Buck Island Reef National Monument
Buck Island Reef National Monument, An Underwater National Park! Can you believe it? An underwater National Park? In all total, the park encompasses 176 acres above and below water. It was established a National Monument by a Presidential proclamation in 1961 and grew in 2001 to preserve “one of the finest marine gardens in the Caribbean Sea.” Above water- take a hike along the nature trail to the highest peak for a breathtaking view. Below water…ahhhhhh. Treat your eyes to abundant native marine flora a fauna, vibrant coral reefs, playful fish, friendly rays and the occasional endangered hawksbill turtle. There is an “official” underwater trail off the east end of the island that is accessible mostly by full or half day snorkeling tours. Signs have been mounted underwater to indicate interesting structures, marine life habitats, etc. The island is accessible by boat only. There is no fee to access the island on a private boat, however fees do vary for full or half day snorkeling excursions depending on the tour operator.