Buck Island is an uninhabited tiny offshore island nearby St. Croix with a unique ecosystem. In 1961 President Kennedy proclaimed Buck Island a Reef National Monument, then, President Clinton expanded it in 2001. The national monument’s square is 19,015 acres from which 18,839 acres are coral reef formations and submerged land. Buck Island pelagic world is a real treasure. Clean azure waters are home to lush live corals and a plethora of marine creatures.
After water activities sunbathe, relax or picnic on the beach placed on island’s West Coast. National Geographic named Turtle Beach Buck Island among the top world beaches.
Buck Island Snorkeling
Buck Island Snorkeling includes the outer reef and the underwater trail, both reachable by boat only.
You may start from exploration the underwater trail constructed by National Park Service. This snorkeling trail rings a part of Buck Island and underwater signboards tell what you see. The guided tour along the snorkeling trail takes about 10-15 minutes. Continue your Buck Island Snorkeling at the outer reef and take your time there.
Buck Island introduce to snorkelers amazing marine gardens of Elkhorn corals with height up to 30 feet inhabited by bright schools of Caribbean fish and turtles. Particularly, the coral reef is habitat to 4 sea turtles species – loggerhead, hawksbill, green, and leatherback. These endangered sea turtles species dwell and nest at Buck Island. You may expect to see Caribbean lobsters and octopuses as well.
Newcomers may snorkel coral grottoes of Buck Island where the maximum deep is 12 feet.
Where Is Buck Island?
Buck Island sits 1.5 miles off St. Croix North-East Shoreline.
Buck Island is reachable by boat only. Currently, National Park Service granted the right to arrange Buck Island snorkeling tours to six companies on St. Croix. Join the boat of one of St Croix Buck Island tours at Green Cay Marina or Christiansted Wharf. Full & half day tours are offered on daily basis. Visiting Buck Island by a private boat is possible but a due permit must be obtained.
Buck Island Reef National Monument is opened within the daytime during the whole year. No night camping is permitted on Buck Island in order to protect sea turtles which come ashore after the sunset for nesting. However, you may obtain a permit for overnight anchorage at the designated area.