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Best Snorkeling on St John

St John charter boat

Snorkeling Haulover St JohnSt John island is one of the top Caribbean destinations for snorkeling. With arguably the best shallow water snorkeling in all of the Virgin Islands – you’re sure to have a great experience. Our list of  BEST SNORKELING IN ST JOHN provides first-hand knowledge on the best places to visit while you are on-island. You’ll find directions to each location –  along with an informative snorkeling report, St John beach map and local tips – so you can decide which spots are right for you; and where to stay on St John.


Waterlemon CayWaterlemon Cay, St John, USVI snorkeling
Deserves it’s designation as the 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. More Info on Waterlemon Cay NOTE: 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.

Henley CayHenley Cay, St John, USVI snorkeling
Staff Pick for Best Snorkeling on St John! 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. But the trip is well 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. The result is literal forests of gorgonians and sea fans, brain corals, fire coral and healthy populations of reef fish. You might also see Nurse sharks ( non threatening / shy ) and some gems like black and white geometric tunicates and blue encrusting coral. More info on Henley Cay NOTE: 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.

Haulover (North)
Haulover North, St John, USVI snorkelingStaff Pick
–  Some of the most dramatic underwater structure and corals on the island. Located on St John’s East End at the edge of the Virgin Islands National Park you’ll find this snorkeler’s bucket-list worthy location. 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. Parking is catch-as-catch-can along the left hand side. From there you’ll follow a narrow path about 100 yrds 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 as 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. Scrawled filefish can sometimes be seen making their way along the bottom hunting for food. A large variety of fish including Atlantic Blue tangs, Blue Headed wrasses, Sargeant majors, as well as Caribbean lobsters, crabs,  conch and more! More info on Haulover North NOTE: 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.

St John hotels and resorts vacation rentals near Trunk Bay

Salt Pond
Can get a bit crowded but offers some nice snorkeling especially center of the bay.
Yawzi Point
Located between Great Lameshur and Lameshur Bays, Yawzi Point has some of the best snorkeling on St John.
Trunk Bay
A beautiful beach with an underwater snorkeling trail! One of the best snorkeling spots on St John.


Maho Bay
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.
Trunk Bay
Virgin Islands National Park snorkeling trail and a lifeguards.


Honeymoon Beach
The name says it all …out of the way; but has a small water sports shack!
Hansen Bay
Off-the-beaten-path location with a beautiful beach, food and some of the best snorkeling.
Trunk Bay
One of the top beaches in the Caribbean also has some great snorkeling!
Henley Cay
Staff Pick for Best Snorkeling on St John