Northwest of Soufriere on St Lucia, the snorkeling off Anse Chastanet beach is known for its coral gardens and diverse marine life. Located off the Anse Chastanet beach, the best reef is off the southern end of the bay where you'll find a shallow fringing reef, but there is also good snorkeling to be found along the coast to the north of the sandy bay. The southern si...
Northwest of Soufriere on St Lucia, the snorkeling off Anse Chastanet beach is known for its coral gardens and diverse marine life. Located off the Anse Chastanet beach, the best reef is off the southern end of the bay where you'll find a shallow fringing reef, but there is also good snorkeling to be found along the coast to the north of the sandy bay. The southern side of the bay is part of the Soufriere Marine Reserve and may be marked by a protective floating rope to keep out boats from the elkhorn coral formations. Use care not to go too far out around the point due to strong currents. This area is best snorkeled early in the day when the wind and surf is more calm. During Anse Chastanet snorkeling dives, you may encounter peacock flounders, octopus, needlefish, turtles, flying gurnards, seahorses, blue tangs, creole wrasse, goldspotted eels, sharptail eels and moray eels among the azure vase sponges and sea fans. As you snorkel north, you may encounter sea grass beds that are frequented by sea turtles and sting rays. Overall, there are over 150 species of fish to be found in the bay off Anse Chastanet. Many of the good snorkeling reefs are no more than 30 feet offshore in waters from 5 to 25 feet deep.
The Anse Chastanet beach area is part of the Soufriere Marine Management Area, which consists of two excellent snorkeling districts (Anse Chastanet and Anse Cochon). This dive site is located a very rolling 1.5 mile drive west-northwest of Soufriere. If you happen to come in the summer months, you may notice there are hawksbill turtle nests around from July and August, which hatch in September and October. Most snorkelers forget that you can actually walk the rocky shoreline north from Anse Chastanet beach to the start of Anse Mamin beach. The Anse Mamim beach snorkeling is highlighted by submerged rocks and reefs to explore.
To reach the snorkeling on St Lucia by air, you will need to fly into either George Charles Airport (SLU) on the north end or Hewanorra International Airport (UVF) on the south end of the island. Since the roads on St Lucia can be in poor condition or even washed out depending upon rainfall, you may want to select an airport close to the set of snorkeling dive destinations you prefer on St Lucia. For Anse Chastanet, the closer airport is Hewanorra International Airport. A rental car is recommended to access the north end dive sites, while a rental is not recommended for the south end due to the road conditions. If you do drive, the main road heads up the hill to the Anse Chastanet Reception, which is high above the beach. So, look for the low access road as you approach the resort which heads towards the beach.
In addition to flying into St Lucia, there is a ferry called L'Express de Iles that interconnects Dominica, Guadeloupe, Martinique and St Lucia.
Overall, Anse Chastanet is the 1st most popular snorkel dive spot of all 10 snorkeling dives in St Lucia. Several of the better snorkeling spots are nearby Anse Chastanet including Anse Cochon, Anse Galet, Trou Au Diable, Petit Trou and Sugar Beach.
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