Attractions of the island of St. John
Located in the Caribbean Sea, the marvelous islet of St. John is part of the United States of America, or rather – owned by the United States Virgin Islands. St. John is both the smallest in the group and the richest. The constant number of inhabitants here does not exceed five thousand, while more than half live in the largest town – Cruz Bay. The island of St. John attracts travelers (and sometimes even stars of television screens and cinema) with its remoteness from civilization and the lack of amenities – a kind of savage vacation in the Caribbean.
Around the beginning of the third century AD, Arawaki arrived in St. John – by water, naturally – from present-day Colombia and Venezuela. More militant Caribs drove out peaceful Arawaks – this happened at the beginning of the fourteenth century. The first European on St. John was Christopher Columbus – this journey was the second sailor’s account, and it took place at the very end of the fifteenth century.
After the island was discovered, no one lived on it for a long time, but the island was chosen by pirates, who moored their ships here for temporary parking. Only at the beginning of the eighteenth century the Danes, who owned the first colonies on St. John, built a fort here, whose ruins can be seen today. Then the Danish immigrants created several plantations for the cultivation of sugar cane and began to bring in African slaves. Copyright www.orangesmile.com
The end of the nineteenth century was marked by increased competition between the plantation estates of Denmark and the States, and due to the abolition of slavery by Denmark, island plantations fell into decay altogether. In 1917, America bought the rest of the Virgin Group Islands from the Danes, started landscaping, and even created a National Park here, which now protects two-thirds of St. John.
Beach relaxation is an important part of a holiday in St. John. In the Caribbean, all beaches are good – a fact! However, the most beautiful on the island are Fort James and Deep Bay – public, access to them is not limited. Relaxing in St. John in the winter? You may want to try your hand at surfing or you are already an experienced wave conqueror. If this is about you, then welcome to Galli Bay. Want to sunbathe topless? Then to Hawksbill Bay – here you will find a nudist beach. In general, there are about forty beaches on St. John, suitable both for sunbathing and swimming, as well as for active pastime in the water. Admission to all beaches is free.
Not only beaches and views suitable for wonderful postcards, St. John is rich. Numerous hiking trails permeate the island, making St. John attractive for ecotourists. Choose a route that is suitable for complexity and duration and go on a tour of the wildlife or chic coasts, where you can also find many interesting things, including the inhabitants. But remember: on the Virgin Islands it is forbidden to catch marine life and even raise shells thrown to land.
The national park covers not only land but also a fairly large part of the waters and nearby reefs. Go on a tour by planning your own route, or opt for a tour of the Bordeaux Mountain Trail, which leads through the mangroves to the peaks of the Mami and Kemelberg mountains. In addition, this tour is not only natural, but also historical, because during the movements you will visit the ruins of an old sugar factory, which was built in the eighteenth century, and the abandoned Annaberg plantation.
Of the natural attractions, it is also worth highlighting the picturesque Trunk Bay and Reef Bay and Salt Pond Bay. Not only walks along the coasts – the underwater world is magnificent and interesting here. Go diving, snorkelling, arm yourself with a camera for underwater shooting or just swim – the choice of entertainment is wide. The sea here is a calm and transparent joy.
Do you like museums? In that case, visit the St. John’s Historical Museum. Another important attraction is the local old library. You should definitely visit Cinnamon Bay, where travelers are allowed to explore the archaeological site. Another important archaeological site is located near the Reef Bay trail – stone petroglyphs are found here.
If you want to buy something as a souvenir or as a present for your loved ones, it is better not to find a souvenir than a local rum. By the way, keep in mind that most of the shops and souvenir shops, as well as all food services, are located in the town of Cruz Bay. You will also find shops easily in the village of Coral Bay, where there is also an interesting attraction – the ancient temple of Emmaus Morevian.
Alas, there is no airport on St. John, so you can get here only by water. You will first have to fly to St. Thomas Island Airport, possibly with a connection at Puerto Rico Airport. At St. Thomas Airport, take the shuttle bus to get to Red Hook Pier. From the port it is already possible to get to the desired island both by ferry and by speed boat.