Despite its small size, St Tomas has a diverse range of intriguing attractions and two cities with old-world charm and entertainment. This jewel of the US Virgin Islands also has stunning sites for those who want to swim and see the Caribbean Sea’s underwater splendor.
Snorkeling is one of the most popular holiday activities in the US Virgin Islands. The nicest thing about snorkeling in the beaches of St. Thomas is that the reefs are easily accessible from the shore, eliminating the need for costly boat tours. Visitors to St.Thomas who are up for snorkeling activities typically come in the late spring or early summer months for the optimum clarity and snorkeling experience.
For you, we have compiled a list of the top places to visit for their turquoise seas and plentiful marine life. We included sites that were easy to moderate, have exciting things to view like turtles, and have the availability of certain facilities. Read on, make plans, then enjoy your snorkeling experience in St. Thomas!
Coki Beach is not just one of the island’s most beautiful spots, but it’s also widely regarded as St Thomas’ top snorkeling beach. This is thanks to its smooth sand and clear seas. This also means that when cruise ships dock, it will be busier, so get there early to escape the throng.
The rocky sections to the left and right of the Coral World Ocean Park are the ideal sites for snorkeling. Snorkeling here is relatively easy for people of all ages and abilities, especially those with limited swimming and snorkeling experience. Many beautiful tropical fish, rays, and crabs may be found here. Because the fish have been fed by visitors for years, they swim toward humans, even in extremely shallow water, expecting a handout. This is why snorkeling at Coki Beach is so straightforward. However, feeding fish is harmful to marine life. Stop the practice by just enjoying the fish in their natural habitat and allowing them to consume what comes naturally to them. Human food and dog biscuits are not compatible.
This snorkeling destination on St. Thomas also has the most facilities among the many snorkel beaches. A beach store, a bar, chair, umbrella rentals, and even a children’s playground are all available for hire. Dive stores, merchants renting snorkel gear and chairs, bar and restaurant, restroom, and taxi stand are among the other amenities.
Magen’s Bay Beach
Magen’s Bay is often regarded as St. Thomas’ most popular beach. With its normally tranquil waters, the lovely public park spans over a mile. Both the waves and the currents are gentle here, making it perfect for families with little children.
If you want to view coral, this isn’t the nicest beach on the island for snorkeling, but it is one of the top St Thomas snorkel places for swimming with turtles, which frequent this sheltered harbor.
This beach also offers a variety of other water activities, such as kayaking and paddle boarding. Although the concession rents snorkeling equipment, it is usually preferable to bring your own. Pizza and burgers are available at a restaurant and bar.
Sapphire Beach on the eastern side of St. Thomas USVI is one of the best snorkeling places on the island, with great conditions for every level of snorkeler. The gorgeous white sand beach adds to the breathtaking scenery. You may use the amenities, including the bathroom and chairs because this beach is managed by the Sapphire Beach Resort.
The reef goes along the beach’s left side. Because this beach and its coral are highly protected by local officials, you may expect to see brain coral, colorful tropical fish, and the occasional turtle or ray. Snorkel Police keep an eye out for anyone approaching the reef too closely. If you swim right over the reef, they will blast their whistle and tell you to swim away.
Lindquist Beach, which is part of the Smith Bay Park 21-acre protected area, is the place to go snorkeling in St. Thomas if you want to avoid the crowds. Because it is not frequented by cruise ship passengers, locals consider it one of their favorite sites. As a result, it’s a great spot for beach activities or simply relaxing while admiring the scenery of adjacent St. John.
Snorkelers will encounter seagrass as they enter the water from the shore, making it an excellent site for snorkeling with turtles in Saint Thomas. Snorkel on the right side above and around the seagrass. Seagrass meadows are typically missed in favor of the more colorful coral reef habitat, but keep an eye out since turtles and stingrays love seagrass. Juvenile fish frequently hide under seagrass; if you’re patient, you could spot them dashing about. Rays can sometimes be seen grazing or resting on the sandy bottom. The large and gorgeous reef is further off the shore.
If the conditions are calm, you may snorkel around shallow rocky outcrops and coral on the left side. If you spot turtles or rays, remain at a safe distance and don’t stand on or touch any coral. There is an entrance fee. Bathrooms, showers, and a lifeguard are available. Continue reading. Just note that there is a nominal entrance fee (5 USD for non-residents) and parking must be paid separately.
Secret Harbor Beach
Secret Harbor is a popular beach on St. Thomas for locals, visitors, cruisers, and marine life! The shoreline is largely sand, however, there are some rocky spots in the ocean. Enter the sand-bottomed water and enjoy swimming and snorkeling.
Secret Harbor, on the island’s south side, turns out to be a fantastic snorkeling spot for all levels of underwater aficionados and is especially suggested for novices. Its sheltered quiet waters are home to a diverse array of subaquatic marine life.
On the left side, near the docks, and from there, into the center of the bay, there is excellent snorkeling. Marine life may also be seen along the rocks on the right side. There are corals on both sides of the bay (although be careful on the left because the current might be stronger), and a reef in the middle. There are also seagrass meadows, which are home to turtles and rays. Apart from the vibrant coral and fish, octopus and squids are occasionally observed.
On-site amenities include a resort, bar, and restaurant, chair, and snorkel gear rentals, a diving store, restroom, taxi stand, and other services. You will be allowed to use the toilets and the on-site restaurant at the Secret Harbor Resort. These qualities make this beach incredibly accessible, with all the amenities you’ll need for a pleasant day.
Brewers Bay Beach
Brewers Bay is a great site to go snorkeling in St Thomas near the cruise terminal, and it’s also a great place to swim with green sea turtles! Green Sea Turtles and Hawksbill Turtles frequent Brewers Bay.
This beach is located on the west side of the island, immediately across from the airport runway and only 4 miles from the ship terminal. Brewers Bay is a beautiful beach with a sand beach, crystal clear water, few people, a view of the airport, and snorkeling with a good possibility of sighting turtles. Begin your snorkeling on the beach’s middle to left side.
Seagrass abounds in Brewers Bay, attracting scores of sea turtles! The nicest part is that you don’t have to go far out; they generally stay in waist-deep water. Although there isn’t a coral reef or many fish to see, the turtles nibbling on the seagrass make up for it. On busy tourist days, it’s also a nice place to get away from the cruise ship throng. The main drawback is the lack of shelter, so pack a sun tent or umbrella!
The University of the Virgin Islands Center for Marine and Environmental Studies and the “VI Sea Turtle Project” are both located on the beach (VISTP). Keep your distance if you notice turtles. It is the ethical thing to do to keep turtles safe in their natural habitat, and harassing or touching sea turtles is illegal. Brewers Bay has facilities and showers, as well as a few roadside food trucks selling food, snacks, and beverages.
Hull Bay Beach
Hull Bay is one of the most popular snorkeling spots in St Thomas, and for good reason. It’s a type of hidden gem away from the masses. Hull Bay is a charming, little beach that is off the usual route for travelers but a favorite among locals. This beach has a lot of tiny fishing boats anchored, which adds to the scenery but takes away from swimming and snorkeling.
The beach is mostly sandy, however, there are some pebbles. Snorkelers will be able to see sea life and tiny fish close to the coast. Squid and lobster sightings will be rewarded if you go out a bit further. In addition, the water is rough with rocky outcrops, which provides ideal hiding places for young fish and lobsters, but is difficult on the feet.
The reef begins roughly 40 yards/meters off the coast and stretches from mid-bay to the right. The greatest fishing is 100 yards offshore, where there are large schools of tangs and angelfish. Sea turtles can also be observed around the buoys.
The right side has a few sandy locations where you may join the sea and snorkel. Snorkel above and around the rocky outcroppings that run parallel to the coast. Hull Bay does not have amenities, however, there is a beach bar and restaurant on the premises where you may relax after your underwater experience.
Consider the Mermaid’s Chair if you’re seeking a unique snorkeling spot in St Thomas. This fascinating location is located within the Botany Bay Preserve on St. Thomas’ westernmost tip. The travel necessitates walking to the destination. You’ll be rewarded for completing this task by being at a location where the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea meet.
The beach includes magnificent rocks and clear seas for both snorkeling and swimming. This is the site to come to witness the Atlantic waves smash ashore when they meet the calmer Caribbean waves, but wear beach and water shoes since there are numerous shells, coral, and sea glass pieces washed up on the sand.
Next on the list, Christmas Cove, is another renowned snorkeling site on St. Thomas that you can explore by joining a bout trip. It is only a short distance from the mainland, but it rewards tourists with a tranquil bay where sea turtles may be seen in abundance.
Apart from swimming with sea turtles, the primary draw here is Pizza Pi Boat’s distinctive cuisine. At lunchtime, this one-of-a-kind eatery aboard the boat offers pizzas. It has a reputation for being one of the greatest pizza joints on the island. Don’t miss out on this experience while in St Thomas since I’m sure you’ll be hungry after your snorkeling session!
If you want to start visiting your dream places without breaking the budget, travel hacking is worth a go. Dorothea Bay in St. Thomas is one of those places that should be on your bucket list.
Because of its tranquility, some may consider Dorothea Bay to be the ideal tropical hideaway. While you’re there, you can dodge the cruise ship throngs. Dorothea Bay also has one of the greatest snorkeling beaches in the area.
Thick trees and rugged shores surround the beach on all sides. It’s almost as if you’ve stumbled onto an unknown corner of the United States. While vacationing at Dorothea Bay, visit the Virgin Islands.
Because the ocean is not congested, snorkeling there is a lot of fun. You can go snorkeling for a long time without running into anyone. A lot of individuals want to have that kind of experience. Dorothea Bay is not a popular tourist destination. Instead, it’s a spot where you can completely disconnect from the outside world and reconnect with nature.
Honeymoon Beach is, unsurprisingly, one of the most popular destinations in the United States Virgin Islands. It’s also one of the most popular honeymoon spots in the Caribbean.
Honeymoon Beach offers a tranquil setting for guests. It’s the ideal location for couples looking for a stress-free getaway. However, you should be aware that Honeymoon Beach has a lot more to offer. One of the greatest beaches for snorkeling is located at the aforementioned location.
Get away from the crowded beach and dive into the fascinating undersea world nearby. If you’re looking for sea turtles or other aquatic wildlife, this is the place to go! Along Honeymoon Beach, there are several snorkeling areas. If one location becomes too busy, move to the next and try your luck there. Whatever location you choose for snorkeling, you can expect to see a breathtaking underwater environment.
Now let’s talk about Vessup Bay to round up this list. Vessup Bay assumes two separate personas. Vessup Bay is lightly occupied throughout the week. If you just want to snorkel, swim, or relax for the full day, this is the beach to go to.
While you’re there, take a stroll on the smooth sand and play some beach games. Another popular activity for visitors to Vessup Bay is fishing. During the week, Vessup Bay is a refuge for leisure. Vessup Bay transforms into one of St. Thomas’ most popular party spots on weekends.
In Vessup Bay, you’ll find families, groups of friends, and travelers from all over the world having a good time. The party scene at Vessup Bay is unlike any other, and it’s worth checking out if you have the chance. In St. Thomas, there are several magnificent locations, spectacular other beaches, and excellent diving opportunities. All you have to do now is decide which one is your favorite.
Last but not least, Buck Island is a great place to visit if you’re thinking about doing a St Thomas snorkel tour while you’re here. It’s technically not on St Thomas, but on Croix.
Buck Island is located two miles south of St. Thomas Island. If you want to view the entire region, do the Buck Island boat excursions. Because the entire island is designated as a protected wildlife sanctuary, it is a great location for unspoiled snorkeling in the US Virgin Islands. There are numerous coves with beautiful reefs here, but Turtle Cove and Shipwreck Cove are the most popular.
As the name implies, there is a good possibility of spotting numerous sea turtles at Turtle Cove. In Shipwreck Cove, you can see the ruin of the 190-foot ship Cartanza Senora, which serves as an artificial reef and is frequented by stingrays and turtles. It’s around 40 feet deep, but because of the excellent water clarity, snorkelers can see it perfectly.
Buck Island boat trips usually include snacks and rum drinks on the way back, so taking one is a nice way to spend the day. Although the wreckage is not the finest snorkeling in the area in terms of marine life, witnessing it is an interesting experience.
Hopefully, we’ve provided you with enough information to make an informed decision. With this knowledge, you may begin arranging your vacation to the Virgin Islands, specifically St. Thomas. Snorkel, relax, and enjoy yourself since that is exactly what St. Thomas is about!