Top 5 Places to Snorkel in the Virgin Islands

The famous turquoise paradise called the Virgin Islands consists of three main islands, Saint John, Saint Croix, and Saint Thomas, as well as several additional minor islands that lie in the Caribbean Sea. The Virgin Islands are a tourist favorite for snorkeling enthusiasts and beach goers alike.

These islands have an under-the sea adventure for everyone.  In addition to the sugary sand beaches, and tropical climate, you will be mesmerized by the beautiful sea life. Before you go however, make sure you have a snorkel mask and fins! If you want all the gear for snorkeling, see my reviews here. Now onto the best places to snorkel in the Virgin Islands.

Buck Island

Buck Island is a tiny island situated two miles north of St. Croix. This National monument is a “must see” to all visitors, especially to anyone who enjoys snorkeling.  It is the snorkeler’s paradise.  Dive in to the breathtaking waters and you will find yourself surrounded by over 250 species of fish, along with uniquely connected coral, and several species of sharks and turtles. Follow the long underwater snorkeling trail to experience the unmatched beauty of this island.

Waterlemon Cay

Waterlemon Cay is the number one destination for snorkeling in St. John Island. This tropical backdrop is home to conch, rays, Green Sea turtles, and large Cushio Starfish.  You are likely to come across a variety of exotic coral and fish species, including Atlantic blue tangs, parrotfish, blennies, squirrelfish, blue head wrasses, damsels, and grunts. The western edge of the cay is protected from wind and waves, making snorkeling easy. However, be aware of strong currents and make sure to never swim alone.

Coki Point Beach

For a family friendly snorkeling adventure, this is the place to be. Coki Point Beach is also a great place for beginners because it has shallow (not more than 20 feet) waters and has a mild current. Some of the fish specifies you can expect to find include, damsels, parrotfish, wrasses, and tangs. This beach is hailed as St. Thomas’ party beach, by both locals and tourists.

Haulover Beach

If you want to go where the locals go—this is the place.  This non-traditional snorkeling adventure will keep you guessing, as you explore the various deep ledges, hidden nooks, and unusual walls. Haulover Beach is covered by remarkable coral varieties and home to many fish species, including grunts, tangs, parrotfish, and wrasses.  Do not be surprised if you happen to encounter a nurse shark or barracuda, as they make an occasional appearance in these gorgeous island waters.

Hurricane Hole

Hurricane Hole is home to a luscious aquatic forest with roots that extend out to the coral.  This unique environment provides a protected habitat for sponges, anemone, and giant starfish.  The nature of the habitat is a site in itself, as it is indeed a marvel of nature.

Before you go, see my guides for the best snorkel mask, snorkel sets and fins. If your looking to SUP in the Virgin Islands, see my Top 5 Places to Stand Up Paddle Board.

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