Buck Island Reef National Monument (often called simply Buck Island) is a small uninhabited island which lies off the northeastern coast of St. Croix. It is a National Monument for a reason – it’s a truly beautiful region of elkhorn coral, home to a diverse ecosystem of fish, sharks, and rays. Every spring, Leatherback turtles congregate on the beach to lay eggs; during the summer, green and Hawksbill turtles will march onto the beaches in order to nest. In addition to exploring the reefs which surround two-thirds of the island, you can also visit its beautiful white sand beaches.

To access this gorgeous island, you will need a boat. Six boats are available for contract under the National Park Service or, if you get a permit, you can moor your own boat in the region. Buck Island is one of the multiple highlights of St. Croix and the reason many travelers will visit the island more than once. It’s a true snorkeler’s paradise with a massive variety of life (which also makes it a highly desirable location for marine research). Visit Buck Island and it will be clear to you why the United States government established it as a protected area and later National Monument, calling it one of the most splendid marine gardens in the entire Caribbean Sea.

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