The underwater world in the Virgin Islands is stunning and truly amazing! Explore corals and gorgonian forest of sea fans and sea whips. Dive around caves, explore sunken boat wrecks or take a night dive and explore the fantastic world of nocturnal marine life! Swim among turtles, bright parrotfish, blue tangs, schools of fry and so much more.

The best conditions for diving in the islands are found during the summer and fall months, with visibility generally between 60 and 100 feet. Some sites, particularly in Pillsbury Sound, can be explored all year round as they are protected from the wind and rough seas that can affect other more open sites during the winter months. St. Thomas and St. John are close enough to each other that they share many of the same dive sites in the Pillsbury Sound area including Carval Rock, Congo Cay, Grass Cay, Mounds at Mingo, Arches and Tunnels of Thatch and Lovango Cay.

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There are more than 40 moored dive sites around St. Thomas. Most are shallow dives and many only 15 to 20 minutes away from the shore/dock. Popular dive sites include WIT Shoal II, Navy Barges, Cow & Calf, Frenchman’s Cap, Ledges of Little St. James, Cartanza Senora and Buck Island Cove. If you are a new or timid diver and rather not go offshore by boat to dive there are very good beach accessible sites, like Coki Beach and Hull Bay.

Dive operators are familiar with the various dive locations and can safely guide you to and around them. They can take you out for the first time, teach you to dive, get you certified and instruct you for higher levels of dive certification. An introductory course will run around $60 to $120. For the certified diver; two morning dives are around $75-$105, $65 to $95 for a night dive and wreck dives are around $130-$150. Certification course will run around $299-$400. Multi-day dive packages are also available for 4,6…12 dives over several days. Whether you are a novice or a dive enthusiast, there is no better place to dive than in the warm, inviting waters around the Virgin Islands.

Scuba Diving Tips

  1. There is an excellent recompression chamber in the Schneider Regional Medical Center on St. Thomas. It is on 24 hours a day.
  2. Always check your equipment before each dive.
  3. Never dive alone.
  4. Enjoy the sites, but don’t touch.
  5. The survival of the under water world depends largely on us; do not overturn rocks, kick up sand, pick up animals, touch coral. Be content with watching.
  6. Leave the underwater world as you found it; future divers and the marine life will be happy you did!
  7. Do not scuba dive if you are pregnant, too little is known about the effects of pressure on fetal development. Ask your doctor and/or dive professional for more information.
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