Luxury Villas for your St. John Island Getaway
St. John is the smallest of the main USVI islands. It is located approximately four miles east of St. Thomas, and the only way to get to this beautiful secluded island is by boat. There is a ferry service that runs hourly from St. Thomas. With 60% of the island compromised by a pristine national park, St. John is as far away as you can get from civilization, but still be a close distance to upscale jewelry stores and boutiques. From watching for wildlife in the national park, hiking miles of trails, to strolling the sandy white beaches, St. John has more than enough to do on your family vacation, couples getaway or even destination wedding.Â St John also offers a variety of accommodations, including private homes, resorts and villas for rent. Known for its low-key luxury, unspoiled landscapes, scenic views and crystal clear waters, St. John’s unspoiled beauty is perhaps the greatest found anywhere in the Caribbean.
Things to Do in St. John US Virgin Islands
St. John Virgin Island National Park is comprised of 7,259 acres of terrestrial habitat. The park is open every day! There is no fee to enter either Virgin Islands National Park or Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument. Virgin Islands National Park’s diverse beaches, coral reefs, historic ruins, and hiking trails provide endless hours of exploration and enjoyment, as well as inspiration and opportunities for solitude and reflection. Visitors can enjoy a variety of activities on the land and in the water, including swimming, snorkeling and scuba diving; sailing, kayaking and windsurfing; and camping, hiking and bird watching.
Hiking is one of the most popular activities on St. John, Virgin Islands National Park provides a wide verity of hiking experiences and more than 20 trails to choose from. It offers accessible boardwalks that meander through historic ruins or take you to a bird viewing deck on one of our attractive salt ponds. For the adventurous, you can put on your hiking shoes and take the Reef Bay Trail down to the petroglyphs, and then down to the old Sugar Mill which is near a charming beach. The climb back up is tough though! Lind Point trails are a good choice for those only here for a day or so. They begin at the Visitor Center wrapping around the Lind Point to Honeymoon or Salomon Beach.
Shopping in St. John is done duty-free. It is some of the best in the Caribbean. Popular shopping areas on St. John include, the unique shops of Mongoose Junction, Wharfside Village, and quaint local shops in both Cruz Bay and Coral Bay that feature handmade jewelry, silkscreened fabrics and works of arts to resurrect memories of your great vacation.
Watersports, Fishing & Boating in St. John USVI
Sailing and Powerboat Charters in St. John is often a highlight of your vacation. Sail or motor into quiet coves, snorkel at beautiful reefs and just bask in the delightfully warm sun and tropical breezes. Or take a sunset sail and enjoy the tranquil beauty and romance of Caribbean evenings. Many charter boats hold a maximum of 6 passengers. There are larger boats that can accommodate groups. Charters are available in Â½ day trips, full day, sunset sails, dinner cruises and also overnight trips or Term Charters. Prices range from about $50 to $150 a person depending on charter and length of charter. Amenities vary but might include open bar, lunch, snorkel gear, floats and other water toys.
St. John Snorkeling in the Cays
Snorkeling in St. John with its rocky coast lines, near shore reefs, off shore cays and sunken items like ships and planes provide beautiful and varied snorkeling opportunities. The conditions are; great visibility, fairly constant water temperatures of 79-83 degrees year-round, calm seas with little current and fantastic underwater scenery. In other words, perfect for snorkeling. View gorgeous underwater gardens of coral and visit with the residents; turtles, rays, octopuses, moray eels and an abundance of fish large and small. With the use of a mask, snorkel and fins you can float on the surface and admire the marine life below. Snorkeling is an option from beaches and also by boat trip.
Scuba Diving in St. John US Virgin Islands
Scuba diving the underwater world in the Virgin Islands is stunning and truly amazing! Explore corals and gorgonian forest of sea fans and sea whips. Dive around caves, explore sunken boat wrecks or take a night dive and explore the fantastic world of nocturnal marine life! Swim among turtles, bright parrotfish, blue tangs, and so much more. The best conditions for diving in the islands are found during the summer and fall months, with visibility generally between 60 and 100 fee. Some sites, particularly in Pillsbury Sound, can be explored all year round. St. John and St. Thomas are close enough to each other that they share many of the same dive sites in the Pillsbury Sound area including Carval Rock, Congo Cay, Grass Cay, Mounds at Mingo, Arches and Tunnels of Thatch and Lovango Cay. In addition to those located in the Pillsbury Sound other popular dive sites include Eagle Shoal, Flanagan Reef, Maple Leaf, Cocoloba and Witch's Hat.
Fishing Charters in St. John and in the Caribbean
Fishing charters on St. John offer trips that will excite everyone from the seasoned pro to the novice. They include inshore, offshore and marlin trips. Most operators offer trips lasting: Â½ day (4 hours, typically between 8am and noon, or 1pm and 5pm); Â¾ of a day (6 hours); full day (8 hours); and Marlin trips (10 hours, usually 7:30am to dusk). Short trips are generally inshore fishing only. Boat capacity of 4 to 6 passengers is common. Rates for fishing charters varies depending on length of trip, size of boat, fuel, and equipment provided. Go offshore in pursuit of Marlin, Dolphin Fish (Mahi-Mahi), Wahoo and Tuna. Or try inshore fishing and see whether you can get some Kingfish, Barracuda, Jacks or Yellowtail Snapper to bite!
Find a Luxury Vacation Rental Villas near the Best St. John Beaches
Cinnamon Bay, at about 1 mile, is the National Park's longest beach. The crystal clear waters and boundless beach offers snorkeling, swimming, volleyball and more. A watersports concession stand rents windsurfing equipment, kayaks and mountain bikes. There is great snorkeling around Cinnamon Bay Cay, a short swim from shore.
Francis Bay, on one of St. John's longest beaches. This stunning beach has calm waters and a gorgeous, sandy shore. Often sparsely populated on weekdays it’s easy to find a nice quiet spot. Pack a lunch and use one of the picnic tables that are available. The Francis Bay Trail runs along a salt pond and offers countless bird watching. There is snorkeling for beginners along the western end of the beach towards Maho Bay. For strong swimmers, enter the water from the rocky section on the other end of the beach. Halfway out from the bay's point begins a varied, narrow reef. For those with a kayak, Whistling Cay, adjacent to the bay, offers very good snorkeling.
Hawknest, a National Park Beach, has gorgeous clear water and an attractive shoreline. A covered shed with picnic tables makes the beach a favorite with residents, particularly on weekends for picnics. Hawknest has plenty of parking and is easily accessed from the road. The beach is lined with sea grape trees that offer a bit of shade. A great snorkeling reef starts a few yards from shore. A perfect beach for enjoying a few hours of perfect waters and sunshine!
Honeymoon Beach is a gorgeous beach with sandy shoreline surrounded by sea grape and coconut trees. Hammocks and picnic tables are scattered under the trees. The crystal clear turquoise waters are rich in marine life and offer pristine snorkeling and calm waters, particularly around the rocky headland that extends into the water between Honeymoon Beach and Solomon Bay next door. You can access the Honeymoon Beach via the Lind Point Trail which starts just behind the Virgin Islands National Park Visitor Center in Cruz Bay.
Salt Pond Bay is a beautiful bay with amazingly clear water. This scenic bay on St. John’s south shore offers a secluded beach with worthy swimming and snorkeling. There are several hiking trails, one of which leads to a salt pond. The beach is often sparsely populated because it is a longer drive from Cruz Bay, and requires a short 7-10 minute hike downhill once at the parking lot. Snorkeling can be enjoyed along the rocky sides of the bay, in particular the eastern coastline.
Trunk Bay, voted one of the most photogenic beaches in the Caribbean for its brilliantly white sand and turquoise blue water. Trunk Bay is one of the most popular beaches on St. John. Renowned for its underwater snorkeling trail, Trunk Bay is definitely worth a visit. Six hundred and fifty (650) feet of underwater trails are a highlight for Trunk Bay's visitors. You can rent snorkel gear on the beach. Trunk Bay is part of the National Park and is the only beach on St. John that has an admission fee.