Located in the US Virgin Islands, St. John is the true beauty of the Caribbean. The island is blessed with great outdoors. With more than two-thirds of its area covered with a natural park, you get to enjoy the sun and nature in a number of ways, from hiking, swimming, snorkeling, to horseback riding. Though the island is the smallest among the three US Virgin Islands, its beauty and history are as rich as its landscape. If you are planning a yacht charter vacation to St. John, here are the things you must explore and enjoy here.
Top Attractions of St. John
- Virgin Islands National Park: Visit this park and its many trails to discover sugar plantation ruins, beautiful beaches and coral reefs teeming with marine life.
- Mongoose Junction: Shopping in St. John is like a cultural extravaganza. You can find arts, crafts, handmade goods and many tropical items here. Mongoose Junction is a premier shopping and dining destination of St. John. Some of the shops where you can find amazing items include Bajo El Sol, Bamboula, Big Planet, Caravan Gallery, Friends of the National Park Store, Hot Look, etc.
- Cinnamon Bay: It is the longest beach in St. John with a number of amenities like restrooms, shower facilities, shops, camping areas, cottages, water sports and more. It is a great place for families with kids. Partake in snorkeling, swimming, windsurfing, paddleboarding and kiteboarding. The best snorkeling spot in this bay is about 40 feet deep where there is a large plateau reef structure and also ruins of an aircraft.
- Hansen Bay Beach: Located on the east side of St. John, this bay is protected from big waves and wind. You and your family can enjoy a beautiful day trying different water sports. It is a great spot to see turtles, rays, Jacks and Pompano.
- Trunk Bay: It is one of the best beaches in the Caribbean with a 225-yard long reef trail for snorkeling. The bay has towering coconut trees, pristine blue waters and clear beaches. As it is the most serene bay in St. John, a number of visitors flock to this place around the year. For some quiet time, you can head west of the beach and relax for a while. The western side has more fish and coral life than the eastern side, so you can snorkel here as well.
- Cruz Bay: For its lazy afternoons, laid-back vibes and charming beauty, people have deemed Cruz Bay, Love City. Cruz Bay is a transit hub for St. Thomas and the British Virgin Islands. The city's streets are lined with restaurants, shops and bars, great for ending your evening.
- Other bays in St. John: Definitely visit Maho Bay, Francis Bay, Leinster Bay, Coral Bay and Little Lameshur Bay for some unforgettable moments.
- Annaberg Plantation: There is a Danish Colonial plantation that was built in 1721. Visiting this place will give you a glimpse into sugar production and its phases. You will find windmills, quarters and a large factory. After checking out the ruins, consider a hike on the Leinster Bay trail for a scenic view of the island.
- Trails and Hiking: St. John has an assortment of unique hiking trails. It contains everything from a shady forest to striking beach trails. Some of the popular hiking trails are Ram Head Trail, Cinnamon Bay Nature, Reef Bay Trail, Francis Bay Trail, Petroglyph Trail, Lind Point Trail, Brown Bay Trail, Peace Hill, Drunk Bay Trail, Europa Bay Trail, Turtle Point Trail, among others.
Best Beaches, Restaurants and Hotels in St. John
Beaches: St John has some of the most magnificent beaches of the Caribbean. Crystal-clear aqua-blue waters, coconut palms, stunning white sand and shallow waters, here are some of the most photographed beaches of St. John: Salomon/Honeymoon Bay, Gibney Beach, Caneel Bay Beach, Salt Pond Bay Beach, Maho Beach, Denis Bay Beach and Hawksnest Beach.
Hotels: St. John does not boast 5-star resorts like you will find in other Caribbean destination but it has definitely unique boutique hotels that welcome you. Some of the hotels that we recommend for your vacation are Sea Shore Allure, Hillcrest Guest House, Cruz Bay Boutique Hotel, Treetops, Estate Lindholm, Eco Serendib Villa and Spa, St. John Guest Suites, Gallows Point Resort and Garden by the Sea, among others.
Restaurants: The dining scene in St John is vivid, diverse and exciting. Dining is the second most popular activity here after going to the beach. You can try French-Asian fusion at Asolare, nouveau-Malaysian at Fatty Crab, or Caribbean cuisine at Morgan's Mango. Some other food destinations that we recommend you trying after a long day at the beach are Zozo's, Cafe Roma, Fish Trap, Shipwreck Landing, Aqua Bistro, Morgan's Mango, La Tapa, Equator, etc.
Top Things to do in St. John
- Snorkeling and Diving: St. John is the one of the most popular snorkeling destination of the Caribbean, probably, because it boasts coral reefs of numerous types and sizes. You can find corals like seafans, gorgonians and Blue Bell Tunicate corals. While snorkeling the waters of St John, expect to see fish species like French Angelfish, Yellowtail Snapper, Jeweled Damsels, Queen Triggerfish, Puddingwife Wrasse, Blueheaded Wrasse, Blue Runners and Beau Gregory, just to name a few. Top snorkeling spots in St John are Staff Pick, Waterlemon Cay, Henley Cay, Haulover, Salt Point, Yawzi Point, Trunk Bay, Hansen Bay, Honeymoon Beach, Maho Bay, Caneel Bay, etc.
- Swimming and Relaxing: With so many beaches and bays, you will have plenty of options to swim and relax in St John. Most of the beaches have clear water, warm weather and a breath taking sceneryfor a relaxing day at the beach.
- Hiking: As we mentioned earlier, St John is covered with forests and two-third of its territory is located under the Virgin Islands National Park. If you are an adventure seeker, enjoy a day of hiking at Ram Head Trail, Cinnamon Bay Nature, Reef Bay, Francis Bay, Petroglyph Trail, Lind Point, Brown Bay and Peace Hill, amongst other great hiking locations.
- Other Activities: St John has protected waters with great weather. You can try paddleboarding, horseback riding, surfing, kiteboarding, beach strolling and sunbathing.
St John is one of the hottest Caribbean destinations. People refer to it as Beverly Hills of the Caribbean. It is lovely, unspoiled and made up of pure natural beauty. The best way to discover St John is to charter a luxury yacht from either Puerto Rico or Fajardo. At Yachts Puerto Rico Charters, we offer crewed yacht charters to the US Virgin Islands for travellers looking for an unforgettable time during their holidays. Our luxury yacht charters are spacious, have amazing amenities, water toys and a professional crew to cater to your needs. Take a look at our fleet consisting of yachts, super yachts, sailing yachts and catamarans in Puerto Rico. If you need help planning your itinerary, check out our DESTINATIONS section. Get in touch with our team to book your private charter today!