St. Lucia may be famous for its breathtaking Piton Mountains, but there's even more beauty to be discovered in the waters down below. In fact, there are 22 world-class diving sites in St. Lucia, boasting a veritable treasure trove of aquatic wonders and colorful marine life. The sport is so popular, it is now commemorated during a Dive Festival that draws scuba devotees to the island every September. To that end, we selected the top 10 sites every diver should visit when paying a trip to the island.
While two of our recommendations (Lesleen M Wreck and Daini Koyomaru Wreck) are catered more towards advanced divers, the rest showcase dive sites that contain relatively shallow areas, hardly ever exceeding 40 feet. (A major boon for recreational scuba adventurers, as it means that the brain corals, barrel sponges, and coral gardens growing just off the coast of St. Lucia are easily accessible for divers of all levels.)
Read on to get ready planning for your next underwater Caribbean adventure.
Lesleen M Wreck
Sunk in 1986, this 165-foot freighter rests 65 feet beneath the ocean's surface in Anse Cochon Bay. Accessorized with coral fans, the wreck is now home to an array of marine creatures, including lobsters, French angelfish, and moray eels—making for an appealing photo op to show off to your friends back home.
Daini Koyomaru Wreck
Located in Anse La Raye, this Japanese dredger first sunk in 1996 and now serves as an underwater reef; expect to be greeted by French angelfish, puffers, and barracudas. But be warned: This dive is tailored for advanced divers, and nitrox is a necessity. Also nearby is Rosemond's Trench, another spectacular dive site where curious explorers might be lucky enough to chance upon a seahorse, frogfish, or a playful turtle.
There's no place that's easier to access—and more beautiful to witness—than Anse Chastenet. Ranging from 15 to 60 feet, the shallow reef off the waters of Anse Chastenet Resort is close enough to the coast for shore diving. It is also home to St. Lucia's own version of the Loch Ness Monster: a slithery creature known as "The Thing" that likes to haunt divers during night dives. Just don't say we didn't warn you.
Head to Gros Islet to explore Pigeon Island—a must-visit destination whether you are an avowed underwater recreationist or a landlubber. Found at the base of the island, this dive begins only 15 feet above an ocean floor covered in reef, coral, and massive aquatic boulders. The maximum depth is 60 feet; expect great barracudas, eagle rays, and moray eels.
Given that Soufrière is a world-famous destination beloved by tourists for its natural beauty, it's only fitting that the picturesque splendor would continue just off its beautiful volcanic shores. The town's Fairyland dive site is famous for its multitude of colorful and diverse sponges and coral; look out for stingray, turtles, and octopus. The depth ranges from 40 feet all the way to 200 feet, and is a perfect morning dive for beginners who are just getting their sea legs. Just note that you must be dive-certified.
Virgin's Cove is named after a shipwreck that claimed the lives of a group of nuns in Anse La Raye. Today, their loss is marked by a cross which has been built just above this dive site. The maximum depth is roughly 70 feet, and adventurers can see brain coral, barrel sponges, and the occasional stingray.
Le Trou Diable (Devil's Hole)
Don't let the name fool you: Similar to Fairyland in Soufrière, Le Trou Diable (otherwise known as Devil's Hole) is relatively easy for novice divers to explore. The maximum depth is 100 feet, and the site features barrel sponges, tropical fish, and—on a good day—turtles galore.
Located at the foot of the volcanic (and immensely beautiful) Petit Piton, this site is accessible to divers of all levels. The wall can be accessed by boat, and there are a plethora of underwater animals to satisfy the imagination. Consider it an underwater safari, with beautiful views located both above and beneath the surface of the water).
This underwater location is exactly as it sounds: A veritable garden of tropical reef and five-finger corals. Coral Gardens is located at the base of the iconic Gros Piton, which rises to a staggering 2,438 feet. Of course, we don't recommend recreational divers descend to such a depth beneath the sea—the site ranges from 15 to 90 feet, making it easily accessible to novice scuba explorers.
This dive along the sloping wall of Piton Wall descends to a depth of roughly 1,500 feet. As you venture on down, you will be handsomely rewarded for the journey down under—think massive gorgonians, neon sponges, and a myriad assortment of delightfully colorful tropical fish.