Travel

Information about St. John island and why you should visit

The Caribbean is a dream destination for many people. Famous for its year-round good weather, white sandy beaches, relaxed atmosphere and both luxury and rustic-ness mixed together it continues to grow as a holiday destination. Some places are famous such as Barbados, the British Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, while others remain quite untouched and still leave some mysteriousness to them. For example, have you ever thought of renting a st john villa or scuba diving off the coast of St. Thomas, perhaps not. This may be because the US Virgin Islands are not at the top of the list of go-to destinations in the Caribbean, they do have a lot of competition to be fair. But these islands have just as much to offer as any other in the region.

The US Virgin Islands are a collection of over 50 islands, three of which are popular among tourists, primarily American with an ever-growing number of other countries visiting over the past few years. The reason for such many American visitors is simply because you can have all the comforts of home and still experience the rustic Caribbean feel. For this article, I am going to focus on the island of St. John.

Facts about St. John island:

St. John island is the smallest of the big three islands and for this reason is one of the most popular. It is a place to truly escape normal life and experience completely unique events from day to day life.

Like the rest of the US Virgin Islands, it was both from Denmark in 1917 and from here began its transition into a holiday destination, but it more than most has tried to hold onto its traditional feel. There are only two resorts on the island and most of the accommodation comes in the form of Private rental villas, giving you more of a homely feel.

A large portion of the island and its surrounding waters are protected by the national park service, so you can expect to find pristine waters and an abundance of wildlife, fauna and flora throughout these areas giving you a more authentic view of what island life may have been like before colonisation and the encroachment of the modern world.

Most of the island’s economy is based on tourism now but it still holds onto some of its agricultural routes both for domestic and international consumption.

Activities on the island:

Being in the Caribbean most, if not all the activities to get up to on the island are based around the beach or around the waters of the island we will look briefly at some of the things which you and others within your party can get up to:

On land:

Head to the beach:

Of course, this island with its large national park and well-maintained environment will have some of the nicest beaches within the US Virgin Islands. From Coral Bay to Cruz Bay you will find a huge array of beaches to take your fancy, some have well-established restaurants and beach activities such as volleyball to take part in while others towards the south coast remain relatively untouched and if you are lucky enough you will be able to find a beach completely to yourself.

Things to do on the beach include the regular bathing and swimming but many also allow you to do some snorkelling and fishing along with beach games such as volleyball. Take your time and ask a local what areas they would recommend for a day trip or even a spot of camping.

Take a tour of the island:

There are several tour operators offering excursions via Kayak, on foot or by boat. For those taking land-based tours many if not all will take place within the national park, here the skilled local guides will detail to you the history of the island, the national park and all the wildlife contained within the park and the surrounding waters. It is the perfect way to get away from the beach and the sand and learn a little more about the history and nature of the Caribbean in general and the island of St. John in particular.

In the water:

Snorkel or Scuba:

To see life in an alternative manner it is best to get a tour and see some of the incredible aquatic life surrounding the island.

The cheapest option and one which can include everyone is to rent or buy some snorkel gear and search for the best spots on the island in which you can enter from the beach itself and view the coral and seas life that surround the island. Some of the best are said to be located near Coral bay hence its name. For the best views stay within 15 feet of the shore both for safety and as it is recommended that this is where the best opportunities are for free snorkelling. You can also take a tour if you are short on time or would like to find the best points.

Following this is scuba diving, for this, you will need a licence and a reputable company both of which can be found on the island. This I would highly recommend for those with a true passion for the underwater world.

My brief overview was simply to highlight to you the many facets of the US Virgin Islands and why people come here, hopefully, it will also inspire you.

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