ST. JOHN IS SNORKEL COUNTRY. THERE ARE LITERALLY HUNDREDS OF LOCATIONS. PICK FROM 30+ BEACHES AND DIVE RIGHT IN.
With arguably the best shallow water snorkeling in all of the Virgin Islands – you’re sure to have a great experience on St. John. You can rent for just a quick excursion or for the whole week. Of course, you can always bring your own too!
By staying at Andante, you'll be able to access Hart Bay Beach directly below the villa. This beach is one of less accessible beaches on the island of St. John, but it offers some excellent snorkeling. In fact, often you will see dive boats out around the rock formation with groups of people diving. Please note, one has to be careful entering the water, though, since there is a significant amount of coral (and sea urchins) close to the water’s edge, so the best time to snorkel Hart Bay is when the prevailing winds are low.
Top Snorkeling Dive Spots on St. John
This deserves the title of most popular snorkeling destination on St. John. Beginning in the parking area for Annaberg Plantation – enjoy an almost 1.0 mi flat hike along Leinster Bay to reach Waterlemon Cay. Follow the Leinster Bay Trail until it splits. Bear left and follow the trail along the shoreline until you’re at a point closest to the cay. Entry is rocky and snorkelers should be aware of urchins. Once in the water – head straight for across the narrow channel. This is where you’ll likely see large orange and yellow cushion starfish. Head counter clockwise to use the current to round the cay. Along the way you’ll see beautiful hard and soft corals and a large variety of Caribbean tropical fish. There can be very strong currents on the outer edge of the cay. Always snorkel with a buddy and never exceed your physical ability or experience.
Located just off Caneel Bay Resort you’ll see an 11 acre cay. To get to it you’ll need to visit by charter or kayak tour. It's totally worth it! Once you’ve crossed the Durloe Channel you’ll find a protected sandy cove on the western side of the cay. The reef system off Henley Cay is fed by the current passing between the cay and St. John. You'll see gorgonians and sea fans, brain corals, fire coral and healthy populations of reef fish. There can be very strong currents on the outer edge of the cay. Always snorkel with a buddy and never exceed your physical ability or experience.
Some of the most dramatic underwater structure and corals on the island. Located on the east end of St. John at the edge of the Virgin Islands National Park. Follow East End Road beyond Coral Bay. As you head down a steep hill you’ll see a sign notifying you you’re leaving the VINP. Pull over and find a place to park along the left hand side of the road. From there you’ll follow a narrow path about 100 yards heading north east. The “beach” at Haulover North is mostly coral rubble. Best entry is in the center of the beach where the sandy bottom comes closest to the shoreline. The best reef corals and fish are located to the left as you face the water. Snorkeling in 5′ to 15′ of water you’ll discover beautiful rocky patch reefs covered in corals. Large sea fans and gorgonians waving in the current surrounded by mustard corals and brain coral and fire corals. Conditions at Haulover North depend on wind and waves. Its north east facing location can make conditions challenging. Always snorkel with a buddy and never exceed your physical ability or experience.
Can get a bit crowded but offers some nice snorkeling especially center of the bay.
Located between Great Lameshur and Lameshur Bays, Yawzi Point has some of the best snorkeling on St. John.
BEST SNORKELING FOR CHILDREN
Easy access, shallow water, shade and a good chance you’ll see turtles, rays and lots of fish!
Caneel Bay Beach
Shallow entry, calm waters and plenty to see close to shore.
Virgin Islands National Park snorkeling trail and a lifeguards.
BEST SNORKELING FOR COUPLES
The name says it all. It's out of the way; but has a small water sports shack!
Off-the-beaten-path location with a beautiful beach, food and some of the best snorkeling.
One of the top beaches in the Caribbean also has some great snorkeling!
Henley Cay requires a boat or kayak – book a tour. Much of the reef is in 3′ to 15′ of water – providing excellent visibility.
With all the snorkeling around St. John, and the National Park, they are not allowed and frowned upon to say the least.
Hop over to St. Thomas to rent or tour.