From ATV Thrills to Scuba Diving: Outdoor Adventures Await on St. Croix

Waves crash into the shore at Frederiksted Beach, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands.



Answer the call to adventure on the island of St. Croix. From off-road ATV tours that take you to hidden waterfalls to hiking trails, zip lining, horseback riding and scuba diving– St. Croix has it all when it comes to immersing yourself in the island’s natural beauty.

St. Croix Zip Lining Excursions

In Frederiksted, tucked along the island’s northern side, Carambola Zipline provides visitors with thrilling zip-lining experiences in St. Croix’s lush rainforest. You’ll begin with a 30-minute bus ride to the top of St. Croix. Then, as native Caribbean music plays, enjoy a gorgeous bird’s eye view of the island while a guide fills you in on the history of St. Croix. There are multiple courses to choose from, with beginners usually starting with the Mongoose, the shortest course, while experienced zip liners head for The Gauntlet and Carambola run.

No matter which course you choose, you’ll be high above the Carambola Valley floor and experience unbelievable sights of not only St. Croix but also St. John and St. Thomas. As you speed through the canopy of trees, keep an eye out for wildlife such as iguanas, monkeys and possibly bats.  

Horseback Riding in St. Croix

Exploring the island from horseback gives you a different perspective on the geography, history, and people of St. Croix. From trotting along winding trails to swimming with the horses in the surf, multiple riding companies across the island provide one-of-a-kind horseback riding experiences.

Equus Riding Tours is a family-oriented riding company in Christiansted with 25 years of experience headed by “Cowboy Steve.” First, enjoy a guided trail ride along the North Shore of St. Croix that leads to a serene ride on the beach. Then, along one of the most scenic trails in St. Croix, you’ll ride past the historic sugar plantation at Rust Op Twist, constructed between 1750 and 1800, a time when St. Croix was one of the highest sugar-producing islands in the Caribbean. It’s also the only sugar plantation left standing on the island.

If you’re seeking a chance to explore the rainforest by horseback, look no further than Cruzan Cowgirls in Frederiksted. This family-owned riding company offers tours along the beach and into the St. Croix rainforest. The tours last up to two hours, and you’ll traverse hidden forest trails and thundering waterfalls before emerging on the West End, where you’ll have the unique opportunity to swim in the ocean with your horse. Cruzan Cowgirls’ horses are all rehabilitated rescue horses, and supporting these animals through booking a horseback riding tour is a great way to give back while enjoying all St. Croix has to offer from the saddle.

Exhilarating Off-Road Experiences

For true thrill-seekers, it’s time to go off-road with ATV and jeep tours. Gecko’s Island Adventures in Christiansted offers ATV Tours across 13 miles of tropical terrain. Owners Shawn and Cynthia cater to all experience levels, with excursions taking you along the West Coast of St. Croix and into the hills for views of the island’s North Shore. On the tour’s final leg, you’ll stop by the ruins of a plantation before ascending to the top of Mt. Stewart.

For riders looking to experience a longer, more intense ride, Gecko’s Island Adventures offers the Advanced Tour, a 22-mile, 2-hour trek where you’ll navigate through river crossings, mud pits, and more. Sure to get your blood flowing, this tour is for those with a little off-roading experience under their belt but offers the opportunity to see more of the island’s untamed beauty.

In Frederiksted, Tan Tan Tours provides off-road jeep tours that range from rainforest excursions to swimming in the hidden Annaly Bay Tide Pools. With an experienced tour guide, you’ll ride through the bustling streets of Frederiksted before heading on to lesser-known mud-filled trails that wind through the St. Croix rainforest. The open-top jeeps may not protect you from the mud and other elements, but that becomes part of the fun, and since each road leads to the tide pools, you can wash off the dirt during a refreshing swim.

St. Croix Hiking Excursions

Numerous hiking trails weave across St.Croix, from the West End rainforest to the dry and cactus-covered East End. Hike to plantation ruins, discover hidden beaches, and explore mountain peaks with experienced guides who can show you the best trails on the island.

For those that like to stay active while on vacation, Fitness Integrated Tours is an exciting way to get your cardio workout in while experiencing the island’s natural beauty. Tour St. Croix’s stunning coastline on a three- or five-hour tour as a guide provides insights into the island’s history, wildlife and geography. The tour will stop at destinations such as Jack’s and Isaac’s Bay, two stunning beaches, the turtle nesting grounds and Goat Hill and Hams Bluff Lighthouse – both offer incredible panoramic views of the island.

If you’re a history buff AND a nature enthusiast, choosing a hike that combines the two isn’t as difficult as you may think. CHANT (Crucian Heritage & Nature Tourism) is an organization that strives to maintain Crucian culture and heritage. They also promote sustainable community development, focusing on tourism, traditional skills, and heritage-focused workforce development. In doing so, they provide authentic and eye-opening Bushman hiking tours.

You’ll join Bushman Ras Joe Gell and explore St. Croix’s Annaly Ridge, the rainforest, Maroon Ridge Lighthouse, and the tide pool trails.  

St. Croix Scuba Diving Adventures

St. Croix is one of two islands in the Caribbean where you can enjoy reef diving, wreck diving, and wall diving, all on the same island. The open, turquoise waters that surround the island make for some of the most beautiful and diverse diving in the Caribbean.

Explore a 4,000-year-old barrier reef, one of the most developed reefs in the Atlantic Caribbean. At The Cane Bay Wall, one of the most popular dive sites on St. Croix, experience a sheer drop-off that descends to over 13,000 feet. Nicknamed “The Wall,” this diving spot is home to angelfish, barracuda and trumpetfish. Divers can also explore multiple shipwrecks. Five shipwrecks await curious divers in Butler Bay on the west shore. The Rosaomaria (also known as Rosa Maria), Suffolk Maid, two tugboats, and the Virgin Islander oil barge.

While experienced divers can freely explore these underwater wonders, beginners will want to either take a course or a guided tour. Thankfully, St. Croix is home to multiple dive centers that offer both.

Sweet Bottom Dive Center (Cane Bay & Carambola Resort) is a PADI 5-Star Instructor Development Dive Center that offers scuba diving experiences to participants of all levels, from beginner to expert. At Scuba Dive St. Croix, certification courses are available, and day trips to some of the best dive sites on the island. With gear rental, guided tours, and the option to add a hike to your day, Scuba Dive St. Croix has everything you need to make the most of your time underwater. They even offer night dives at Frederiksted Pier that transform the island’s waters into an otherworldly landscape and provide the chance to see nocturnal sea life.

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