If you are asked which ecosystem is the most preserved in the West Indies, would you say it is Saint Barth? Since the creation of its Marine Nature Reserve in the mid-90s, the waters surrounding the island shelter under their waves corals, humpback whales, turtles, sponges or parrot fish, peaceful in these seabed of rare beauty. We’re already there, dive with us!
A sea, that respects
The waters of St. Barth are particularly beautiful to explore as most scuba diving sites are in the Natural Reserve of the island. What does it mean ? They are teeming with rare species, intact reefs and sublime corals. It also means that diving is regulated, and white palm must be shown before venturing into its translucent waters – and we are not talking about fishing which is strictly framed.
Check with the Marine Park Office in Gustavia, or visit the Saint Barth’s Natural Reserve website for more information, but be aware that :
- We do not dive where we want: scuba diving sites are defined with a white buoy;
- Only boats of -15 meters can anchor on these buoys, and for a maximum duration of 2:30, with 13 divers authorized per site;
- Divers must wear a BCD but are not allowed to wear gloves;
- Divers can not touch wildlife, collect litter or feed animals;
- Each diver must pay 2 euros per dive.
Saint-Barth, the first island to discover from the water
St Barths are often overlooked when you mention the world’s most beautiful dive sites – and that’s a shame. While they are not worth those in Mauritius, probably because most of them are located less than 30 meters deep, which does not prevent to cross remarkable species – including turtles , especially protected here.
Beginners divers will be particularly reassured in the waters of St. Barth because the funds are very clear, sandy, reassuring, with excellent visibility, little depth, and a current almost nonexistent. As in your bath so, lobsters and more !
Gustavia and the west coast
Most scuba diving sites in St. Barthelemy are located less than 30 minutes by boat from the port of Gustavia – so ideal – and many are even within 5 minutes. Another good news is that the west coast of St. Barth faces many small islands – Sugar Loaf, the Little Saints, the Gros Ilets – where there are beautiful coral reefs and a few wrecks of boats.
North of the island, Anse de Colombier – whose beach is one of the most beautiful on the island – is actually a little reserved for divers with more experience because of currents related to the opening of the site. Here, around Île de la Pointe, you will surely come across turtles, large barracudas or rays, and a beautiful coral reef.
Facing Gustavia, east of La Baleine, fans of mysterious stories will be delighted to take a look at the wreck of the Nonstop – we did not say visit, the wreck is quite unstable – an ultra luxurious yacht that sank during hurricane Hugo in 1989. The most beginners and apnea enthusiasts give themselves, meanwhile, go around Gros Ilets, known for their soft corals and colorful fish.
This little piece of the east coast
Far from the hustle and bustle of Gustavia, north-east of St. Barts, towards Mangin Point, there is a highly guarded and protected area, including the Grenadiers and Turtle Island. It goes without saying that the seabed here is beautiful, and you can rub endangered species that float here yet in the greatest carefree.
These wild sites are home to whales and dolphins – usually from February to May – multicolored fish, nurse sharks and large lobsters waving in the caves, canyons, tunnels and rocky peaks that make up the underwater landscape. from the neighborhood. A real treat…