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Exploring Paradise Underwater: The Best Snorkeling in St. John, US Virgin Islands

The Caribbean is renowned for its picturesque beaches, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant marine life. Among its many gems, St. John in the US Virgin Islands stands out as a snorkeler’s paradise. With its stunning coral reefs, diverse marine ecosystems, and warm Caribbean waters, St. John offers an unforgettable underwater adventure. In this article, we will delve into the top snorkeling spots in St. John, highlighting the island’s rich biodiversity, incredible visibility, and unique underwater formations.

Trunk Bay 

No discussion of snorkeling in St. John would be complete without mentioning Trunk Bay. Recognized as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, Trunk Bay’s underwater beauty matches its stunning shoreline. The crystal-clear waters offer exceptional visibility, allowing snorkelers to explore the vibrant coral reefs teeming with colorful fish. Follow the underwater trail, marked with information plaques, to learn about the marine life you encounter. With its calm waters and convenient facilities, Trunk Bay is a perfect spot for both beginners and experienced snorkelers alike.

Waterlemon Cay 

Located within the boundaries of the Virgin Islands National Park, Waterlemon Cay is a hidden gem for snorkeling enthusiasts. Accessible via a short hike along the Leinster Bay Trail, this secluded spot offers an abundance of marine life. The area is known for its healthy coral formations, sea turtles, stingrays, and various species of tropical fish. Snorkeling around Waterlemon Cay provides a sense of tranquility as you explore the pristine waters and soak in the natural beauty of St. John.

Maho Bay 

Maho Bay is renowned for its shallow and calm waters, making it an ideal snorkeling spot for families and beginners. The bay is home to seagrass beds, which serve as important feeding grounds for juvenile sea turtles. Snorkelers can often spot these gentle creatures gracefully swimming in the shallows. In addition to sea turtles, Maho Bay offers an array of vibrant fish species, including sergeant majors, parrotfish, and butterflyfish. The picturesque beach, fringed with lush greenery, adds to the overall allure of this magnificent snorkeling destination.


a turtle swimming under water

You’re sure to see lots of turtles at Maho Bay!



Honeymoon Beach

Nestled within the Caneel Bay Resort, Honeymoon Beach boasts excellent snorkeling opportunities. The calm waters and sandy bottom make it a great spot for beginners and those seeking a relaxing snorkeling experience. Explore the rocky areas around the beach to encounter an array of marine life, such as angelfish, damselfish, and vibrant coral formations. After your snorkeling adventure, you can unwind on the pristine beach or enjoy a refreshing drink at the nearby beachside bar.

Salt Pond Bay 

For those seeking a more off-the-beaten-path snorkeling experience, Salt Pond Bay is a must-visit destination. Located on the southeastern coast of St. John, this secluded bay offers a unique blend of rugged beauty and underwater wonders. Snorkelers can explore the rocky shoreline, swim through coral canyons, and discover hidden marine treasures. Keep an eye out for spotted eagle rays, nurse sharks, and sea turtles that frequent the area. The pristine white sand beach provides a perfect spot to relax and soak up the natural beauty of Salt Pond Bay.


So many colorful fish!


With its breathtaking beaches, vibrant coral reefs, and abundant marine life, St. John in the US Virgin Islands offers some of the best snorkeling experiences in the Caribbean. Whether you choose to explore the famous Trunk Bay, venture off the beaten path to Salt Pond Bay, or discover the hidden gems of Waterlemon Cay, Maho Bay, and Honeymoon Beach, St. John promises unforgettable snorkeling adventures for all skill levels.

Immerse yourself in the crystal-clear waters, where you’ll encounter a kaleidoscope of colorful fish, stunning coral formations, and mesmerizing marine creatures. From sea turtles gliding gracefully through the sea grass beds to spotted eagle rays gracefully soaring through the underwater canyons, every snorkeling excursion in St. John is a feast for the senses.

Beyond the snorkeling experiences, St. John offers a myriad of other attractions for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts. Explore the lush hiking trails of the Virgin Islands National Park, discover hidden waterfalls, or simply relax on the pristine beaches surrounded by picturesque landscapes.

When planning your snorkeling adventure in St. John, remember to follow responsible snorkeling practices to protect the fragile marine ecosystem. Avoid touching or standing on the coral, maintain a safe distance from marine life, and use reef-safe sunscreen to minimize harm to the underwater environment.

St. John’s captivating snorkeling spots and natural beauty make it a true Caribbean gem. So, pack your snorkeling gear, dive into the warm Caribbean waters, and embark on an unforgettable journey to explore the underwater wonders of St. John, US Virgin Islands.