Scuba Diving St. Lucia
The twin volcanic spires of the Piton Mountains, surrounded by miles of unspoiled rainforest, make St. Lucia a nature-lover’s paradise.
Saint Lucia is the perfect destination, whether you’re after romance, rejuvenation or adventure. A genuine, natural landscape of gorgeous palm-fringed beaches, miles of unspoiled rainforest and the majestic Piton Mountains, are sure to indulge every taste. Natural waterfalls, breath-taking views, friendly locals and authentic culture impress the most traveled individuals for a holiday with lasting memories.
However, it’s the underwater seascapes that draw scuba divers here. Similar to the above water landscape, you can dive pinnacles covered by coral, sponges and gorgonians in an array of different colors. You’ll also find coral reefs, sheer walls and shipwrecks that are full of marine life. Drift through Soufriere Marine Park and marvel at the beauty and diversity of the protected area. The natural charm of Saint Lucia provides the perfect backdrop for adventure and exploration.
SCUBA DIVING ST. LUCIA
Diving off the waters of St. Lucia is ideal for both beginners and experts alike as there are a variety of dive operators on island who are dedicated to ensure an exceptional diving experience. Beginners’ courses up to more advanced certifications are offered by most dive operators as well as short boat dives and night dives.
St. Lucia boasts a number of stunning dive sites that catapult divers into a tranquil world filled with secret nooks waiting to be explored. With some of the most captivating deep sea wildlife in the Caribbean, you can experience an underwater carnival as you swim amongst schools of brilliantly coloured exotic fish. There is stunning variety of coral, sponge and marine life in its many reef walls, wonderful rock formations, pinnacles, arches and trenches. Frogfish and seahorses are almost common, but you are more likely to see large gorgonians, black coral trees, massive barrel sponges, turtles, nurse sharks, angelfish, and golden-spotted eels, to name just a few.
St. Lucia’s west coast, an area of outstanding beauty and biodiversity, and the location of the Soufriere Marine Management Area (SMMA) and the Canaries & Anse La Raye Marine Management Area (CAMMA). In this region you will find superb scenery, healthy and diverse coral reefs, valuable fish stocks and attractive beaches extending all the way from Marigot Bay to Anse La Ivrogne.
DIVE SEASON: You can dive the St. Lucia all year long, but the tropical, rainy season runs from October to January. Hurricane season is June to the end of November.
VISIBILITY: Generally the visibility runs 24-45 metres/80-150 feet. While the weather is consistently good year-round, during the rainy season (roughly October to January) visibility can dip below the usual 30-45 meters/100-150 feet.
WATER TEMPERATURE: Nice warm water, varying from – Jan. to March 26°C/78,8°F(Winter) and June to October 29°C/84.2°F (Summer)
CURRENTS: Mostly mild, but can vary by location
WEATHER: Warm tropical weather is the norm, with little change in temperature from winter to summer. Average annual temperature is 85° F/29.4° C. Humidity is usually high, especially from May to September.
SKILL LEVEL: Divers of all levels will find the St. Lucia exciting.
DIVE ACCESS: Most of the diving is via boat. Although St. Lucia also offers accessible shore diving to great coral reefs with little to no current.
MARINE LIFE: There is stunning variety of coral, sponge and marine life in its many reef walls, wonderful rock formations, pinnacles, arches and trenches. Frogfish and seahorses are almost common, but you are more likely to see large gorgonians, black coral trees, massive barrel sponges, turtles, nurse sharks, angelfish, and golden-spotted eels, to name just a few.
CLIMATE: The weather in St Lucia is typical of most Caribbean islands. There is a hot, tropical climate tempered by trade winds throughout most of the year with temperatures ranging from 21°C (70°F) to 32°C (90°F). The driest period is from December to May and there is increased rainfall in summer and towards the end of the year (June to November). Regionally, there is some variation. The beaches around the North (Castries, Gros Islet) whilst hot, receive cooling trade winds, whilst the rainforested interior of the island can get very hot and humid. St Lucia can also suffer from hurricanes; typically the hurrican season runs from June to November.
LANGUAGE: English is the official language, but St. Lucians speak a French Creole commonly called Patois.
ELECTRICITY: The electric current on St. Lucia is 220 volts, 50 cycles, with a square, three-pin plug (U.K. standard). You’ll need a transformer to convert voltage and a plug adapter to use most North American appliances; dual-voltage computer and phone chargers or other appliances will still need a plug adapter, which you can often borrow from the hotel. More and more hotels and resorts have added 110-volt outlets for general use but sometimes only for electric razors. Many hotels and resorts also provide iPod docking stations.
CURRENCY & CREDIT CARDS: The official currency is the Eastern Caribbean dollar (EC$), but U.S. dollars (not coins) are accepted nearly everywhere—although you may get your change in local currency. Major credit cards and traveler’s checks are also widely accepted. ATMs dispense only local currency. Major banks on the island include Bank of St. Lucia, Bank of Nova Scotia (Scotiabank), FirstCaribbean International Bank, and Royal Bank of Canada.
GRATUITIES: A 9.5% government V.A.T. is added to all hotel and restaurant bills. A 10% service charge is usually added to restaurant bills; otherwise, tip 10%–15%. Tip bellboys $1 per bag, maids $2 per night, and taxi drivers 10% of the fare.
PHONE & INTERNET SERVICE: The area code for St. Lucia is 758. You can make direct-dial overseas and interisland calls from St. Lucia, and the connections are excellent. You can charge an overseas call to a major credit card with no surcharge; from public phones and many hotels, dial 811 to charge the call to your credit card. Some hotels charge a small fee (usually about EC$1) for local calls. Most hotels and resorts offer Wi-Fi and Internet, often at no charge to guests.
VISA & PASSPORT REQUIREMENTS: U.S. and Canadian citizens must have a valid passport to enter St. Lucia and a return or ongoing ticket.
CUSTOMS: The duty free allowance into St. Lucia is 200 cigarettes or 250 grams of tobacco or 50 cigars, one litre of spirit or wine. Duty free shopping is available at Pointe Seraphine, La Place Carenage and at the departure lounge of Hewanorra Airport. Luxury items include Jewelery, Batiks, Giftware,Local Crafts, Liquor, Cigarettes and Cigars.
DEPARTURE TAX: Departure Tax of EC $68 (US $26) for all passengers over 12 years is applied to ticket prices at the time of purchase.
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