The Island of St John
The island of St John is the smallest and most idyllic of the three United States Virgin Islands. Two thirds of this island is National Park, so its wonderful beaches and green forest will remain unspoiled.
Only nine miles long and three miles wide, with spectacular white sand, turquoise bays and green hills, you will soon realize why St John is also called American Paradise.
When travelling to St. John, you will arrive into the sister island of St Thomas, where only a twenty minutes ferry ride will transport you into this unforgettable place. The ferries leave St Thomas every hour and will take you into the quiet town of Cruz Bay, the center of all activities. Here you can find supermarkets, pharmacies, great restaurants, bars, banks, the post office, shopping malls and a laid back lifestyle that makes this a favourite place to visit.
Getting around the island is easy and the roads to the beaches are all paved. If you are a water sports lover you will find numerous opportunities to enjoy, from charter boats or catamarans, day excursions for snorkelling, scuba diving or sport fishing. Activities on land include hikes that you can take on your own or with National Park guide, horseback riding, donkey trail rides, exploring historic ruins and many more.
On the other end of the island, you can find the town of Coral Bay, which is even quieter than Cruz Bay but the area share the beauty of the incredible beaches, wonderful nature trails, fabulous villas and great places to eat and shop.
The constant trade winds of the region keep temperatures between 70F and 90F year round; the perfect weather for enjoying the breathtaking sights and experience the most relaxing and unforgettable vacation of your life.
St John Tourism
St. John is well known for its well-preserved natural beauty and attractive beaches. Restricted development and preservation in St. John contrasts heavily with such adjacent and overdeveloped islands as St. Thomas and St. Maarten. St. John is an exclusive travel and honeymoon destination with several resorts and one of the top ten beaches in the world. It is also considered to be the wealthiest and most expensive of the U.S. Virgin Islands, attracting a high level of affluent tourists. The island’s high level of affluence has earned it the distinction of being the “Beverly Hills of the Caribbean”. Where St. John is developed, the establishments are posh and upscale; adding to the island’s ever increasing sense of exclusivity. Dining options are abundant with various types of cuisines to choose from. Tourists enjoy picturesque hills dotted with opulent villas of the wealthy and elite.
Cruz Bay on the western coast of the island is St. John’s principal port. From there, a ferry operates throughout the day to and from Charlotte Amalie and Red Hook in St. Thomas. It is also home to (among other things) car rental locations, several restaurants, a supermarket,and possibly a day charter of which the three main ones are Mongoose Junction, the Marketplace, and Wharfside Village. Coral Bay on the eastern side of the island is the other (smaller) town on St. John, and offers some of the same amenities.
Most of St. John is National Park land, so most of the island is undeveloped. Some of the most popular beaches in the Caribbean are located along the island’s north shore. The most spectacular and well-known of these is Trunk Bay, which has consistently been voted one of the “Ten Best Beaches in The World” by Condé Nast Traveler magazine and has received similar recognition from other publications. Since the beaches are on National Park land, they are all open to the public and are free of hotels or resorts. A notable exception is the Caneel Bay resort on the north shore, which lies on Rockefeller’s former personal estate.
The remaining coastal land, mostly in the north and in the east, is private property, and contains many secluded private villas and cottages. The National Park Service also offers two campgrounds on the island’s beaches at Maho Bay and Cinnamon Bay. The reefs near St. John’s beaches are also world-famous for their snorkeling. In some areas, such as Trunk Bay and nearby Cinnamon Bay, signs identifying various marine flora and fauna have been placed by the National Park Service among the many offshore coral reefs to assist visitors. There are also sailing charters available that tour the island, as well as tours around the British Virgin Islands. Boats are available at Gallows Point, Connections or The Guide Booth in Mongoose Junction.
The beaches on the south side of St. John are considerably wilder and more remote. Some are only accessible by rough dirt roads