OVER the years I have been lucky to visit verdant Caribbean island Saint Lucia half a dozen times, staying both on the island and calling in on passing cruise ships.
The island’s iconic image is of the Pitons, the twin volcanic plugs that rise high into the sky on the south-west coast – a must-see for every visitor to the Caribbean.
On my most recent visit, back in 2019, a small group of friends chartered a boat and we sailed down the coast from capital Castries to get up, close and personal with the Pitons.
Before the return journey there was time to go snorkelling in the Anse Piton Marine Reserve, a conservation area that lies close to shore in Pitons Bay, between the peaks.
Reached from sloping Sugar Beach, and mostly just 12ft deep or so, it’s ideal for beginners or those wanting to see marine life in less challenging conditions.
The area is roped off to prevent boats from entering. Drop anchor in the bay, drop over the side and swim into the area.
Among the many species you might encounter are butterflyfish, moray eels, boxfish, filefish and the ubiquitous angelfish.
Put simply, you can swim, snorkel and chill. Then perhaps relax on the beach (there’s a fee if you want to use the private resort facilities) before you head home.
And, yes, this is me on the way back to rejoin P&O cruise ship Azura, and to continue our voyage around the Caribbean’s incredible islands.