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sea turtle swimming in the USVI


One of the coolest – and cutest! – creatures to be found in the waters of the US Virgin Islands is the sea turtle. In the USVI, we have three species of sea turtle which can be seen frequently: hawksbill sea turtles, green sea turtles, and loggerhead sea turtles.

Sea turtles tend to hang out around beaches with plenty of turtle grass, as that’s where they feed. These peaceful animals swim at a serene pace, coming up to the surface intermittently for air. Often times you’ll spot them resting on the sea floor, simply taking in their surroundings. The sea turtles of St. John and St. Thomas are accustomed to the presence of snorkelers, so you’ll often get an up close and personal experience with these magnificent islanders during your time here, though we do ask that you maintain proper turtle etiquette.


USVI sea turtle swims on St. Thomas and St. John


Proper turtle etiquette means respecting the sea turtles’ space – no chasing, no touching, and definitely no riding the turtles.

There are several beaches and cays to potentially swim with turtles on St. John and on St. Thomas. In our favorite spots, it’s not uncommon to spot upwards of a dozen turtles while you’re snorkeling there.

The turtles are often joined by an array of sea buddies passing through – sting rays, octopus, spotted eagle rays, nurse sharks, and even dolphins.

We recommend joining us for a guided tour, available on both St. Thomas and St. John. Our expert guides will show you the best locations to swim with sea turtles, and share loads of educational information about them and the surrounding environment. After that, if you’d like to spend more time with the sea turtles throughout your vacation, you can rent water sports gear to explore on your own!


swimming with sea turtles on St. Thomas and St. John


Have you ever swam with sea turtles or is it still on your bucket list?

If you’d like to learn more, here are our Sea Turtle FAQs.

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