If you want to dive some incredible
walls and pinnacles, or just want a taste of another island,
grab a ferry or short flight for a daytrip or a couple of
The Unspoiled Queen, for great hiking and
spectacular scuba diving. A green forested tip of a dormant
volcano with quaint white houses adorned with red roofs and
green and white shutters. It’s much cooler up in the
mountain than on St Maarten and there are no night clubs,
casinos or major shops. People come here to dive, hike and
relax by the pool (only 1 volcanic beach that comes and goes
on an unscheduled cycle).
Diving Saba - a must for serious divers!
It is possible to make a day
trip from St Maarten: By ferry you get to do 2 dives; by
plane you get in an exciting 10 minute ride and a landing on
the worlds shortest commercial runway, 3 dives and an
island tour – well worth the visit!
As well as colourful and
healthy reefs and reef fish, Saba’s waters hide dramatic
walls and pinnacles which are actually the summits of
underwater mountains, beginning at around 85 feet and
extending into the abyss. The pinnacles draw thousands of
seasoned divers from all over the world to Saba. These dive
sites often have bigger fish and pelagics hanging around.
When going for a deep dive, which is between 18m/ 60ft and
40m/ 130ft, it is preferable to be certified as an Advanced
Open Water diver; however to make sure that all Open Water
Certified divers can enjoy the fantastic dive sites of Saba,
the only requirement of the dive shops over there is that
you have made at least 1 dive within the last 6 months. To
make the most of your diving in Saba it is suggested that
you use a dive computer - this will allow you to dive your
personal non-deco profile instead of being limited by the
dive sites max depth. The Scuba Shop has a great selection
of dive computers for sale. Rental computers are also
While Saba has incredible deep dives it is a bit
short on easily accessible snorkel sites; however when the
weather is calm, Saba offers beautiful snorkeling at Torrens
Point, where you can snorkel through a natural tunnel right
through a finger of lava. Access is from the black volcanic
Wells Bay beach, Saba's only beach. Another pretty site is
to snorkel over the 15ft to 20ft shelf above Tent Reef. The
easiest and safest way to snorkel this site is to go out by
boat with one of the three dive centers on Saba.
How to get to Saba
Saba is just 1.5 hours by ferry (Wednesday through Sunday)
or just 10 minutes by plane (everyday) from St Maarten and
can be visited in a day.
Book Saba -
Click here for
Saba Dive and Snorkel Reservations and more info on your
(day) trip to Saba.
Rock, nicknamed after its golden trade era during the 17th
and 18th century. This island has lots of its history
preserved and offers great diving and hiking too. Statia is
off the beaten track and only has four lovely places to
Diving Sint Eustatius
Statia has beautiful underwater flora and fauna, not to
mention the coral encrusted lava flows stretching into the
abyss. Also old and new wrecks, including the 320ft long
Charles Brown sunk in 90ft of water in 2002, walls and colourful coral
gardens belong to Statia’s numerous dive sites. A must do is
a night dive to see hunting lobsters and barracudas trying
to catch a bite with the help of your dive light.
A dive site that will make a treasure hunter’s heart beat
faster is the Blue Bead Hole. Blue Beads or ‘trading beads’
were made in the early 1700's for trade with indigenous
people around the world. In Statia some of them ended up in
the sand at about 60' or 18m in the middle of the harbour.
So while some people are looking for macro photo
opportunities here, others prefer looking for the beads
which are the only artifacts that if found can be kept by
Snorkel Sint Eustatius
There is one big easy-from-land accessible snorkel site on
Statia, right off the shore in Lower Town, around the
underwater ruins of the former town wall and buildings. Over
the centuries Statia has been tilting into the sea and
that’s why many of the ruins of the former warehouses and
the town wall are now underwater, which makes for a great
snorkel site. For other snorkel sites hop on board with one
of the dive shops.
How to get to Sint Eustatius
Statia is just a short plane ride from St Maarten and can be
visited in a day.
Book Sint Eustatius -
Click here for
Sint Eustatiaus Dive and Snorkel Reservations and more info on your
(day) trip to Statia.
This long, low lying
island is known worldwide for its more than 30 white sandy
beaches and exclusive hotels where you can most often spot
celebrities enjoying this British island of total
Like St Eustatius and Saba, Anguilla also has three
dive operations that are more than willing to take you out
snorkeling and diving the big blue. Anguilla has a lot of
wrecks of which most have been sunk on purpose in the
upright position to serve as an artificial reef. Over the
years they’ve become overgrown with corals and lots of fish
and other marine creatures have made these wrecks their
home. The biggest wreck is The Sarah and the only
wreck that didn’t sink on purpose is the Kathlee H,
she burned out and sank. Beautiful reef systems are found
around Sandy Island for instance and a wall dive can
be done by experienced divers at Dog Island.
Shoal Bay East Beach offers several snorkel
opportunities alongside the limestone ridge that protects
the beach from the waves. A 40 minute snorkel trail starts
from the Eastern point where the reef touches the beach, you
follow the reef heading East and follow it around to the
North all the way around back to the East.
Little Bay is another favourite snorkel spot in
Anguilla, this secluded bay has a small beach with shade all
morning. Little Bay can be most comfortably reached
by boat or if you’re up to the steep descent by rope from a
cliff, you could access it from land too. The underwater
world boasts loads of small fish, baby turtles, stingrays
and brown pelicans diving into the water to catch a meal.
Prickly Pear Cays
One of the "must visit" snorkel
areas of Anguilla is the uninhabited islands of Prickly Pear
Cay. When staying on St Maarten / St Martin we highly
recommend making a day trip on a sailing catamaran to visit
this beautiful underwater park. It is also possible
to go from St Maarten by speed boat. Prickly Pear has two
offering delicious barbecue fare and cold drinks including
really, really good Pina Coladas.
Snorkel trips from Anguilla can be done with either of the
three dive shops located in Road Bay as all offer trips to
Prickly Pear, Sandy Island, Little Bay,
Pelican Bay, Sea Fan Reef and Captain
Anguilla’s crystal clear waters offer great opportunities
for underwater photos, see our
on how to make that perfect picture and our
Camera Center to purchase a new camera or accessories for
your existing camera.
How to get to Anguilla
Anguilla is easily accessible by ferry (20 minutes)
from either Marigot or Simpson Bay and is easily visited in
a day. Prickly Pear Cays can be visited on a day trip
on a sailing catamaran or powerboat from St Maarten.
Book Anguilla -
Click here for
Anguilla Dive and Snorkel Reservations and more info on your
(day) trip to Anguilla and / or Prickly Pear Cays.
French island of St Barths is known for its upscale shopping, dining and
lounging in luxury. Diving and beaches are also great and
you may just find yourself rubbing shoulders with the rich
and famous who love this island too.
Diving Saint Barthélemy
St Barths’ Reserves Naturelles offer great diving
with lots of colourful fish and corals on walls, rocks and
boulders. Great sites are found around the South tip of
Anse de Colombier and right in front of Gustavia Harbour,
the main town. One of our favourites is La Baleine
with huge barrel sponges up to 6 feet high. There are ample
dive shops on St Barths, three of which in Gustavia, who
will take you out to their great sites. If you like to sail
and dive consider
chartering a sail yacht from St Maarten/ St Martin and
dive the beautiful sites of uninhabited island Ile
Fourche (located between St Martin and St Barths), an
area rarely visited by the St Barths dive shops since it’s a
bit far from Gustavia.
Snorkel Saint Barthélemy
For lots of turtles snorkel at Lorient Beach
on the Northside of St Barths, you’ll find them foraging on
the sea grass beds. Another hotspot for turtles is Anse
de Colombier, also known as Rockefeller beach, the only
way to get here is by 20 minute hike from the end of
Flamands Road, or join a boat tour from Gustavia. For a free
spirited snorkel in the nude, check out the bay of
Gouverneur Beach. And probably the best snorkel site of
St Barths is the uninhabited island of Ile Fourche, a
great half or full day boat trip from St Barths.
Overnight in Saint Barthélemy
If you’d like to spend a night on St Barths it’s
very easy to find high end hotels with all the luxury you
can think of. If you’re traveling on a smaller budget,
consider the Sunset Hotel across the ferry landing in
Gustavia, it’s around EUR100 per night for a double room,
depending on the time of year.
Itinerary for a great two day St Barths break:
arrive by ferry, check in Sunset Hotel, afternoon island
taxi tour, pre dinner shopping, dinner at Eddy’s in Gustavia,
morning dive, walk over to Shell Beach for lunch and
a snorkel and then ferry back to St Maarten/ St Martin.
How to get to Saint Barthélemy
St Barths is easily accessible as a day trip by
ferry from St Maarten / St Martin with ferries leaving from
Simpson Bay, Philipsburg, Oyster Pond and Marigot. The ferry
trip is between 45 minutes and 1.5 hours depending on your
departure point. There are also daily flights from both St
Maarten and St Martin with a very exciting landing on the
short, downhill runway in St Barths.
Book Saint Barthélemy
- Click here for
St Barths Ferry, Dive and Snorkel Reservations
and more info on your (day) trip to St Barths.
Us to booking your trips, whether diving or not,
to these great islands, all between 12 to 20 minutes away by
flight or 20 to 75 minutes by ferry.