Natural Attractions on St. John

Photo credit: © reaganomics
 

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.

Nature Preserves and Hiking

Virgin Islands 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.

Attractions Map

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.

Nature Preserves and Hiking On and Near St. John
Name Type Location Island
Lamshur Bay Trail 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
Ram's Head Trail Hiking Trail 2.8 mi. South of Central Coral Bay St. John
Reef Bay Trail 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
Yawzi Point Trail Hiking Trail 2.0 mi. South-Southwest of Central Coral Bay St. John

Waterfalls and Caves

Treasure Point Caves

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.

Waterfalls and Caves On and Near St. John
Name Type Location Island
Petroglyph Pool Waterfall Waterfall Central St. John St. John
Treasure Point Caves Cave 7.4 mi. South of Central downtown Road Town Norman Island

Parks

Butterfly Garden

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.

Parks On and Near St. John
Name Type Location Island
Butterfly Garden Botanical Garden 0.7 mi. South-Southeast of Central Charlotte Amalie St. Thomas
Franklin Powell Park Park Downtown Cruz Bay St. John
Nadir Recreation Area Park 3.5 mi. East-Southeast of Central Charlotte Amalie St. Thomas

Zoos and Aquariums

Coral World Ocean Park

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.

Parks and Gardens Near St. John
Name Type Location
Coral World Ocean Park Aquarium 4.2 mi. East of Central Charlotte Amalie
Solberg Farm Zoo 0.5 mi. West-Southwest of Central Charlotte Amalie

Land Formations

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.

Land Formations On St. John
Name Type Location
Borck Creek Bay 1.7 mi. North of Central Calabash Boom
Brown Bay Bay 1.9 mi. South of Central West End
Caneel Bay Bay 1.0 mi. North-Northeast of Downtown Cruz Bay
Cinnamon Bay Bay 2.9 mi. Northeast of Central downtown Cruz Bay
Coral Harbour 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
Great 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
Haulover Bay Bay 6.4 mi. South West of Central downtown Road Town
Hawksnest Bay Bay 1.5 mi. Northeast of Downtown Cruz Bay
Johns Folly Bay Bay 0.5 mi. South of Central Friis Bay
Leinster Bay Bay 5.0 mi. Northeast of Central downtown Cruz Bay
Little Lameshur Bay Bay 1.9 mi. West of Central Friis Bay
Newfound Bay Bay 6.2 mi. South West of Central downtown Road Town
Princess Bay Bay 1.9 mi. North-Northeast of Central Calabash Boom
Salomon Bay Bay 0.7 mi. North of Downtown Cruz Bay
Saltpond 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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