Diving St. Vincent & the Grenadines

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St. Vincent & the Grenadines, St. Vincent

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Country: St. Vincent  Area: Carribean

Water Temp: 26 - 29°C (79 - 84°F)

Visibility: 15 - 37m (49 - 121 ft)

Depth Range: 3 - 150m (10 - 492 ft)

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St. Vincent and the Grenadines is a small, often overlooked, island chain located  between St.  Lucia on the north and Grenada to the south, in what is called the West Indies. Barbados is to the east.

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Though a challenge to access, those that make it are almost always delighted with this secluded and pristine archipelago. St. Vincent is the largest island, and is home to the capital city of Kingstown. With cobblestone streets and a still apparent British and French colonial history, the city is never short of character. The 32 islands that surround St. Vincent form the Grenadines. Enchanting white sand beaches and turquoise waters allows visitors to disappear into this tiny paradise for as long as possible. Accommodation ranges from budget to absolute luxury. With a relaxed atmosphere and friendly people, a visit here makes for a truly memorable vacation.

St. Vincent is an often overlooked small Caribbean island that offers an excellent all around diving experience with wrecks, walls, large fish and reefs but it is known world wide for its “critters.”

Seahorse, Credit

People come to dive and return to dive at St. Vincent because with so few divers, the reefs, corals and sponges are all pristine. There always seems to be something new to see. What Dive St. Vincent is famous for is “Critter” diving, made famous by Bill Tewes before he retired. 

The island has become known as the “Critter Capital of the Caribbean” and with good cause. It is a macro photographer’s paradise. Many of the reef creatures shown in the “Reef Creature Identification book for Florida and the Caribbean by Humann, Deloach and Wilk can be found in the waters of St.Vincent. We like to think of it as “Where the Rare is Common.”

Mantis Shrimp, Credit


Average daytime temperatures range from 24 C/75 F to 30 C/87 F. Dry season is from Jan to Apr but you can expect short sudden rain showers at any time. Rainy season is from July to Oct and you can expect longer and more frequent rain showers. Average rainfall on the coast is 80” and inland 150”. Hurricane season lasts from June until November. 

Water runoff from heavy rains can, at times, cause poor visibility. Some of the dives sites are not in protected bays and therefore can be affected by sudden currents, particularly around periods when there is a full moon.

Sea Urchin Close-up, Credit

Marine Conservation

St. Vincent is constantly working to develop Marine Parks to protect the marine life. The largest and best known is the park at Tobago Cays. At Dive St. Vincent, we discourage the use of gloves to protect the coral.

Other year round marine life

Nudibranchs, shrimps, crabs, flatworms, worms, brittle stars, blennies, gobies, hamlets, batfish, frogfish, chitons, cowries, angelfish, wrasse, basslets, anemonies, butterflyfish, puffers, boxfish, drums, trumpetfish, cardinalfish, damselfish, hawkfish, jacks, jawfish, lizardfish, eels, tilefish, urchins, etc.


Underwater, Credit

Information & photos kindly provided by: Ray Haberman & Dive St. Vincent

Ray Haberman is a retired deputy sheriff who loves muck and critter dives. Ray is an avid photographer and has discovered many new critters in St.Vincent, such as the Royal Sea Goddess, Mud Shrimp, Bahama Simnia, as well as numerous flat worm, Bennies and Gobies.Several of his pictures could be seen in the Reef Creatures books by Paul Human and Ned Deloache. 

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Shore Diving

There is some shore diving on a house reef located in Young Island Bay in front of a shop. Here, there are a series of coral heads that contain numerous lobsters, eels, reef  fish, nudibranchs, flatworms, gobies, blennies, shrimps, crabs, etc.  Any other shore diving would require renting a car.

Juvenile Triggerfish, Credit


Boat Diving

Boat diving is by far the most popular options, though most sites are within spitting distance of the shore. Sites typically combine reef and muck diving, meaning they are composed of sand, grass or rubble. Known as the “Critter Capital of the Caribbean”, there is truly fantastic diversity in marine life. 

There is a wide variety in sites, which cater to all levels of experience. 

The Bat Cave is one of the area’s most challenging dives. This dive begins in an active bat cave and then descends into an underwater fissure, providing a great ‘starburst’ photo opportunity.

Goatt fish, Credit

There are four wrecks to explore as well. One is an 18th century frigate, with a visible cannon. The other two are the remnants of a collision in the 1980s between a Siemanstrand and a tug – though this is for advanced divers only. In 2003, a cargo vessel sank and is now home to a large variety of marine life, including soft corals, sponges and larger pelagics. 

The Layou Wall is an impressive wall dive that drops to 150ft at its deepest point. Petit Byahaut is a great site for divers of all experience levels, and for those keen on night dives.

Box Crab close-up, Credit

Liveaboard Diving

Surprisingly, there are very no traditional liveaboards operating in this section of the Caribbean. The Wind Dancer formerly sailed a route from Granada to St. Vincent, but has since moved with rumoured plans to re-establish the tour eventually. It is more common to hire a private charter to sail these waters, though these are not necessarily designed for divers.  

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How to Get There

At the present time the international airport on St. Vincent is under construction. Most arrivals come in from St. Lucia, Grenada and Barbados. LIAT airlines is the local island hopper that flies in from those countries. Their reputation isn’t the best and it is recommended that one of the smaller charter airlines such as SVG Air or Mustique Airways be considered.

The Beach, Credit

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Where to Eat & Drink

Dive St. Vincent is located in the middle of several great restaurants/bars. Directly across from the dive shop is Young Island Resort. A short walk to the south brings you to High Tide Restaurant/Bar; next to them is the French Veranda Restaurant/Bar. A short walk to the North brings you to Paradise Beach Hotel. Next to them is Sunset Shores Beach Hotel and finally Beachcombers Hotel. A short taxi ride to the Grand View Grill on Friday nights for their Jerk dinners is worth the trip. A short walk past the French Veranda brings you to Surfside Restaurant/Bar, another popular place to eat.

Pizza, Credit

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Other Activities

For such tiny islands, there is a surprising number of activities scattered about. 

A boat trip through the Grenadines is always a favourite experience. Take a full day to visit the Tobago Cays, an uninhibited set of five islands with spectacular snorkeling (and diving). This is a great group activity for those traveling with non-divers.

Cannons overlooking a bay in St. Vincent, Credit

North of Kingstown, you can visit the oldest botanical gardens in the western hemisphere. Established in 1792, these gardens now form a 20-acre park with stunning bushes, trees and flowers. There is also an aviary that houses the endangered St Vincent parrots. 

There are also a number of hiking trails throughout the area, including: La Soufriere Cross Country Trail, Trinity Falls, the Vermont Nature Trail, Dark View Falls and Cumberland Nature Trail. 

For those interested in history, its worth visiting Fort Charlotte and Fort Duvernette for a glimpse into the areas colonial history. 

Fri and Sat are market days in Kingstown where you can see all the street vendors selling their goods. 

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With the weight restrictions placed by the airlines, it is advisable to take advantage of a dive package offered by Dive St. Vincent. All the dive equipment is included in the package except for a dive computer. All the gear is new and this can save on your space and weight.

Red seahorse, Credit

The people are very friendly but it is considered rude to address someone without first giving them a greeting. Such as Good Morning, Good Day, Good Afternoon, or Good Evening. At night, they will greet you with Good Night, whereas we would say Good Night upon departing.

Make sure you spend some time off of St. Vincent exploring the Grenadines – there is phenomenal diving there as well! Bequia is certainly the easiest to visit. 

Beach attire is ok for the beach and resort but best left behind when you go sightseeing.

There are no hyperbaric chambers in St Vincent. It is possible to find them on neighbouring islands of Barbados and St. Lucia.  

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Rating 10/10

The first diving for a Latin couple

St. Vincent & the Grenadines11 Jun 2017 - 11 Jun 2017

We went to a beach nearby the Diving shop and spent almost all afternoon showing the wonders of the Caribbean Sea to a young latin couple.

They were afraid at first of not being able to do all the basic diving breathing exercises, but as soon as they started they realized how easy it was. After a short introduction we start going deep down until we got to 9 mts.

As soon as we start diving we could see fishes and mainly coral reefs with impressive and beautiful colors.

They enjoyed it very much and definitely will try it again.


Nick T. Morrison

Sounds wonderful :)

Rating 10/10

Diving St. Vincent

St. Vincent & the Grenadines7 Jul 2013 - 14 Jul 2013

A year passed and another group, lead by world-renowned photographer Andrew Martinez, set its course to St. Vincent - Critter capital of the Caribbean. If last year only 6 guys tagged along with Andy, this time more the 20 divers, in two separate weeks, joined his expedition.

I can't answer for all, but this time I enjoyed diving even more then during previous occasion. Thanks to a great help of Ray Haberman, who’s probably by now can be called a native of the island, I was able to rediscover unlimited possibilities of new underwater findings. Ray taught me how to look for and showed to me creatures size of the grain of sand. And with Andrew’s detailed instructions on underwater camera technique - proper strobes alignment, favorable composition, speed and aperture, good lightning of the subject, careful approach etc., I had unlimited potentials to photograph incredible world of the fantastic organisms.

Two awesome dive-masters – Cally and DJ, both with over two decades of experience in finding small, hard to detect animals.

Right after breakfast, we headed to the dock where all our dive-gears were preloaded onto boats and shortly, no more than 10-15 minutes, we were at chosen locations. If one of the boats headed, let’s say, to Orca 2, then other went to Cruise Ship. Then, during surface interval, we'd swap sites.

Thus, at the same time no more than 8 divers were at each particular spot.

Average depth of almost all our dives would hardly reached 30-35 feet. Only ones Ray took me to 100 feet at “New Guinea”, to check if spotted Bull-eyed lobster still lived inside of the entangled pile of sunken nets. But otherwise light, aluminum tanks easily yielded an hour, an hour-and-a-half of bottom time.

Overall I go back to St. Vincent again and again. And so far my only wish that air-travel could've been improved dramatically.

Happy diving and safe resurfacing to all.

2013.07.29.Orca 2 St. Vincent.2 2013.07.29.Orca 2 St. Vincent.3 2013.07.29.Orca Point St. Vincent..2 2013.07.30.Cruise Ship night dive St. Vincent.2 2013.07.30.Cruise Ship night dive St. Vincent.3
Showing 3 of 10 comments. Show all
2012.10.17.Taveuni Fiji..76

Timur Kholodenko

Dear Mike, I use Canon 5D mark II and 2 Ikelite DS-161 flashes. It is nice sit up, giving you lots of options. Yet I've seen great pictures taking with smaller and very inexpensive setups. I was on this this trip with Andrew J. Martinez ( http://www.andrewjmartinez.com/ ) and learn a lot from this man.


Mike Bednarz

Ah nice set-up!! I am looking to upgrade (I have been using a cannon G12 for a longtime) and although I have learned a lot using it - it is about time I got something a bit meatier!


Luke Goodrige

The detail on the red-crab's claws and their coloring is ace. Cool pic!

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