For many years, numerous scuba divers have told me that Saint Vincent was the place to dive for macro marine life in the Caribbean. A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to visit this lovely island, and I was not disappointed.
After careful consideration, I contacted Dive St. Vincent and inquired about their dive and stay packages. Jackie, the Reservations Manager, quickly replied with accommodation options. The dive shop is located close to several good hotels, nearly all within walking distance.
I selected the Sunset Shores Hotel which was about a 5-6 minute walk via the street and 4-5 minute walk along the beach to the dive shop. Dive St. Vincent will also transfer you to and from your hotel if requested.
The dive and stay package I purchased consisted of airport transfers, hotel, breakfast, and 5 – (2) morning tanks.
When I arrived at Argyle International Airport (SVD) in St. Vincent, I was greeted by Jimmy Taxi. It took about 30 minutes to travel from the airport to the hotel. Along the way, Jimmy highlighted points of cultural interest and tourism development projects underway.
There is a lot of positive construction in St. Vincent. Marriott and Sandals hotel chains are laying the foundation for several hotels. The hotels should be completed by 2024. So, now is a good time to visit before the masses of vacationers arrive.
Getting to St. Vincent: Currently there are seven airlines flying from and to Saint Vincent. They are Liat, Caribbean Airlines, InterCaribbean, Air Canada, American, Conviasa, and Virgin Atlantic. American Airlines operates on Saturday’s and Tuesday’s from Miami. (It is expected that once the new hotels are operational, Jet Blue will fly to the island as well.)
After a good night’s sleep, I was ready for my first day of diving. I arrived at the dive shop and met the dive team. After executing the normal liability waivers and setting up my gear, we were ready to dive.
I picked a great week to dive with the team at Dive St. Vincent. On most days, there was one other diver. We both had great air consumption so most dives were about 60-75 minutes long. The dive guides alternated days, the first day I dived with DJ and, the next day I dived with Callie. Both guides have been diving the waters in St. Vincent for decades and are quite knowledgeable. Also, they both carry slates and provide instant identification, which was fantastic!
Scuba diving in St. Vincent is quite impressive. The reefs are healthy and filled with life. There are so many opportunities to find tiny critters in the grass, sand, and rubble. After one dive, you’ll quickly understand why St. Vincent has earned the title of “Critter Capital of the Caribbean“. During the week we observed Shrimp, Octopus, Nudibranchs, Batfish and much more.
The majority of diving is executed from a moored boat. However, there is an awesome muck dive on the house reef right off the dock.
There is always a bit of stress diving in a new place. Finding dive guides that have deep knowledge of dive sites, perform safe diving practices and available to help when problems arise is key! The team at Dive St. Vincent went above and beyond during my dives and I’m very thankful.
I’m looking forward to my next dive trip to St. Vincent.
Additional Images from St. Vincent can be found here and here.