Diving St. Croix

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St. Croix, US Virgin Islands

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Country: US Virgin Islands  Area: US Virgin Islands

Water Temp: 26 - 31°C (79 - 88°F)

Visibility: 20 - 50m (66 - 164 ft)

Depth Range: 1 - 1000m (3 - 3281 ft)

Leatherback Nesting March to July
Leatherback Hatching June to October
Humpback Migration January to March
Bioluminescence Year round

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St. Croix is famous for being The Carribean's best kept secret! The an unheard of Gem of Caribbean diving, offering two dramatically different diving experiences only a 20min drive apart.

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The Wall brings a rich diversity of life, mixing the richness and nutrients where the deep meets the shallows this is truly a unique biodiversity that is found in only a few locations throughout the Caribbean.  Take a short drive to the West end of the Island and enjoy lake-like water conditions year round, with the Island only wreck diving as well as the Frederiksted pier. The Pier is a must see for diving (by day and especially by night). Known for its pillars stretching into the light, corals, sponges, and a dazzling array of colors – a host of wildlife finds sanctuary in this gothic hallway.  If you stop for a moment and listen to the nearby bell tower mark the hour you dive in, you may think you are floating among the isles and stained glass cathedrals of Europe. If you’re lucky, you may see a seahorse or two, or maybe the rare frogfish!  Turtles are known to favor a few spots next to The Pier and breeding season is in the winter (read: baby turtles hatching around September!).  The Pier is home to turtles, seahorses, several species of eels, spiny lobsters and the whole catalogue of Caribbean fish.

Away from the hustle and bustle of the main cruise ship hubs of the Caribbean, People come to St. Croix for its laid back charm, not to mention its warm clear waters, white sandy beaches rain forest than tide pools there is something for everyone!

Colorful Reef, Credit


The weather ranges from 78-89 degrees year round with cooler breezes in the winter months Dec-May, Hurricane season is June thought Nov but we generally only see storms in sept and Oct and if there is no storms it can be some of the best diving all year with claim seas and water temps reaching 84 degrees.

St. Croix underwater, Credit

Marine Conservation

Both the marine and terrestrial life surrounding St Croix is well protected through a series of national reserved, non-governmental organizations and research initiatives.

Fairy Basslet, Credit

The East End Marine Park protects the largest barrier reef system in the whole of the Caribbean. The Nature Conservancy  is very involved in developing the region, and works in collaboration with local fishermen, dive operators, universities and local government. The Friends of the St Croix East End Marine Park  further support the development of the park. 

A population of leatherback turtles regularly nest on St. Croix. They are protected by the Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge, and are intensely monitored by Earthwatch. Each summer as the turltes come to nest, members of Earthwatch come to protect the turtles and relocate nests to safer areas. Scientists are also heavily involved in the process.

Corals! Credit

Information & photos is kindly provided by: N2theBlue Scuba Diving

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Shore Diving

In addition to the Frederiksted Pier, there are many accessible shore dives in St. Croix. On the North Shore, the wall can be dove from the convenient entry points at the Carambola Beach Resort in Davis Bay as well as Cane Bay Beach.

Late for school, Credit

Boat Diving

Most of the dive sites off of St Croix are easily accessed by boat. Dive centers are located in Fredriksted, Chistiansted and Salt River. It is in theory possible to dive a wreck, a reef, a wall and a pier all within a single day! Sites cater well to all levels of divers. 

One of the more popular dive sites is The Wall, which is reputed to be among the best sites in the whole of the Caribbean. This wall runs along the island’s northern shore, and offers great options for both deep and shallow divers. 

The Pier in Frederiksted is one of the best macro dive sites in the area. A popular place with moray eels and octopus, you’re also likely to spy a few trunkfish, seahorses, and the rare roughback batfish. This is a popular place both for day and night dives.

School of fish, Credit

Cane Bay Beach too has a few great sites. Here, you’re likely to see loads of tropical fish, stunning coral and the occasional anchor from an ancient wreck. This is one of the best places for underwater photography and again, a top spot in the Caribbean. 

The Spratt Hole is probably one of the most peaceful places to dive. Here you will find extremely calm conditions, and over 40 species of coral. 

There are also a few wrecks in the area, which again cater to both deep and shallow divers. The Rosa Maria was sunk intentionally, and is currently home to soldierfish, mahogany snapper, and gray angels. Coakley Bay, Suffolk May and the Virgin Islander are three other wrecks worth exploring, where you are likely to see stingrays, green morays and plenty of sponges and coral.

Red hind, Credit

Liveaboard Diving

A number of liveaboard companies sail through the US and British Virgin Islands more broadly. Diving around St. Croix is often incorporated to the tours.

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How to Get there

St. Croix has an International Airport STX, you can also get here easily on small commuter fights with Seabore airlines and Cape Air from St. Thomas and San Juan International Airports.

Boarding plane for St. Croix,Credit

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Where to Eat & Drink

There is a great variety of restaurants on St. Croix, sure to cater to all budgets and preferences. While Caribbean food is by far the most prevalent style, you will also find a handful of Italian, International and Mexican restaurants. Harvey’s is certainly among the most popular places with budget travelers, while the Blue Moon is one of the more popular upscale locations. Lost Dog Pub is a great place to visit for a pizza and beer following a night dive, while Pier 69 is a wonderful spot for breakfast and lunch.

Couple eating, Credit

The nightlife around St Croix tends to be unique and eclectic. It is well worth checking the local paper for current performances and shows that feature local culture and talent. There is a small but lively club area in Christiansted, while Frederiksted tends to be a bit quieter and restricted to weekend parties. Eat @ Cane Bay is always a popular place on a Friday night, given that it sells 2 for 1 bottles of wine and has some truly inventive food shots. The Blue Moon and Sunset Jazz (both in Frederiksted) are also good options.  

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Other Activities

As the largest island in the USVI, there are plenty of activities for non-divers. That said, the island’s main source of revenue comes from the local oil refinery, giving the island a very distinct and unique feel. 

One of the most popular activities on St Croix is to sail to Buck Island on the western shores.

St. Croix Tourist enjoying the sun, Credit

If you’re keen for some physical exercise, consider heading out on a hiking trip into the island’s jungles. On these day long hikes, you’re sure to see some vibrant birdlife and stunning landscapes. Local companies run tours to various trails and spots across the island. Horseback riding is also an option.  

If you’re interested in history, it is worth spending time at Fort Christiansvaern to catch a glimpse of early settler life. Whim Plantation has also developed the island’s past through the restoration of this beautiful estate. If you’re especially keen, consider renting a bicycle to tour through a number of different sugar plantations and the area more broadly.  

There is great shopping to be found in Christiansted. Wandering the main streets will take you through numerous galleries, jewellery designers and souvenir shops. Otherwise, pop into the Captain Morgan or Cruzan rum distilleries to see and sample the local product! 

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St. Croix is part of the U.S so no passports or extra difficulties in travel.

it’s a big island with lots to see taxies can add up fast so renting a car is always a good idea. Don’t be intimidated that we drive on the left its easy to get used to and you will get to see so much more of our get island.

St. Croix, Credit

The nearest hyperbaric chamber is found on the island of St Thomas, 65km away. The hospital facilities on St. Croix are otherwise quite good. 

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Rating 7/10

St. Croix from boat and shore

St. Croix14 Mar 2015 - 20 Mar 2015

We spent a week in St. Croix, working in a total of eight dives. We booked a three-day dive package with N2theBlue, an outfitter located on the western end of the island in Frederiksted, for a total of six boat dives. And we did a couple of shore dives, one in Cane Bay and the other from the Frederiksted Pier.

N2theBlue did a great job accommodating our requests and getting us to the locations we wanted to see. They operate two smaller boats, so they cater to a personalized experience. On two of our dive days, we were the only four clients on the boat.

Most of our dives were on the western end of the island and included the wrecks at Butler Bay, Sprat Hole, the Three Amigos at the end of the Frederiksted Pier, and the Swirling Reef of Death. Turtles and big southern stingrays were pretty common, along with a few big green morays, jawfish, and some seahorses pointed out by our dive master. Although it seems to be recovering, the reef here still shows signs of damage from a recent hurricane.

We were also able to do a couple of dives on The Wall near Salt River on the northern side. Apparently it's unusual for the weather in March to be good enough to dive from a smaller boat, but we were in luck. N2theBlue drove their boat around the island the previous evening to be able to meet us at 8:30 the next morning. The coral structure along The Wall is very healthy and diverse. We saw several turtles, reef sharks and some spotted morays.

If you plan to do any shore diving, I would recommend walking the length of the Frederiksted Pier and jumping off the end. The dive shops will tell you it's too far to walk and that you won't be able to make it back on a single tank, but we had no problem with it. The jump is only about 10 feet, and the swim through the gothic columns is well worth it. Look for octopi, lobsters and frogfish in the rubble.

Shore diving on the north side is more difficult, as it's at least a 300 yard kick out, and the current is no joke.

Showing 3 of 5 comments. Show all

Sienna Mackenzie

LOVE! Wish I was there... I went in early 2010 and have always been a bit concerned that, after the two hurricanes in 2010 AND the two hurricanes in 2011 (which I understand both caused heavy sea surge) would have trashed the diving there.. it is nice to hear that the dive sites affected are recovering and there are still great dive sites that have come off unscathed.

Aladino Trentino

Nice juxtaposition between the descending diver and the ray!

Villa Margarita Usvi

stay at our place and use our Seadoo RS1 and RS2 scooters. That'll make those long kicks effortless and save air too, even in strong currents on the North Shore. Here's a list of STX dive shops and other resources: http://villamargarita.com/st-croix-scuba-diving-us-virgin-islands/

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