Diving and Snorkeling in St. Lucia
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Diving and Snorkeling
Depending on the season and the particular trip, prices range from about $40 to $60 for a one-tank dive to $175 to $260 for a six-dive package over three days and $265 to $450 for a 10-dive package over five days. Dive shops provide instruction for all levels (beginner, intermediate, and advanced). For beginners, a resort course (pool training), followed by one open-water dive, runs from $90 to $120. Snorkelers are generally welcome on dive trips and usually pay $50 to $65, which includes equipment and sometimes lunch and transportation.
Anse Chastanet, near the Pitons on the southwest coast, is the best beach-entry dive site. The underwater reef drops from 20 feet to nearly 140 feet in a stunning coral wall.
A 165-foot freighter, Lesleen M, was deliberately sunk in 60 feet of water near Anse Cochon to create an artificial reef; divers can explore the ship in its entirety and view huge gorgonians, black coral trees, gigantic barrel sponges, lace corals, schooling fish, angelfish, sea horses, spotted eels, stingrays, nurse sharks, and sea turtles.
Anse La Raye, midway up the west coast, is one of St. Lucia's finest wall and drift dives and a great place for snorkeling.
Superman's Flight is a dramatic drift dive along the steep walls beneath the Pitons. At the base of Petit Piton a spectacular wall drops to 200 feet, where you can view an impressive collection of huge barrel sponges and black coral trees; strong currents ensure good visibility.
At the Pinnacles, four coral-encrusted stone piers rise to within 10 feet of the surface.
Scuba St. Lucia. Daily beach and boat dives and resort and certification courses are available from this PADI Five Star facility on Anse Chastanet Beach, and so is underwater photography and snorkeling equipment. Day trips from the north of the island include round-trip speedboat transportation. Anse Chastanet Resort, Anse Chastanet Rd., Soufrière. 758/459-7755; 888/465-8242 in the U.S. www.scubastlucia.com.
Island Divers. Found at the edge of the Soufriere Marine Park at Anse Cochon, with two reefs and an offshore wreck accessible from shore, Island Divers has a convenient location for boat dives, PADI certification, and specialty courses. A day package includes hotel transfers, lunch at Ti Kaye's beachside bar and grill, a two-tank dive, and the use of snorkel gear for the day. Ti Kaye Village, off the West Coast Hwy., between Anse La Raye and Canaries, Anse Cochon. 758/456-8110. www.islanddiversstlucia.com.
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