Skip to content

Salt River Canyon East Wall (Barracuda Bank)

Salt River Canyon’s East Wall is known as 'the fishiest dive on the North Shore'. The East Wall of the canyon boasts tons of reef fish at the top of The Wall and, from about 40-80 feet where The Wall slopes down into sand chutes, you will see large formations of hard corals, covered with sponges and soft corals. The East Wall is also home to numerous tropical and pelagic species including large numbers of barracuda (hence the name ‘Barracuda Bank’).

Location: North Shore

The Salt River Canyon itself is formed by the remains of an ancient river and waterfall that cut a deep “V” in the wall of the Puerto Rico Trench that runs just off of the island’s North Shore. The East Wall and West Wall of the canyon are only a quarter of a mile apart, separated by a chasm thousands of feet deep, but they offer two distinct diving experiences. If you are an underwater photographer, make sure to take your camera on this dive!

General Location:

Just outside of Salt River Bay off of North Shore Road (Route 80), in Salt River Bay National Park & Ecological Preserve.

Access:

This dive site must be accessed by boat.

Depth:

Salt River Canyon’s East Wall has a mooring which lies in about 40 feet of water. From about 40-80 feet, The Wall slopes down to about 80 feet before dropping off to depths over 1,000 feet.

Conditions:

Average visibility is 60-80 feet, up to 100 feet. Some surge and current can be present, especially where The Wall turns the corner into the canyon.

From about 40-80 feet where The Wall slopes down into sand chutes, you will see large formations of hard corals, covered with sponges and soft corals. This area is also home to huge schools of black durgeon, yellowtail snapper, black bar soldier fish and striped grunts. At around 80 feet, The Wall drops off into the blue abyss and you will often see black tip reef sharks. Thanks to the gradual slope before the drop-off and the hundreds of coral pinnacles, the East Wall is also home to numerous tropical and pelagic species including: moray eels, large numbers of barracuda (hence the name ‘Barracuda Bank’), large angel fish, parrot fish, lobster, conch, and tiger tail sea cucumbers.

 

When diving the canyon, you may also see diver favorites such as sea turtles, spotted eagle rays, and dolphins. If you are lucky enough to be here in February or March, you may even be serenaded by the humpback whales’ song as they migrate along the Puerto Rio Trench. On occasion, hammerhead sharks have even been spotted lurking off the East Wall. 

  • Salt River Marina
  • Restaurant and bar
  • Kayaking tours
  • Columbus Landing
  • Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve

Read More about Salt River

Salt River

Salt River Beach is located on Salt River Bay on the North Shore of St. Croix. It features the Salt River Marina, and several water sport companies. Many kayak tours come in and out of here, and it is especially beautiful on a full moon. Dive tours are also available out of Salt River Bay…

Read More

Dive the Salt River Canyon Sites

In the Caribbean Sea, just outside of St. Croix’s Salt River Bay, can be found a breathtaking underwater geographical feature known as the Salt River Canyon. This underwater canyon is formed by the remains of an ancient river and waterfall that formed a deep “V” in the wall of the Puerto Rico Trench that runs…

Read More

Columbus Landing

Columbus Landing Beach is located on the North Shore of the island, within the Salt River Bay Historical and Ecological Preserve. This beach was the site of a native village in the 1400’s and is historically significant because of the encounter between Christopher Columbus’ crew with the natives in his second journey to the America’s…

Read More

Kayak Among the Mangroves of Salt River

‘What an incredible experience’, ‘That was cool’, ‘We got to see so much’, and ‘Our guide was so funny!’ – these were just a few of the comments heard during my latest adventure, a kayak tour of Salt River. The award-winning tour was given by Caribbean Adventure Tours, the original kayak tour located in Salt…

Read More

Salt River National Historic Park

Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve! Not only is Salt River important historically, it is also a protected ecological preserve. Salt River is also known as Columbus Landing. Columbus landed at this spot in America’s Paradise in 1493, but encountered the not-so-friendly Carib Indian tribe. This led to the first documented conflict…

Read More