St. Croix Buck Island Snorkeling
Our Buck Island Reef National Monument attraction in Saint Croix is an amazing option for things to do in St Croix.
Buck Island was proclaimed as a protected area on December 28th, 1961 and because of this the marine life around the reef is awesome! This reef lies on Saint Croix’s north coast and contains 19,015 acres of reef and land.
Cancelation Policy: 48 hours prior to charter or full price is charged
If you are looking for more things to do in St. Croix, our travel sommeliers recommend pairing this adventure with our Deep Sea Fishing.
About Buck Island:
The Buck Island National Monument reef was established in 1961 by President Kennedy and then expanded in 2001 by President Clinton. Do you think either one of them ever enjoyed our snorkeling attraction on the reef here? The area is comprised of a 176 acres of land and the reef that surrounds it. These waters and reefs are home to millions of different species of animals and plant life with some of them being on the endangered species list. The cool part about all of this is that you can charter a boat to see all this stuff and more while you swim!
One endangered inhabitant is the Saint Croix Ground lizard. This little guy was re-introduced to the island in 2008 in hopes that a new little colony would flourish It was largely wiped out by deforestation and the voracious appetite of the mongoose! Fortunately, they can't swim long distances so they stay on the island!
Another animals on the island is the Hawksbill Turtle. The island attracts the turtles every two to four years who swim to their nesting location which just so happens to be Buck Island and you get to see it! They lay up to 200 eggs in round nests on the beach. Their babies can grow to adults who are up to three-feet long and over 200 pounds.
Turtles haven't been the only inhabitants on Buck Islsand. There are fossil records from clay pots dating back to 600 AD from what are believed to be Saladoid, Taino, or Ostionoid people who used it for a hunting camp. There have been small groups of people who lived there but no large settlements due to the unavailability of fresh water sources and limited amounts of rainfall. Can you envision these early settlers snorkeling and swimming around the reef with makeshift goggles? The reef probably looked amazing then too.
Before being established as Buck Island, this area used to be know as Isle Vert (“Green Island”) in the 1700's due to it's lush green habitat which was the main attraction for settlers. Many of the trees on the island were cut down and used for building materials. During these times, map making was often fraught with errors and the name Buck island is actually a derivative of mistakes. The name went from Pocken-Eyland (which also meant "green island") to Bockeneyl and because a mistake was made and the “P” looked like a “B.” In later years, goats were introduced to the island by residents which would lead future map makes to assume that the "Bock" in Bockeneyland was really meant to say "Buck" which was the English word for goat. Which is how we got Buck Island! Maybe we should change the name....or add more goats!
Another unique feature about Buck Island are the trails....wait...not the trails on land....the underwater trails that you can swim and snorkel! Yes, there are actually trails to follow underwater which lead those who are snorkeling on our charters around the reefs and coral. If you follow them, they will take you around the reefs and the other amazing sights. One amazing thing to see on these trailes is the Elkhorn coral, which are among some of the largest in the world, can grow to heights of over 30 feet!
More info on Buck Island: