St. Lucia's exclusive Anse Chastanet Resort
At the heart of St Lucia's very best diving is the Anse Chastanet resort. The entire region is surrounded by a marine reserve (SMMA) which was established in 1995. This location offers unbelievable beach and boat diving for the traveling diver.
St. Lucia's trademark green peaks, (Piti and Gros Piton mountains), make a dramatic back drop for this 600 acre lush resort which borders one of the islands finest beaches. Anse Chasanet offers 49 individually designed rooms. 37 of which are scatter about the lush hillside, and 12 which are nestled within a tropical garden at the beach level.
The complete set-up for beach and boat diving is offered. Guest equipment storage, well equipped dive store, rental gear and a photo and video center add to the convenience for the diver. With the reef system starting just 10 yards from the beach, ranging anywhere from 20 to 140 feet in clear calm water, the amount of marine life is amazing. As good as the beach diving is, the boat dives to walls of the Piton Mountains are spectacular. Over 150 species can be found making this a photographerís dream. All the dives are led by an instructor and a shore dive is a required ìfirstî dive to ensure the diverís skills and all equipment is in order. This dive will also serve as an orientation to entering the marine reserve.
American Airlines, Air Jamaica, US Airways, Delta Airways, American Eagle, BWIA, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, BMI, Air Canada, Air France, Condor via Barbados, LIAT, Caribbean Star all service to St Lucia. Direct flights out of Miami into Hewanorra International Airport are available. Transportation from the airport can be arranged by the resort or a taxi will cost around US $60 from the airport.
A recent addition to the Anse Chastanet Resort, Jade Mountain is a resort within a resort. Jade Mountain sits at a higher elevation on Morne Chastanet than the rest of the resort, offering breathtaking views of the picturesque Pitons. These luxurious suites, known as sanctuaries, each come with their own infinity edge pool.
Facilities at the resort include 2 restaurants and bars, excursion and car rental desk, 2 beachside boutiques, spa, scuba and water sport center, art gallery, library, bike and kayak center.
Reaching the Hillside rooms may not be for everyone as they have around 100 stairs leading from the beach level to the mid-hillside level. They do have a shuttle on request if the stairs are something you are not looking forward to.
The dive center, Scuba St Lucia is a SSI Platinum Pro and PADI Gold Palm Dive Center and can handle all of your diving needs. Everything from intro to scuba through assistant instructor level courses is available.
The staff is multi-national with thousands of logged dives in the marine reserve. The reef just off shore is the perfect location for instruction, clear calm and a lot to see. Scuba St. Lucia operates 3 dive boats that are well equipped for the safety and comfort of the divers.
Excellent beach dives include Anse Chastanet Reef and Turtle Reef. Both are very good photography sites because of the plentiful and diversity of marine life. Flounders Eels morays seahorses and octopus are all commonplace.
There are several shipwrecks no more than 30 minutes away by boat. The Dani Koymaru and Lesleeh ìMî range from 65 to 105 feet in depth. The Dani Koymaru, a 250 foot dredge was intentionally sunk in 1996 as a dive location. Both are reachable by any one of the 3 dive boats Scuba St. Lucia operates.
Typical reef dives range 30 to 130 feet in depth and 80 to 100 foot visibility is not uncommon. Supermanís Flight though not known for large ree