Trip Report – St. Lucia – June, 20170
By Stephanie Brewer – Kona Wind Scuba
We were thrilled to be welcomed at Hewanorra International Airport in St. Lucia with cold washcloths and water bottles after a long day of travel. Little did we know they were getting us ready for the hour-long bus ride to our resort, Anse Chastanet, along a windy road that would give “The Road to Hana” a run for its money. Once we turned off the main road onto the private road to the resort….wow. The road is very bumpy, semi-paved with lots of potholes and very narrow in many places. Good thing I took some Bonine before the trip. However, the spectacular view of the Caribbean Sea and the majestic Pitons made this rough little drive totally worth it and part of the charm of the resort!
Anse Chastanet is a beautiful and unique resort, located on breathtaking Anse Chastanet beach. Most of the resort is built on a hillside, with rooms on the hill as well as at beach level. The hillside suites offer amazing views of the sea or the Pitons, while the beach level suites provided convenient beach and dive shop access. My enormous hillside room offered a panoramic view of the Pitons and the Caribbean Sea. The suites are well-appointed and extremely spacious, with large sitting areas and huge ensuite baths. Anse Chastanet boasts several restaurants, including the Jungle Grill at Anse Mamin (an adjoining private beach) and a vegetarian restaurant, which I did not try. We frequented the Treehouse Restaurant for breakfast and mainly the beachside grill/restaurant for lunch and dinner because of the great ambiance and sunset views. The food was very good at both restaurants and while the service was good, it always took a long time to get our food.
The diving in St. Lucia was good…for the little stuff. We saw beautiful corals and lots of little critters, but nothing bigger than a barracuda. I only saw one turtle all week, but hundreds of lobster! One dive site is affectionately called Lobster City! Other commonly seen creatures were the Spotted Drum, the Spotted Moray Eel, Lionfish, Rock Scorpionfish and the usual parrotfish and damselfish. I enjoyed the drift dives and the hunt for macro subjects. We did not see larger animals such as sharks or rays. We did one wreck dive and two shore night dives. The night dives were entertaining – again, lots of lobster and crab, octopus and THE THING. It looks like a huge underwater centipede. Four of my divers took the PADI Invasive Lionfish Specialty Course so they could hunt and spear lionfish on their dives. This was quite exciting and definitely a highlight of the week – between the four “lion slayers”, they bagged over two dozen lionfish over a couple of dives! The resort cooked up their catch and served it to use for appetizers one night. It was quite tasty!
There is no way I can comment on everything we experienced in our week-long stay, but all in all, our trip to St. Lucia was awesome – beautiful grounds, friendly staff and the Caribbean Sea!! The resort offers many activities and tours. Our group had fun and took advantage of the spa (oh, so good), the zipline tour, the volcanic mud baths (what a crack-up) and the tour of the botanical garden. The onsite dive operation, Scuba St. Lucia, is top notch! Beto and Charlotte run a tight ship! They were very organized and sensitive to the individual needs of our divers. They made sure everyone in the group was taken care of. Our boat crew was exceptional – fun, personable and knowledgeable. We always felt safe and like we were diving with friends!
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