This was our last port of call during our Caribbean cruise: the island of St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands. We wanted to enjoy the island and relax so we did not plan too much. Once again this is an island which can be visited in a day and the distances allow you to cover the main attractions on the island. Here are the places we visited:
Watch sunrise in Charlotte Amalie
I got up early every morning to watch the sunrise and also to get an impression of the island. This was my lucky morning as the sunrise was breathtaking, the most beautiful in the Caribbean so far. The vibrant red and pink hues in the sky were reflected in the waters of the harbour of Charlotte Amalie and created a show that is hard to forget. My first impressions of the island? This must be a rich place as the number of luxurious villas visible from the ship was just a taste of what we were going to see on the day.
Head up to Paradise Point
As soon as we were given the go ahead we made it to the dock and headed straight to the car hire office to start our day. Hiring a car here (even though we had prebooked) was not the easiest of jobs as the office told us that they ran out of cars and they had to bring one from the airport. So we waited patiently and our car arrived after around 30 minutes. We started our day by getting up to Paradise Point (you can even get here by cable car) and got an aerial view of the harbour as well as the surrounding villas (once again) that kept on impressing us. Reaching paradise point is also possible by cable car directly from the harbour. The money charged for this excursion if booked on the cruise ships is ridiculous given the fact that you can go alone on foot!
Snorkel at Coki Beach
This is not the most quiet beach of the island and even though we got there quite early, the beach was already full of tourists. Luckily it is big enough and we found a nice quiet place next to the best spot for snorkeling. The amount of tropical fish was amazing and I spent so much time observing these fish that I got a sunburn. The wildlife here is not exclusively underwater as on the beach we were also accompanied by iguanas! As mentioned we had our car, but getting to this beach and spending the day here is possible with a taxi ride for about $15!
Find your inner Peace at Magen’s Bay
This beach is larger than Coki and therefore it is quieter. The waters are calm and the clear white sand make this beach the perfect place to relax if you are looking for a peaceful location. Magen’s Bay is part of a park and you must pay an entrance fee to get inside. Unfortunately we were not very well greeted by the park attendant who was really rude with us. I was not sure whether it was just the entrance fee for people that we had to pay or whether there was a parking for the car as well. When I asked how much, she just replied that it’s written on the board next to her and when I gave her the money she just said ‘O how funny you have the exact amount!’ I was not in the mood to argue so we just drove ahead. However I am really sorry for this incident, as I believe that since this island lives on tourism, they must make sure to be nice and polite to visitors!
There are of course other things to do and more beaches to visit in St. Thomas. However we opted to keep this day a relaxing one and we spent a lot of time at the beach. There are other beaches like Lindquist Beach and St. John bay where you can go. Moreover it is possible to visit the nearby island of St. John which is less touristic! For more information check out the official tourism website of the USVI.