Getting To and Around the Island of St. John
Getting to and around the island of St. John is a breeze with these tips. Visitors will fly into St. Thomas and then take a ferry to St. John. From the town of Cruz Bay visitors can rent a car and drive to their final destination. A rental car is recommended to all guests, in order to enjoy the full island experience from the beaches, U.S. National Park, and the town.
Getting to St. John
Those traveling between the United States and St. John do not require a passport, but one is suggested to help facilitate clearing U.S. Customs. Those planning a trip to St. John are advised to bring a passport or a certified birth certificate. Visitors over the age of 18 should bring a valid driver’s license or other government issued photo ID. A passport is necessary for visiting the British Virgin Islands during your stay on St. John.
Arriving in St. John is done first by flying into St. Thomas (STT). Most major U.S. airlines, such as American, Delta, and JetBlue have flights into St. Thomas. From the airport you will take a ferry to St. John.
Once visitors have arrived on St. Thomas they will take a twenty-minute ferry ride from Red Hook to Cruz Bay on St. John. The ferry provides gorgeous views the whole way and is a good opportunity to recover from the flight. The public ferry runs every hour on the hour until midnight each day. There are also private water taxis available for transportation outside of the public ferry schedule. Ferry prices may vary from $7 to $15 per person not including luggage fees.
St. John as well as the British Virgin Islands use standard U.S. currency which makes travel from the states that much easier. Most businesses throughout the island accept major credit cards, with the exception of American Express. There are many businesses that accept American Express, but a large amount does not.
Renting a car
Renting a car during your stay on St. John is a must. There is taxi service available but the cost to go from your destination into town, Cruz Bay, is about $5 per person one way. From Cruz Bay to the beach is another $5.50 per person one way, which can lead to a day at the beach costing upwards of $100 for a family of four. The cost of renting a car for a day is much less than $100 per day, and provides added flexibility to the daily schedule. Rental car pricing varies depending on your model preference and length of stay.
There are usually beaches within walking distance at most resorts and other lodging locations, but the most beautiful beaches are on the northern shore in the U.S. National Park, which is well worth the drive. In over 10 years no one guest has gone without a rental car, and many discounts are available with a variety of rental agencies on the island.
Getting Around St. John
Two beaches that are frequently visited by foot traffic are Hart Bay and Chocolate Hole Harbor. Hart Bay is an eastern beach, accessed by a walking path. This beach is ideal for beach combing. The coral from the ocean washes up during storms directly onto the shore. Guests enjoy finding gems and taking them home for souvenirs.
The western beach is located at Chocolate Hole Harbor and is accessible by foot or car. Parking is available right next to the beach. This beach is on the non-windy side of the island, making it ideal for snorkeling. There is also a salt pond on this beach, which is a great spot for seeing ocean life, like fish and other crustaceans.
The white sand beaches are the most beautiful and are on the northern shore of St. John, in the U.S. National Park. This location is about a 10 to 15 minute drive from many lodging locations, all along paved roads. Visiting the park and beach is a must for all guests.
Taking the ferry to your final destination is simple. Once the ferry docks, visitors can be transported to the rental car agency, or some agents will meet at the ferry landing to complete the transaction. Many lodging options are ten to twenty minutes from the ferry and town of Cruz Bay.