Waterlemon Cay Beach

Considered to be one of the best snorkeling spots not only in the Virgin Islands but all of the Caribbean, Waterlemon Cay is a small cay set within Leinster Bay. There is no way to access the cay except by swimming to it, so most take advantage of the trip by having a snorkel and mask ready to go.

Situated on the island of St. John, Waterlemon Cay Beach is on the South West coast of the island, You should think about stopping by even if you aren't staying in the immediate vicinity. The beaches in the Virgin Islands aren't usually known for their peace and quiet, however, Waterlemon Cay Beach is tamer than most, making it just the right spot for vacationers who'd prefer to stay out of the busiest areas.

How to Access The Beach
In order to get to Waterlemon Cay, park your car at the Annaberg Ruins parking lot, then follow the trail to Leinster Bay. It should take about 20 minutes at a good pace. From there, you can put on your snorkeling gear and swim 100 feet out to the cay.

Amenities and Ambiance

You can get a good look at Waterlemon Cay from the beach at Leinstar Point before you dive into the water and start snorkeling that way. You'll see a beach of blinding white sand and deep blue waters.

If you're heading to Waterlemon Cay to snorkel, you'll be pleased to find that the water is shallow and the water is clea enough to see the coral and sand between your toes. Less than a quarter mile from the shore is the reef where you'll encounter starfish, turtles, sea cucumbers, and stingrays.

Unfortunately, you won't find any public restrooms along this coastline, but you may be able to find facilities at a nearby business. Happily, the off-shore waters are of good snorkeling quality, so bring along some equipment if you're wanting to check out the underwater sites.

What's Nearby


Waterlemon Cay Beach is always a lovely side-trip when you're in the area. Look for it on the South West coast of St. John. It is near some interesting sites like Annaberg Plantation, which is close enough that guests will have the choice to walk or take a cab, and it is one of a few favorite local destinations.

If you're interested in combining some cultural exploration with your trip to the beach, you might want to consider visiting Ivan Jadan Museum, one of the closest museums, so it could be a welcomed alternative to hot afternoon activities.

If your taste for travel keeps you looking for new activity and attraction options, this beach isn't far from any of the items in the following table.

Activities and Attractions Near Waterlemon Cay Beach
Attraction Type Distance Direction Island
Annaberg Plantation Historical Site 0.5 mi. WSW St. John
Fredriksdal Ruins Historical Site 1.0 mi. WSW St. John
Fredriksdal Plantation Ruins Historical Site 1.0 mi. WSW St. John
Windberg Ruins Historical Site 1.3 mi. WSW St. John
Emmaus Moravian Church Historical Site 1.4 mi. SSE St. John
Full Moon Art Gallery Art Gallery 1.7 mi. S St. John
Fortsburg Ruins Historical Site 1.9 mi. SE St. John
America Hill Ruins Historical Site 2.0 mi. WSW St. John
Cinnamon Bay Plantation Ruins Historical Site 2.3 mi. WSW St. John
Par Force Estate Ruins Historical Site 2.7 mi. SSW St. John
Petroglyphs Historical Site 2.8 mi. SW St. John
Reef Bay Sugar Factory Ruins Historical Site 2.8 mi. SSW St. John

Cities and Towns

Waterlemon Cay Beach is in the Coral Bay area, so a trip into the city——for snacks, drinks, and other attractions——is a convenient option. Cities near Waterlemon Cay Beach include Coral Bay, which is not heavily urbanized, though it makes for a nice, quiet day trip for visitors who want to see more of the area. From Waterlemon Cay Beach, Coral Bay is a fairly short distance away, maybe a mile and a half (two and a half kilometers).


How many other people you encounter at Waterlemon Cay Beach will vary depending on the time of day, particularly in the high season when hotels overflow with tourists. There aren't many large hotels nearby, but you may meet visitors from some of the area's smaller options.

You'll find a decent selection of hotels within a car's reach. A list of the closest options have been displayed in the following list.

Accommodations near Waterlemon Cay Beach
Hotel Distance Direction Type
Trinidad Charlie's Cottages 4.4 SW Lodge
Caneel Bay Resort 4.5 WSW Resort
The Westin St. John Resort 5.1 SW Resort


When lunchtime rolls around and you start getting hungry, you'll have some great cuisine to choose from, and you don't have to go far from the sea. Indigo Grill is one of the closest eateries. This restaurant has Caribbean food. They are also known for serving sandwiches and seafood. You and your group can get to this restaurant and start eating in just a few minutes since it's only a short distance away.

The following table lists dining options near this beach.

Restaurants near Waterlemon Cay Beach
Restaurant Name Phone Cuisine Style Distance Direction
Indigo Grill (340) 774-4433 Caribbean Very Casual 1.4 mi. SSE
Coral Bay Cones -- Eclectic Very Casual 1.4 mi. SSE
Pickles in Paradise (340) 693-5140 American Very Casual -- --
Skinny Legs (340) 779-4982 American Very Casual 1.5 mi. SSE
Coral Bay Caribbean Oasis (340) 774-1030 Caribbean, Soul Food, Vegetarian Very Casual 1.7 mi. S
Wok on the Beach (340) 693-3313 Asian, Asian Fusion, Pan Asian / Pacific Rim -- 1.7 mi. S
Aqua Bistro (340) 776-5336 Caribbean, International Informal 1.7 mi. S
Full Moon Cafe (340) 774-9033 American Informal 1.7 mi. S
Chateau Bordeaux Restaurant (340) 776-6611 Caribbean Informal 1.8 mi. SW
Skipper's Brit Pub (340) 777-4653 British, Caribbean Informal 1.8 mi. S
T'ree Lizards Restaurant (340) 776-6330 American, Caribbean Very Casual 2.3 mi. WSW
Shipwreck Landing Restaurant & Bar (340) 693-5640 American, Caribbean Informal 2.3 mi. SSE

Other Beaches

Of course, there are lots of other spots along the coast of St. John, so perhaps you can explore more than one.

Another location you might enjoy is Great Cruz Beach, located a brief car or taxi trip away. If you're looking for a more active beach scene, you might enjoy people watching at Waterlemon Beach. It's found a quarter mile to the south-southeast.

Another sun-drenched spot to consider is Hansen Bay Beach, which is located reasonably close-by, so a short cab ride can take you where you want to go.

The Virgin Islands has some unforgettable natural wonders to explore, and dropping by Waterlemon Cay Beach is just one way to appreciate a pretty afternoon.


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