While the entire island of St. Croix is often listed as a top snorkeling destination in the Caribbean, Frederiksted stands out for a few sites that are especially good for novice snorkelers and for some intriguing underwater landscapes that experienced snorkelers will enjoy.
With three-quarters of St. Croix being protected by a barrier reef, the waters that surround the island are especially calm, but there is still one spot most recommended to newbies: . The great thing about the old, run down pier is that the sea life that has grown up around it is so unique and interesting that snorkelers who have been at it for years will find themselves intrigued as well.
Just north of Frederiksted is also the site of three ships that were sunk to create an artificial reef. Not only is snorkeling above these ships slightly haunting, but the pink and red sponges provide a whimsical pop of color while the schools of fish swimming about are seemingly endless.
If your plans for your time in Frederiksted include snorkeling – and they should – you have a few ways to make it happen. The first is to bring a snorkel kit with you whenever you hit the beach. You can bring your own from home, get one from the front desk from your if they include this as a perk of your stay, or rent one for about $20(USD) a day from a local dive or watersports equipment shop. Another option is to sign up for a guided tour. Dive shops and local tour guides offer this option, as do some sailing charters and this option will cost you anywhere from $35 to over $100(USD) depending on what exactly is included in the excursion.
If you want to experience what's below the surface you might enjoy. A few years ago the old pier was destroyed in a storm and a new pier was built in its place. Back at the ruins of the old pier, however, soft corals have begun to accumulate and snorkelers especially love visiting for a night dive. This snorkeling site is located within the heart of Frederiksted.
La Grange is another option. Although it appears to be your typical run-of-the-mill reef, this shallow spot is actually home to a few sea creatures that are not so easily spotted on a regular basis including sea horses and octopus.
A third site to consider is Butler Bay. Hidden among the rocky coastline here is a collection of tide pools that were carved out of the rocks in the late 1600s. These days, you'll often see snorkelers exploring this area that might otherwise have not been so good for snorkeling because of the rugged conditions.
A fourth place to go snorkeling is Butler Bay. This unique destination is where five ships and a collection of old trucks have been sunk to create an artificial reef. An orange buoy marks the spot about 400 yards out from the shore where the first of these vessels can be seen. If you want to check it out, this site is situated easily reached by taxi North of central Frederiksted.
is a fifth location to consider. After a hour long hike from the Carambola Beach Resort, snorkelers will be rewarded with a bay featuring some of the lesser-seen sea life of the area that includes spiny Caribbean lobsters and southern stingrays.
Glance through the following table for a listing of 7 of the most popular locations to go snorkeling in this area.
|La Grange||0.5 mi. North of Central Frederiksted|
|Sandy Point Beach||0.8 mi. South-Southwest of Central Frederiksted|
|Butler Bay||2.6 mi. North-Northwest of Central Frederiksted|
|Butler Bay||2.7 mi. North of Central Frederiksted|
|4.0 mi. North of Central Frederiksted|
|4.2 mi. Northeast of Central Frederiksted|
If you looking for someone offering snorkel rentals, excursions, or similar services, you should check out Cane Bay Frederiksted. You can pick up all of your snorkeling gear, as well as a few souvenirs from this shop before heading out and hitting the water to do some snorkeling. If you're interested in a snorkeling tour, you can inquire with the staff about doing so from another one of their locations on the island. They are found in the heart of Frederiksted.
A second company catering to snorkelers is Sweet Bottom Dive Center. Although there have been some talks of offering snorkeling tours, for the time being, this shop specializes only in dive excursions. They do, however, rent out gear for those who want to take to the sea on their own.
A third place to consider is N2 The Blue. You can rent your gear here and get advice on where to go snorkeling, or you can sign up for a guided tour. They're found in the heart of Frederiksted.
Look through the following table for a listing of 3 companies that offer services of interest to snorkelers.
|Cane Bay Frederiksted||Snorkeling Equipment Rental Service||(340) 772-0715||Central Frederiksted|
|N2 The Blue||Snorkeling Tour Operator||(340) 772-3483||Central Frederiksted|
|Sweet Bottom Dive Center||Snorkeling Tour Operator||(340) 778-3800||4.8 mi. Northeast of Central Frederiksted|
For more information about snorkeling, including useful tips and suggestions for both "old pros" and beginners, check out our detailed Caribbean snorkeling article.
The beaches, a pier, and an artificial reef made of purposely sunken ships are just a few reasons that snorkeling in Frederiksted is top notch. Make sure you plan time to explore this magical and mysterious underwater world during your St. Croix getaway and you'll quickly see for yourself just why it is such a popular and important destination for the sport.
Help us improve! We welcome your corrections and suggestions.