The BVIs are a natural paradise of crystalline waters, home to a wealth of colorful fish and fascinating marine life. Snorkeling is definitely on the menu for those of us who want to experience the Caribbean to the fullest; there’s nothing quite like the quiet, peaceful sensation of slipping into warm waters and seeing what the world looks like below the surface.
If you’re wondering where to go to get the best underwater views in the BVIs, read on for our top snorkel spots. Best of all, many are only reachable by boat, meaning you’ll have a true advantage. Take a look at our top ten snorkel spots:
Great for first time snorkelers, the Bight is located on Norman Island. Its bowl-like shape blocks the rough waters and there are two mooring balls and two restaurants as well. A popular destination, you can expect your fair share of boat traffic but the snorkelling is superb.
Near Norman Islands are the Indians, four rocky formations. They tower about 60 feet above the surface of the water, making for a great photo opportunity as well. This snorkel spot features pretty coral gardens and schools of tropical fish.
On Cooper Island, Manchioneel Bay is named for the tall Manchioneel trees with green and yellow leaves and poisonous fruit. Sitting beneath the trees is not recommended either, as its sap can cause painful burns as well. In the bay, however, the waters are crystal clear and there is plenty of space for mooring.
This bay on Peter Islands good for both beginner and experienced snorkelers, as its underwater slope starts at about 20 feet and then goes down 40 feet. The bay is also a nice place to moor overnight.
Top Ten Snorkel Spots
This snorkel spot is located on the southern tip of the quiet, private island of Guana. It can be easily sailed to and you can moor on a National Park Mooring buoy. Here you can see larger marine life as well, such as tarpon fish and giant sea turtles.
Norman Island’s caves are composed of two large and one small cave where you can see bright orange cup coral and red sponge formations on the walls. This creates a great backdrop for the colorful fish that frequent the area. The Caves are only reachable by boat.
The Rhone Wreck
The wreck is a bit better known for scuba diving but it’s actually great for snorkelling as well. There’s good visibility of the ship as it ranges from about 20 to 80 feet below the surface. The Rhone is located in Lee Bay off Salt Island and is part of a Marine Park that includes a number of dive sites.
Alice’s Backside (also known as Ginger Patches)
On the north side of Ginger Island, there are almost always calm, flat waters in this site and snorkelers enjoy a long coral reef teeming with healthy marine life. Ginger Island is uninhabited, meaning it’s virtually untouched. Overnight anchorage is not allowed, so it’s best to get there early and make a day trip out of it.
No BVI snorkel list would be complete without mentioning the beautiful baths of Virgin Gorda, the island’s premier destination. The site has earned a well-deserved place on many traveler’s list of highlights of their trip, featuring massive granite boulders that create natural pools or baths.
Part of Great Dog island, the chimney has interesting underwater structures featuring amazing colors and a long reef. Here you can spot a large range of creatures; aside from schools of fish there are spiny lobsters, crabs and many types of coral.
In order to have the easiest access to the water it always helps to charter a boat or catamaran great swimming platform. If snorkeling is high on your list our experts can help you choose the best option and chart a great course for your time in the British Virgin Islands.