We planned a quick trip to do some St Croix scuba diving. A group of us wanted to get away from New York for awhile and get some dives in. Since it is one of the U.S. Virgin Islands, we figured it would be quick and easy to check out.
Dive Guide to the Largest USVI - With Information on Location, Weather, Water Temperature, Flights And More
St. Croix is the largest of the 3 inhabited United States Virgin Islands. It is located approximately 65 miles to the southeast of Puerto Rico and 1100 miles southeast of Miami.
From the Northeast of the US, it is about 1700 miles from New York to St. Croix.
In relation to the other two U.S. Virgin Islands, St. Croix is located 40 miles from St. John and St. Thomas.
Beautiful beach view on St. Croix While it is the largest of the USVI's, it is still fairly small in size. St. Croix is approximately 24 miles long and about 8 miles wide at its widest point.
While the east side of the island is mostly arid and dry with cacti in abundance, the west is covered with tree-filled, rolling hills and lush rain forests.
St. Croix is easily accessible from the US mainland. It is a 25 minute flight away from San Juan, Puerto Rico which offers several flights daily.
Airlines that fly from San Juan to St. Croix include American Eagle, Cape Air, Continental Express and seaborne Shuttle.
Direct jet flights are available from Miami, Charlotte and Atlanta and take approximately 2.5 hours. Airlines that offer direct flights to St. Croix from the mainland include American, Delta and US Airways.
Continental and United fly direct into St. Thomas where you can catch a connecting flight.
Regular ferry service also plies between St. Croix and St. Thomas. If you are traveling between St. Thomas and St. Croix, you can even make use of seaplane flights.
The airport code for St. Croix is STX.
For more information and details, see our flights to St. Croix page.
St. Croix weather is mostly warm with low humidity. St. Croix offers a great mix of sunny blue skies and gentle breeze throughout the year - perfect for some St Croix scuba diving.
The average temperature in St. Croix in summers is in the mid-80's (fahrenheit) and this drops to the high 70's in winter. In extreme cases, warm summer days may reach the 90s and cool winter nights may dip below 70F, which is rare, though possible. Otherwise, the weather does not vary much.
Rains hit the tiny island primarily from August till November. Fortunately, showers are usually quick affairs in the late afternoons. Average rainfall for the year is about 45-50 inches.
As in the rest of the Caribbean, it is hurricane season between June 1st and November 30th with storms peaking between mid August and mid October.
The last major hurricanes to lash the island wer Hurricane Hugo in 1989 and Hurricane Marilyn in 1995. The island also suffered minor to moderate storm damage in 1998, 1999 and 2008.
Water temperatures in St. Croix are nearly identical to the temperature on land, with summer highs touching 82-85F and winter lows dipping to 75-77F. Average water temperatures for St. Croix scuba diving is approximately 83F in summer and 79F in Winter.
Visibility is usually in the 75’+ range, of course depending on the weather.
I am going to have to say that diving in St. Croix, USVI was a bit disappointing. We expected to have some very good dives and unfortunately, St Croix scuba diving didn't live up to our expectations.
In my dive book, all I really wrote was "fair" for our dives. Of course, I wasn't expecting to do a website about scuba diving in the Caribbean either at that time.
If I had known, I would have made some more detailed entries like I do when I have a great dive (you can check out our page of our picks for best places to scuba dive in the Caribbean.)
The dives we did during our trip to St. Croix were: Pavillion #1, The Shack, Salt River West, Wapa, Salt River East and Blue Shoot.
Out of these dive sites, we marked Wapa as the best St Croix scuba diving of our trip. Of course, this is purely personal and someone else can have a totally different opinion.
Visibility on all the dives was about 70 feet. The deepest I went was 89 feet at the dive site Salt River East. As is the norm, the second dives of the day were all shallower with max depths of 50-60 feet.
Our second dives during this St Croix scuba diving trip were The Shack (max depth of 55 feet), Wapa (53 ft.) and Blue Shoot (62 ft.).
We dove with S.C.U.B.A. - St. Croix Ultimate Blue Water Adventure. We had no complaints about this dive operator during our St Croix scuba diving trip.
St. Croix now has over 70 moored dive sites.
Most of the dive sites are on the north and west ends of the island. There is a wall that runs along the north side of the island. The wall usually begins in about 30-50 feet of water and then drops into the abyss.
We stayed near Christiansted which is on the north side of the island.
On the west end of the island you will find some wreck dives. These were boats that were sunk intentionally to start an artificial reef.
A popular night dive is at the Frederiksted pier, also located on the west end of the island.
Even if the St Croix scuba diving isn't all that great, it is still a nice island to visit. You can visit old sugar cane plantations or a fort. Of course, there is alway the Cruzan Rum Distillery and the infamous beer drinking pigs to while away your surface intervals.
And if you are feeling lucky, St Croix has the only casino in the USVI's. If you go we hope you have a great time and let us know what you think of St Croix scuba diving. We would love to hear from you!
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Photos courtesy of fuzzy10, divemasterking2000 and tehusagent. Thanks!