Big Experience, Small Island
St. John is the stuff of eco lovers’ dreams. Slightly less known, much smaller, and considerably less developed than the neighboring St. Thomas, St. John is virtually untouched by the hand of modern man. With over 60% of the island’s surface preserved in the Virgin Islands National Park, St. John–the smallest of the Virgin Islands– functions not so much as a tropical resort, but more like a time machine capable of transporting visitors to a bygone era.
Here, there are no cruise ships unloading hordes of cramped cruisers; no multi-story resorts. Those looking for the vibrant nightlife associated with Playa Del Carmen or Cancun are probably better off sticking with locations on the Riviera Maya.
However, those whose ideal vacation involves nothing more than the surf, the sand, and drink in their hand, need to look no further than St. John.
The island’s 12,500 acres consists primarily of pearl white beaches, vibrant fauna, stunning seaside rock formations, and heartbreakingly blue waters that house miraculous reef formations and vividly colored fish. If that description entices you, stick around as the most exciting and exclusive activities St. John’s has to offer are laid bare.
Paddleboarding with a Twist
Basic lessons to paddleboard yoga…that’s right, Yoga on a Paddleboard. Add some spice to your vinyasa on a wide surfboard floating on top of the water. Test your balance while adding some zing to your yoga routine. SUP-StJohn offers a wide variety of paddleboard-related activities.
If that sounds like a sports-related injury just waiting to happen, book an SUP Charter that will whisk you away to remote locations such as the Baths, or Whistling Cay for a little exploration of ancient ruins.
The panoramic views offered by a paddleboard or kayaking excursion around St. John during the day are breathtaking. A nighttime trip makes for a truly unforgettable experience.
Once the sun sets, the absence of natural reflectivity on the water’s surface is enhanced by the high-powered LED lights mounted on the front of paddles. Few are ever fortunate enough to experience firsthand the colorful underwater vistas illumined on Night paddles.
Whatever adventure is right for you, paddleboarding around beautiful St. John is certain to provide a memorable experience for everyone. As a quick aside, it should be mentioned that SUP-StJohn would deliver paddleboards to your yacht– either by foot or by power boat- and will also provide a quick lesson should you need one.
The unique exclusivity of a sailing charter is only multiplied by the immaculate weather and glorious beaches of St. John. Lay back and relax as an experienced Captain sails you and your guests into the many secluded coves peppered along the Caribbean coastline. Snorkel the turquoise waters at your leisure, or kick back with a drink supplied by crew members from the open bar.
While there are many vessels available for chartering, your luxury travel correspondents have taken the liberty of selecting two of the most exclusive trips for you.
- Climb aboard the 60-foot luxury catamaran aptly named, “Island Spirit,” and enjoy a five-hour trip to remote cays on the way to Buck Island. Once there, children of all ages will delight in a snorkeling adventure with lovable sea turtles. Snacks and beverages of all types are provided.
- Board the “Goddess Athena,” a real-life pirate ship, and spend two full days and one night sailing the storied waters doing…whatever it is you please. Just like the pirates of old, your itinerary is left entirely to your discretion. Bring your provisions, or let the crew supply you with what you need. From beginning to end, you are the Captain.
To take full advantage of St. John’s pristine natural preserve, you simply must spend some time below sea level. With more than 25 dive sites spread around the islands, divers experience stunning coral gardens, rock formations, and tropical fish, up close and personal. As with the paddleboarding excursions, the ocean at night is an amazing dive experience offered in an afternoon session.
St. John provides the secluded tropical getaway of yesteryear, but this should not leave you with the impression that this U.S. Virgin Island lacks excitement. In addition to the intoxicating expeditions already mentioned, St. John is also host to:
- A world class local brewery for the Beerophile in your party
- The fascinating ruins of a sugar plantation operated in the early 1700s
- A raucous saloon equalling the liveliest of Caribbean Clubs
- Fully-guided day tours to Antigua
- And, of course, the world famous beaches
How to Get to St. John
Since the tiny island does not have an airport, the only way to get to this U.S. Virgin Island is to land on St. Thomas or St. Croix, and then take a boat to St. John. There are plenty of ferries constantly traveling to and fro, as well as water taxis for hire, and car barges. Other Ports of Call in the Caribbean often have their ferries or charters that routinely stop at St. John. Or you can always make your way to St. Thomas or St. Croix to get there.
Where to Stay
The best way to maximize the natural relaxation offered by this low-key tropical paradise is to book an exclusive, inclusive private villa such as the Villa Delfina.
Located on the north shore, this exquisite home houses five magnificently appointed suites, a private pool offering panoramic views, and Grecian columns. Designed to incorporate the natural aesthetic, Villa Delfina is a marvel of open air construction, unobtrusive lines, and indoor spaces that feel like outdoor spaces. With such an inspiring home situated in one of the most awakening areas to be found, the Villa Delfina is sure to move your vacation from extraordinary to truly sensational.
Also, and it must be mentioned, any exclusive villa booked with Time & Place comes with a complimentary luxury vacation concierge. From transportation to dining reservations, to booking one of the many exciting excursions explored here, the concierge will take care of all the details of your stay. This ensures that you spend every moment of your vacation relaxing instead of worrying about the details.
To get started with your idyllic St. John vacation browse our luxury St. John villas and find a dream vacation home.