One of the underrated, beautiful attractions that we love on St. John are the mangroves. Mangroves are flowering trees that live in saltwater or tracking water in the mudflats on shorelines. They have distinctive, prop roots that support a diverse community of marine life including sponges, algae, corals crustaceans, fish and more. They offer an amazing habitat for juvenile reef panfish and lobsters, often making them an underwater nursery for sea life. Bright corals, vibrant fish and amazing creatures call these roots home!
In St. John, we have many mangrove areas, but the most popular and prominent is in Hurricane Hole. This area was actually deemed a National Monument in January 2001. Seeking to provide greater protection to the sensitive coral reef resources, President Clinton established the Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument. The monument includes 12,708 acres of federal underwater lands within the 3 mile area off St. John, including Hurricane Hole and areas north and south.
We love snorkeling the mangroves here, and also highly recommend a boat charter for the day and asking to stop here (Island Roots will take you there!), or going with Arawak Expeditions for a kayak or stand up paddle board in this serene spot!
Have you snorkeled mangroves before? If not, check them out! If you have, we’d love to see your pictures! Tag #destinationstj on Instagram for a repost or share them on our Facebook page!