Snorkeling Around Charlotte Amalie

Photo credit © Take It Easy

It is no surprise that a major perk of a vacation in Charlotte Amalie is the easy access to the sea.  From beach to beach you'll find snorkeling is easily done and always a rewarding experience, plus, if you're willing to travel to deeper waters you'll have the opportunity to see even more spectacular sites.

The waters of Charlotte Amalie are definitely to be praised.  Clear visibility combines with temperatures that rarely go below 75 degrees Fahrenheit to create a beach-going experience you won't be able to wait to share with everyone back home. In addition to this being pleasing just for a day of sunning and swimming, they make for excellent snorkeling conditions.  

All of the beaches in town, and most of the beaches on the entire island are great for snorkeling, so the recommended course of action is to bring your gear along with you whenever you hit the beach.  If you don't have your own, you can rent one from a local dive or watersports equipment shop, and some of the busier beaches have stands in the sand.  This will usually cost you about $10(USD) a day.

If your exuberance and love for snorkeling have caused you to run out of options within Charlotte Amalie, there are plenty of other options.  Other beaches around St. Thomas will give you the opportunity to explore more, you can take the to nearby Water Island and snorkel the beaches there, or you can sign up for a snorkel tour that will take you to some of the uninhabited islands and cays that often have pristine reefs and other underwater landscapes that will provide you with a new perspective.  You can do this through local tour guides, dive shops, and sailing charters.  Depending on what is involved in the tour, the price can vary greatly from as little as $30 to several hundred dollars.

Snorkeling Sites

If you want to explore below the water's surface you might enjoy visiting Hull Bay. Within this enclosed bay is a healthy reef teeming with bright and even friendly fish. This snorkeling site is located in Hull Bay, easily reached by taxi Northwest of central Charlotte Amalie.

Long Point is another option. This site is set between several small islands in waters that are shallow and near enough to mangroves to make it especially interesting. The sea life you can expect to see include spotted eagle rays ad stingrays.

A third place to consider is Magens Bay. Snorkeling is not so great within the fishing zone, but if you are a strong swimmer you can head out to deeper waters and encounter a bit of coral, fish, and squid.

A fourth place where you can go snorkeling is Bolongo Bay. Due to the variation in visibility, snorkeling here can be good one day but not so good the next. Be on the look out for interesting rock formations. If you want to experience it for yourself, this site is situated in Bolongo Bay, easily reached by taxi Southeast of central Charlotte Amalie.

The chart below provides you with more information about 4 of the best locations to enjoy snorkeling in this area.

Snorkeling Sites Near Charlotte Amalie
Site Location
Magens Bay 1.5 mi. North of Central Charlotte Amalie
Hull Bay Hull Bay, 2.7 mi. Northwest of Central Charlotte Amalie
Bolongo Bay Bolongo Bay, 2.8 mi. Southeast of Central Charlotte Amalie
Long Point 4.2 mi. Southeast of Central Charlotte Amalie

Snorkeling Boat Trips

For some people, the best snorkeling is accessed away from the shore.

If you want to go snorkeling during a boating adventure, you should consider Fury Sailing Charters. Take a trip on board Fury Sailing Charter's sailboat as it takes you out into the seas to some of the best spots for snorkeling, diving, and swimming around St. Thomas. The fun atmosphere on the boat and the skilled staff make this a great way to explore the Virgin Islands Seas.

Another option to investigate is Day Sail Fantasy. Voted one of the best day sails on the island, Daysail Fantasy offers an all-inclusive experience for small groups that is great for couples through families. The sail is a gentle trip from St. Thomas to St John and features a lot of great extras. They're located within Charlotte Amalie.

Still another option is Cool Boats. There are 8 unique vessels to choose from at Cool Boats. Whether you want to sail in style about a fabulous catamaran or channel your inner pirate aboard an elegant schooner, Cool Boats can make it happen.

Be sure to look through this table for more information about boat operators that provide snorkeling.

Day Sails and Boat Trips In Charlotte Amalie
Name Phone Location
Cool Boats (340) 344-6812 0.5 mi. West-Southwest of Downtown Charlotte Amalie
Day Sail Fantasy (340) 775-5652 Charlotte Amalie
Fury Sailing Charters (340) 643-7733 0.8 mi. East-Southeast of Downtown Charlotte Amalie

Snorkeling Services

If you're looking for a business that offers snorkel rentals, excursions, or similar services, you can check with St. Thomas Diving Club. Their snorkeling excursions take place each afternoon from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. and head out to Buck Island. They are situated in Bolongo Bay, easily reached by taxi Southeast of central Charlotte Amalie.

Another company catering to snorkelers is Independent Sea Tours. Their main tour that includes snorkeling is a trip to St. John that includes a bus safari tour of the island, time to shop, and snorkeling in Turk Bay.

A third option is St. Thomas Scuba Snorkel Adventures Snorkeling. STSSA offers you a collection of packages that include different kinds of experiences based off of the snorkeling adventure that you desire. All packages are considered private tours for you and your guests. They're located within Hull Bay, easily reached by taxi Northwest of central Charlotte Amalie.

Take a moment to look through this table to see 3 companies that offer services of interest to snorkelers.

Snorkeling Services Near Charlotte Amalie
Name Type Phone Location
Independent Sea Tours Snorkeling Tour Operator (340) 344-6397 Morningstar Bay, 1.5 mi. South-Southeast of Central Charlotte Amalie
St. Thomas Diving Club Snorkeling Equipment Rental Service (340) 776-2381 Bolongo Bay, 2.8 mi. Southeast of Central Charlotte Amalie
St. Thomas Scuba Snorkel Adventures Snorkeling Snorkeling Tour Operator (340) 474-9332 Hull Bay, 2.5 mi. Northwest of Central Charlotte Amalie

To learn more about snorkeling, including tips and suggestions for both "old pros" and beginners, check out our extensive Caribbean snorkeling article.

Charlotte Amalie may have the most shopping possibilities and attractions to see on the island, and while these things are important do not let them fill up your entire schedule.  There is a world off the coast of the town that will rival any of these other sightseeing options, so make sure you make room for a little snorkeling as well. 


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