Top five U.S. Virgin Islands dive sites


North American travelers seeking world-class scuba diving need not search far: the U.S. Virgin Islands offer shipwrecks, caves, walls, and vibrant coral reefs without the need to bring a passport (for U.S. citizens). Each of the three islands — St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas — has something unique to offer. With temperatures between 70 and 80 degrees (Fahrenheit) and average visibility around 50 to 100 feet, the water may be the Caribbean’s best-kept secret. St. Thomas is the most easily accessible, with plenty of creature comforts on land, pristine reef dives, and unusual underwater rock formations. St. John’s protected areas make it an eco-traveler’s dream — both on land and beneath the surface, and it’s just a short ferry ride from St. Thomas. St. Croix is more remote, yet it offers the greatest variety of diving — including a mesmerizing wall that plunges deep into the abyss.

On any of the U.S. Virgin Islands, sea turtles, stingrays, seahorses, lobster, barracuda, sea cucumbers, reef sharks, and schools of tropical fish are frequently spotted on dives. The varied geography of the mountainous islands makes them a natural choice for divers who want a taste of everything. If they are just starting to get their fins wet, several operators offer PADI-diving certification courses. With so many options, defining the best dive sites in America’s exotic backyard is



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