Favorite & Best BVI snorkeling spots can be of course, very subjective. Over my two decades of snorkeling and SCUBA diving the waters of the British Virgin Islands, I have a few favorites though!
Let’s go over them and I can tell you WHY they are among my favorite snorkeling sites for your yacht charter. Some are because of the wrecks, some are because of the Marine Life, Tropical Fish and some are the topography. Then there are the spots that I am liable to see Sea Turtles and Reef Fish.
Little Sister Islands BVI Snorkeling
Why do I love Salt Island? Anyone who has followed me over the years knows that it is my favorite. In the water along the beach in the swell line just under the water and on the shore you can always find lots of Old Sea glass from hundreds of years ago.
The entire shoreline has squid if you look just into the distance while snorkeling, sometimes permits swimming by and an odd shark or two. This is a wonderful place for Turtles and Conch. I find more octopi lairs alongside this shoreline than anywhere else I snorkel.
- Cooper Island: Cistern Point is wonderful for the volume of tropical fish. This bay also has great topography with this being a rock you can snorkel around reaching out of the water. If you get around to the other side of the point because it is flat, you will see Tarpon.
- If you are snorkeling in the seagrass around the mooring balls there you will find many stingrays and turtles to watch.
- Hallsover bay which is around where the dive wrecks are is generally very good. Also called wreck Alley. A bit tricky to anchor as there is reef and rocks, but there are mooring balls by the wrecks that are generally calm enough to pick up and enjoy the reef.
- Ginger Island on the way up to the Baths on Virgin Gorda, is great. On very flat days ( I mean NO sea at all) We will go around the Northside to anchor just outside Ginger Sound and snorkel the reef there. There are HUNDREDS of juvenile barracuda here. Let’s see how brave you are! Additionally, there is a mooring ball on the north side of Ginger in the always protected waters.
Virgin Gorda Best Snorkeling Spots
- I love the Baths, on Virgin Gorda and I will never step foot on land. I don’t find it the best for variety and numbers of fish. The combination of white sand, clear water, blue sky, and boulders though can have you snorkeling in and out and between them for hours happily.
- If you are looking for a less busy version of the Baths to snorkel, consider stopping at Fallen Jerusalem, just before you arrive at Virgin Gorda. Very similar conditions on a smaller scale with fewer people.
- Mountain Point halfway up Virgin Gorda is a popular anchorage with the crewed yachts, good snorkeling, and where you can also water ski. This is a very large anchorage, and you can snorkel all the way out to the point in safety and with varying topographies. There are a couple of grottos that can be ducked into on very flat days.
- Eustatia Reef by Oil Nut Bay has about 6 old anchors on it. These were all placed here mostly by Bert Kilbride from Anegada/Horsehoe Reef decades ago. I typically find the fish life healthy here and with a maximum depth of 30′. Take a look and see how many anchors you can find!
Anegada and Horseshoe Reef Snorkeling
- If you go out to Anegada and out with Kelly, he should be able to show you some spectacular snorkeling around Conch Mountain, and if you go to Loblolly Bay and it is calm to get to the outside of the reef it will be good. The Conch I have seen on the outside of Loblolly has been among the largest!
- Horseshoe Reef, ONLY on absolutely FLAT days with a “local” knowledge operator or person can you get out to the wreck of the Rocus. The shallow part of the wreck is just below the surface, so easy to see. There are thousands of cow bones scattered around the wreck as that is what it was carrying for cargo when it sank. THIS is a good spot to see larger schools of fish and different varieties.
North Side of Tortola, Jost Van Dyke area Snorkeling
- Lots of Tarpon around where the bubbly pool is on Jost Van Dyke Anchor or pick up a mooring ball at Diamond Reef which is in between Jost and Little Jost. I do find the water is cloudy here often.
- Brewers Bay on the North Side of Tortola by Cane Garden is great for snorkeling. If the swell is up, it is going to be too cloudy to see anything so do not bother. If not, you can have a huge anchorage to yourself with good snorkeling out where the dive balls are on each of the points.
- Guana Island, Monkey Point, and Muskmelon Bay. Monkey Point is a great spot for schools of fish, diving birds, and Tarpon. This can be a very busy spot, but there are quite a few mooring balls. Typically off-limits to Bareboaters, is Muskmelon Bay on Guana Island, but some of my favorite snorkeling with bird nesting colonies, schools of fish, and plenty of Tarpon as well.
Norman Island Best BVI Snorkeling Spots
- Norman Island. Go to Angelfish reef at the tip of Privateer bay. Or even down in the corner past the caves. WONDERFUL snorkeling. If it is calm go around the point to the outside of angelfish reef. It just gets better the further you go. The Caves does not hold a lot of appeal to me, as it is pretty kicked over from Tourists. BUT the Glassy-Eyed Sweepers in the Caves and the topography are pretty cool.
- Benures Bay on Norman Island. Very healthy coral and fish life on this anchorage at the east end of Norman Island
- Money Bay on Norman Island. Ah, one of my top five anchorages in the BVI. I can spend weeks here when the waters are flat snorkeling where no one else goes.
- The Indians. Definitely a must-see. Just off the Bight on Norman Island, but rocky peaks looking like an Indian Headdress arise from the sea. The amount of fish is very healthy.
Peter Island Favorite Snorkeling Spots
- Little Harbor on Peter I mentioned before. Crappy coral, but calm and I often see interesting fish, including squid, turtles, and DOLPHINS!
- Great Harbor on Peter used to be wonderful. I have heard not that good now since the hurricanes of 2017. Too bad.
- I maybe suggest heading to White Bay on the west side of Peter Island. There is a lot of baby fish around the rocky points and this is the one spot in the seagrass that I have consistently seen Eagle Rays!