Where The Wild Donkeys Roam – Cinnamon Bay, St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands
There are 3 islands in the Caribbean called “The U.S. Virgin Islands.” St. Croix, St. Thomas, and St. John are the names of these islands.
Let’s visit the smallest of the three … St. John.
Your plane would land at the airport in St. Thomas. The airport is small but efficient. You would take a taxi or shuttle bus for a 10 min. ride down to the ferry boat. Board the boat that crosses the channel, and deposits you on the island of St. John in the quaint Caribbean village of Cruz Bay.
We recommend that you have a rental car waiting for you, which you can arrange in advance. A small open-air jeep would be fun. You are off to Cinnamon Bay Campground on the south shore of the island not too far away. Be prepared for some steep hills and narrow roads, but the scenery is spectacular!
The island of St. John is designated as a national park, as well as the waters surrounding it. This national reserve became a reality in the 1950’s, when the Rockefeller family from the U.S. donated the property to the American government, to be used for the advancement of science. This unique environment is paradise.
All the plants and animals are protected, and the people are extra friendly. You could probably hitch a ride to the campground with no problem, but having your own transportation comes in handy. There are so many unique beaches on this island that you will want to visit. The jeep will make it happen for you.
Cinnamon Bay Campground is situated on the beach, at the water’s edge. The tropical jungle and all that it has to offer will make your stay super exciting. Bring your camera. You can rent a tent on a camp site, that comes with everything you will need. Or, you might prefer to rent a cabin on the beach, and stay indoors. That will cost you a little more money.
Some visitors just bring their own tent and supplies, and camp on a site very close to the water for next to nothing. No matter what you choose to do, you won’t be disappointed. The campground has its own store, so you can buy the necessities of life without traveling too far. The best surprise is the outdoor restaurant that serves an international menu. Wine and dine daily to the sounds and rhythms of the local Caribbean people.
The island of St. John is mountainous, with several hiking trails for those who wish to explore the jungles and enjoy the panoramic views. You don’t really need to stop at the tourist information in town to find out what activities await you. The Cinnamon Bay staff and locals will have great suggestions for you.
You won’t believe Mongoose Junction. This is an upscale shopping mall in Cruz Bay. It is hiding behind the old original Caribbean shacks. Once you enter the shopping mall, you will think you are downtown Paris or New York. The vendors sell everything from jewels to leather works, so bring lots of money.
You have to try snorkeling at Trunk Bay. The water is turquoise, warm, and heavenly. There are snorkels and fins to rent, so you can experience the underwater map and trails, and learn about the fish and coral reefs.
You might want to island hop, and take a day trip to Virgin Gorda. You can wade between the giant water rocks, and explore the caves.
Since you have rented your own “wheels”, pack a picnic lunch, rent snorkel equipment at the Cinnamon Bay store, buy a couple of bottles of wine, and head along the north shore of the island with your loved ones. This adventure might be something you choose to do with your “lover”, or maybe you want all the kids with you. Explore the deserted beaches, and find your own paradise.
The waters and scenery are breath-taking, and you will need a hat, water, and sunscreen for sure. On the way back at the end of the day, stop and dine at one of the many eateries. All of the St. John experiences are wonderful, and this is definitely a Beach Baby favorite location.
One final thought you might find interesting. Years ago, wild donkeys arrived on the island of St. John. The people welcomed them with open arms, because they are such caring people. (Remember … I mentioned that.) Well, guess what! They are still there, and they steal bananas. So, if you chose to camp, make sure you keep your bananas high up in the trees during the night time.
Wild Donkeys on the island of St. John…