freighter that was deliberately scuttled in 1986. Today, the vessel rests on its keel at a maximum depth of 20-metres and is densely decorated with hard and soft corals, sponges, and hydroids. The Daini Koyomaru is a Japanese dredger which was scuttled towards the south end of Anse Cochon in 1996. Now lying on its side at a maximum depth of around 33-metres, this 75-metres long vessel allows for extensive exploration by more advanced divers.
Shore, reef, wall, wreck
Beginner to advanced
Year-round, best December to May
5 - 40m
15 - 30m
26 - 30°C
- Cars drive on the left side of the road in St Lucia and the more rural roads are known for being windy and having sharp bends.
- The Gros Islet ”jump up” street party has been running weekly for more than 50 years – grab a drink and get ready to eat and dance until the early hours.
- Some business and tourist sites close to the public on Sundays, be sure to check before planning your day’s adventures.
About St Lucia
St Lucia is a Caribbean nation located within the Windward Islands of the Lesser Antilles – situated south of Martinique and north of St Vincent. The island's colonial past is evident across the island, with influences from both French and British rule, and strong Caribbean and African influences dominating the island’s modern culture. As a result, beautiful St Lucia is also extraordinarily diverse, with an enticing blend of unique and contrasting experiences.
Despite being able to drive around the island in a single day, St Lucia demands a slow and steady approach to exploration in order to truly appreciate its many facets. Sleepy villages and quiet plantations coexist with colourful colonial-era towns and sprawling resort complexes. Likewise the natural landscape is equally contrasting – the surf-battered shores of the wild Atlantic coast seemingly at odds with the sheltered, sandy bays to the west.
Though it has a well-developed tourist industry, capable of receiving the Caribbean’s famous cruise ships, St Lucia is a picturesque island with plenty of untouched natural scenery to explore. The nation is characterised by the UNESCO-protected peaks – Gros Piton and Petit Piton – while the interior is covered by more than 70-square-kilometres of rainforest, with almost 50-kilometres of scenic hiking trails to follow.
There are two international airports on the island of St Lucia. Situated in Vieux Fort, around 65-kilometres south of Castries, Hewanorra International Airport is the larger of the two and receives regular direct flights from the east coast of the United States, as well as Toronto and London. The smaller, George F.L. Charles Airport is located closer to Castries and predominantly offers inter-island services from elsewhere in the Caribbean. Neighbouring islands with regular flights include St Kitts, Antigua, Dominica, St Vincent, Barbados, and Trinidad and Tobago.
Minibuses are the transport of choice for locals, though tourists may find taxis easier and more efficient. Cars, four-wheel drive vehicles, and scooters can also be rented on the island if you prefer. St Lucia is well serviced by ferries, with services connecting to Martinique, Dominica, and Guadeloupe.
Where to stay
Despite its small size, St Lucia has several distinct areas. Many visitors head straight to the island’s north, where all-inclusive resorts cluster around Rodney Bay, offering beachfront views and facilities such as onsite spas and championship golf courses. But, there’s more to this area than resort complexes and convenient amenities. Nature lovers will appreciate Pigeon Island National Park, which offers opportunities for hiking, kayaking, snorkelling, and swimming, as well as the ruins of an 18th century fort. Gros Islet also hosts some of St Lucia’s best nightlife, including a Friday evening street party.
Large swathes of the island’s west coast are relatively quiet, though some of the beaches are absolutely stunning and have become popular spots for bathing, snorkelling, and scuba diving. Tucked beneath Petit Piton, the original French capital of Soufrière is peaceful in the off-season but becomes a bustling tourist stop during the rest of the year, as one of the island’s cruise ship terminals. St Lucia’s Atlantic coast is even quieter, offering very few accommodation options.
Home to Hewanorra International Airport, the south of St Lucia is probably the most convenient place to stay, particularly if you’re short on time. This area is also one of the most historic parts of the island and has a selection of outstanding beaches, including Anse des Sables.
Best time to dive St Lucia
The tropical Caribbean climate means that St Lucia offers reasonable scuba diving all year round. But, there are some seasonal weather changes that are worth bearing in mind.
As with many tropical destinations, the two main seasons are dictated by the amount of rain. In St Lucia, the dry season runs from December through May, with average temperatures of around 29°C and 27°C on land and in the water respectively. The wet season runs from June to November, bringing a higher chance of downpours, although these months are still suitable for diving. Temperatures also peak during the wet season, averaging around 31°C on land and 29°C in the water.
Keep in mind that hurricanes are possible between June and November, with the highest chances between August and October. That said, hurricanes rarely hit St Lucia directly, but the increased wind and rain may still affect your visit.