Scuba Diving and Snorkeling in the Caribbean: The Best Places
to Dive in St. Kitts
Many experienced travelers consider St. Kitts to be a well kept
secret, this small tropical island boasts some of the best snorkeling and scuba diving in
the Caribbean. With a wealth of virtually untouched dive and snorkel sites, there are
unique opportunities for divers and snorkelers of all skill levels.
The western side of the island features placid waters, visibility in the range of
60-100 feet and reefs that are known throughout diving communities as some of the most
immaculately preserved in the world. Adding to the allure, most of the finest dive
locations are an easy boat trip from the shore.
As a travel tip, it is recommended to enlist a tour guide for your diving and
snorkeling adventures. There are several dive operators on St. Kitts, all with the
supplies youll need to snorkel or scuba dive, but dont forget to bring your
Though this article will only scratch the surface of what St. Kitts has to offer, it
will bring into focus some of the most ideal dive sites in Caribbean.
Our first stop is Sandy Point Bay, a favorite site of Caribbean snorkelers and scuba
divers alike. A unique reef with finger-shaped coral formations, the reef is rumored to
rest atop a sunken battleship, as this area of the Caribbean Sea was site of numerous sea
battles. Divers still find anchors, plates and bottles dating to the 1700s within the
swim-through canyons and undercut shelves.
Black Coral Reef is the place for snorkelers and divers to spot the most elusive of
coral at depths of 40-70 feet. Ask your divemaster or tour guide to point out the black
coral, as it is rather difficult to recognize underwater. Also for the explorer, Blood Bay
Reef and the small caves in its vicinity are home to several varieties of coral, purple
sea anemones, yellow sea fans and rust-colored bristle worms.
Coconut Tree Reef is one of the largest reefs in the area and offers a unique challenge
for both novice and expert divers, as the reef begins at a depth of 40 feet and plunges
below 200 feet. As with most sites surrounding St. Kitts, the reef is in excellent
condition and teeming with spotted drums, queen triggerfish and large filefish.
Also off the western coast of St. Kitts, rests the Monkey Reef, an intriguing flat
formation of both soft and hard coral. Visibility here is superb and the edge of the reef
is home to lobster, passive nurse sharks and lizard fish.
For experienced scuba divers, Nags Head is a dramatic, plunging reef in strong waters
where the Atlantic meets the Caribbean. Here, the waves are home to stingrays, sea
turtles, squirrel fish, sea urchins and several species of large reef fish.
In the channel that separates St. Kitts and its sister island Nevis, divers and
snorkelers can find the Grid Iron undersea shelf that rises within 25 feet of the surface.
It contains a multitude of shallow water corals, sea fans, sponges and large numbers of
According to records, more than 400 ships sank off the coast of St. Kitts between 1493
and 1825, yet only about a dozen have been identified to date. There is perhaps no finer
testament to the fact that there remain plenty of sites to explore and secrets to uncover
on St. Kitts.
Among the known ships, The River Taw Wreck, a 144 foot long vessel, sank in the waters
surrounding St. Kitts only 10 years ago. Both the ship and the developing coral reef are
in pristine condition, resting at a depth of 50 feet. This is another great site to
photograph a seemingly endless variety of tropical fish and sea creatures. The Beached Tug
Boat and Brassball wrecks offer excellent opportunities for both novice scuba divers and
snorkelers. As each wreck lies in only 20-25 feet of water, the underwater visibility at
these sights is unmatched. Lastly, the M.V. Talata freighter wreck may be a more technical
dive than the aforementioned wrecks, but the opportunity to swim with an unparalleled
assortment of reef fish is certainly worth the effort.