Diving in Saint Lucia
St. Lucia is kind to divers seeking easy explorations of colorful reefs. But it is equally accommodating of those who want to ride the currents or explore the depths. Sites on the island's west coast to the north of the town of Castries and near the Pigeon Island National Monument offer some of the most relaxed diving environments. This area includes a number of shallow reefs that can be accessed from shore, with slopes that begin at depths of 15 to 20 feet and drop gradually to 40 to 60 feet, with numerous trenches and shelves to explore. Also in the area are several exposed rock islands that rise from an intermediate sand bottom, with profiles that attract eagle rays, barracuda, kingfish and schooling snapper and jacks. Near Pigeon Island, a field of large boulders provides hiding places for moray eels and a variety of crustaceans. Close to the entrance of Castrise Harbor, the broken remains of a World War II-era vessel sit at a depth of 45 feet, creating habitat for lobster and shy marine life. The underwater landscape transitions to steeper slopes as you move south, and many of St. Lucia's most popular and dramatic dive sites are situated on the west-central coast between Anse Cochon and the Anse Chastanet region. This area includes two wrecks and a range of walls, pinnacles and reefs slopes with vertical drops of more than 100 feet. Mild currents are encountered at some sites, making for enjoyable drift diving opportunities. Notable sites include Anse La Raye Wall, where eagle rays often follow divers on a drift along a sloping wall that drops to a depth of 110 feet. Anse Cochon delivers walls, pinnacles, coral heads, boulder fields and sandy shallows on a single dive, and the semi-circular Turtle Reef is covered in the large barrel sponges that are a signature of many St. Lucia dive sites. Nearby, the 165-foot cargo vessel Leslie M sits upright at a depth of 65 feet. The open hold and shallow pilothouse of this wreck are ideal for first-time wreck divers and a good place to search for small marine life. A mile to the west, an huge abandoned dredge, the Daini Koyomaru, sits on its side at a depth of 100 feet, with its machinery intact and awaiting exploration. St. Lucia's most famous dive sites are found near the twin volcanic spires known as the Pitons. Most famous is the House Reef at Anse Chastanet, which is done both as a shore dive from the resort of the same name, or by boat. Dropping from depths of 25 feet to beyond 140, this reef supports more than 150 species of fish, including a rarely-seen creature known as “the thing,” which resembles a giant worm. An adjacent site that is the subject of countless photographs is the projecting point known as Fairy Land, where more frequent currents nurture riotous, multi-color growths of soft corals and sponges. Two of the island's more adventurous sites are also nearby. Superman's flight is a drift dive along a wall at the base of Petit Piton that carries divers along a wall that plunges to more than 1,000 feet. With typically excellent visibility, this profile creates the sensation of weightless flight. The Keyhole Pinnacles are a group of four tall spires that perch close together on the edge of a steep slope, reaching almost to the surface. Divers can swim into the narrow gaps between these monolithic formations to discover a wealth of fish and invertebrates.
Passport and/or Visa Requirements
U.S. citizens need a valid passport that must be valid 6 months beyond the date of entry into St. Lucia, with available space for entry stamp. No visa is required with proof of onward or return ticket and accommodation confirmation. Check the entry/exit requirements here.A departure tax of $68EC, approx $25.30 should be included in your international airline ticket.
Vaccinations are not required for entering the Caribbean
if you're coming from the United States. Before traveling check with the CDC here.
Culture and Customs
St. Lucia is a land of vibrant greens set in a sapphire sea. Rainforests cover the island's interior, providing vacationers with a variety of eco-adventures that range from sedate birding hikes and relaxing rides on an aerial tram to off-road adventures and soaring zip line flights through forested canopies home to endemic birds such as the St. Lucia parrot . The lush surroundings also set the stage for a number of unique resort properties that blend luxury and nature, and provide some of the best dining experiences in the Caribbean. The island's rich volcanic soil yields a cornucopia of tropical fruits and vegetables. This bounty is reflected in the savory dishes of traditional Creole cooking, and it has inspired a new wave of organic and fusion cuisines that have earned island chef's top honors in international culinary competitions. In addition to enlivening resort kitchens, St. Lucia's farms and orchards support a thriving agricultural export sector that includes bananas and chocolate. One of the island's sweetest day trips involves a tour of historic cacao plantations, followed by a chance to create your own chocolate confections. . Across the island English influences are obvious, but so too are the cultural contributions of France and Africa. The local version of relaxing is known as “going on the lime” or “liming,” which simply involves stopping by a favorite local pub or rum shop and spending time with friends.
Electricity, Phone and Internet Access
St. Lucia runs on 220 to 230-volt AC (50 cycles), so bring
an adapter if you plan to use U.S. appliances. Some hotels are wired for
Check with your local provider ot see what plans are available, otherwise you will be subject to roaming charges. The country/area code for Saint Lucia is 758.
Many hotels offer WiFi.
The local tap water is chlorinated and considered safe to drink. Alternatively, bottled water is available for purchase at restaurants, bars, hotels and local grocery stores.
Language & Currency
English is the official language, but islanders often speak
a French-Creole patois or Kweyol similar to that heard on Martinique, Guadeloupe, Guyana, Grenada and Dominica.
The currency in St. Lucia is the Eastern Caribbean Dollar, (EC$). You can see the current exchange rate here. However nearly all hotels, restaurants, and shops accept US dollars. Change may be given in EC Dollars. ATMs are available which dispence EC dollars and credit cards are widely accepted.
Saint Lucia is on Atlantic Standard Time (AST) and does not observe Daylight Savings Time. St. Lucia is 4 hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (-4 GMT).
Location, Size and Population
St. Lucia is a sovereign island country in the Eastern Caribbean that is part of the Lesser Antilles. St. Lucia is a mountainous island of 238 sq. miles, located about 25 miles north of St. Vincent and 25 miles
south of Martinique and northwest of Barbados.
The population of St. Lucia is 185,868 (2016).