St John Travel Guide

The smallest of the islands, two thirds of St John consists of a national park, a peaceful and largely unspoilt paradise for nature lovers offering pristine forests, hidden coves and coral reefs, as well as secluded white beaches and miles of hiking trails.

Danish immigrants were the first settlers and became extensive producers of sugarcane. Today, the abandoned 18th-century plantations scattered about the island provide a reminder of its agricultural industry. A walk around the ruins of the Annaberg Sugar Plantation offers a historical glimpse of St John, boasting magnificent views of the British Virgin Islands.

The Virgin Island National Park offers numerous guided or independent hiking trails into the interior with stunning views from the ridges. There's a variety of flora and fauna, including wild cats, hummingbirds and iguanas.

Of the dozens of beaches, the most popular is Trunk Bay. It's one of the world's most photographed spots, offering swimming and excellent marine life in the protected reefs. There is also an underwater snorkelling trail with signs identifying the types of coral and its inhabitants.

The centre of activity on St John is Cruz Bay, a small town offering speciality shopping, lively bars and delicious cuisine, as well as jeep rental services and dive centres. There is limited accommodation on the island so make sure to book well in advance.