Scuba Diving US Virgin Islands
Nowhere else in the Caribbean can you dive a wreck, wall, pier and reef all in one day!
Consist of 3 main islands – St. Croix, St. John, and St. Thomas. Each of our three major islands has a unique character all its own. St. Croix‘s Danish influence is perfect for visitors who prefer a laid-back experience. St. John, a nature lover’s favorite, St. John offers hiking, camping, specialty shopping and breathtaking views. St. Thomas boasts one of the most beautiful harbors in the world. As the most visited port in the Caribbean.
St. Croix, St. John, St. Thomas – Leeward Islands offers amazing beauty and variety below sea level as well as above. Nowhere else in the Caribbean can you dive a wreck, wall, pier and reef all in one day! Whether you are newly certified or an advanced diver, diving in the U.S. Virgin Islands is easy, accessible and offers an array of experiences for everyone. And because the U.S. Virgin Islands is a territory of the United States, you’ll enjoy the added safety of diving within U.S. waters.
St. Croix – there are more than 50 sites to choose from, including a drop-off on the North Shore called the “the wall.” The wall at Cane Bay, a short swim from the beach, runs almost the entirety of the North Shore – from Salt River to Ham’s Bluff with an approximate depth of 3,200 feet. Frederiksted has six sunken ships and the pier, reportedly one of the best night dives on the island. Of course St. Croix has fantastic beaches and championship golf, but you can also experience the rich and lengthy history of Crucian culture by touring the many museums, churches and other historic sites.
Diving in St. Thomas is easy and accessible, and known more for the cruise ships that arrive daily, but their diving is special too. And because the U.S. Virgin Islands is a territory of the United States, you’ll enjoy the added safety of diving within U.S. waters. More than 500 species of fish, 40 types of coral and hundreds of invertebrates inhabit the water. Vibrant blue tang, silvery horse-eye jacks, queen triggerfish, spiny Caribbean lobster, spotted eagle rays, Creole wrasses, and cleaner gobies are just a sampling of the marine life populating the underwater terrain. As the sun sets, octopuses, sea horses and moray eels make their appearance. Hawksbill, green, and leatherback turtles, call the USVI home and can be seen on many a dive. Lucky vacationers may even witness turtles hatching at one of the many turtle-nesting grounds.
Diving around St. John is best described as fantastic, safe, easy and fun. There are more than 25 dive sites within a fifteen minute boat ride. The diving consists of shallow coral gardens, shear rock face, fringing coral reefs combined with an abundance of tropical fishes.
Dive Season – You can dive the U.S. Virgin Islands all year long, but the tropical, rainy season runs from October to January. Hurricane season is June to the end of November.
Visibility – Generally the visibility runs 60-100 feet. While the weather is consistently good year-round, during the rainy season (roughly October to January) visibility can dip below the usual 40-60 feet.
Water Temperature – The weather in U.S. Virgin Islands is very consistent year-round with temperatures not varying much. Although people generally assume it’s going to be much hotter in the summer than in the winter months, that is normally not the case. Daytime highs near the coastal areas range from about 22 to 30 degrees Celsius (72 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit).
Currents – Mostly mild, but can vary by location
Weather – Warm tropical weather is the norm, with little change in temperature from winter to summer. Average annual temperature is 85° F/29.4° C. Humidity is usually high, especially from May to September.
Diving Skill Level – Divers of all levels will find the U.S. Virgin Islands exciting.
Dive Access – Most of the diving is via boat. Although U.S. Virgin Islands also offers accessible shore diving to great coral reefs with little to no current.
Featured Creatures – Diving here offers excellent opportunities for encounters with Sea horses, colorful mollusks, crustaceans, anemones and tunicates. Other resident creatures often spotted here include nurse sharks, lobsters, octopus and squid. Visiting squadrons of eagle rays are frequently sighted, and patrolling reef sharks.
CLIMATE: Tropical, tempered by easterly trade winds, relatively low humidity, little seasonal temperature variation; rainy season May to November. Has experienced several hurricanes in recent years as well as frequent and severe droughts and floods.
LANGUAGE: English is the official language but there is a local dialect. You may also find Spanish and French Creole being spoken.
ELECTRICITY: 110 volt, 60 cycles, just like in the U.S. Two flat-pin American style plugs are standard on the Islands.
CURRENCY & CREDIT CARDS: U.S. Dollars, all credit cards accepted.
GRATUITIES: As on the U.S. mainland, tipping of 10-20 % of the bill is expected and is customary for good service. Some hotels and restaurants automatically add a service charge as well as the statutory room tax.
PHONE & INTERNET SERVICE: The infrastructure systems within the U.S.V.I are some of the best in the Caribbean. Roads are paved. Mail Service is provided by the federal postal system. Internet service and utilities are good. Banks are found throughout the islands. Police and fire fighting teams are available.
VISA & PASSPORT REQUIREMENTS: When travelling to the U.S. Virgin Islands, U.S. citizens enjoy all the conveniences of domestic travel – including on-line check-in – making travel to the U.S. Virgin Islands easier than ever. As an American territory, travel to the U.S. Virgin Islands does not require a passport for American citizens who are travelling from any part of the United States or its territories.
CUSTOMS: Every visitor to the U.S.V.I. 21 years of age or older may bring in, free of duty, the following: (1) 1 liter of wine or hard liquor; (2) 200 cigarettes, 100 cigars (but not from Cuba), or 3 pounds of smoking tobacco; and (3) $100 worth of gifts. These exemptions are offered to travelers who spend at least 72 hours in the United States and who have not claimed them within the preceding 6 months. It is altogether forbidden to bring into the country foodstuffs (particularly fruit, cooked meats, and canned goods) and plants (vegetables, seeds, tropical plants, and the like).
DEPARTURE TAX: US$ 5 by ferry and US$ 10 when leaving by air. This tax is only payable in cash and in US Dollars.
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