Why St. John is the Prettiest Caribbean Island

View from the Maho Bay overlook to Maho Bay Beach and Francis Bay Beach - st john caribbean

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Folks who have been to St. John in the Virgin Islands know that it is the prettiest island in the Caribbean. However, those of you who have not heard of it before may need some convincing – especially after Hurricanes Irma and Maria ripped through this island over a year ago. To be honest, though, I don’t think it’s going to be that hard to show you why this island is so beautiful.

I think a lot of people forget about St. John because it’s so little. You can’t get there via plane, and instead need to go through St. Thomas and catch the ferry over to Cruz Bay. Plus, there is a serious lack of resorts on St. John, which to be honest is actually a perk of coming here.

looking towards st john in coral bay

The second smallest of the U.S. Virgin Islands tends to fly under the radar, which is a gift for those who make the effort to stay there. Things get busier in the high season, which falls December through April. However, the crowds are always pretty bearable and don’t take away from one’s relaxation at all.

While St. John’s infrastructure is a bit wobbly compared to more (or over) developed islands, they have what you need. There are grocery stores, clinics, car rental companies, and plenty of good restaurants. Of course, we can’t forget the beautiful beaches, which is the reason you come here in the first place!

That being said, keep scrolling for photographic proof of why St. John is the prettiest island in the Virgin Islands, and possibly the whole Caribbean. It’s honestly my favorite place to visit, having been there eight times and counting. I guarantee you’ll be checking flight prices and vacation rentals by the end of it.


Photos That Prove St. John is The Prettiest Caribbean Island

St. John Has Sea Views Like No Other

Quite possibly the most special characteristic of St. John, besides its incredible beaches that is, are its stunning views looking out into the Caribbean Sea. The Virgin Islands in general are mountainous, with many vacation rentals and business establishments perched up on hills.

scenic lookout into Coral Bay - st john caribbean
View of Coral Bay

With so many hills on St. John, this means that there are plentiful opportunities to witness breathtaking views. If you are into photography, you will surely be pleased with the landscape photo opportunities this island provides.

View from the Maho Bay overlook to Maho Bay Beach and Francis Bay Beach - st john caribbean
Maho Bay Overlook

As you drive around St. John, you’ll be rewarded with beautiful sea views out your window, especially on North Shore Road. That is the road along the north side of the island where St. John’s most idyllic beaches are. The best way to enjoy this road is to take it slow. It’s not like you have much of a choice anyway – speed limits on the island tend to be 20-25 mph.

Be sure to stop at the scenic overlooks, where you can take the perfect photo with a St. John beach as the backdrop.

View of Trunk Bay from the Trunk Bay Overlook on North Shore Road - st john caribbean
Trunk Bay Overlook

Need some Christmas gift ideas? Check out this St. John themed gift guide!

St. John Beaches Are Incredibly Stunning

To be honest, St. John’s beaches are the main reason one vacations here. While there are plenty of things to do on the island, your time is best spent on the north shore soaking up the sun and wading through turquoise waters on Maho or Trunk Bay.

turquoise water on a sunny day at Maho Bay
Maho Bay

I honestly have never seen so many shades of blue and turquoise in one place before. When you factor in the lush vegetation and perfect weather, you wonder how such a place could exist on earth.

jumbie bay on a sunny day with a view of trunk bay
Jumbie Bay

I should also mention, these are all fairly current pictures of St. John. I returned to the island a little over a year after the hurricanes hit, so these photos are all post-Irma. These trees were completely stripped of their leaves after the storm and the trees were badly mangled. Isn’t it amazing how much the island has already bounced back?

View Glorious Sunrises and Sunsets

There is no denying that you can see some beautiful sunsets and sunrises over the Caribbean in St. John. Since we always stay in Coral Bay, we have the opportunity to watch the sun rise almost every day.

sunrise over coral bay in st john usvi
Coral Bay at Sunrise

Unfortunately, some mornings there may be too many clouds on the horizon, which sadly obstruct these lovely views. I’ve been known to drag myself out of bed at 5:45am, peak out the window real quick, and if I see clouds I head straight back to bed. However, this past trip I was so excited to see clear horizons every day.

pink clouds at sunset reflected in blue swimming pool water in coral bay
Coral Bay at Sunset

Since Coral Bay faces east, it’s much more ideal for seeing sunrises rather than sunsets. However, it does still get the very beautiful sunset lighting and fluffy pink clouds in the sky. For optimal sunset viewing, I would cross the island to Cruz Bay where you can also grab dinner and enjoy some nightlife.

You Can See Stars At Night

There are a ton of chances to view a starry sky while in St. John. The sunrise and sunset remain pretty consistent all year round, with the sun never setting later than 7:00 pm. Therefore, be sure to look up once in a while to view a glittery sky.

starry night over coral bay

Star gazing in St. John is quite good, as there is very little to no light pollution. However, you may encounter the occasional cloud patch that could temporarily block your view. When the beautiful night sky does reveal itself, keep a lookout for constellations, or take the opportunity to practice your night photography like I did.

• • •

As you can see, St. John is a beautiful Caribbean island, and just might be the paradise you’ve been searching for. To those of you who were concerned about returning after Irma hit, consider this your visual St. John update and reassurance that the island is doing just fine.

Will you be booking a Caribbean vacation to St. John any time soon?

Here is why you should pick St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands as your next travel destination. See why St. John, USVI is the most beautiful island in the Caribbean! #stjohnvirginislands #stjohnusvi #usvi #usvirginislands #stjohntravel
Here is why you should pick St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands as your next travel destination. See why St. John, USVI is the most beautiful island in the Caribbean! #stjohnvirginislands #stjohnusvi #usvi #usvirginislands #stjohntravel
Here is why you should pick St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands as your next travel destination. See why St. John, USVI is the most beautiful island in the Caribbean! #stjohnvirginislands #stjohnusvi #usvi #usvirginislands #stjohntravel

Comments

  1. Hello
    Your St John blogs are super helpful. I am into landscape photography and would like to cover all scenic overlooks during my stay in St John. Could you help me out what areas to cover? I am staying in Cruz Bay.
    Thanks
    S

    1. I replied to your question on another post, but will repeat here just in case:

      If you are looking for specific overlooks, here are the most popular spots:

      – Maho Bay Overlook
      – Trunk Bay Overlook
      – Caneel Bay Overlook
      – Cruz Bay Overlook
      – Coral Bay Overlook

      The first four you’ll run into driving to the North Shore beaches from Cruz Bay. The Coral Bay Overlook can be found driving east along Centerline Road. I also recommend doing a few hikes, as they all will basically provide even more beautiful views to photograph.

  2. Hi Theresa,
    I find your blog extremely helpful. Next week would my first time visiting the St John island. I am into landscape photography and wanted to know what are good places for great overlook. I am there for 3 days.

    Thanks
    Sail

    1. Hi there, and thanks for reading! There are honestly photo worthy sights in St. John everywhere you turn, and I’m sure you’ll leave with lots of photos. However, if you are looking for specific overlooks, here are the most popular spots:

      – Maho Bay Overlook
      – Trunk Bay Overlook
      – Caneel Bay Overlook
      – Cruz Bay Overlook
      – Coral Bay Overlook

      The first four you’ll run into driving to the North Shore beaches from Cruz Bay. The Coral Bay Overlook can be found driving east along Centerline Road. I also recommend doing a few hikes, as they all will basically provide even more beautiful views to photograph.

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