Meet at Virgin Islands Ecotours’ marina at the Mangrove Lagoon in St. Thomas. Climb aboard your two-person kayak and paddle through the narrow waterways between mangrove trees and small islands. Many birds make their nest in the trees and if you look up, you’ll have a chance to see blue herons, night herons, egrets, yellow warblers, hummingbirds, or even spot the endangered brown pelican. Look down into the clear water and you can see juvenile fish hiding among the roots where they school together to stay safe from potential predators.
As you come to Cas Cay, the hiking portion of the tour begins. Explore the pristine, deserted, 15-acre island, which is a part of the larger Virgin Islands Park System. Reach vistas and breathtaking views from coral and shell beaches. Explore the mangrove forest on foot and even try your luck with a hermit crab race. The hike brings you to tidal pools, volcanic cliffs, and a unique geological blowhole, a favorite photographic opportunity.
After the eight minute hike through the forest back to your kayak, you will don your mask, snorkel and life jacket and begin your 45 minute guided snorkel in the show and protected waters of the mangrove lagoon. The edges of the water have the thousands of roots of the mangrove trees and when looking in there, you will find hundreds of baby fish. This is where they grow until they are big enough to return to live in the coral reef. In the snorkel area your guide will point out the marine life and explain what you will see. Keep on the look out for Lobsters, Eel, pufferfish, Angelfish, French Grunts and Yellow Tailed Snappers. It’s always a delight to see the stingrays, the spotted eagle rays and the shy turtles!
After the snorkel portion of the tour, you will kayak back through the winding alleyways of the mangrove lagoon to the Virgin Islands Ecotours ecomarina.
Your guide will point out marine life and interpret the nuances and complexities of the diverse mangrove ecosystem. You will also receive snorkeling instruction for those who are inexperienced or who want extra tips to make the most of the experience exploring this underwater world.