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Snorkeling on St. John, St. John's insider take:

Nearly half of St. John's Virgin Islands National Park is underwater, and coral reefs can be found just offshore along much of the coastline. Without a doubt the most popular site is Trunk Bay, where a trail of plaques set 5 to 15 feet underwater explains the complex coral-reef ecosystem. Suitable for beginners, the route extends about 100 yards along the west side of Trunk Bay, with good specimens of brain and elkhorn coral, schools of yellowtail snapper, and plenty of stoplight parrotfish. Two novice-level sites, Caneel Bay's Scott's Beach and east-side Waterlemon Bay, both have have sandy bottoms and sea grass beds that attract spotted eagle rays, southern stingrays, and green sea turtles. More experienced snorkelers can tackle rocky Salt Pond Bay, where octopus may be sighted. But mind the sea urchins and be sure to wear fins, or you may struggle against the wind-whipped current on your return to the beach. Many hotels provide complimentary snorkeling gear or rentals for a nominal fee.

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