Snorkeling Spots    


        Here are some excerpts from the Trip Advisor Forum for St. Croix that should help you decide on spots to try for snorkeling.

Nov 18, 2012  

Thanks to the combined wisdom and experience of many on the St. Croix forum, here's a description of some snorkeling spots on the island which should be useful to others. I will be linking this to TopQuestions about St. Croix in the upper right hand section of the Forum page so feel free to add to this posting so that we get a complete list of snorkeling spots.

BUCK ISLAND - Did reef on NE side as well as reefs on West Side. Obviously the reef is mostly dead, but it was still a great time and I plan on it again... Love just hanging out here for the day. Bunch of BIG cuda's but they don't spook me.

RAINBOW BEACH- mostly schools of one species of fish, good amount of sea turtles which was nice.. Beach is great.

CANE BAY- long swim to get to "Wall" with nothing much along the way. Wall seemed a bit too deep for snorkeling

GROTTO BEACH (Buccaneer)- Actually a nice little "reef" due to the angle of it forming a ledge for fish and lobster to hide under. I actually enjoyed this and the swim around to Mermaid beach...

JACKS/ ISAAC'S- a lot of grass... and a little spooky with absolutely no one else around. Very peaceful area.

CAY (In Christiansted Harbor) - swam around it just because I was there... Nothing much... Some nice size Cuda

TEAGUE BAY REEF- I paddled out to this reef in kayak by myself. It was a bit rough, so I held onto kayak. I was in the water for about 3 minutes and saw some 5-6 ft reef sharks cruise by and got a little spooked (they looked like Bulls but I think they were Carib Reef Sharks). Anyways I'd like to come back here when WITH someone...

TAMARIND REEF - the folks at the beach shack there will let you know if wind conditions are good or not....when choppy this is not as fun and visibility is down....with no chop this is a great trip, lots of soft corals which bring in turtles, stay in 10-20 foot depth all the way to the west end point,

DIVI BEACH - We also like a spot just west of Divi. Park near the Pizza shack at Divi and walk west on the beach until you get to the two palm trees that hang low over the beach. Enter here in very shallow water...get on your belly quick to avoid urchins....swim out to offshore reef about 50 yards...the reef parallels the shore all the way down in front of the Divi but be careful becasue at that point you are far always this trip is better when the wave action and visibility is reduced due to low wind.

My favorite place to snorkel is the east end of Shoys. Outside the reef and around by the pyramid house is spectacular. Beautiful fan coral, turtles, spotted eagle rays, tons of fish. I think it's the best place on the island because it has everything. Sometimes I go to Chenay Bay also where the snorkeling is pretty good around the point. Another great snorkel is around Green Cay.

Nov 20, 2012,

From DionneNewOrleans:

For a snorkeling adventure go west end north shore. Enter the water at Carambola/Davis Bay and swim west with the prevailing current towards Annaly Bay. There are no services, there is no rescue and frequently the only beach will be a cliff. Swimming into this area is to's deceiving......the return swim can be very difficult. I've been into this area twice. Two years ago I went alone without doing my homework. The wind and water changed rapidly. My return swim was in 4-6' seas against a westerly. I could give you a more graphic description but this forum doesn't allow those kind of words. This year, I went back into the area with a local and we did do our NOAA homework. What happened was the most incredible 3+ hour snorkel of a life time. The area is untouched. Imagine floating along and being surrounded by hundreds of small blue fish. Turtles everywhere. Huge sea fans. Elkhorn coral. And you won't see another person. Sweet Bottom Dive no longer offers guided snorkeling. Cane Bay Dive stopped going into the area altogether. The sea is pristine hasn't messed it up yet. It's offshore of what is called the Maroons. If you do this one make sure you have all the right gear......and use paddle gloves. You may have to do some hard ocean swimming.


Dec 28, 2013, 6:47 AM

Great review of snorkel sites, thank you.  I have a couple of comments to add.

Isaac's Beach - love the hike down. This week there were many wildflowers to enjoy along the trail. However, one should take note of the tide! We were there during high tide, which causes much of the beach to disappear. If you wish to sit, you will be among the beach plants and it seems they all have thorns or stickers! Ouch - big time! The thorn branches easily break off the main plant and are just under the sand (lots of blood from my daughter's foot). The stickers get on socks, shorts (why is it always the place where you sit?) Otherwise, this is a really beautiful beach.

Shoy's - I highly recommend! Like a bathtub! We met a man who lives on island who said that no matter what the weather, Shoy's is lovely and calm. Sadly, that's where I learned that I left my prescription snorkel mask at home (got a good one at Cane Bay dive shop the next day). But the beach itself is a perfect crescent shape, so picturesque!

Fredriksted - Start out at Cottages by the Sea and you can drift and paddle your way up to the pier. Here's a thread about Fredriksted snorkeling from another forum poster, MangoManic:

Don't overlook the pier pilings where you might find frog fish among the other things growing on the pilings. Lots of schools of fish, too. We snorkeled there two days ago and the water was as calm as a bathtub! ou can snorkel your way to the pier, then, if tired, get out and walk the beach back to Cottages looking for sea glass along the way.

Feb. 02, 2015

Just came back from Cane Bay. The snorkeling there was really good and I didn't have to swim to the wall for it. When you look at the sea, notice where the darkest water is, that will be parts of reef. Plenty of fish of all sizes and colors just outside of the wave breaks. Good visibility today, not the best, but pretty darn good!

Carambola: We were able to snorkel one day for a while but it got pretty choppy so had to cut that short. I hope to get back there as I am told there is some good spots out there. But the beach is lovely and enough shady spots to not mind hanging out.

Annaly Tide Pools: Did this hike towards the end of the trip. Enjoyed the hike and did not find it too strenuous. The pools were getting waves so we cautiously climbed around them but made no effort to get in them! Beautiful spot and something different to do.

Cane Bay: Small but shady beach to set up our spot. We did not snorkel out to the wall but enjoyed going both right and left at the reef parallel to shore. lots of fish and creatures. Saw eels, octopus and eagle rays plus all the many types of fish.

Fredericksted Pier: Find a non cruise ship day and just do it. One of our favorites. If you like to snorkel at all, you will love this. There are corals and sponges on all the old pier pilings and up and down the entire new pier. You can just swim in and out under the pier for as far as you want. Just incredible colors and variety. This is the one time I wished I had a good under water camera! We also saw plenty of fish, turtles and such.

Sandcastle: After the pier we drove to sandcastle. We ended up parking our car and ourselves just to the right of sandcastle on the end of the public area right under some big trees. It was nice and quiet with just a few people and some nice relaxing snorkeling.

We stopped at a nice little beach north of Rainbow Beach. I'm not sure which one it was. Might have been Butler's. It was nice sand, shady and we were the only ones there for a while. Just snorkeled to right and left. Right was better. Sporadic snorkel beds but decent amount of fish and a nice snorkel.

Buck Island: We splurged and went with Captain Carl on the Dragonfly. We told him we were not beach sitters and just wanted to snorkel. So he took us on the main snorkel trail that all the charters do and then left us to snorkel there on our own for a while. Stopped for lunch and then he led us to the south side and we were on our own until he picked us up. What a beautiful, untouched area. A huge elkhorn forest plus tons of other coral and fish. Sooo nice to see such healthy coral. Could have hung around in those waters for a couple more hours!! Saw lots of fish including lemon sharks and nurse sharks. Also a group of 12 barracudas!

Green Cay: our last (extra gift day!) we went to Tamirand Beach and rented kayaks from Mimi at the beach shack. She gave us a lot of pointers on where to snorkel and we headed out with our lunches. Only took about 10-15 minutes to kayak out to the Cay. We ended up snorkeling all but the north side. We were getting tired and cold or we would have kept going. Great snorkeling out there. Lots to see and different in each section. Has a small beach to put the kayaks. Great fun. Ask Mimi about the conditions before planning this.

Tamirand Reef: after coming back from Green Cay we relaxed on the beach for a while. Very peaceful, beautiful area. And, of course, you have the amenities of the resort available. We went in to snorkel for a little while longer right in front of the beach and there is a surprisingly nice reef right there. Would do this day over again!

This is probably too detailed for anyone who is not big on snorkeling, but hope it helps those of you who love it! This was our first trip to St. Croix. Hope we'll make it back as there is a lot we didn't explore yet. Thanks for all the help this forum gives.

Jul 23, 2013, 7:37 PM

In the 20 plus visits my girlfriend and I have made to St Croix, we have snorkeled at some 15 locations around the island. When we were back in St Croix in early July for Mango Melee, we discovered a new place to snorkel off Sand Castle beach that was just one of the best we have ever experienced. Usually, when we snorkel Sand Castle Beach, we come out from the pool and turn LEFT and hike up the beach near Cottages and go out from there. This is usually a great snorkel in itself. But here are some instructions for what we did this time:

Come out from the Sand Castle pool and turn RIGHT, walking toward Frederiksted. Walk for approximately 5 minutes. You will pass a small stone structure on the beach. Continue walking a little further until you are next to an abandon wood beach shack that has graffiti painted on it. Enter the water in front of this building and swim straight out (about a 5 minute swim) until you encounter some old machinery that was dumped into the sea many years ago. It is covered with colorful sea life! Many colors including yellow, purple, red, and orange corals. There are many varieties of fish swimming around this area, and it is stunning!

After enjoying this area for awhile, we slowly swam back toward Sand Castle, and encountered a number of rays, colored fish, and even some starfish! This is the first time ever that I have seen starfish while snorkeling this beach. In all, just a great, great snorkel and I recommend it to all.


Directions to Jack and Isaac's Bay:

- From Christiansted, go east on Route 75 / Route 82 / East End Rd. for about 3 miles until the T-intersection with Route 82 and Route 60.
- Turn left at T-intersection and continue for about 7 miles more on Route 82 east.
- Turn left at sign for Cramer Park and continue for about 2 miles more on Route 82 east, going past Cramer Park. After the road bends sharply to the left, go 100 yards further, and turn into the small roadside parking area on the right side. If you pass it, the road ends about 2/10 of a mile later at Point Udall, so just loop around and come back. Do not leave any valuables in your car.

The trailhead is at the parking area and leads down to the water. After walking for 10 minutes, the first beach you reach will be on East End Bay. At that point, turn right (west), go to the west end of the beach, and take the connecting trail west to the beach at Isaac Bay. Go to the west end of the beach at Isaac Bay and find the connecting trail west. After a few minutes, turn left on the side trail to the beach at Jack Bay.

Latest conditions reported for this hike:

December 2013: Walkable, with some high grass in sections

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