St. Croix is filled with natural, historical and
cultural treasures that visitors can explore at their
own pace. From a tour of a rum distillery to diving the
deepest, underwater reef wall in the world, this
laid-back Caribbean gem has something to offer everyone.
One of the Caribbean's top dive destinations, this
island boasts so many great wrecks, reef and wall dives,
you'll have to come back for many years to see them all.
Certified scuba instructors can take people at all
levels of experience, and can even get a novice
certified and diving during their vacation.
St. Croix was formed by the shifting of tectonic plates
— not volcanically like most other Caribbean islands —
and it resulted in a shelf or "wall" that runs along the
north side of the island and vertically drops to 13,000
feet in places.
Sponges, sea fans and corals grow along the wall and sea
life — including sea horses, lobster, turtles and tons
of fish — make their home there.
Night-diving the old Frederiksted Pier is another must,
and its shallow waters and tons of sea life make it a
great initiation for first-timers.
Dive operations like ...N2 The Blue... can
lead you on an underwater excursion you'll never forget.
Great snorkeling can be found at almost every beach on
the island and many hotels rent or lend out snorkel gear
Buck Island Reef National Monument is just 1.5 miles
from St. Croix's north shore and was declared a national
treasure. Protected by the National Park Service, the
island is home to several endangered and threatened
species, including the St. Croix ground lizard, the
brown pelican and Hawksbill, Green and Leatherback sea
turtles. The pristine Turtle Bay is one of the best
beaches on St. Croix and the reef around the 176-acre
island is extraordinary.
Take a boat trip to Buck Island and hike the trail on
the island, then jump in the water and follow the
National Park's underwater snorkel trail. Big Beard's
Adventure Tours, Caribbean Sea Adventures, Jolly Rodger,
and Buck Island Charters all have Buck Island trips
For a thrilling nighttime adventure, kayak the
bioluminescent bay at Salt River. Tiny organisms in the
water glow when agitated, making the water below look
just like the night sky above.
Virgin Kayak Tours take people out in recumbent kayaks
that go fast enough to leave a wake behind the boat. Sea
Thru Kayaks VI use completely clear kayaks that have
lights and allow you to see the life under the water
from your kayak. Both offer tours through the Salt River
Get off the beaten path with Tan Tan Tours, an off-road
Jeep and hiking excursion through the jungle to the
Annaly Bay tide pools. Choose a full-day tour, which
comes with lunch and three swimming stops, or a half-day
tour. Travelers can also take a tour that only goes to
the tide pools, and private and custom tours are also
The most romantic scenic tour of St. Croix is on
horseback. Paul and Jill's Equestrian Stables will take
riders through the rainforest and to some west end
beaches. Equus Riding Tours provide riding tours along
the north shore, up the hills of La Vallee and along the
famous Cane Bay Beach. For added romance, take the
sunset riding tour offered by Equus and watch the sun go
down on horseback. Both companies welcome all abilities
from first-timers to experienced riders.
If you have your own transportation, look for the brown
and white St. Croix Heritage Trail signs that are posted
throughout the island. Stop and learn about the island's
ecology, history and culture on your way to the next
adventure. Some of the stops along the trail include the
Whim Plantation Museum, Columbus Landing where
Christopher Columbus landed on his second voyage to
America, and the easternmost point of the United States,
The history of the island is long and full of
fascinating characters and amazing stories. The
Christiansted National Historic Site, managed by the
National Park Service, is comprised of the imposing Fort
Christianvern, Steeple Building Museum, Danish Customs
House, the Scale House and the Danish West India and
Guinea Company Warehouse, which also functioned as a
Out west, visit Fredericksted National Historic Site,
featuring the Fort Frederick museum, the Customs House,
the Victoria home and St. Patrick's Roman Catholic
Church, built in 1848.
Rum played a large part in the development of the island
and it still does. Two active rum distilleries are open
daily for tours and tastings. One produces Captain
Morgan rum and the other produces Cruzan Rum.
Visit the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Sandy Point Wildlife
Refuge to learn about the endangered leatherback sea
turtles that nest there. The beautiful sandy beach
stretches for almost 2 miles around a large peninsula
just outside of Fredericksted. The refuge is only open
to beachgoers on the weekends and is completely closed
during certain times of the year to protect the turtles,
so call first. For a unique vacation experience, find
out if you can volunteer to help stand guard at night
while the enormous turtles come ashore to nest or ensure
their tiny hatchlings make it across the sand to the
For the gambler, St. Croix has one casino (at Divi
Carina Bay Beach Resort) and one horse-racing track.
Golfers can enjoy stunning ocean views while playing at
three lovely courses: two are a full 18-holes and one is
a nine-hole course.
Visitors to St. Croix must visit the (non-alcoholic)
beer-drinking pigs at Domino's — a charming, ramshackle
bar deep in the rainforest. Other attractions include
St. George Botanical Gardens, the St. Croix Archaeology
Museum, the Lawaetz Family Museum and the Apothecary