Top Snorkeling and Scuba Diving in U.S. Virgin Islands

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Dave's Pool

USVI, St. Croix, Caribbean

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Dave's Pool is named after the owner of the beach-side dive shop, The Scuba Shack. Dave and Sue Ward run a very personable dive operation off the leeward side of the island, and use this shallow reef for their check-out dives. At first glance, you may think this is a run-of-the-mill, flat, sandy reef, but if you want to see octopus and Sea Horses, we've been told this is the place. Having been associated with local marine researchers for the past decade, Dave says he can show you more in a square meter of sand in this 'swimming pool' than you'll see on any other dive. Trust him -- he knows his stuff! Also, for the sea-sick prone, we do recommend Dave's dive boat. The ocean on this side of the island is mostly flat as a lake, and after 6 trips with him, we've been pleasantly surprised by the ease of diving. Just North of Frederiksted, on the ocean-side right next to the Changes In Latitudes restaurant.
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Cane Bay

USVI, St. Croix, Caribbean

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Cane Bay is one of the nicest shore diving spots on the island: lots of parking, a scuba shop, a restaurant, and a beautiful beach perfect for off-gassing. Make sure the conditions are favorable for safe diving before you enter the water. Ocean swells here can cause a formidable rip tide, so ask around for some professional advice. On highway 80 (the North Shore Road), you can't miss the long stretch of beach and the restaurant just across the street.
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Coki Beach

St Thomas, Caribbean

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When we were there a local dive shop took me on my 'checkout dive' at a shore dive at a place called Coki Beach. Depth to 40-50' sand beach entry. No waves, and in a protected cove. Popular snorkel location and had probably hundreds of snorkelers, most of whom stayed in 3-8' of water and away from divers. Parking on street area, walk down a set of concrete steps directly onto the beach. Very easy access. I think this beach is in the travel guides (Fodor's etc). Can't remember if there's a local dive shop on site for equipment or air fills, but I know there was a building in which people were renting snorkel gear and we weren't the only one's diving either... FYI: this is a popular cruise boat tourist dumping spot.
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Trunk Bay

St. John, Caribbean

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Good dive, but popular with the cruise ship crowd
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The Waves

USVI, St. Croix, Caribbean

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Aptly named, The Waves At Cane Bay is a condo property that hosts this small beach entry area. During periods of moderate surf, entry here can be challenging, but once through the surf zone, you will be rewarded will some of the nicest underwater experiences on the island. You can also find a small dive shop and restaurant here. On highway 80 (the North Shore Road), just a couple of kilometers East of Cane Bay.
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Hull Bay

St Thomas, Caribbean

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Nice clean enclosed bay. Nice reefs with plenty of fish. Very helpful dive shop. Nice patio style restraint close by for an after dive drink and giant burgers. Transportation from the Cruise ship terminals is the issue as driver may not want to make this out of the way one way haul with no guarantee of a return fare. So be sure to make arrangements beforehand. Hull Bay, north shore, St Thomas USVI.
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Big Maho Bay

St. John, Caribbean

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This site is phenomenal for views, fish and solitude. There is a reef to follow at shallow depths on the right and left sides and as you enter the bay beyond the rocky shorelines, you enter an open sandy bottom. You will see thousand of silversides, large Tarpon, sea turtles, a variety of colorful fish, corals and a nurse shark that usually hangs out there. There is a dive shop at Little Maho Bay Camps to replenish your tanks, eat and purchase gear. My favorite spot in the world...literally! From Cruz Bay you have two choices. You can go up centerline road or North shore road. North shore is much more scenic and you can find many shore dives along your journey. Continue on past Caneel Bay, all the way past Cinnamon Bay and Big Maho will come up on your left. There is ample roadside parking and plenty of secluded beach.
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Frederiksted Pier

USVI, St. Croix, Caribbean

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The old Frederiksted Pier was destroyed years ago in a storm, and was recently rebuilt to modern standards to accommodate cruise ships and other large vessels. Within the next 5 years, there should be enough marine life accumulation to warrant a trip out to its end. Luckily, however, a few pilings from the old pier still exist with incredible communities of soft coral still just a few meters off shore. This is a very easy dive, and an especially nice night dive! All West-bound roads lead to Frederiksted. Once in the small town, look seaward, find the pier, point your car in that direction, and you can't miss it! The pier is right next to the old Fort Frederik, built in 1752. Your non-diving members will have plenty to explore while you are living it up underwater.
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North Star

USVI, St. Croix, Caribbean

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North Star is the Westernmost of four dive sites in a 4km stretch of highway on the North shore. You will find a wall and a cavern to explore here with great sights in-between. The dive site is nicely protected from NE swells. On highway 80 (the North Shore Road), the small parking area is located just East of Picnic in Paradise and a couple of kilometers West of Cane Bay.
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Rust Op Twist

USVI, St. Croix, Caribbean

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Rust Op Twist is named after an old sugar plantation in the area. It is more of an advanced dive due the entry conditions and possible currents. If it is a nice day, you can spend your tank of air in just 10 meters of water exploring this biologically diverse part of the island. On highway 80 (the North Shore Road), about 4km East of Cane Bay.
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North Shore

USVI, St. Croix, Caribbean

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The North Shore dive site is especially unique since you are living steps away from a diving entry. The house here was built by David Mickley precisely because of the superb diving location. You can find out more by visiting his web site at www.2dive4.net. There is a wall 100 yards off-shore that drops down to 2500 ft so there is an opportunity to get access to all the pelagic creatures very close to shore. On the North shore in a small grouping of residences, just East of Cane Bay.
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Butler Bay

USVI, St. Croix, Caribbean

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Butler Bay is a pleasant dive site that we missed on our first trip to St. Croix. We were prompted to photograph the site by resident Steve Cunningham. You can see his excellent description of this site below. The Northwest end of St. Croix, North of Frederiksted.
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Buck Island

USVI, St. Croix, Caribbean

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Buck Island has been called a Snorkeler's Paradise for good reasons. Underwater trails, crystal clear water, and beautiful beaches are the hallmark of this U.S. National Park. Many tour operators are available to provide full and half day excursions. Just Northeast of Christiansted, you'll need a tour operator to get you there. Unless, of course, you don't mind a 10km kick-out!
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Scenery St. Croix

USVI, St. Croix, Caribbean

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Flanagan's Cay

St. John, Caribbean

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Quiet and secluded. Southeastern Coast.
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Cinnamon Bay

St. John, Caribbean

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Cinnamon is just a little farther from Cruz bay than Trunk. Crowds are much less and the island is farther from shore than at Trunk. The coral and vegetation is more vivid than Trunk but the fish seem more colorful at Trunk IMO. But, some of the fish are larger at Cinnamon than Trunk. I give the edge to Trunk but find Cinnamon better for those who like larger fish and greater solitude. Especially if you have done Trunk on other trips as I have. Cinnamon is just a little further from Cruz bay than Trunk. I took a taxi after getting off the ferry. Trunk is the taxi stop just before Cinnamon