The Virgin Islands are a group of beautiful and mostly uninhabited islands located in the Caribbean, east of Puerto Rico. The majority of the small Islands are of volcanic origin and are fringed with white sandy beaches and beautiful turquoise waters.

The Magical Cave
Virgin IslandsStuck in Customs / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

A luxury yacht charter to the Virgin Islands offers visitors access to a diverse system of coral reefs and sea life including more than 500 species of fish, 45 types of coral and hundreds of invertebrates. Vibrant blue tang, puffer fish and leatherback turtles are just some of the marine life you may be lucky enough to see.

The waters of the Virgin Islands boast excellent visibility, temperatures of between 79-83 degrees year-round and little current. This makes them an ideal snorkelling and diving destination on your Caribbean yacht charter itinerary.

We explore some of the best spots for snorkelling and diving in the waters of both the British and US Virgin Islands:

Best for snorkelling

Waterlemon Clay – The spectacular reefs submerged off the shore of St. John are a US National monument spanning 12,000 acres. Waterlemon clay is easy accessible from Sand Beach at the east end of Leinster Bay offering a reef literally teeming with fish and other sea creatures.

Treasure Point – Another superb snorkelling spot is to be found at the caves of Norman Island in the British Virgin Islands. This island is reported to be the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Treasure Island’ and it certainly hosts a treasure trove of sea-life. Exploring the caves has been likened to swimming in an aquarium with shoals of colourful fish all around you.

Loblolly Bay – Lablolly Bay is located on Anegada’s calm northern coast and is the ideal spot to view a variety of marine-life with few people around. You won’t need to go very deep to see reefs, parrot fish, sting ray and shoals of multi-coloured fish.

Best for Diving

Wreck of The Rhone – The spectacular wreck of RMS Rhone located off the coast of Salt Island is well worth a visit. This royal mail steamer, which sunk on October 29th 1867, was recently voted as one of the ten best wreck dives in the world. Numerous deposited artefacts are still visible on the wreck today.

Buck Island – This diving mecca off St. Croix offers experienced divers a variety of labyrinths and grottoes to explore. There are also enormous gardens of fiery coral inhabited by a variety of creatures including barracudas, sea urchins and stingrays.

Cow and Calf Rocks

Cow and Calf are sister sites that are easily accessible from either St. Thomas or St. John. Here you’ll discover a network of coral tunnels filled with canyons and arches. This is an ideal dive site for beginners.