Scuba Diving St. Vincent and the Grenadines

St. Vincent is the ‘Critter Capital of the Caribbean’. Divers will be enthralled by the variety of marine creatures to see – and underwater photographers will think it’s a dream come true.

This multi-island Caribbean nation offers a unique combination of rainforest, eco-adventures, spectacular scuba diving, classic Caribbean powder-white sand beaches, luxury accommodation and amazing yachting & sailing adventures. Though one nation, our diverse cultural traditions add a richness to our society that is unique in this day and age.

SCUBA DIVING St. VINCENT

St. Vincent is the ‘Critter Capital of the Caribbean’. 

Meet our critters! Diving here offers excellent opportunities for encounters with frogfish, seahorses, colorful mollusks, crustaceans, anemones and tunicates. Divers will be enthralled by the variety of marine creatures to see – and underwater photographers will think it’s a dream come true. Other resident creatures often spotted here include nurse sharks, lobsters, octopus and squid. Visiting squadrons of eagle rays and manta rays are frequently sighted, and patrolling reef sharks and barracuda add an element of excitement.St. Vincent offers some of the best critter diving in the Caribbean, and has a variety of experiences to keep the most avid diver enthralled.

From stunning drift dives, to the prettiest of wall dives, to reefs teaming with a diversity of life second to none in the Caribbean, we even have a number of wreck sites for the more adventurous diver to explore. the dive sites are unspoilt and uncrowded, and there really is something for everyone. The volcanic geography of the island means that the water is exceptionally clear for most of the year, and even when the visibility is bad, its good! No matter your experience level, you will love the colours of our reefs and the abundance of life to be found in the waters around St. Vincent.

HIGHLIGHT DIVE SITES

The Bat Cave – One of St. Vincents more challenging sites, the Bat Cave should only be attempted under the supervision of a local dive professional. As you enter the cave you will hear the shrill squeeks of the residents above, and see the silver sparkles of the tiny fish that shelter from the sun in the shallow water at the caves entrance. The cave opens into an underwater fissure at at around 45ft, and provides a great ‘starburst’ photo opportunity! This is one of St. Vincents ‘must do’ dives, conditions allowing of course.

Capital Wrecks – Three wrecks practically lie on top of each other. The first of the wrecks to sink was an eighteenth century French frigate, and you can see one of her canon on display in side the cruiseship terminal. The other 2 wrecks are of the Siemanstrand and a tug boat that collided nearly 30 years ago. The wrecks lie between 120ft and 60ft, and the dive is best suited for advanced divers.

The Romark – St. Vincents newest wreck dive, the 160ft cargo vessel sank in November 2003. She lies keel down in approximately 130ft water, with shallowest part of the dive being at approximately 45ft. Already she is home to a large selection of aquatic life including soft corals, sponges and larger pelagics. This is an advanced dive, and well worth a visit!

Japanese Garden – A ‘zen like’ experience! A very pretty dive where divers will find a marine environment that looks as though it has been tended by Japanese gardeners. Featuring a bottom of gently undulating sand, coral outcrops, sea fans and a forest of sea fronds plus masses of fish, this is a dive that will appeal to all divers.

Oblizalo Drift – From time to time St. Vincent can experience some extreme currents running North to South along the leeward coast of the island.For the most part it does not interfer with the day to day diving activities, however should a current be running there is no better time to ‘jump in and go with the flow’. On the few accasions that the current is running there is no better dive in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and divers are able to cover a large distance in a very short time! Travel over boulders, through canyons, over drop offs and finish in a secluded bay, a great dive!

Turtle Bay – Magnificent boulder dive, offering lots of shady spots for single bar solder fish, frog fish and the occasional sea horse, to hide.

Layou Wall – Imagine standing on the top of a 10 storey building, and feeling the urge to jump off…The Wall allows you to do just that! At it’s deepest point it drops off to over 150ft of vertical wall dive, and when the conditions of perfect it is possible to see all the way to the bottom. At the end of the dive there is an area of prestine reef at approximately 25ft where divers can spend their safety stop enjoying the brightly coloured reef fish.

Rock Fort – Situated on the South coast of St. Vincent, Rock Fort is one of the islands primary landmarks. Underwater it is also an awesome dive, featuring a variety of aquatic environments, from rubble and sand to boulders and caves to a huge expanse of reef. Very strong currents mean that it is usually undertaken as a drift dive. Divers wishing to under take this dive without a local guide should be aware that there can be a strong rip current, and caution should be excercised.

Over There… – Where, over there! Macro photographers and muck diving enthusiasts will enjoy exploring ‘Over There’. A large sandy bank lies under a wall fringed with large boulders. So many critters to see, and plenty of time to enjoy them as the maximum depth is around 30 ft.

Anchor Reef – Half way up the leeward coast, lies Anchor Reef, so named as buried within the reef you’ll see (if you look closely) an 18th century anchor. This pretty reef, starts at 30ft and then drops to a 120ft wall like peninsula, follow this as it comes back in to shore and find an underwater maze of large rocks, caves and swim throughs. Lot’s of fish, black corals, and even a seahorse or two make for a great dive

Petit Byahaut – This dive site is one of our favorites, as it is suitable for all divers, from beginners to the ultra experienced, and it provides a sheltered spot on the beach perfect for confined water training for divers wishing to brush up their skills. It also provides a perfect night dive location. The reef opens with a wide sweep of club finger coral, and then drops off to around 100ft / 30m at it’s deepest point. Teaming with fish, critters and a wide selection of coral species we are sure that you will fall in love with this site too!

Back Door – This location offers a number of super dives, Back Door Deep drops down to over 100ft / 18m over step reef which leads on to a sheer wall. Whilst Back Door Shallow provides an amazing underwater forest of sea-fronds and gently waving sea-fans.

Fizzy Reef – An unusual dive, in an unusual location. Calliaqua Bay is probably the last place that you would expect to find geo-thermic activity! But there it is along side a profusion of larger pelagics, huge sea fans and some quite unusual underwater topography.

Sub Rock – A super dive where advanced divers will enjoy the current and surge. Large sea fans, lots of soft corals and the opportunity to see bigger pelagic.

DIVE INFORMATION

DIVE SEASON: You can dive the St. Vincent & the Grenadines 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 40-100 feet.  While the weather is consistently good year-round, during the rainy season (roughly October to January) visibility can dip below the usual 20-60 feet.

WATER TEMPERATURE: The weather in St. Vincent & the Grenadines is very consistent year-round with temperatures not varying much. Although people generally assume it’s going to be much hotter in the summer than in the winter months, that is normally not the case. Daytime highs near the coastal areas range from about 22 to 30 degrees Celsius (72 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit).

CURRENT: 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. Vincent & the Grenadines exciting.

DIVE ACCESS: Most of the diving is via boat.  Although St. Vincent & the Grenadines also offers accessible shore diving to great coral reefs with little to no current.

MARINE LIFE: Diving here offers excellent opportunities for encounters with frogfish, seahorses, colorful mollusks, crustaceans, anemones and tunicates. Divers will be enthralled by the variety of marine creatures to see – and underwater photographers will think it’s a dream come true. Other resident creatures often spotted here include nurse sharks, lobsters, octopus and squid. Visiting squadrons of eagle rays and manta rays are frequently sighted, and patrolling reef sharks.

GENERAL INFORMATION

CLIMATE: The winter months are from November to February but daytime temperatures can still be in the upper 70s to low 80s during the day and in the low 60s or so at night. So close to the equator, St. Vincent and the Grenadines has generally warm weather in the winter. But the humidity tends to be much less during the winter however.

LANGUAGE: English is the official language.

ELECTRICITY: St. Vincent and the Grenadines has a reliable supply of electricity. Electricity is generally 220/240 volts AC, 50 cycles per second except for Petit St. Vincent which has 110 volts AC, 60 cycles per sec. Appliances rated at 110 volts (US standard) normally work satisfactorily with a transformer. Most hotels have 110 volts shaver outlets and will provide transformers to visitors on request. The standard electrical plug has 3 rectangular pins so remember to pack an adapter.

CURRENCY & CREDIT CARDS: The local currency of St. Vincent and the Grenadines is the Eastern Caribbean dollar (XCD) commonly referred to as EC. Other than the Eastern Caribbean dollar, the US dollar is also accepted in all hotels and some shops.

GRATUITIES: A 10 percent service charge is added onto most restaurant bills, in which case no further tipping is necessary.

PHONE & INTERNET SERVICE: St. Vincent and the Grenadines has a state of the art fiber optic digital telephone system. Internet, Boat phone, Cellular service, telex, telegraph and facsimile access are also available.

VISA & PASSPORT REQUIREMENTS: Generally, visitors do not require visas for entry when visiting St. Vincent and the Grenadines as tourists. However, they are issued immigration forms which are valid (when completed) for a period of stay of up to 6 months upon arrival in St. Vincent. If you want to stay longer, you may apply to the Immigration Department after you arrive. You should have a valid passport, a return ticket and sufficient funds for your stay.

CUSTOMS: The following items are duty free but must be fully declared: Baggage and household effects, including wine or sprits not exceeding 1 quart in all; tobacco, not over half pound, or cigars not over 50 in number, or cigarettes, not over 200 in number, used implements, instruments and tools of profession, trade, occupation or employment.

DEPARTURE TAX: A Passenger Departure Tax of EC $40.00 must be paid at immigration (airport) when leaving St. Vincent and the Grenadines by air. Passengers who are in transit for less than 24 hours may leave the airport without having to pay the departure tax.

USEFUL INFORMATION

St. Vincent & the Grenadines Tourism information

Map

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