What is it exactly about St. John, Virgin Island beaches that make them so special?
St. John beaches are located on the island of St. John, in the US Virgin Islands, one of the loveliest, friendliest and most beautiful places in the world. The climate is tropical, but moderated by the ever-present trade winds. Moreover, St. John is an American Paradise, a territory of the U.S.A.
St. John Sand
Sand is an integral part of any beach. The sand that carpets the beaches on St. John, Virgin Islands is especially soft, powdery and sensual.
St. John sand comes from the Coral Reef and, as such, is finer than terrestrial sand that comes from the weathering of rocks.
Moreover, this soft, silky sand extends into the sea so that wading into the water is a pleasant experience as opposed to, for example, walking over sharp rocks or slimy seaweed.
Here on St. John in the Virgin Islands, the Caribbean Sea is warm and inviting, even in the winter. And because there are no rivers, large tides or strong currents, the water is clear and clean. The water is not murky, you can see right to the bottom.
The sea surrounding St. John is also extremely colorful. It’s a veritable feast for the eyes. There are varying shades of turquoise where the water lies over a sandy bottom, darker blues where the sea is deeper, greenish tints where below lies beds of sea grass and hints of reds and oranges over shallow coral reefs.
Proximity of the Coral Reef
Almost all the beaches have nearby reefs fringing the sides of the bays that embrace them and around the protecting headlands on both sides of the bays. These near shore reefs are shallow enough for excellent snorkeling in an especially friendly and nonthreatening environment.
From just about any beach on St. John, one can enjoy a panorama of islands whose emerald green mountainsides rise from the clear blue Caribbean in the near distance, as well as a myriad of smaller cays, rocks and bays. This view is far superior to the limited view of the sea and the horizon beyond found at most other beaches in the world.
St. John beaches are found within relatively small bays, surrounded by green hills and bordered by shade-providing, tropical vegetation such as coconut palms, sea grapes and beach mahos. This contrasts favorably with beaches that lie on a long straight coastline, and which are set against a low-lying, commercially-developed or uninteresting background.
Furthermore, the protection provided the headlands that form the many bays helps keep the water within calm and inviting.
More Than One or Two
In addition to all this, St. John boasts, not one or two perfect beaches, but beach after beach, one around each point or headland from Lind Point to Mary Point and beyond. There’s Salomon, Honeymoon, the beaches of Caneel Bay, Hawksnest, Gibney, Denis, Jumbie, Trunk, Cinnamon, Maho, Little Maho and Francis Bay as well as the beautiful beaches on other parts of the island such as Leinster, Salt Pond Bay, Lameshur, Ditleff, and as well as dozens more “off the beaten track” beaches.
Virgin Islands National Park
Because most of the island is protected by the Virgin Islands National Park, the beaches on St. John are not overly developed and you can almost always find a way to get away from it all and enjoy nature in its pristine state.
Not an Exaggeration
These are just some of the reasons why the statement, made so often by those in the know that “St. John has the best beaches in the world!” is far from an exaggeration. It can be taken at face value; it’s just plain the way it is.