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

Ready to check out the best sites in U.S. Virgin Islands for scuba diving, snorkeling, shore diving, free diving or other ocean activities? Zentacle has 43 dive sites, snorkel spots, beaches, and more. Discover hand-curated maps, along with reviews and photos from nature lovers like you. No matter what you're looking for, you can find a diverse range of the best ocean activities in U.S. Virgin Islands to suit your needs.
U.S. Virgin Islands dive site map
Dave's Pool

#1 - Dave's Pool

USVI, St. Croix, Caribbean

Unrated
(3)
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.
Cane Bay

#2 - Cane Bay

USVI, St. Croix, Caribbean

beginner
(12)
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.
Coki Beach

#3 - Coki Beach

St Thomas, Caribbean

beginner
(13)
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.
Trunk Bay

#4 - Trunk Bay

St. John, Caribbean

Unrated
(2)
Good dive, but popular with the cruise ship crowd
The Waves

#5 - The Waves

USVI, St. Croix, Caribbean

Unrated
(4)
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.
Frederiksted Pier

#6 - Frederiksted Pier

USVI, St. Croix, Caribbean

beginner
(14)
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.
Hull Bay

#7 - Hull Bay

St Thomas, Caribbean

Unrated
(1)
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.
Big Maho Bay

#8 - Big Maho Bay

St. John, Caribbean

Unrated
(1)
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.
Trunk Cay

#9 - Trunk Cay

Virgin Islands, Saint John Island

beginner
(1)
Underwater Park trail 15 underwater plaques stating local marine life flora and Fauna Northern Side of Saint John well marked Trunk Cay is also known as Trunk Bay.
Saba Island

#10 - Saba Island

Virgin Islands, Saint Thomas Island

beginner
(1)
South side of Saba Island. No mooring. If anchoring boat on lee (west) side which is usually calmer, it can be a long swim to the best diving in the center of the south side of the island.
North Star

#11 - North Star

USVI, St. Croix, Caribbean

Unrated
(10)
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.
Rust Op Twist

#12 - Rust Op Twist

USVI, St. Croix, Caribbean

Unrated
(3)
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.
North Shore

#13 - North Shore

USVI, St. Croix, Caribbean

Unrated
(3)
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.
Butler Bay

#14 - Butler Bay

USVI, St. Croix, Caribbean

intermediate
(5)
Three shallow wrecks - Tugboat, barge and a biosphere habitat The Northwest end of St. Croix, North of Frederiksted.
Buck Island

#15 - Buck Island

USVI, St. Croix, Caribbean

Unrated
(6)
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!
Stragglers Rocks

#16 - Stragglers Rocks

Virgin Islands, Saint Thomas Island

beginner
(0)
Stragglers Rocks is also known as Stragglers of Great St. James.
Lovango Cay

#17 - Lovango Cay

Virgin Islands, Saint John Island

beginner
(0)
Lovango Cay is a 0-star rated scuba dive and snorkel destination in Virgin Islands, Saint John Island which is accessible from shore based on 0 ratings.
Secret Harbour

#18 - Secret Harbour

Virgin Islands, Saint Thomas Island

beginner
(0)
Secret Harbour is a 0-star rated scuba dive and snorkel destination in Virgin Islands, Saint Thomas Island which is accessible from shore based on 0 ratings.
Dive Flag Rock

#19 - Dive Flag Rock

Virgin Islands, Saint Thomas Island

beginner
(0)
spotted eagle rays, eels, turtles, lobsters Buck Island
Christmas Cove

#20 - Christmas Cove

Virgin Islands, Saint Thomas Island

beginner
(0)
puffer fish, starfish, stingrays, turtles Saint James Bay
Waterlemon cay

#21 - Waterlemon cay

Virgin Islands, Saint John Island

beginner
(0)
Leinster Bay. You'll need to do a short 10 minute hike in from the Annaberg Ruins parking lot.
Caneel Bay

#22 - Caneel Bay

Virgin Islands, Saint John Island

beginner
(0)
Gorgonians, Puffer Fish, a Nurse Shark, many tropical fish North western side of Island
Navy Barges

#23 - Navy Barges

Virgin Islands, Saint Thomas Island

beginner
(0)
Navy barges sunk as artificial reef. Maximum depth is 40-50 feet. Marked with a buoy and a tie point so you don't have to drop anchor. Lots of sea life here with spine lobster and eels in abundance. Navy Barges is also known as Navy Barges at St Thomas USVI.
Cinnamon Bay

#24 - Cinnamon Bay

St. John, Caribbean

Unrated
(0)
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
Salt River West Wall

#25 - Salt River West Wall

Virgin Islands, Saint Croix Island

beginner
(0)
Salt River West Wall is a 0-star rated scuba dive and snorkel destination in Virgin Islands, Saint Croix Island which is accessible from shore based on 0 ratings.
Jungle

#26 - Jungle

Virgin Islands, Saint Croix Island

beginner
(0)
Excellent spot for spearfishing Lionfish. Larry, Moe and Curley (Caribbean reef sharks) frequent the area.
Vertigo

#27 - Vertigo

Virgin Islands, Saint Croix Island

intermediate
(0)
Vertigo is a very advanced site. To truly appreciate it, you need to dive down the side of the drop off. Properly done, you swim from the mooring (which is in about 40 feet of water) on a compass heading of about 30-40 degrees, watching the sand flats below you. Follow the right side of the sand flat staying shallow (15-20 feet) until the edge of the sand flat is disappearing from view. Start your descent and angle 30-40 feet to the right of the sand flat, over the coral. There is an area of the coral that comes to a point, somewhat like a ski jump. This ski jump is at approximately 80 feet. After you leave the edge of the wall, it is a sheer drop off, and part of the wall actually cuts back under itself. The wall doesn't start coming back out until about 260 feet down. Follow the wall East, and up the side where it slopes a little more gently, and work your way back up. liveaboard, boat, advanced shore (requires 4 wheel drive)
WIT Shoal Wreck

#28 - WIT Shoal Wreck

Virgin Islands, Saint Thomas Island

intermediate
(0)
Probably the most famous dive in the USVI, the WIT Shoal is a popular deep wreck. Located some miles out from St Thomas, it was illegally sunk in shallower waters when it was supposed to be sunk off the deep dropoff miles further out. However, the wreck is relatively in tact, and having sunk in 1984 has now attracted a host of marine life. The wreck is fairly large (327 feet), and one can swim through penetration on most of the decks. Because of the large amount of external light, and the lack of confined spaces, pentration training is not normally needed. It sits on sand at 70 feet (although parts inside the wreck reach deeper). The wheelhouse is at 30 feet. More info: http://www.caribdiveguide.com/WIT_shoal.htm By boat only. Divers must "hook into" the wreck, which can only be done if weather conditions permit. Site is not marked, and so cannot realistically be located without GPS coordinates. Approximate location shown in map. WIT Shoal Wreck is also known as WIT Shoal.
String of Pearls

#29 - String of Pearls

Virgin Islands, Saint Croix Island

intermediate
(0)
String of Pearls is a night dive best done on Waxing Crescent, New Moon or Waning Crescent (or on a cloudy night). The string of Pearls are actually shrimp that bioluminesce when mating, giving the appearance of a string of pearls flashing from the bottom up to about 2 feet. The dive typically starts as a night dive exploring the reef and active marine life, then proceeds to a sandy bottom area where all divers turn off all lights, Within a minute, you will see the "string of pearls" start lighting up. If you try to focus farther out, it almost looks like twinkling stars in the night sky.
Ledges of Little Saint James

#30 - Ledges of Little Saint James

Virgin Islands, Saint Thomas Island

beginner
(0)
Southern side of the private island of Saint James Ledges of Little Saint James is also known as Little St James.
Flanagan's Cay

#31 - Flanagan's Cay

St. John, Caribbean

Unrated
(0)
Quiet and secluded. Southeastern Coast.
Calf Rock

#32 - Calf Rock

Virgin Islands, Saint Thomas Island

beginner
(0)
Southeast side of Saint Thomas. 1.5 nautical miles from Benner harbour.
Sprat Hall

#33 - Sprat Hall

Virgin Islands, Saint Croix Island

beginner
(0)
Hawksbill Turtles. Update: There's a Merry-Go-Round horse at 10m witch is very cool for avatar pics :-) The Temperature of the water on 03 Feb 2010 was around 27-28C Nekton Pilot
Cow Rock

#34 - Cow Rock

Virgin Islands, Saint Thomas Island

beginner
(0)
Southeast side of Saint Thomas. 1.5 nautical miles from Benner harbour.
New Found Bay

#35 - New Found Bay

Virgin Islands, Saint John Island

beginner
(0)
Northeast of St John.
Johnson's Reef

#36 - Johnson's Reef

Virgin Islands, Saint John Island

beginner
(0)
Shallow reef with sting rays in the sand Just off Trunk Bay, north side of St john.
Congo Cay East

#37 - Congo Cay East

Virgin Islands, Saint John Island

intermediate
(0)
East side of Congo Island.
Congo Cay West

#38 - Congo Cay West

Virgin Islands, Saint John Island

beginner
(0)
North of St John Island.
Mingo Key

#39 - Mingo Key

Virgin Islands, Saint John Island

beginner
(0)
Mingo Cay is located between Lovango Cay and Grass Cay, Northwest of St John Island.
Grass Cay

#40 - Grass Cay

Virgin Islands, Saint John Island

beginner
(0)
Boat diving only
Alien Nation

#41 - Alien Nation

Virgin Islands, Saint Croix Island

beginner
(0)
Alien Nation is a 0-star rated scuba dive and snorkel destination in Virgin Islands, Saint Croix Island which is accessible from shore based on 0 ratings.
The Pavilions

#42 - The Pavilions

Virgin Islands, Saint Croix Island

beginner
(0)
North East of Cane Bay - a short swim from shore The Pavilions is also known as Pavilion.
Magens bay

#43 - Magens bay

Virgin Islands, Saint Thomas Island

beginner
(0)
Beautiful Bay. Turtles and many fish. Direct in from the beach Magens bay is also known as Megans Bay.