The US Virgin Islands Best Guide

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The US Virgin Islands Best Guide

St. John: Snorkeling & Snuba


From new, never snorkeled before to seasoned snorkelers there is something for everyone. Rocky coast lines, near shore reefs, off shore cays and sunken items like ships and planes provide beautiful and varied snorkeling opportunities. The conditions are; great visibility, fairly constant water temperatures of 79-83 degrees year-round, calm seas with little current and fantastic underwater scenery. In other words, perfect for snorkeling. View gorgeous underwater gardens of coral and visit with the residents; turtles, rays, octopuses, moray eels and an abundance of fish large and small. With the use of a mask, snorkel and fins you can float on the surface and admire the marine life below. Snorkeling is an option from beaches and also by boat trips.

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Beach Guide

Rocky coast lines and near shore cays & reefs offer great opportunities to snorkel from beaches. Snorkeling from shore can be done with or without a guide.

St. John Snorkeling Favorites

  1. Trunk Bay
  2. Cinnamon Bay
  3. Waterlemon Cay
  4. Hawksnest
  5. Honeymoon
  6. Saltpond Bay
  7. Francis Bay

By Boat Charters

Charters for ½ or full day trips can take you out to two or three unique snorkeling locations within protected marine areas in the Virgin Islands National Park. Day charters often include lunch, drinks, snorkeling gear, a little history or stories by the captain and overall a combination of enjoying the weather, boating and snorkeling. More on Boat Charters: Sailboats | Powerboats

Fins, a mask and a snorkel

Some of the popular beaches have watersports booths that rent snorkel gear. You can also rent gear for a few days from a dive shop. A popular question by visitors is “Should I buy or rent a set”. Frequent visitors agree that you should buy a set. Here’s why. To enjoy snorkeling your gear needs to fit you well, particularly your mask. A leaky mask can ruin a snorkeling experience. When buying your mask test it out by holding it to your face without the strap behind your head and inhale slightly through your nose. Let go of the mask, it should say in place; this indicates a good seal. Your fins should fit you snugly when dry because when you get in the ocean the water acts as a lubricant. Snorkels are easier because they are mostly one size fits all. If you get a bag for your gear make sure its a mesh type bag so that water and sand can drain out. An underwater camera is a great accessory; you can pick up a disposable underwater camera at your local supermarket. Another neat accessory is a Fish ID Card; a small, waterproof card that includes popular marine animals you might see while snorkeling.


For those of you who like snorkeling and are not divers there is a middle ground option called super snorkeling! There are several types of super snorkeling, however only Snuba is available on St. John.

Snuba enables people with the use of a mask and breathing tube attached to a tank of air floating on the surface to explore shallow coral reefs and marine environments while swimming under the water. Available to anyone from eight years old and up and doesn’t require experience.

St. John offers rest, relaxation and an adequate amount of sporting activities. Plan the activities you would like to do most and have a great vacation!

Tip: Don’t snorkel alone. Don’t touch or stand on coral, it is very fragile. Don’t feed the marine life non-fish food. Cereal, cake, bread, nuts, dog biscuits, leftover hotdogs from lunch are not part of marine creature’s natural diets and are considered unhealthy for them. Do wear sunscreen on your back or wear a t-shirt. You can easily spend 30 minutes to an hour floating along admiring the fish and that is plenty of time for the bright tropical sunshine to leave you with a painful sunburn.