Saint Kitts is the largest island in the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis. The country is an independent Commonwealth Realm, recognizing Queen Elizabeth II as head of state. Saint Kitts is located no more than 3 kilometers from the smaller island called Nevis, and they are both Leeward Islands in the Caribbean Sea. The official language is English and the currency East Caribbean Dollar.
Compared to many other paradise islands in the Caribbean, St. Kitts has never been heavily promoted as a scuba diving destination despite the fact that the island is surrounded by many excellent dive sites. This means that St. Kitts can offer relatively new, untouched dive sites. The average water temperature is 79 to 82° F (26 to 28 °C). The west side of the island is more sheltered than the east side, and underwater visibility is usually 60 to 100 feet (18 to 30 meters).
St. Kitts offer shallow inshore scuba diving sites as well as offshore ones, and some are stretching several miles. The coral life around St. Kitts is diverse and you will see different types of coral depending on depth and proximity to the shore, including majestic pillar corals. You can also dive among long slender tube sponges, blue sea fan gardens and intensely fluorescent sponges – just to mention a few of the species thriving in these waters. There are more than 25 dive sites easily reached from St. Kitts and three of them features wrecks. Reef dives, wall dives and cave dives are also possible and the varying depths and conditions make St. Kitts a good scuba diving destination for beginners and experienced scuba divers alike. Even though St. Kitts is a small island diving gear can be purchased or rented here and there are several dive operators to choose from.
The animal life around St. Kitts varies from tiny crayfish and colourful tropical reef fish to larger pelagic fish, and includes spiny lobsters, schools of snapper, peacock flounders, angelfish chubs, large barracudas, jacks, garden eels, eagle rays, southern stingrays and magnificent leatherback turtles. January to April is humpback whale and dolphin season in this area, and especially the dolphins are renowned for their curiosity when they spot a scuba diver.
Popular dive sites around St. Kitts are Booby Island, Redonda Bank, The Caves, the Black Coral Reef, the Bloody Bay Reef, Nags Head, Grid Iron, the Coconut Tree Reef, the Beached Tug Boat, the Sandy Point Bay, the Brassball Wreck, the Monkey Reef, the River Taw Wreck and the M.V. Talata Wreck. If you wish to encounter nurse sharks while scuba diving you should pick a dive site with overhangs, since the nurse sharks are found of them. If you want to see turtles you should go on a night dive, since most of St. Kitts’ scuba diving operators know where the turtles like to sleep. Keep in mind that the turtles – like any other living being – hate to be disturbed while snoozing and respect their privacy.