Vacationing in St. John and the U.S. Virgin Islands

The U.S. Virgin Islands are an English-speaking American territory, that use the U.S. dollar, and offers plenty of choices in terms of activities and fabulous restaurants. The Virgin Island encompasses the three U.S. Virgins-St. Croix, St. John, and St. Thomas and numerous smaller islands. The British Virgin Islands (BVIs) are in very close proximity to the USVI.

St. John is a beautiful hidden gem. Guests to our shores call it the most beautiful island in the Caribbean, and no one who visits can fail to be struck by the beauty of the island and the friendliness of its inhabitants. The green hills and turquoise waters are intertwined into the Virgin Islands National Park, one of the most beautiful and pristine treasures on earth.

Generally, the islands are small and closely spaced, making it easy to hop from one to another. St. Thomas has good airline connections and is home to the capital, Charlotte Amalie, a very popular cruise ship port. The most populous island, St. Croix, has its own distinct feel, with varied colonial architecture and rum distilleries to tour.

Getting to St. John: Fly into St. Thomas, USVI airport (STT)

Passenger and Car Ferry

There are several options for ferries from St. Thomas to St. John.

  • Catch the passenger ferry hourly, on the hour from Red Hook on the east end of St. Thomas. This requires a 30 to 45-minute taxi ride from the airport to the Red Hook ferry dock.
  • Take the ferry from Charlotte Amalie, near the airport, but this ferry sails much less frequently.
  • Car ferries from Charlotte Amalie are available to take you and your car from St. Thomas to St. John, but they only sail every 2 hours.

Geography

St. John has many beaches, one voted as the #1 beach in the world, Trunk Bay. We have exciting snorkeling, interesting, and relaxing hiking trails, plantation ruins, and coral reefs full of life. More than half of the island’s area has been placed under the protection of the US National Park Service. Rising steeply and quickly from the shore, St. John’s ridges feature three peaks of 1,100 to 1,200 ft. There are over 800 species of plants. More than 160 species of birds have been recorded in and around the park and, of these over 25 nest on the island. From a natural perspective, it’s truly spectacular.

Climate

The weather is very pleasantly tropical, year-round. Afternoon average temperatures range from 82F in January to 88F in August and September. The average annual low is 74F. Monthly rainfall averages 1.6 inches (February) to 5.8 inches (September)

Customs

*** ALTHOUGH PASSPORTS ARE NOT REQUIRED FOR THE US VIRGIN ISLANDS, PLEASE REMEMBER YOU WILL NEED A “REAL ID” OR A BIRTH CERTIFICATE WITH A RAISED SEAL IF YOU DON’T HAVE A PASSPORT. ***

During COVID you may also need proof of a negative COVID test, taken within 3 days of your arrival into St. John. Hopefully soon, those with valid Vaccination Cards will be exempt from this policy, but at this time the negative test is still required.

You will need a passport to visit the nearby British Virgin Islands, which you may very well want to do, so we highly recommend having your Passport with you. When departing the U.S. Virgin Islands, U.S. Immigration requires all persons, including Americans, to provide proof of citizenship. This can include a passport, or a certified copy of a birth certificate with a raised seal, or a REAL ID.