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Snorkeling in Virgin Gorda

When it comes to beautiful, clear waters with great snorkeling, Virgin Gorda is hard to beat.

The natural beauty of the Island with its stunning beaches, blue waters and quiet majestic coves make the Island a favorite for Caribbean visitors. The Island's true gems are the geological formations of magnificent boulders grouped together that form warm water baths scattered throughout. Snorkeling at the baths and off-shore of the Island is very popular. Divers and snorkelers will be delighted in the underwater world that they can explore.

Along the southwest coast of Virgin Gorda you will find the most visited area of the Island and the most frequented area of all the British Virgin Islands. Often called the eighth wonder of the world, the baths are located here and visitors come from all over the world to get a glimpse at the natural phenomenon. Huge granite boulders have formed here from volcanic activity. Over the years the boulders have been worn and shaped by the weather. Some of the boulders are as high as 50 feet tall. When you come to visit you certainly will not want to forget your camera.

To get to the baths you can either come by foot or by boat. On foot you can reach the baths from a taxi drop off point in about 10 minutes time. You will just need to follow the dirt and stone path to the entrance. White sandy beaches will greet you as you near the baths.

Due to the popularity of the baths, it can be crowded especially during mid-day. If you are looking for a quieter time to visit, it is the least crowded very early in the morning or late in the afternoon.

As you enter the baths you will be greeted with exotic pools that are formed by the giant boulders. You can easily spend a good part of the day exploring the hidden caves and pools scattered throughout the boulders. Reefs and sea grass are also plentiful throughout the area.

Most visitors come to the baths to snorkel and it is a snorkeler's delight. While there is not a lot of coral there is an abundance of friendly sea life waiting for you to see. Expect to see all types of fish, turtles and rays. If you are lucky you might also catch a glimpse of a group of sea horses galloping around under the water's surface! If you don't like to snorkel you can still enjoy the beauty, and can take in some sun on the surrounding white sandy beaches.

If you hike all the way through the baths from their entrance you will come to Devil's Bay Beach. Devil's Bay Beach is usually not too crowded and is a great place to escape to during the busy mid day hours. Here you will find a nice stretch of white sandy beach and some more wonderful snorkeling area. Divers on calm days can visit the south side of the beach where there is a pretty cave that holds 12-15' of water with sea life.

Beyond the baths there are other great areas all over the Island where you can enjoy snorkeling, sunning and magnificent views. Spring Bay offers tourists a place to relax and enjoy some additional smaller boulders and sheltered pools. There are very few waves here and there are plenty of areas rocks and crevices to explore. Along the south end of the beach visitors will find the best place to snorkel. Just past Spring Bay you will find even less crowded Little Trunk Bay. The beach here is a short walk from Spring Bay through some boulders and is often deserted, although you may see a sailboat or two off shore.

Mahoe Bay is another area frequented by visitors. This area is known for its picturesque reefs just off the shore. The reefs help protect the sandy white beach. Visitors to Mahoe Bay can enjoy sunbathing, swimming, snorkeling and windsurfing. An abundance of sea life especially sea turtles make it a great area for snorkeling. I have snorkeled here many times over the past 20 years. It is always quiet and beautiful and remains one of my very favorite snorkel spots in all the world. Snorkeling at daybreak here is one of the most peaceful experiences ever. Enter the beach from the public lot between the luxury beachfront homes.

Leverick Bay, also known as the North Sound, is a great area for snorkeling and is very popular. You will find deep blue waters, breathtaking reefs and sandy beaches. This is a great place to rent water craft for the day. You can do some of your own exploring around the area enjoying the views, snorkeling and the Caribbean sun.

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