Diving in US Virgin Islands, Caribbean

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US Virgin Islands

The U.S. Virgin Islands is a US territory between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean. The islands feature varying diving activities for the beginner to advanced divers. The ease of access and the laid back lifestyle in the islands are sure to bring a lot of surprises to your diving adventures.

Diving is mainly concentrated on the three major islands of St. Thomas, St. Croix and St. John but it could also be done on the outlying smaller islands such as the Water Island. Each of the islands offers unique diving experience but they all agree with one thing – great diving for practicing and seasoned divers.

One of the best dives in St. Croix is the Salt River Canyon sporting an exhilarating wall dive teeming with an insane amount of reef fishes including the bigger predator hammerheads and black-tips. The area also boasts of beautiful sea fans and black coral.

If you're into underwater landscapes, head straight to the Carval Rock dive site to see splendid rock formations and hitch a ride from the strong currents present in the area and go past a narrow canyon teeming with baitfish and tarpon. The shallower exit point is where you meet the fabulous pelagic fishes such as nurse sharks, octopus and some reef squid.

Another popular dive site for the dolphins and rays is in Congo Cay sporting amazing rock spires and coral-draped walls.

Seahorses, frogfish and batfish as well as more macro life frolic in the Frederiksted Pier not far from the coast of St. Croix island. This dive site is suitable for the beginner divers.

Another beginner friendly dive site is the Eagle Shoals in St. John where the mystical open chamber called The Cathedral awaits.

The most popular of the wreck diving destinations is the Butler Bay Wrecks, which is comprised of five unique wrecks in the northwest tip of St. Croix. The deepest of the wrecks is the Rosaomaira wreck at 33m. They all have one thing in common, an insane amount of reef marine life.

Diving in the islands wouldn't be complete without basking in the waters of Buck Island Reef National Monument in St. Croix sporting an exceptional marine biodiversity.

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The government of the US Virgin Islands is an active participant in marine conservation efforts. Testament to this cause is the establishment of Buck Island Reef National Monument in St. Croix to ensure that there would always be a sanctuary for marine life in the islands.

The US Virgin Islands has a subtropical climate.

Rainy season starts in May to November.

The water temperature hovers around 24°C/75F in January to March and around 27°C/80F in June to October.

The diving season is year round.

Natural hazards include hurricanes, floods, droughts, and earthquakes.

The main points of entry to the US Virgin Islands are the international airports in St. Croix and St. Thomas. Most of the direct US flights land in St. Croix. Other international flights connect through San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Ferries also serve regular voyages for the three main US Virgin Islands.

Once in the major islands, the most recommended mode of transportation is a rental car as most of the dive sites are not far from the shore.

Buses and taxis also serve the major islands.

The general transportation system of US Virgin Islands is exceptional.

Use the following links for more information about;

- Decompression Chambers in US Virgin Islands

- More about US Virgin Islands  (Wikipedia)

  • IMG6 St. Croix, US Virgin Islands

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