Waterlemon Cay-Best Snorkeling in St. John U.S. Virgin Islands

Waterlemon Cay


Coral fan Snorkeling Virgin Islands Pirates Paradise AdventuresMention Waterlemon Cay, and some people will try to correct you, insisting that it’s “WaterMELON Cay”…but it’s not. No one really knows why, but the name of the beautiful cay on St. John island in the USVI is WaterLEMON Cay. If you’re a snorkeler, this is your nirvana.

Waterlemon Cay is ripe with amazing reefs, which are home to thousands of different species of marine wildlife. Many consider Waterlemon Cay to be one of the best snorkeling spots in the world.

What makes Waterlemon Cay so great?


Waterlemon Cay is surrounded by a fringing reef, or a reef that is directly connected to a shore, or borders it with a shallow channel of lagoon. This natural formation explains the lush underwater forest teeming with exotic fish and other marine life. Depending your point of entry, you’ll see different kinds of aquatic animals like varieties of angel and butterfly fish, parrot fish, and surgeon fish. Turtles, cuttlefish, sea cucumbers, rays, and sea urchins are also natives of this area, not to mention the different kinds of starfish resting at the bottom, creating beautiful, colorful constellations.

Spotted Eagle Ray at Sapphire Beach St Thomas USVIThe water from nearby Lienster Bay, which leads the way to Waterlemon Cay, is shallow, so you can snorkel across the reef island. The mixture of sand and coral rubble bottom goes out about 0.2 mile, leading into a field of seagrass where turtles and rays live.

If you snorkel to the eastern part of Waterlemon cay, the reef is even closer to the beach. On this route, you’ll snorkel over an area of scattered reef and plenty of seagrass. Here you also see some large parrot fish and schools of blue tangs. Here, the bottom slopes to depths of twenty to twenty-five feet. Although snorkeling at these depths might seem to appeal only to thrill-seekers, think again, because the sea fans, corals and plumes found here are large and give the impression that you’re hovering over an underwater forest.

A word of caution though, an offshore current is often times detected around Waterlemon Cay, especially on the western part. If you are not a strong swimmer, be careful. Snorkeling enthusiasts frequenting the cay suggest that you follow the current, and go counter-clockwise around the cay.

St. John, USVI UnderwaterWaterlemon Cay is just one of the many areas you can choose to snorkel when you spend the day on Red Beard from Pirate’s Paradise Adventures. Click this link to book your St. John boat rental.Don’t miss Waterlemon Cay!

in Beaches, Other, Snorkeling Sites, St. Thomas Boat Rentals