Although it is the smallest of the three Saints, St. John can stake it’s claim as being the most beautiful of the US Virgin Islands. Over two thirds of the entire island is a US National Park, with a majority of the park’s stunning beauty being underwater. Presently, an astounding 7,200 acres of the park consist of land and 5,600 acres make up the underwater terrain. Above sea level, St. John has a number of intertwining hiking trails which lead to secluded beaches, numerous bays, and quaint, historical points of interest.
Here on St. John, and among the most popular sights on all of the US Virgin Islands, is Annaberg, a sugar and rum plantation dating back to the 18th century. Hiking, or better yet, boating, to this historic spot is highly recommended, as you can survey the topography of the north shore of the island compared to that of the south shore: both sides of the island have the same V shaped valleys between steep, green slopes. During this 30 minute jaunt, you will likely lose count of the dozen or so delightful sandy beaches, which in itself is worth the trip!
There are numerous professional charters for you to choose from on St. John. Most boats comfortably hold six passengers and average up to 35 feet in length. Cruz Bay Harbor is the most popular dock for sports fishing, and the overall cost for a day trip includes bait, tackle, food, drinks, and of course, fuel. Numerous offshore species of fish are available off the waters of St. John, including: Blue Marlin, White Marlin, Sailfish, Dolphin Fish, Rainbow Runner, Mahi Mahi, Wahoo, Tuna, Billfish, Bonita, Bonefish, Tarpon, King Fish, and even Barracuda and Shark.
Inshore and Shallow water fishing is more popular on this island than the other two, and it is common to see locals fishing off the rocky coast or countless piers. Your best bet for shoreline fishing is Leinster Bay, where species include: Snapper, Kingfish, Cero Mackerel, Permit, Pompano Jacks, Tarpon, Snook, and Grouper. Tarpon, especially, are plentiful around the island, and the average catch can yield upwards of 25 to 50 pounds. Snook are nocturnal eaters, so evening fishing trips are best for reeling them in; Bonefish are the trickiest of all to catch, as they congregate beneath coral and rocks, making it easy to snag your hook and line.
The stunning beauty of St. John is easily accessible, making this a popular vacation destination. One road runs through the center of the island, with another road traversing along the north shore. Whether you are here for the fishing or to visit Cruz Bay (the main town on the island), or to frequent one of the many historical museums, or just to explore the natural, scenic beauty of the National Park, it won’t take long to realize why this island getaway is paradise in every sense of the word!