St John's Beach Guide
The northwest coast of St John’s island offers some of the most picture-perfect white-sand beaches in the Caribbean, framed by lush forest-covered hills and peninsulas set within the 2000ha Virgin Island National Park. The best beaches on St John include:
Trunk Bay Beach – Unwind on one of the most picturesque beaches in the Caribbean – a gorgeous 500m-long white-sand beach that shelves into crystal clear turquoise waters surrounded by lush palm- and forest-clad hills.
Bring your own mask and flippers or hire snorkelling equipment at the water sports centre on the beach and then follow 198m of wide underwater trails through one of the finest snorkelling regions in the Caribbean.
Managed by the US National Park Service, the marked trails are easy to follow, with flexible underwater plaques helping you identify coral and numerous tropical fish. Head to the west end of the beach for the best snorkelling trails.
Facilities include umbrellas for hire, changing rooms, showers, toilets, picnic tables, lockers and lifeguards, as well as food and cold drink concession stands. This is the only public beach on St John to charge an admission fee (around USD4 per person).
To avoid the inevitable crowds that arrive from docking cruise liners, arrive either early or late in the day. Trunk Bay is easily reached by hire car, bus or taxi along St John's North Shore Road.
Caneel Bay Beach – Sunbathe and swim in calm and clear turquoise waters from this idyllic, palm-fringed, powder-white sand beach that fringes a small bay framed by lush tree-covered headlands.
Snorkel over coral gardens among colourful tropical fish and turtles then explore some of the other gorgeous white-sand beaches that lie nearby on this 69ha peninsula.
Come for a day or stay at the beachfront Caneel Bay Resort, one of the Caribbean’s premier resorts. There are no televisions or phones at the resort (although mobile phones will operate) and guest rooms overlook idyllic beaches just a short walk from the main resort buildings.
Beach facilities include umbrellas and sun loungers (non-guests need to hire) and full service from the resort. Caneel Bay Beach is on the northwest shore and is easily reached along Salamon Bay Road, which links to North Shore Road, or on foot from Cruz Bay using the Lind Point Trail.
Hawksnest Beach – Relax on this small 200m-long white-sand beach that nestles beneath lush palm and tree-covered hills facing the turquoise waters of Hawksnest Bay. Several small beaches fringe the 600m-wide bay, which lies over the peninsula from Caneel Bay. There are no facilities here so you’ll need to take your own provisions.
Honeymoon Beach – Pick your own spot to sunbathe on this picture-perfect and secluded 400m-long crescent of powder-white sand that nestles between palm trees and lush forest-covered hills. Swim and snorkel in clear turquoise waters; the best snorkelling is around the rocky headland that separates Honeymoon Beach from nearby Salomon Beach.
If you want to escape the hot sun, relax beneath the palm trees that edge the sands. No road access to Honeymoon Beach means it is rarely crowded. You can reach the beach by boat from Cruz Bay or along the Lind Point Hiking Trail that connects Cruz Bay to Honeymoon and Caneel Bay. There are no facilities here so remember to take your own food and drink.
Solomon Bay Beach – Escape the crowds on the gorgeous powder-white sands of this tiny 120m-long beach accessed by hiking the Lind Point Hiking Trail that connects Cruz Bay to Honeymoon and Caneel Bay.
Cinnamon Bay Beach – Unwind on this gorgeous 1.2km-long stretch of powder-white sand that curves around Cinnamon Bay, just to the east of Truck Bay. The beach faces calm, crystalline waters that are perfect for swimming, snorkelling, windsurfing and catamaran sailing.
Behind the beach, lush forest is marked with numerous trails that are perfect for hiking and biking adventures. Facilities on the beach include water sports equipment and bikes for hire, changing rooms and showers. Cinnamon Bay Beach is easily reached by hire car, bus or taxi along St John's North Shore Road.