The smallest of all of the three U.S. Virgin Islands, St. John’s 20 sq. mi. is practically paradise. Stunning coral reefs, mangroves and unspoiled forests make this an ideal getaway for ecotourists.
A scant 3,000 residents call this island home. It’s alluring presence and location appealed to famous pirates like Blackbeard, Bluebeard and more. U.S. Virgin Islands National Park covers one half of the island, and a variety of birds from Warblers to cuckoos are seen and heard within this natural treasure.
The pristine waters around St. John are home to dolphins, green and hawksbill turtles, rays and stunning tropical fish.
For tourists, when it comes to places to stay, visitors have choices ranging from camps and cabins to the finest in villas and hotels. Regardless if you prefer to take in the natural world or desire to discover local wares, St. John has the opportunities you seek. You can explore the park, trails and ruins across the island, or enjoy the shopping on the island, featuring a selection of local handmade clothes, pottery, art and jewelry. A quick ferry ride away, the duty-free St. Thomas is more of the modern shopper’s delight.
As the sun sets over the horizon, and this quiet and laid back island becomes a haven for the nightcrawler: Jazz and reggae, street bars and the drone of drums fill the air.
Wanderers leaving the tourist areas find themselves interwoven with the residents of Coral Bay’s bars or hanging out in Cruz Bay where they can authentically experience St. John.
The Beaches of St. John
Cruz Bay hiking trails lead to the forests and beautiful beaches that keep visitors coming back.
● Trunk Bay Beach – This is one of the most famous beaches of St. John. Signs describe the coral and fish around the waters. A snorkel excursion here can make for an excellent adventure and learning experience. There are facilities, rentals, a gift shop and concession stand. This is in the National Park and requires a $4.00 admission. There are lifeguards stationed on the beach.
● Hawksnest Beach – One of the most convenient for the visitor, this beach has grills and picnic tables for guests. The calm waters make the reef around this beach an excellent snorkeling spot.
● Cinnamon Bay Beach – This is a long beach, approximately a full mile, within the national park. Swim, snorkel, kayak and water sports are all available. The campground has facilities, rentals and food. There is a Danish building alongside the beachfront which is now a holding museum for the National Park Service’s nearby excavation.
● Salomon Bay Beach – A local favorite and short hike from Caneel Bay or Lind Point Trail coming from Cruz Bay, the beach’s remote locale means it is often secluded. This is where relaxation and beach life meet. Honeymoon Beach is nearby, where you can find a gift shop, snacks, drinks and water toys.
Cruz Bay Ferry to St. Thomas
Ferries are to the Caribbean as taxis are to New York City – the ferries represent the primary way for people to get around. For full time residents, ferries leave from St. Thomas to St. John daily for work, school, and grocery outings. Visitors arriving by air in St. Thomas often ferry over to St. John to explore the wonders of this remarkable island.
Two routes are available from St. Thomas to St. John. The shortest of the two is between Cruz Bay on St. John and Red Hook on St. Thomas. At a price of $6.00 one way, it is a 20-minute trip with ferries running from 6:00 a.m. until midnight. A longer route starts in downtown Charlotte Amalie on St. Thomas to Cruz Bay on St. John. Ferries leave at 8:45 a.m. and return to Charlotte Amalie at 5:30 p.m. This 40-minute ride is double in price at $12.00.
The St. John Cruz Bay ferry conveniently brings you to our location on our docks in Red Hook. Find more information on the St. John Ferry Schedule HERE.
The beautiful thing about a snorkeling adventure is you do not need special training outside of the ability to swim. The Virgin Islands are full of opportunities to snorkel, and at Ocean Safari, we take pride in providing an unmatched experience.
Call us (340) 227-5448 or book your tour on our new Reef Surfari snorkel boat. It’s the leading snorkeling excursion within the United States Virgin Islands, and you may be among the first to experience an unforgettable adventure.