5 Surprising Things to Do on the Virgin Islands

While it is possible to visit all three of the Greater Virgin Islands on a one-week trip, it requires some planning. Croix from its smaller brothers and there is no ferry service, which requires a flight on a puddle jumper as you leave the island. Thomas, accommodations on the less frequented islands of St. John and Water Island make them a quieter stay.

Many people come to the Virgin Islands to enjoy beach activities, but there are also many ways to hike. As the agricultural stone of the Virgin Islands, St. Croix has become an emerging destination for foodies. You can swim under the natural waterfalls created by the sea, or examine the marine life caught in the pools.

Magens Bay Beach

Magens Bay Beach

Swim with your family in the warm water, which is particularly quiet in the summer due to the northwest exposure. Discover turtles, shells and other marine life in the clear ocean. Watch as fishermen wait patiently for their catch in the boats at the eastern end of the beach.

Relax at a table on the sand and enjoy lunch at the beachfront restaurant with an excellent view of the water. The beach has many amenities including toilets, showers and lifeguard patrols. Rent masks, snorkels and fins to dive under the sea surface in search of aquatic life.

Virgin Islands National Park

Virgin Islands National Park

Rent kayaks, paddle boats, surfboards or sailboats and hit the beach and waves. One of the most noteworthy beaches in the park is Trunk Bay, a stretch famed for its silky sands, clear waters and excellent facilities.

There is plenty to do in Virgin Islands National Park. Catch some of the park’s more than 20 trails. Follow one of the scenic trails, immerse yourself in Caribbean history on an 18th-century plantation, or simply sit back and enjoy the sun on one of the park’s white-sand beaches.

Buck Island

Buck Island

Buck Island is the only marine national park in the United States, a half-day excursion from St. Croix. While the marine park and corals are easily dead after years of overfishing and coral bleaching, there is a fabulous beach on the island that could not be more typically Caribbean: empty, wide and ringed with palm trees.

The island has a nature trail over land and white coral sand beaches. Or hike across the island enjoying native flora and fauna while taking a bird’s-eye view of the reef and the sea below. Buck Island’s greatest beauty lies in the surrounding coral reef ecosystem and its unique underwater path.

Jost Van Dyke

Jost Van Dyke

Be sure to visit the bubbling pools on the other side of the island, where incoming water flowing into this tiny tidal pool creates a whirlpool effect. Named after an early Dutch settler and former pirate, Jost Van Dyke runs deep with rugged scenery and colorful folklore.

Food and fun are on Jost Van Dyke, with numerous places to indulge in the preferred cuisine, such as grills, West Indian Rotis, flying fish sandwiches, grilled fresh fish and lobster. For the party animals, Great Harbor is world-famous for its yachts-filled parties on Halloween and New Year’s Eve.

The Baths

The Baths

The boulders on Virgin Gorda originated because of the Tertiary period of geological history. The lava was hot and when it came in contact with the cold seawater, it solidified into granite. Snorkelers bob end in the middle of the rocks. Children play in the sand and the sounds of Soca music echo away from a beach bar.

After you have crawled through a tiny opening, you are surrounded by giant granite rocks that nestle against each other and allow water to flow around them. After wading through water and climbing over rocks, you will find yourself in tidal pools that gather among the boulders on the way to Dead Man’s Beach.