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Diving in St Lucia PDF Print E-mail

Driving offers travelers the unique opportunity to explore the island of St. Lucia on their own terms. Whether you want to seek out the perfect beach, a secluded mountain trail, or a rainforest alive with exotic specimens, a car is a great way to travel.

All visitors are required to obtain a local driving license before attempting to maneuver on the island roads. Licenses are available at the airport, most major car rental agencies, and the local police station. Travelers will be asked to provide a valid license issued by their home country and pay a fee of $20(USD). Permits can be used on the island for up to three months.

Once the paperwork is in order, vacationers should be aware of driving procedures that may be different from those in their home countries. Roads in St. Lucia should be approached from the left, as in Great Britain. Speed limits are usually comparable to those found in the U.S. and should be strictly observed, particularly in urban areas where drivers should never exceed 30 mph. Seatbelt and parking laws are also strongly enforced, and those with small children should remember to bring the proper safety seat with them from home.

Take note that while road conditions in St. Lucia have been notoriously bad in the past, the government has recently undertaken a renovation of all major public roads. The improvements have been well-received and travelers should find that most of the roads on the island are convenient and easy-to-use.

Travelers who take advantage of the local roadways often enjoy planning their ideal vacation, complete with trips to the ares that most interest them and leisurely stops along the way. Certainly, driving is a great way to experience the true spirit of St. Lucia.

 

St Lucia is a diving paradise. The island is at the tip of an underwater volcano where both beginner and experienced divers alike will enjoy the stunning variety of coral, sponge and marine life. Artificial reefs have developed around a number of sunken ships which have become home to huge gorgonians, black coral trees, gigantic barrel sponges, purple vase sponges and black lace corals. Exciting Caribbean diving trips will reveal turtles, nurse sharks, seahorses, angel fish, and golden spotted eels, to name but a few, among the dazzling cross section of Caribbean marine life.

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St Lucia accommodates diving at all levels, including absolute beginners, at its many diving centres around the island.

There are several spectacular diving sites just off St Lucia, ranging from easy to challenging. Keyhole Pinnacles consists of 4 seamounts rising from incredible depths to within a few feet of the surface. Superman's Flight, a drift dive on a gentle wall which drops to 1,600 feet. At the base of Gros Piton the Coral Gardens rise from a depth of 15 to 50 feet and Anse La Raye, midway up the west coast is a superb wall and drift dive, where huge boulders cover a shallower slope creating fascinating formations to explore. On the point of Anse Chastenet, a plateau slopes gently from 40 - 60 feet. The reefs fall away to a depth of 140 feet in a unique coral chain, meandering out from the Bay. A number of shipwrecks provide adventure and exploration for divers. For the experienced only, off the southern part of the island, the Waiwinette freighter lies 90 feet below. The currents here make this dive extremely challenging, whereas further up the coast off Castries, there is a pleasant wreck dive in 20 feet of water for those less experienced.

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Diving schools and centres abound in St Lucia. Trips, tuition, guides and equipment for scuba or snorkelling are offered for all levels of diving experience and can be arranged through your travel agent or when you arrive. You can also visit the award-winning Soufriere Marine Management Area on the west coast. An important project created to conserve St Lucia's coastal environment, its activities and vigilance ensures that underwater St Lucia retains its immense wealth and beauty.

Divers from all over the world know the exotic beauty and warm crystal waters of St Lucia. A great deal of care has been exercised to ensure that the island, as well as the surrounding water remains as pristine as it was a generation ago when it first began attracting divers in search of a paradise less traveled.

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As mountainous below sea level as it is above, St Lucia offers incomparable sightseeing for divers who are drawn to the tremendous variety that nature has to offer: huge gorgonians, black coral trees, gigantic barrel sponges, purple vase sponges and lace coral. Angelfish, black beauties, golden spotted eels, seahorses, Stingrays, nurse sharks, turtles and many varieties of schooling fish are as plentiful as they are colorful and varied. A few submerged shipwrecks and a mysterious serpentine creature of mythical proportions known as “the thing” add to the excitement of diving in the waters of St Lucia.

Listed below are some of the islands most intriguing underwater diving sites

  • Anse Chastanet: One of the most dramatic spots for diving is the stunning Anse Chastanet reef in the southwest of the island. The shallows, with depths to 25ft can be entered directly from the beach. The reefs falls away from 20-140 ft in a unique coral wall that continues from Anse Chastaner Bay around the headland of Grand Caille and in towards the harbor of Soufriere, providing some of the best diving in St Lucia.
  • Anse La Raye: Known as one of the finest wall and drift dives in St Lucia, Anse La Raye can be found below a shallow wall. Interesting formations at the slope which consists of huge bolders, stimulate the eye and imagination.
  • Coral Gardens: Located at the base of the Gros Piton, the Coral Gardens offer breathtaking scenery above and below the water, where five finger coral runds from a depth of 15-50ft.
  • Fairy Land: At the point of Anse Chastanet, a plateau named Fairy Land slopes gently from 40-60ft. Since strong currents here keep the corals and sponges clean and the viewing is excellent and, this site is ideal for underwater photography.
  • The Key Hole Pinnacles: Voted one of the "10 Best Dive Sites" by Caribbean Travel & Life, The Pinnacles are described by the magazine as "four coral and gorgonian-encrusted seamounts that rise tantalizingly up from the ocean depths".
  • Lesleen M Shipwreck: The Lesleen M, a 165-foot freighter, was sunk by the Department of Fisheries in 1986 to provide an artificial reef. It lies upright in 60 ft of water near Anse Cochon on the west coast, just south of Marigot Bay. Divers can tour the ship in its entirety.
  • Superman’s Flight: Names for a scene on St Lucia for the movie Superman II, this site is a drift dive on a gentle wall that drops to 1600ft. Good visibility created by strong currents permits crystal clear viewing for underwater exploration. Divers can enter the water here at the base of Petit Piton.
  • The Thing: According to those who have seen it “The Thing” is said to be St Lucia’s own “Loch Ness Monster on Vacation” Seen regularly (but only at night) one may catch a glimpse of this mysterious creature at Anse Chastanet.
 
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