Best snorkeling sites around st. Thomas, USVI

Experience St. Thomas' most captivating Snorkeling sites by boat

Best Snorkeling Near St. Thomas

Embark on an exploration of the best snorkeling sites in St. Thomas, USVI, where the most breathtaking underwater vistas await those willing to venture off the beaten path. Many of these top snorkeling spots, renowned for their vibrant coral reefs and diverse marine life, are nestled in locations only accessible by boat, offering an exclusive glimpse into the hidden underwater world of St. Thomas.
To fully experience these exceptional sites, consider booking a charter with Bonus Time, which provides direct access to these secluded snorkeling havens. With Bonus Time Charters, you're not just going on a snorkeling trip; you're embarking on an aquatic adventure to discover the true treasures of St. Thomas' marine landscapes.
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1. Turtle Cove, Buck Island

Buck Island's Turtle Cove is a snorkeling paradise, particularly famous for its frequent sightings of graceful sea turtles gliding through the clear waters. Along the rocky edges of the cove, snorkelers can discover an abundance of fish life, creating a vibrant underwater tapestry.

Adding to the charm of this snorkeling spot is the presence of a historic Danish lighthouse, erected in 1915, which casts its shadow over the cove, blending natural beauty with a touch of history.

Looking for snorkeling in the BVI? Check out our full list of the best snorkeling sites in the British Virgin Islands during a full-day charter on Bonus Time.

2. Shipwreck Cove (The Cartanza), Buck Island

Buck Island's Shipwreck Cove stands out as one of St. Thomas's premier snorkeling destinations, boasting some of the best visibility of any site around the island. Here, snorkelers can explore the Cartanza, a WWII-era vessel with a storied past, now lying in three separate pieces underwater.

This intriguing shipwreck, which was once involved in drug smuggling and underwater protests, now serves as a captivating underwater museum and a haven for a variety of marine life.

3. Honeymoon Beach on Water Island

Honeymoon Beach, located on the serene Water Island, offers an exceptional snorkeling experience with its reefs along the rocky edges teeming with diverse marine life. In the center of the bay, snorkelers are often delighted by encounters with sea turtles and majestic eagle rays, adding to the allure of this underwater adventure.

After a rewarding snorkel session, visitors can head over to Dinghy's Beach Bar, conveniently nearby, to enjoy a refreshing cocktail and relax by the water's edge.


4. Secret Harbour

Secret Harbour, nestled in a picturesque bay on St. Thomas, offers excellent snorkeling opportunities along its rocky perimeter, where an array of marine life can be observed in the clear waters. The bay is adjacent to the popular Secret Harbour Beach Resort, adding convenience and accessibility for those looking to combine their snorkeling adventure with comfortable accommodations.

After exploring underwater, snorkelers can unwind at the nearby Sunset Grille, a beach bar known for its relaxed atmosphere and scenic views, making Secret Harbour a perfect blend of aquatic adventure and leisure.

5. Little St. James

Little St. James, an island infamous for its association with former owner Jeffrey Epstein, also harbors an unexpectedly beautiful underwater landscape along its western shoreline. This area, particularly the dive site known as the Ledges of Little St. James, offers a spectacular setting for both snorkeling and scuba diving enthusiasts. The vibrant marine life and fascinating underwater topography here provide a stark contrast to the island's notoriety, showcasing the enduring beauty of nature amidst troubled histories.

6. Cow & Calf Rock

Cow and Calf Rock, renowned as one of St. Thomas's best scuba diving locations, also offers an impressive snorkeling experience when the seas are calm. This site is a haven for snorkelers, with frequent sightings of sea turtles, vast stretches of healthy elkhorn coral, and schools of horse-eyed jacks gliding through the clear waters. The unique underwater formations and abundant marine life make it a must-visit destination for those seeking a memorable snorkeling adventure, provided the sea conditions are favorable.

7. Brewers Bay

Brewers Bay, ideally accessed from the beach near the airport on St. Thomas, is a prime snorkeling spot known for its abundant sea life. In the clear waters of the bay, snorkelers often encounter a variety of marine creatures, including sea turtles, juvenile eagle rays, and southern stingrays, offering an up-close experience with the island's aquatic residents.

While snorkeling, you can catch a glimpse of the distant island of Culebra on the horizon, adding to the picturesque setting. After a day in the water, relax on the beach and indulge in local food from the nearby food truck, all while watching planes make their dramatic landings at the adjacent airport.


8. Santa Maria Bay

Santa Maria Bay, nestled on the Northside of St. Thomas, offers a secluded snorkeling experience, renowned for its healthy coral thriving along the rocky edges of the bay. Access to this hidden gem involves a half-mile hike in and out, making it a tranquil retreat for those seeking a more off-the-beaten-path adventure. While the bay's seclusion is part of its charm, snorkelers should be mindful of the north swell, particularly in the winter months, when conditions can become less ideal for snorkeling.

9. Coki Beach

Coki Beach, known for its vibrant marine life and crystal-clear waters, is not only a snorkeler’s delight but also an ideal spot for beach scuba diving, offering easy access to the underwater wonders right from the shore.

Overlooking the bay is Coral World Ocean Park, adding an educational aspect to your visit with its marine exhibits and interactive programs. While delicious local food is readily available for purchase, enhancing the beach experience, it's worth noting that Coki Beach can get quite crowded, especially on days when large cruise ships dock in town, bringing in a surge of visitors.


10. Christmas Cove

Christmas Cove, a snorkeling hotspot, offers its best underwater experiences around Fish Cay, situated in the middle of the bay, where snorkelers can explore a rich variety of marine life. This area is particularly known for its vibrant coral formations and schools of colorful fish, making it a favorite among underwater enthusiasts.

Adding to the charm of Christmas Cove is Pizza Pi, the famous floating pizzeria, which has been delighting visitors with its unique dining experience right on the water. In 2024, Pizza Pi is set to present a new and improved look, further enhancing the already memorable snorkeling trips to this picturesque location.

Best Snorkeling in St. Thomas by Boat

St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands is a snorkeler's paradise, boasting a variety of sites each offering a unique underwater experience. While spots like Coki Beach and Brewers Bay are easily accessible from the shore and perfect for a quick snorkel, many of the island’s best locations, such as Christmas Cove and the areas around Little St. James, are best reached by boat. These boat-accessible sites offer pristine waters, vibrant marine life, and a more secluded snorkeling experience away from the crowded beaches.

To fully embrace the beauty of these underwater havens, consider booking your next snorkeling adventure with Bonus Time. Our charters provide not just access to these exclusive spots but also the comfort and convenience that enhance your snorkeling experience in the stunning waters of St. Thomas.