The US Virgin Islands is home to some of the best snorkelling spots in the Caribbean. The abundant sea life and natural scenic beauty will keep you in awe for days.
If you’re looking to escape the tourist hot spots then head over to St. John island. For those who want to be in the centre of the action, St. Thomas is the place to be. St. Croix on the other hand offers you a laid-back atmosphere with loads of charm.
Be sure you include your underwater camera as part of your essential travel tech items when packing. You won’t want to miss a chance to capture some of the most picturesque sites on offer. Let’s have a look at the Virgin Islands’ top snorkelling spots for your next vacation.
Buck Island, St. Croix
Buck Island is Virgin Island’s only underwater national monument. It is located a few miles off the island of St. Croix. You can get there by either private or public boat.
For first-time snorkelers, this island is perfect as it offers shallow waters great for beginners. Some of the sea life you’re guaranteed to spot here are elkhorn coral, and hundreds of different varieties of fish. Bird enthusiasts can watch out for the brown pelicans and other local and migratory species of birds.
Buck Island is home to hawksbill sea turtles which can safely nest on the island’s coral sand beaches.
Other activities on the island include diving, hiking one of the scenic trails, or sunbathing on the amazing white sand beach.
Coki Point Beach, St. Thomas
Located on the north side of St. Thomas, Coki Point Beach is known for its spectacular all-year-round snorkelling. This is a popular beach with crowds sometimes turning it into a party spot. If you don’t mind the action then Coki Beach has much to offer.
There’s a dive centre where you can rent snorkelling gear and plenty of vendors renting out beach chairs and umbrellas. It’s an awesome location for families to enjoy. Other amenities include a restaurant, bar, and taxi stand.
The snorkelling here caters to all age groups with plenty of shallow reefs. You can spot parrotfish, crabs, and other vibrantly coloured tropical fish.
Cow and Calf Rocks, St. Thomas
Rent a boat in St. Thomas and head off to Cow and Calf Rocks on the south side of the island, for a day of adventure. Spot the 2 large rocks that break the water surface and give this dive site its famous name. These rocks are often mistaken by drunken sailors to look like 2 whales, a cow, and her calf.
These rocks feature caves, canyons, and tunnels which make it one of the most interesting locations to explore. The site is 40 feet deep and has brilliant visibility. Here you can spot lobsters, elkhorn coral, and eagle rays.
Cow Rock is one of the most famous dive sites on St. Thomas. It’s part of a nationally protected park, which allows for a rich variety of marine life.
Watermelon Cay, St. John
Watermelon Cay can be found in Leinster Bay on the north shore of St. John. A mere 25-minute taxi drive from Cruz Bay will get you to your own piece of paradise. Its secluded location ensures that the beach is never too crowded.
You will need to take a mile-long trail to get to Watermelon, so you can stay in shape while traveling.
Watermelon Cay is home to large cushion sea stars, so mind where you step. These calm and clear waters are host to a wide range of fish including barracuda, angelfish, and trumpetfish. You may even spot a green sea turtle enjoying a meal on the seagrass beds.
It’s a good idea to bring along your water shoes as the beach is quite rocky and has a lot of sea urchins.
Maho Bay Beach, St. John
The iconic coconut palm-fringed beach of Maho awaits travellers to this gorgeous destination. Located on the north shore of St. Johns, the turquoise waters of Maho are shallow and calm, perfect for snorkelling.
Here you can spot much diverse marine life depending on which side of the bay you snorkel. On the east side, you can find all types of coral and schools of fish. On the western shoreline, you can spot nurse sharks, mustard corals, and Damsel fish.
There are beach rentals available across the road as well as a beach bar. Another point of interest located on the west ridge of the beach is the America Hill Great House Ruin. The 19th-century ruins can be reached via the Cinnamon Trail and is definitely worth the visit if you’re up for exploring. Not to mention the view from the top which is simply breath-taking.