Virgin Islands National Park

Virgin Islands National Park

Things To Do

While Annaberg and Trunk Bay are the most frequently-visited park sites, Virgin Islands National Park's diverse beaches, coral reefs, historic ruins, and hiking trails provide endless hours of exploration and enjoyment, as well as inspiration and opportunities for solitude and reflection. Visitors enjoy a variety of activities on the land and in the water, including swimming, snorkeling and scuba diving; sailing, kayaking and windsurfing; and camping, hiking and bird watching. Visitors can enjoy the crystal blue waters on a charter day-sail or boat snorkeling tour which are offered by private operators and can be booked in Cruz Bay and Coral Bay. Some visitors explore the park on their own, while others prefer a two-hour safari bus island tour with a private tour guide. To learn more about the island and its diverse plants, animals and people attend a park program. For information on the ongoing archeological research at Cinnamon Bay visit the Friends of the Virgin Islands National Park website.

Guided Tours

The park does not provide guided tours outside of scheduled guided hikes and other interpretive programs. However, two-hour and three-hour guided tour of the Island, which includes the park, are provided by safari bus (taxi) drivers. These tours usually begin and end at the public ferry dock in Cruz Bay. They stop at overlooks for panoramic views of beaches and surrounding hillsides and at remnants of Annaberg and other sugar plantations. Guided hiking, kayaking and snorkeling adventures are available from a variety of tour companies, including Virgin Islands Ecotours.

Indoor Activities

The St. John Historical Society has a small museum located at the Battery (Offices of the Governor), just a short walk from the visitor center.

The park visitor center in Cruz Bay offers an exhibit depicting both natural and cultural resources. One may learn about the terrestrial as well as submerged lands. Examples of reef fishes and coral are on display.

Other panels depict the cultural history—from the earliest inhabitants to the subsistence era. Visitors are able to view artifacts from the pre-Columbian Tainos, tools used to harvest sugarcane during the late 1700€™s and early 1800€™s sugar production era, and examples of objects that became essential for survival after slavery emancipation.

Once in Cinnamon Bay, visitors may visit the archeology lab (a converted sugar factory warehouse) and see the artifacts recovered from the nearby dig. If planning a visit, please call to ascertain the building is open.

Outdoor Activities

Snorkeling and scuba diving

Some of the best snorkeling anywhere can be found at the beaches in the park and around St. John. A brochure available at the visitor center describes the various locations.

Sailing, kayaking and windsurfing

At the Cinnamon Bay beach, rentals are available for a variety of sailboats, kayaks and windsurfers. The bay is large, and prevailing winds make for exciting sailing.

Hiking and birdwatching

A number of trails on the North and South shores offer a variety of short and long hikes, ranging from 15 minutes to two hours. A brochure offers a map and more details of each of the 20 hiking trails.

Camping

Within the park, camping is available at Cinnamon Bay. Bare tent sites (campers furnish their own tents and equipment), large canvas tents (with equipment furnished) and screened cottages (with propane grills and electricity) are available. There is a restaurant and a camp store. A private campground is located at Maho Bay.