Buck Island National Monument (St. Croix)#7 in Best Things To Do in U.S. Virgin Islands
Price & Hours
Located about 1 1/2 miles off the coast of St. Croix, Buck Island is the go-to spot for scuba diving or snorkeling. Managed by the National Park Service, the island is fringed with a barrier reef chock full of tropical fish and elkhorn coral. On land, you'll find a subtropical dry forest. A few trails weave through the island, which are perfect for a post-snorkel stroll or hike. There are picnic spots and restrooms on one side of the island, but you'll need to pack your own refreshments.
Those who've made a recent excursion to Buck Island reiterated that this is the spot to snorkel, but note that the coral isn't worth the hype. Due to environmental damage, several travelers noted the coral lacks vibrancy. Nevertheless, they encouraged future travelers to add a stop to Buck Island to their itineraries, saying not to miss the island's forest.
The Buck Island Reef Monument is open every day, but closes from sunset to sunrise to protect the island's turtle population. There's no entry fee to enjoy the island, but you will have to charter a boat or visit with a tour company. You can find a variety of recommended companies on the official NPS website. According to the NPS, the trip to the reef should take between 40 and 90 minutes, depending on the weather and whether you sail or motor to the site.
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#1 Virgin Islands National Park (St. John)
If you're on St. John during your Virgin Islands vacation, you're likely right on the edge of Virgin Islands National Park. Two-thirds of the island is parkland, and most of Love City's top attractions, such as Annaberg Plantation and Trunk Bay Beach, are within its confines. There are numerous ways to enjoy this tropical paradise. Adventurous travelers and families alike have their choice of more than 20 trails to hike.
Some sections of the park, such as popular Cinnamon Bay Resort and its campgrounds, are still undergoing repair and revitalization following the 2017 hurricanes. But travelers agreed that there's still plenty to do at the park, enjoying the different beaches and hiking trails it offers, not to mention the water activities, such as boating and snorkeling.
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