Updated: 7/30/18 | July 30th, 2018
Two of the most-visited locations in the Caribbean, the US and British Virgin Islands are what I anticipated them to be: white sand seashores, wonderful diving and snorkeling, turquoise crystal-clear water, scenic mountain climbing, a number of boating alternatives, and closely poured rum drinks.
I spent a month touring round the islands by boat. There is an enchanting variety of issues to do on the islands — life right here shouldn’t be all hammocks and piña coladas. From festivals to diving to strenuous mountain climbing trails to hidden tide swimming pools, every of the islands in the space has a lot to supply to hold you busy if a full day at the seaside isn’t your factor.
Take a visit to Buck Island
The solely marine nationwide park in the United States, Buck Island is a half-day journey from St. Croix (although full-day journeys that include meals and booze are additionally obtainable). While the marine park and coral are barely lifeless after years of overfishing and coral bleaching, there’s a wonderful seaside on the island that couldn’t be extra quintessentially Caribbean: empty, huge, and ringed with palm timber. The half-day journey is the biggest worth and considered one of the finest issues to do on St. Croix.
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Relax in Jack Bay and Isaac Bay
Located on the easternmost level of the United States, these bays are two empty seashores on St. Croix. Difficult to entry, after a steep hike down a really overgrown path, you’ll encounter Isaac Bay (additionally house to nesting turtles), the place you’ll give you the chance to take pleasure in a skinny slice of white sand, blue water, and snorkeling proper from the shore. Jack Bay is linked by a poorly signed path at the finish of Isaac’s. The seashores aren’t maintained, however, whereas not the prettiest, they’re considered one of the few spots on the island you may have to your self. Bring your individual water and meals as there are not any services in both bay.
Chill out at Cane Bay
This is my favourite bay on St. Croix, that includes a fantastic seaside, a scrumptious restaurant (Eat @ Cane Bay), and snorkeling inside swimming distance of the shore. Though the seaside isn’t very huge and it’s situated proper close to a street, the chilled-out ambiance of the space, good snorkeling (there’s a steep dropoff out from shore, creating numerous fish-viewing alternatives), and few crowds make it a spot price spending the day (and early night when the restaurant has pleased hour). Cane Bay is situated on the north facet of St. Croix.
Explore Jost Van Dyke
The get together island of the British Virgin Islands, Jost sees numerous day trippers from St. John and yachties coming into the harbor and making a beeline for the Soggy Dollar Bar to drink Painkillers (rum, pineapple and orange juice, and contemporary nutmeg), the bar’s well-known drink and one that everybody on the Virgin Islands drinks (the finest one I had was at Rudy’s on Jost; Soggy Dollar is overrated). White Bay is the place all the motion is, however I cherished it early in the morning or late at night time when all the day trippers (drunks) had been gone and the intensive white sand seaside was abandoned. Be certain to go to the bubbly swimming pools on the different facet of the island the place the incoming water dashing into this tiny tide pool creates a whirlpool impact.
Explore The Baths
At first, I couldn’t work out why everybody loves this spot on Virgin Gorda. The seaside was tiny, the water tough, and the crowds plentiful. Then I adopted the signal to the caves, and it grew to become clear why that is the most-visited spot in the Virgin Islands. After crawling via a tiny opening, you might be surrounded by gigantic granite boulders nestled on one another with streams of water flowing throughout them. It’s lovely. There are nooks and crannies to discover in all places. After wading via water and climbing over rocks, you end up in tide swimming pools that acquire between the boulders in your method to Dead Man’s Beach. It prices $three USD to enter.
Enjoy paradise on Anegada
Looking to get away from the crowds? Anegada in the BVIs is a coral atoll with just a few hundred individuals residing on it. Few ferries go to the island (solely three per week), and most individuals who stand up right here have a tendency to come by way of their very own boats. This retains the crowds down. You can go hours with out seeing anybody on the seashores. The island is ringed by a reef, making it excellent for snorkeling proper from the shore (you may see numerous rays right here too!) The island is known for its lobster, and every restaurant has its personal signature dish (Neptune’s Treasure and Potters by the Sea had been my favorites). If you come in November, be certain to catch the lobster pageant that happens the final weekend of the month. It’s lobster heaven.
Enjoy the meals and music of Redhook
This port city on St. Thomas has a few of the higher eating places and bars on the island. You’ll discover full of life music, a scrumptious beer and burger bar referred to as Tap and Still, and energetic golf equipment. If you’re on the island and wanting to have an evening out, that is the place to be. You can even get ferry service to/from Cruz Bay on St. John and to/from the British Virgin Islands.
Party on St. John
Want enjoyable? $1 pleased hour specials? Amazing drinks? St. John is for you. With solely 2,000 individuals residing on the island, it has a small-town really feel, however it heaves with vacationers who need to escape the stuffy and costly costs of St. Thomas. Since the most important city of Cruz Bay is so small, bar hopping is very easy, and most bars function stay bands.
Note: Hurricane Irma and Maria actually did a quantity on St. John and a lot of the island continues to be recovering. At the time of writing, the city was nonetheless rebuilding.
Visit Cinnamon Bay
This bay on St. John is house to the solely campground on the USVIs. It’s a large bay that stays fairly empty and calm, making it considered one of my favourite seashores on the island.
Note: Hurricane Irma and Maria actually did a quantity on St. John and a lot of the island continues to be recovering. At the time of writing, the campground on this seaside was nonetheless closed.
Hike the Reef Bay Trail
Cutting via St. John, this path begins in the heart of the island and takes you thru the forest that includes outdated sugar plantations, stone ruins, historical petroglyphs, and a abandoned sugar manufacturing facility by the water. It’s lovely, simple, and the seaside at the finish is an ideal place for a dip (you’re going to work up a sweat!). Combine it with Cinnamon Trail that begins at Cinnamon Bay on the high of the island, and you may lower throughout the total width of the island in about 4 hours.
Get away from the crowd at Brewer’s Bay
Located close to the airport on St. Thomas, this seaside is close to the USVI college and a locals-only seaside — for the sole purpose vacationers simply don’t appear to ever make it right here. You’ll see native households BBQing, individuals exercising their canines, and planes coming to and going from the airport.
Wander the empty Salt Island
This tiny, abandoned, out-of-the-way island is stuffed with once-important salt ponds. There’s snorkeling round the island, and you may take a dinghy to go to the abandoned city close to the salt swimming pools. The island is owned by a household that pays an annual hire to the Queen of England of a single one-pound bag of salt. You’ll want to get right here with your individual boat; there are not any ferries.
Dive/snorkel the RMS Rhone
Considered considered one of the most spectacular dive and snorkel websites in the world, the RMS Rhone was a mail ship that crashed in the close by reef and is now its personal synthetic reef, house to 1000’s of various fish and coral. It’s a should for each diver. Most dive journeys go away from Tortola. You’ll give you the chance to enter the wreck too.
Drink at Willy T’s
Located at its new house on Peter Island, this outdated boat turned floating bar is the place everybody goes wild in the British Virgin Islands. I’ve seen outdated girls doing physique photographs right here, whereas younger guys chug beer and leap off the boat bare. It’s all the time a wild day on Willy T’s. But if the water is calm on weekends, the place will get very busy as locals take boats over for some Sunday Funday. There isn’t any ferry service to this get together barge. You’ll both want your individual boat or pay to go together with the Dolphin Water Taxi.
Hob nob on Necker Island
Famously house to Sir Richard Branson, you may keep on this island for a cool $50,000 an evening. Don’t have that a lot cash? No downside. You can take a day journey with Gumption on the Sea It Clear Glass Bottom Boat Tour. Tours go away from the Bitter End resort on northern Virgin Gorda and function fish recognizing and a stroll round the island. Branson has been recognized to say hey.
Sail round the islands!
It could also be costly, however you may’t go to these islands and not sail round them. It can be a sin. Whether for sooner or later or a number of days, be certain to jet round the islands. It’s the solely method to see the extra distant islands that ferries don’t go to, get away from the crowds, and uncover your individual hidden snorkeling spots. Here’s how one can sail round the islands on the low-cost (or free of charge!)
When I visited the islands, I imagined myself losing away the days on seashores and studying and writing at night time. It turned on the market was merely an excessive amount of to do on this space to “waste a day.” No matter what island you find yourself on, there can be dozens of choices to select from. This checklist of wonderful issues to do in the Virgin Islands may also help information you, however don’t suppose for a second that these islands are boring. Even non–seaside bums will fill their days.
Get the In-Depth Budget Guide to The Virgin Islands!
My detailed, 60+ web page guidebook is made for price range vacationers such as you! It cuts out the fluff discovered in different guidebooks and will get straight to the sensible info you want to journey and get monetary savings whereas in the Virgin Islands, a rustic I loved touring via a lot. You’ll discover advised itineraries, budgets, methods to get monetary savings, on and off the crushed path issues to see and do, non-touristy eating places, markets, and bars, and far more!! Click right here to study extra and get began.
Book Your Trip to the Virgin Islands: Logistical Tips and Tricks
Book Your Accommodation
You can ebook your hostel in the Virgin Islands with Hostelworld. If you need to keep elsewhere, use Booking.com as they constantly return the most cost-effective charges. (Here’s the proof.)
Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
Travel insurance coverage will defend you in opposition to sickness, harm, theft, and cancellations. I by no means ever go on a visit with out it. I’ve been utilizing World Nomads for ten years. You ought to too.
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Want More Information on the Virgin Islands?
Be certain to go to our sturdy vacation spot information on the British Virgin Islands for much more planning ideas!