The US Virgin Islands Best Guide

St. Croix: Scuba Diving

St. Croix is a great Caribbean destination for scuba diving. Nowhere else in the Caribbean can you dive coral reefs, wrecks, walls, and a pier – all in one day if you like! St. Croix offers variety, and there is something for everyone: beginner, intermediate, and advanced. The underwater world is stunning! Colorful fish dart around the coral reefs and forests of sea fans and sea whips, while other marine animals hide in caverns and under ledges. Observe turtles, bright parrotfish, blue tangs, queen triggerfish, moray eels and so much more.

Starting on the West End of St. Croix are various coral reefs stretching from Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge north to Frederiksted, where you’ll find a phenomenal dive at the Frederiksted Pier. The Pier offers impressive diving by day and is fascinating for night dives. The pillars under the pier are home to a variety of soft and hard corals in various colors. It is known for an assortment of unique marine life including rare batfish, frogfish, and seahorses. It is also home to moray eels, octopus, scorpion fish and parrotfish. The colorful corals and unique marine life make the Pier a favorite for underwater photographers, and it is considered one of the top macro dives around. North of the Pier are several wreck dives. Wrecks form artificial reefs as they become encrusted in coral and attract fish and other marine life. They are considered particularly cool since their former life floating on the sea and their new life beneath the sea offer mystery, history, and beauty.

Turning the corner from the West End is the north shore and it offers dive sites from Hams Bluff across to Buck Island, a National Park. These sites include coral reefs, canyons and the renowned wall. ‘The Wall’ is an area just a quarter mile from shore that slowly slopes then drops thousands of feet, it runs almost the length of the north shore of St. Croix. Various wall dives are available; the most famous is the Cane Bay Wall dive. Another popular wall dive is at the Salt River Canyon.

Dive operators on St. Croix generally offer three trips a day: one or two tank dives in the morning, one or two tank dives in the afternoon, and a night dive. Introduction classes, certification classes, and specialty classes are offered. You can start the academic part of your certification online while at home and then finish the open water part while on vacation; going this route means you spend your vacation in the water rather than studying! Some dive operators have discounted accommodations and diving packages arranged with hotels and inns. If you are visiting by cruise ship, you will be pleased to know that cruise ships dock in Frederiksted, and within walking distance, there are dive operators ready to take you out diving.

Wondering what diving in St. Croix will run you? A 2-tank morning dive goes for around $110, and a 1-tank in the afternoon around $70. Night dives are also available. Packages for 3 to 7 days of diving are available; they range in price from $300 for 3-2 tank dives to $475 for 7-2 tank dives. A Discover Scuba class will cost about $70 for a shore dive and $120 for a boat dive. Certification courses are around $375. Visit our featured dive operator(s) for more information and to book a dive!

Diving FAQ How’s the water temperature and visibility? On St. Croix, the average water temperature is around 83 °F (28 °C) in the summer and 79 °F (26 °C) in the winter. Visibility generally ranges from around 60 to 100 feet, but can be higher or lower depending on the weather.

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