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 should consider a visit to Hull Bay. Within this enclosed bay is a healthy reef teeming with bright and even friendly fish. This snorkeling site is located within Hull Bay, easily reached by taxi Northwest of central Charlotte Amalie.

Long Point is another snorkeling spot you might enjoy. 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 location 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 to 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're interested, this site is located in Bolongo Bay, easily reached by taxi Southeast of central Charlotte Amalie.

Details concerning 4 of the best locations where you can experience snorkeling in this area are listed in the chart below.

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

Some people believe the best snorkeling is experienced away from the shore.

If you're hoping to combine some snorkeling with a boating adventure, you should consider Day Sail Fantasy. Daysail Fantasy offers a scenic sail in a protected area where the waters are calm and clear. Everything you need is included, such as a hot lunch with an open bar, snorkeling, beach toys, trolling and fishing gear, dinghy trips to the beaches, island music, and more.

Another option to consider is Fury Sailing Charters. There are two main cruises offered by Fury. The first is the half day cruise which includes travel to some of the best places to spot turtles and tropical fish. They're found in southeastern Charlotte Amalie.

Still another option is Cool Boats. Regardless of which vessel you choose, you will be lead to clear waters perfect for swimming and snorkeling. Between islands you may stop to soak in some sunshine on the white beaches.

Information with regard to boat trips and day sails that provide snorkeling opportunities are displayed in the chart below.

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 looking for a place that offers snorkel rentals, excursions, or similar services, you can check with 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. They are located in Morningstar Bay, a short distance away South-Southeast of central Charlotte Amalie.

A second place worth knowing about is 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.

The table right below has some information about 3 firms that offer snorkeling related services.

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 suggestions and helpful tips for beginners and "pros" check out our exhaustive 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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