Scuba Dive in the Virgin Islands
Thanks to the consistent weather conditions, the warm aquamarine water, and close proximity to dozens of world-class reefs and wrecks, the US and British Virgin Islands are the ideal destination for a diving vacation. By donning a respirator and oxygen tank, divers can get a first-hand look at very healthy marine ecosystems. With many dive sites just 30 feet under water, the Virgin Islands is a great place for beginners and experienced divers alike. Because the water is relatively shallow and so clear, many of the popular dive sites in the Virgin Islands are even enjoyable for snorkelers.
Dozens of scuba diving trips depart from St Thomas, St John, and Tortola daily with diving destinations in both the BVI and US waters. For visitors seeking the best scuba diving in the USVI, there are several must-see dive spots. Cow and Calf Rocks are easily accessible from both St Thomas and St John, and provide divers with the chance to see tunnels, caves, arches, and huge boulders covered in healthy coral. Divers should be on the lookout for several gray reef sharks who circle these sister sites. Off of St John's East End lie Eagle Shoals and the "Cathedral," a vast underwater space where natural sunlight floods the water below. The Cathedral is an excellent beginner dive site because of the sheltered waters and low number of boats that visit the site at any given time. Another infrequently visited site in US waters is French Cap, a small cay off St Thomas's southern shore. While this site requires cooperative conditions, the Pinnacle, one of several spots to dive at French Cap, awes beginning and experienced divers alike. Several spires soar from the sea floor 90 below to about 45 feet out of the water, and host an impressive collection of predatory jacks and barracuda, who chase schooling reef fish to the surface. The Pinnacle has drawn comparison to the Indians in the BVI, and its many crevacces offer ample hiding spots for green moray eels and octopus. And for USVI visitors who have a bit more time, St Croix, to the south of St Thomas and St John, is famous for its north wall drop (great for diving and fishing), as well as a cluster of wrecks at Butler Bay and Buck Island- one of the most popular diving destinations in all of the Caribbean- which offer divers of all levels the chance to experience labyrinths, tunnels, caves, grottos, and fields of vibrant (and painful!) fire coral gardens, all of which are inhabited by stingrays, barracudas, sea urchins, and more.
For divers destined for the BVI, the hardest part will be deciding which of the world-class sites to visit. One that visitors can't miss is the Wreck of the RMS Rhone off of Salt Island, which is widely considered to be the best diving site in the Virgin Islands. This great dive spot is safe (very few enclosed spaces), well lit (the shallow side lies in just 30 feet of water), and extremely well preserved. If the Rhone doesn't provide your fill of shipwreck diving in the BVI, check out the Chickuzen, which sank off Tortola's east side in 1981. This well-preserved site- the hull is still in tact- is where reef fish, barracuda, black-tip sharks, and octopus call home. For divers in the BVI who want to see some of the best reef life, a visit to "Alice in Wonderland" off of Ginger Island is in order. For info about more of the BVI's best diving, check out the Tourism Board's official page.
The waters of the Virgin Islands are also a great place to learn to scuba dive. For visitors interested in scuba diving but have never done it, we can help you to find a licensed instructor to help you learn dive in the Virgin Islands. Depending on the course, you may even be able to complete some academic/ textbook instruction before your arrive on island, thus maximizing your time in the water. We offer independent, expert, no-charge advice on every Virgin Islands diving boat available.
Do you want to scuba dive in the Virgin Islands? Call or email us now, and we can help you find a boat to visit the Dogs, The Indians, Rainbow Canyon, Shark Point, or many other famous BVI dive sites.Contact Us