St. John is a top Caribbean snorkeling location offering an abundance of live corals and rich pelagic life. Picturesque sandy and pebble beaches beckon visitors by the breathtaking scenery of green hills and turquoise waters.
Best places for St. John snorkeling
Waterlemon Cay, Leinster Bay
Waterlemon Cay is adored by snorkelers from all over the world and very often rated as site #1 for St. John snorkeling. Leinster Bay excites visitors with its stunning landscape – mix of azure waters and green hills around.
Snorkelers will enjoy a mix of corals, seagrass, cobblestones, and sand along with a wealth of colorful Caribbean fish. Waterlemon Cay is the right place to see turtles, rays, soft and hard corals. The water can be accessed easily from the sandy beach or a cobblestone area nearby.
Strong current may appear at the West edge of Waterlemon Cay subject to moon phase, tides and weather.
Leinster Bay is placed on St. John North Shoreline, to the East from Mary Point and Waterlemon Cay is West of Leinster Point. Get to the spot by North Shore Road (#20).
Henley Cay is a prime spot for St. John USVI snorkeling. The cay is located offshore at St. John North-West nearby Caneel Bay Resort and West of Hawksnest Point. Henley Cay is a little islet with crescent shaped sandy and pebble beach in sheltered Henley cove. The cay can be reached by kayak or boat.
The deep varies from 3 to 15 feet and provides ideal visibility. Snorkel along the beach towards St. John and relish forests of sea fans and gorgonians and shoals of rainbow tropical fish among them. After passing stone and concrete jetty, the amount and variety of marine life will increase dramatically but appears current. The jetty marks the sheltered cove’s end. Stay off the current and circle back around 60 m off the shoreline. Continue snorkeling towards the North-West end of the cay. You will see a patch reef along with coral outcroppings. Density and diversity of fish, live hard and soft corals, gorgonians, and sea fans will rapidly increase again at the rocky point. Health and sheer variety of Henley Cay’s coral reef are really stunning.
Haulover Bay North
Haulover Bay “North” is situated on St. John East End on the border with Virgin Islands National Park. Some time before this pebble beach was rarely visited but now it is famed among snorkelers.
Sandy patch of the beach is the easiest for water entrance. Snorkel along the Haulover Bay’s West side and enjoy the exuberance of sea fans and corals which almost reach the water surface. Clear blue waters have 5-20 feet depth. The seabed is peppered with coral outcroppings and large rocks. Experience relaxed floating above the colorful marine garden abundant with live corals - hard and soft, brain and elkhorn corals, firecoral and sea fans, sponges, tunicates and sea anemones.
Haulover Bay may be easy to snorkel or a slight challenge subject to wind and waves strength. Early morning is the best time for Haulover Bay snorkeling.
Lameshur Bay is another top St. John snorkeling site which is placed on the rugged South shoreline. This remote beautiful sandy beach is a perfect variant for newcomers and advanced snorkelers.
Beginners may swim to the rocky outcroppings on the bay’s West side. It's a short swim in shallow water. Next, explore the Lameshur Bay’s East side where octopus, rays, Caribbean lobsters and barracuda are often guests.
Experienced snorkelers can continue snorkeling towards Yawzi Point, here waves increase but the same does marine life. Fabulous underwater structures are home to a plethora of Caribbean fish and lush corals. Here you can see the brain, elkhorn corals, and many sea fans.