St John is located in the US Virgin Islands, latitude
18, longitude 64. The water temperature averages 80 degrees
year round. The Caribbean water is warm and clear creating
ideal conditions for snorkeling.
Snorkeling on St John is completely safe. Thousands
of people every year explore the coral reef. Sharks are
not a threat to snorkelers. When snorkeling there are
a few things you should be aware of: currents, coral
and sea urchins.
Snorkeling in a current can be deceiving. Many people
don't realize there is a current until they turn around
to come back. You can use the soft corals, such as sea
fans, to gauge the strength and direction of the current.
Sea urchins, fire coral and coral in general should
never be touched. Sea urchins have spines that
will send you to the bar for a painkiller. Snorkeling
on St John isn't dangerous, just don't touch.
To truly experience the best snorkeling St John
has to offer you have to get out on a boat to the
offshore coral reefs and islands.
Almost all day trips offer snorkeling. These are
the tours that truly focus on exploring the reefs.
Guided tours with professional naturalists
who know their stuff and know where the best coral
is located. For these trips, the reef is not a side
tour, it is the destination...
Of course there are plenty of excellent places to
snorkel right off the beaches of St John. In fact
that is what makes the US Virgin Islands so unique.
The National Park has set aside many
of these areas for protection. As a general rule
you want to walk to the end of the beach and snorkel
the rocky points or if there is a nearby cay, snorkel
The farther off the beaten track you go, the better
the coral is. Here are the top picks for prime
snorkeling within reach
from St John....
This is a snorkeling tour of the reefs around
St John. Join us on this fun snorkel to the reef.
In the video you will see blue tangs, french grunts, pillar
coral, fan coral, a spotted eagle ray, four eyed
butterfly fish, sea plumes, sea whips, damsel fish and even a
rare shell called a "flamingo tongue."
This video was taken while snorkeling either off
St John beaches or on some of the snorkeling tours
we recommend on this site. In places like Lovango
Cay, Henley Cay, Denis Beach, St James Island, Christmas
Cove and many other great snorkeling locations around
St John and St Thomas. To experience snorkeling in
the Virgin Islands all you need is a decent snorkel
and a sense of adventure.
If you've never snorkeled before sign up for a guided
snorkel tour to get you off in the right direction.
To begin your St John snorkeling adventure
stop by the Virgin
Islands National Park visitor center for a free
map. The map highlights all the coral reefs on St John
and surrounding islands in purple. With this map you
can find the best reefs easily.
Snorkeling Trunk Bay
There is a guided underwater snorkeling trail at Trunk Bay on the North Shore of St John. It is a collection of underwater signs explaining the species on the coral reef.
The US Virgin Islands are blessed with a large variety
of species and you can learn about them on this underwater
snorkel adventure. You will be snorkeling around a small
island called Trunk Cay.
On cruise ship days Trunk Bay can be crowded
with throngs of snorkelers viewing the reef. Also there
is a $4 entrance fee for this Virgin Islands National
Park beach. There is also snorkel gear for rent.
bet, come early or late and bring your own
mask and fins.