The USVI has countless unique diving sites waiting for you to explore. The three main islands, St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix are all good starting points. All the islands have soft, white sand beaches and warm turquoise water. The USVI’s diversity ensures that you will find dive sites suited for your level of expertise. What’s more, diving can be done year-round.
Top-Rated Dive Sites
Since there are so many excellent dive sites in the USVI, the following suggestions are only a few of the more popular areas.
- Cow and Calf Rocks: Popular for locals and visitors, this dive site is located off the southeast end of St Thomas. Since it is a shallow dive site, it’s also perfect for snorkeling. There’s an abundance of sea life to discover and interesting nooks and crannies to explore.
- Arches and Tunnels: Good for beginners and more advanced divers.
- Shipwreck Cove (Buck Island): Great for scuba as well as snorkeling. You can see turtles, rays, and thousands of brightly colored fish. The Cartanza Senora shipwreck is an interesting artifact that’s home to a wide variety of marine life.
- Congo Cay. A rocky dive site with a sandy bottom full of various species of rays. Ledges of Little St James: Bright coral in good condition, lots of fish, and huge lobsters. This location is part of a protected marine park so the lobsters can grow to a whopping 8 – 12 pounds.
- Wreck of the General Rogers: The General Rogers, a 50m long Coast Guard ship, was intentionally sunk in the 1980s to create an artificial reef. The strong current makes this site best for experienced divers.
- French Cap: French Cap is great for intermediate divers and reaches a maximum depth of just 85 feet. This dive site is six miles offshore and close to big walls that drop off, so the fish are big and the current is often strong. You can see rays, schools of fish, and from January through May, you may be able to hear the visiting humpback whales singing.
- The Cane Bay Wall: You can get to the 3,000-foot vertical Wall from the beach (100-yard swim) or by boat. It’s one of the most beautiful dives in the Virgin Islands.
- Frederiksted Pier: The Fredriksted pier is one of the best spots in the islands for both day and night dives. The pier structure houses a myriad of colorful fish, corals, and octopuses.
- Salt River Canyon: This site, which has two walls, is teeming with reef fish, sea fans, black coral, and occasionally sharks.
- Grass Cay: Grass Cay is an excellent spot for both day and night diving. However, after dark, creatures like lobsters, crabs, and octopuses come out in search of food.
- Carval Rock: Located at the western tip of St. John, Carval Rock is an excellent dive site. It has steep rock formations that attract tropical fish, tarpon, and even sharks. Due to its strong currents, this dive is recommended for experienced divers.
- Eagle Shoals: Although Eagle Shoals is a well-known dive site, not many have actually experienced it. It is located far from shore and most dive boats prefer to stay close to home base. However, brilliant corals and colorful sea life paired with interesting tunnels, arches, and caves make the trip to this site worthwhile. Good for beginners.
Diving is such a popular activity in the USVI that there are plenty of dive centers that offer services such as equipment, lessons and certifications, and organized dive trips.
On St. Thomas:
On St. Croix:
- St. Croix Ultimate Bluewater Adventures, Christiansted
- Cane Bay Dive Shop, Frederiksted
- Nep2une Scuba, Frederiksted
- Dive Experience, Christiansted
- AQUAMAN Virgin Islands, Christiansted
- Adventures in Diving STX, Frederiksted
On St. John
For experienced divers, additional courses may be helpful for getting the most from your USVI diving. Contact PADI for courses including Wreck Diver, Underwater Naturalist, Digital Underwater Photographer, and Drift Diver.
US Virgin Islands Catamarans with Onboard Scuba Diving
Enjoy a relaxed diving experience from your yacht in the US Virgin Islands.