Jost Van Dyke — Having one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, White Bay is a popular stomping ground for all visiting the islands. With more than a handful of songs written about this stretch of land, it is a memorable experience for sure! A visit through the long stretch of bars and a few new restaurants is a quick way to gain introduction on island. Soggy Dollar Bar (named for the visitors swimming from boats to shore resulting in soggy cash) are the creators of the famous island drink, “The Painkiller”. This fruity concoction is a must have while you’re here!
While we absolutely LOVE White Bay and all of the beauty it has to offer, Great Harbour is our personal favorite. Getting a taste of the more “local” side of the island, Great Harbour offers small family run businesses located along a very narrow dirt road lining the beach. If you’re up for one of the most delicious homemade snacks, there is a small blue trailer just a few steps down from Foxy’s Bar. We don’t know the name because I can’t guarantee that there is one. This woman who runs it makes the best Beef Pate’s if EVER had! Authentic and to die for!
Check out Ivan’s Stress Free Bar’s schedule on Facebook as well! They always have great family parties with music, great food and a sunset that you will never forget.
The Bubbly Pool which is a small hike located between Long Bay and Cape Wright Salt Pond. The pool, under the right conditions acts as nature’s own jacuzzi and is a nice quiet place for swimming and family fun.
Sandy Spit — A single coconut palm tree marks this stretch of bright white sand. You’ve seen it before when it flashed across your television with a bottle of Corona sunken into an ice bath on this speck of Caribbean paradise. There’s not much to say about this little remote island other than it’s simple, stunning and a peaceful place to soak up rays and enjoy a beautiful snorkel on the outskirts.
Virgin Gorda — Scrub Island – The Baths — A popular tourist destination, The Baths are a series of rock and boulder structures with cave formations making for an awesome way to spend a few hours of your day soaking up the beautiful creations of mother nature. Snorkeling around this area is also very popular as the Bay area offers clear waters and rock cutout making prime real estate for an abundance of marine life and vibrant coral families.
US VIRGIN ISLANDS
Lovango Cay — This beautiful private island is located a quick shot north of St. John. The south side of the island next to the docks is a beautiful and very popular snorkeling spot with tons of colorful fish and reef to drift over. The back side of the island can be a bit rough but if you make your way into the channel between the two rocks, you’ll find ice blue water with a tucked away pebble beach.
Carvel Rock — Just east of Lovango is a rock that you simply cannot miss! Shooting up from the sea, this divot covered structure was once the spot that a British Warship Captain directed his men to fire, mistaking the rock for a Spanish ship. This popular dive spot isn’t very easy to access as landing is near impossible but with a boat, taking a quick swim over and venturing around this historical landmark, even free diving down to take a look around should be worth your while.
Salt Pond Bay — This is our absolute favorite place to spend the day. There are so many neat spots hidden within this Bay and not one of them is worth missing The Bay itself is stunning. Crystal clear blue waters, tons of sea grass that makes swimming along side of sea turtles a common occurrence. If you’re up for a small swim, directly in the center of the bay about 1/2 mile out are two rocks that penetrate the surface. The surrounding coral, schools of baby squids, colorful fish and massive conch shells are sure to keep you stimulated for at least an hour. Around the back of the second rock, there’s a deep cutout that resembles somewhat of a trench. The free dive down there is unbelievable. Keep an eye out because you’ll sometimes spot a pretty good size lobster down there!
A straight shot to the left side of the Bay also has beautiful snorkeling. If you’re lucky, you’ll spot our spotted eagle ray friend that drifts along the bottom and carries a wingspan of about 10’!
Directions From Land: You can take Centerline (10) or North Shore (20) towards Coral Bay. You’ll come to a “T” in the road with an arrow pointing you towards Coral Bay and Salt Pond. Make the right and travel about 3.5 – 4 miles. Shortly past Concordia Eco Resort, you’ll see Salt Pond’s parking lot on the left hand side.
Booby Rock — Accessible by boat or a long swim if you’re up to it (don’t recommend) is Booby Rock. Clearly visible from the shore, it is the large rock to the left of the center of the bay. Depths can reach about 80-100 feet but have a wonderful array of marine life.
Salt Pond — Most mistake the bay for the actually Salt Pond itself. There’s a sign at the end of the beach stretch that’s a bit hidden. A small cutout in the bushes will take you to this bright pink body of water. On a dry day, fresh rock salt can be harvested around the shoreline. On any other day, the water’s salinity levels are so high, you can float effortlessly in 2” of water. The bottom of the pond contains a therapeutic mud that is great for your skin! I recommend taking a mud bath while you’re there.
Drunk Bay — After c
hecking out Salt Pond, continue on the same trail. You’ll peak over a small hill where you’ll find a very interesting pebble beach. While the swell is far too strong to allow for swimming, roaming the beach and checking out all of the neat pebble figures created by visitors is well worth it. Get creative and create your own for a fun, memorable experience!
Ram’s Head Hike — With an interesting historical background, Ram’s Head is without a doubt one of the most beautiful hikes on island. Veer off to the right (left is the Salt Pond) to get on the trail. About 30-40 minutes later and after crossing another beautiful pebble beach (take a moment to stop on this beach as the sounds of the water washing over the smooth rocks is so tranquil), you’ll end up at the peak of Ram’s Head. Looking out over Tortola and St. Thomas, this is prime real estate to watch the sunset or catch a full moon if you’re up for a night hike.
Reef Bay Trail — This hike is a toughie but worth the interesting history, neat ruins and beautiful beach at the end. You can start from either end (boat or land) and work your way through the hike. About a 3 mile trek, this trail presents some of the most spectacular tales of St. John history available. Indian petroglyphs, Danish plantation ruins, a small waterfall and a impactful walk through history as you make your way through. With only the sounds of nature surrounding you, it’s almost as though you can feel the walks of life that once survived here. The sugar mill itself offers a fascinating look into the labor that occurred on this land. Keep an eye out for families of deer grazing along the trail side.
** Good hiking shoes or sneakers, snacks, water and bug spray are a must on this hike!
Lampshur Bay Beach— Also located on the south shore, Lamshur Beach is a spectacular one! Just past Salt Pond, this one requires a bit of a trek if traveling by vehicle. There are remnants of the sugar mill ruins on the west end of the bay that look out over the bay, tipping the color scale on lush greens and blues. With rocks, sea grass and smooth sands, you’re likely to find a plethora of amazing creatures along this stretch. Reef Bay and the Bordeaux Mountain hiking trails are just two of a few different hikes that end up on this beach, making the sweat worthwhile!
** While this beach is a beauty, bring your bug spray (reef safe of course!) as they can be a bit thick at times.
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