Paradise awaits on the tropical shores of St. Croix, where azure waters beckon adventurous souls seeking an unforgettable escape. From the moment your toes touch the warm, powder-soft sand, a world of aquatic wonders unveils itself, promising thrilling encounters and exhilarating journeys in the island’s surrounding waters.
Whether you’re learning the ins and outs of surfing or experiencing the rush of parasailing, don’t miss out on these incredible water activities when visiting St. Croix.
Annaly Bay Tide Pools
Considered a hidden gem on the shores of St. Croix, the Annaly Bay Tide Pools require a moderate yet accessible hike to get to. Starting at the Carambola Resort trailhead, you’ll hike through the subtropical rainforest to a pristine beach where the tide pools sit just to the left. On calm days, the surrounding jagged rocks create heavenly natural pools, some deep enough to swim, float and relax. For the full experience, bring snorkel gear and scan the water for small fish, crabs, and seashells.
Stand Up Paddleboarding
St. Croix takes paddleboarding to the next level. In the Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Reserve, Sea-Thru Kayak offers transparent paddleboards that allow you to see straight down to the coral reef and vibrant marine life. In addition to the sea, you can explore the lush mangroves and see birds such as Snowy Egrets and Blue Herons. If you’re a first-time paddleboarder, the transparent boards may make finding your balance a bit challenging, but don’t worry! Regular boards are also available.
Have you always wanted to learn to surf but never had the chance? Don’t pass up the opportunity to take lessons with St. Croix Surf & SUP in Christiansted. The company is run by a husband-and-wife duo who will teach you the basics of surfing on the sand, such as paddling and standing up, before taking you into the water to catch waves. The swells are perfect for beginners and intermediates. If you already know how to surf, board rentals are also available.
Cane Bay Wall
On the North Shore of St. Croix, there’s an incredible coral reef where sea turtles, tropical fish and reef sharks create a vibrant ecosystem. But one section of the reef is considered one of the best diving spots in the U.S. Virgin Islands: Cane Bay Wall – a dramatic section of the coral reef that drops off around 3,200 feet. Check out Sweet Bottom Dive Center to sign up for the experience. Keep an eye out for coral-covered anchors, an out-of-place seahorse statue, and a sand chute drop-off.
Buck Island Reef National Monument
You don’t have to scuba dive to get a glimpse of St. Croix’s stunning coral reefs. Buck Island, off the northeast shore of St. Croix, has a beautiful reef protected as a national monument. Despite being a protected area, you can still take a quick two-mile boat ride from Christiansted or Green Cay Marina for a snorkeling excursion. As you explore the site, you’re all but guaranteed to see multiple kinds of sea turtles, including leatherbacks, greens, and loggerheads.
You may have been kayaking, but have you ever been kayak sailing? This one-of-a-kind excursion puts you on a kayak with a sail while an experienced guide takes you to vibrant reefs, private lagoons, and serene estuaries. You also have the option to sign-up for a self-guided adventure, where you can cruise along the shoreline at your own pace, but you’ll miss out on visiting destinations that only a guide could lead you to. Either way, prepare for a fantastic kayak day sailing through St. Croix’s magnificent water. Rentals and custom tours are offered by Kayak Sailing Adventures on the southwest part of the island.
Motorized Snorkel Tours
Snorkel as you’ve never snorkeled before on a guided underwater scooter tour. These snorkel scooters are fully motorized and will pull you through the water, meaning you won’t wear yourself out swimming. You can pull up right next to sea turtles, schools of fish, and, if you’re lucky, dolphins. Tours are offered at various locations along the northern and western coasts of the island, such as Cane Bay, Buck Island, and Rainbow Beach (Mermaid Adventures is a popular tour company). Just know that once you snorkel with an underwater scooter, you’ll never want to snorkel without one again.
Bioluminescence Bay Experience
Just because the sun is going down doesn’t mean your St. Croix water adventures must end. In the Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Reserve, a guide will take you to sites with bioluminescent plankton. As you glide through the water, your kayak and paddle will create an eruption of glowing blue light. Minor disturbances cause the plankton to glow; the more you splash, the more light appears. It’s one of those natural phenomena you must see to believe. But the glowing plankton isn’t the only enjoyable part of this trip. Simply kayaking under the night sky, along the shoreline, is an incredible experience.
Take your vacation to new heights and sign up for an epic day of parasailing. As you soar through the sky, you’ll have an incredible bird’s eye view of St. Croix and the surrounding islands. If you’re lucky, you may even spot sea turtles and dolphins cruising the water below you. Parasailing is thrilling for the whole family, especially if you book your adventure with a reputable company like Caribbean Sea Adventures.