There is a reason why people refer to the British Virgin Islands as “Nature’s Little Secrets” because this place contains a variety of stunning islands that has endless white sand beaches, emerald green mountains, and other diverse and secluded islands. Each of them has its own unique attractions and charms that offer tourists an infinite range of experiences.
One of the best ways to explore the underwater beauty that British Virgin Island has to offer is by snorkeling. You will get to witness vibrant reefs, healthy coral, and several fish populations. The most wonderful thing about snorkeling is that it is easy. You don’t need to bring any heavy gears, you just need to have the right snorkeling gear such as the right snorkeling mask, flippers, snorkel, and suit then you’re all set. The only thing you have to think about is the best place to snorkel in the British Virgin Islands. But luckily, we are here to help you with that because we are going to list down the best BVI snorkeling spots that you should visit.
Located on the north coast of St. John, you can reach Leinster Bay by an easy sail from Tortola, but you have to make sure that you check in with Customs first if you’re coming from the British Virgin Islands. You can snorkel along the shore and out towards Watermelon Cay where you can find sea horses, a variety of hamlets, trunkfish, parrotfish, and school of grunts who call the reef home. Leinster Bay is a calm spot which means it is perfect for beginner snorkelers.
The Bight is the main anchorage on Norman Island and the perfect snorkeling spot can be found on the reef that is just south of the beach. It is where you can witness an incredibly healthy reef that stretches several hundred yards. You can also have the chance to see some elkhorn, sea fans, parrotfish, sponges, wrasse, and brain corals. That’s why you should come prepared and have your underwater camera with you to take photos with these beautiful sea creatures while you’re snorkeling.
Buttonwood Bay is located at the western end of Great Harbour in Peter Island and this spot offers private seclusion as snorkeling and an anchorage spot. About 20 yards offshore, you will be able to see some shallow coral reef. If you go a little further, you will see a marvelous array of small marine life. In fact, you will find yourself swimming through thousands of small fish.
The Wreck of the RMS Rhone
Before the RMS Rhone sunk of Salt Island in an 1867 hurricane, it had been the pride of the Royal Mail Steam Packet Company. But when the storm hit, the RMS Rhone hit Black Rock and promptly sunk. Today, you can see the RMS Rhone sitting in three well-preserved sections on a sandy bottom. When you go snorkeling here, you will be able to see how the wreckage become home to several species of fish, colorful sponges and corals.
Manchioneel Bay is located on the northwest shore of Cooper Island. At this bay, you will see a u-shaped reef with plenty of fish action such as large schools of blue tang, blueheads, snapper, butterflyfish, clownfish, several variations of grunts and parrot fish. If you’re lucky, you might have the chance to spot an octopus. Don’t worry if you’re scared to go far into the ocean because here in Manchioneel Bay, you will be able to see sea stars, rays, and turtles along the sandy bottom where it’s closer to the beach.
If you want to have the ultimate snorkeling experience after exploring Manchioneel Bay, then you should take your dinghy to the south of Manchioneel Bay and head on down to Cistern Point. When you get here, you can tie your yacht to the line that is attached to two buoys and you can snorkel around a large rock that is rising above the surface. Snorkeling here at Cistern Point gives you the chance to see hordes of reef fish, large barracuda, crabs, maybe a nurse shark or two, and spiny lobster.
We hope this article helped you in picking the snorkeling spots you want to visit when you’re in the British Virgin Islands. Snorkeling is a fun and enjoyable experience, but remember to be very extra careful when going into the open waters. Remember to have the right snorkeling gears with you and if you have poor eyesight, make sure you’re going to use a prescription snorkeling mask so that you will not worry about wearing your prescription eyeglasses over your regular snorkeling mask.