Only accessible by boat, St. John is a unique destination that has managed to keep transportation, among other things, from taking a toll on its underdeveloped landscape. Thanks to this, and other precautions, a tour of the island can include dozens of natural attractions that include everything from waterfalls to a national park.
Do you want to spend part of your vacation outside? You can choose from several different hiking trails and some nature preserves on and near St. John.
Virgin Islands National Park is a popular nature preserve found within central St. John. Before entering the Virgin Islands National Park, most guests make it a point to stop at the Visitor Center, which features exhibits about the area's history, an activity schedule, maps, and more. Park rangers are on site to help you plan your outing.
Adventurers hoping to find a another great natural attraction will enjoy exploring choices like Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument. Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument is located off the coast of St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and is popular amongst snorkelers.
Little Tobago - Great Tobago National Park: Tobago Cay, at the northwest corner of the British Virgin Islands chain is home to Great Tobago (210 acres) and Little Tobago (55 acres) of protected lands established in 1995 as national parks. Birders visit these island because it is the only nesting site in the British Virgin Islands for frigate birds, and divers love the waters around Mercurious Rock.
Review this table for more information about your options.
|Hiking Trail||Central St. John||St. John|
|Little Tobago - Great Tobago National Park||Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve||5.1 mi. West of Central Jost Van Dyke||None|
|Hiking Trail||2.8 mi. South of Central Coral Bay||St. John|
|Hiking Trail||Central St. John||St. John|
|Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument||Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve||7.4 mi. Southeast of Central downtown Cruz Bay||None|
|Virgin Islands National Park||Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve||Central St. John||St. John|
|Hiking Trail||2.0 mi. South-Southwest of Central Coral Bay||St. John|
Even though most visitors to the area have heard about the beautiful coastline, that isn't the only way to enjoy the natural wonders available. St. John and nearby areas some interesting choices, including a waterfall and a cave.
You might want to visit Petroglyph Pool Waterfall, which is located in central St. John. Although the waterfall is attractions enough, it is historic petroglyphs here that really draw tourists to this spot. At the base along the walls and just above the waterline, you will find carvings made by the Taino Natives etched into the rock wall.
Another option to consider is Treasure Point Caves. It is located within Norman Island, East of St. John. Legend tells that a Creque family fisherman once found a chest of gold doubloons in a cave off Norman Island as he sought shelter from a storm. Though all the treasure appears to be gone, now Treasure Point Caves are a popular spot for snorkeling.
The chart directly below offers some key facts regarding waterfalls and caves.
|Petroglyph Pool Waterfall||Waterfall||Central St. John||St. John|
|Treasure Point Caves||Cave||7.4 mi. South of Central downtown Road Town||Norman Island|
Visitors can enjoy a couple of parks on and near St. John.
Franklin Powell Park is located in downtown Cruz Bay. Panoramic views of the ocean make this a popular park to visit amongst locals as well as tourists. Annual festivals are often held here, and at those times the park is filled with food and craft vendors, dancers, and live music.
A second attraction in this category is Butterfly Garden. Come explore the fascinating world of butterflies at the Butterfly Garden. Located at the end of the Havensight cruise ship dock, this is a great relaxing place to visit where you see exotic species of butterflies from around the world including South America, Asia and Africa.
The parks worth looking into are listed in the following chart.
|Butterfly Garden||Botanical Garden||0.7 mi. South-Southeast of Central Charlotte Amalie||St. Thomas|
|Franklin Powell Park||Park||Downtown Cruz Bay||St. John|
|Park||3.5 mi. East-Southeast of Central Charlotte Amalie||St. Thomas|
If the concept of spending part of a day at an aquarium tickles your fancy, consider visiting Coral World Ocean Park. Get up close to all the sea animals in this fully immersive and interactive aquarium-water park. Swim with sea lions, or put on high-tech diving equipment and walk beneath the surface of the water, with all the world above you.
Be sure to look at the following table to learn more.
|Coral World Ocean Park||Aquarium||4.2 mi. East of Central Charlotte Amalie|
|Zoo||0.5 mi. West-Southwest of Central Charlotte Amalie|
Another idea is to go see some of the more interesting naturally occurring land formations. Fully natural attractions like these on St. John are summarized in the chart below.
|Bay||1.7 mi. North of Central Calabash Boom|
|Bay||1.9 mi. South of Central West End|
|Bay||1.0 mi. North-Northeast of Downtown Cruz Bay|
|Bay||2.9 mi. Northeast of Central downtown Cruz Bay|
|Harbour||Coral Bay, Central St. John|
|Drunk Bay||Bay||1.1 mi. South of Central Friis Bay|
|Francis Bay||Bay||3.9 mi. Northeast of Central downtown Cruz Bay|
|Frank Bay||Bay||0.4 mi. West-Southwest of Downtown Cruz Bay|
|Bay||0.7 mi. South-Southeast of Downtown Cruz Bay|
|Grootpan Bay||Bay||1.6 mi. South West of Central Friis Bay|
|Hansen Bay||Bay||1.9 mi. Northeast of Central Friis Bay|
|Bay||6.4 mi. South West of Central downtown Road Town|
|Bay||1.5 mi. Northeast of Downtown Cruz Bay|
|Bay||0.5 mi. South of Central Friis Bay|
|Bay||5.0 mi. Northeast of Central downtown Cruz Bay|
|Little Lameshur Bay||Bay||1.9 mi. West of Central Friis Bay|
|Bay||6.2 mi. South West of Central downtown Road Town|
|Bay||1.9 mi. North-Northeast of Central Calabash Boom|
|Salomon Bay||Bay||0.7 mi. North of Downtown Cruz Bay|
|Bay||1.3 mi. South-Southwest of Central Friis Bay|
Fortunately, St. John has other attractions. To find out about other other attractions for St. John, click here.
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