Waterlemon (not Watermelon) Cay, a top location for snorkeling on St. John, is a favorite destination for visitors in St. John. Waterlemon Cay snorkeling features aqua blue waters, beautiful sea grass, and large orange and yellow starfish. You will most likely see a green sea turtle or ray gliding along beneath the surface as you make your way through the crystal clear water. Located off Leinster Bay, a trip to Waterlemon Cay is also a great hiking destination. There are some wonderful paths leading to the bay that will take you through the surrounding tropical vegetation. Make Waterlemon Cay your top to-do during your stay with CimmaronStJohn! Here are some more incredible features and ideas for planning your snorkeling adventure in Waterlemon Cay.
Hiking Waterlemon Cay
To get to secluded Waterlemon Cay, you will have to go on a 20-minute walk from the parking area at the Annaberg Plantation ruins. The view along the way, though, is entirely spectacular. You won’t want the beautiful scenery to end! If you’re looking for more of a guided tour experience, then try Virgin Islands Ecotours. They offer an adventure that includes visiting the Annaberg Plantation, Waterlemon Cay, and Leinster Bay. You will enjoy both hiking and snorkeling on this five-hour tour with lunch! Explore ruins and learn about history before venturing through a portion of the national park to reach Waterlemon Cay. During your hiking excursion, you can enjoy a picnic lunch on a hill overlooking the scenic north shore.
Snorkeling Waterlemon Cay
Once you arrive at Waterlemon Cay, the bay area is quite calm with few waves, making it an ideal location for snorkeling. Here, you will discover a shallow reef, a variety of fish, and the opportunities to spot some incredible wildlife, such as turtles, rays, and starfish. On the north shore of St. John, Waterlemon Cay offers the best reef to explore on the far side of the island. While planning your snorkeling adventure, be sure to bring your gear and use the buddy system for your swim.
There are two different swims that you can choose from while beginning your snorkeling escapade. The longer swim begins from Waterlemon Cay and goes out to the distant island and back. This swim is about three-quarters of a mile and will include sea grass beds, where turtles often hide. The shorter swim is just a quarter of a mile along the rocky shoreline of Waterlemon Cay. You won’t see quite as many creatures, but you can stay close to the island this way. If you are a strong swimmer, enjoy the circumnavigation swim around Waterlemon Cay – probably the best snorkeling on St. John! (Caution: There is often an offshore current around Waterlemon, especially on the western side, which will be stronger during new and full moons.)
If you’re looking for specific spots to snorkel in the cay, consider one (or all) of the three main areas to explore. In front of the beach are some great sea grass beds, where the turtles and starfish will be. If you head out past the rocky point, you will see an area on the right side of the beach close to the shore with many fish, sponges, and coral. This is another great sightseeing venture. Watch for Peacock Flounders! If you choose to snorkel all around the island, go counter clockwise. That way, you will swim with the wind and wave direction. The outside of the island offers all the reef life, including some beautiful, colorful corals.
Stay at Cimmaron St John
After your snorkeling adventures in Waterlemon Cay, retreat to your beautiful CimmaronStJohn vacation villa and relax with ocean views. Take a dip in the pool or lounge in the hot tub (available at most of our vacation homes). We hope you enjoy our luxurious accommodations and have a wonderful vacation on our gorgeous island! Remember, we are available to assist you in all your St. John activities and have a handy Arrival Guide to help you get here!