Travel to UV Virgin Islands to See the Best of St John and USVI National Park - Travel Squad Podcast

Travel to UV Virgin Islands to See the Best of St John and USVI National Park

Travel to the US Virgin Islands, particularly St John island from St Thomas to continue your US Virgin Islands vacation with a trip to the national park.

We travel to St John in this part two continuation from our trip to the U.S. Virgin Islands. St John is famous for having the US Virgin islands National Park and being one of the gorgeous islands in the Caribbean that you don’t need a passport to visit as an American.

Here you can swim and snorkel with sea turtles, enjoy the waters by boat, and enjoy one of the most unique national parks in the country.

 In this episode we take a ferry from St. Thomas, where we were staying, to spend a couple days on the beach, snorkeling in clear blue waters with sea turtles, hiking and exploring the amazing island of St. John and Virgin Islands National Park.

Make sure to go back to episode 82 for part one of this week in USVI trip.

Travel to U.S. Virgin Islands – Episode Transcript

1 (41s):
Welcome to this week’s episode of the Travel Squad podcast. Today, we’re taking you to St. John and the us Virgin islands.

3 (1m 6s):
This episode is a semi continuation of our other us Virgin Islands episode. We had two weeks back talking about St. Thomas. We visited both islands on the same trip, but we wanted to feature each island separately. St. John has a more relaxed island vibe since it’s mostly residential and little did I know until we started really planning this trip, that 60% of the island of St. John is actually a national park.

2 (1m 31s):
And that is such a fun fact.

3 (1m 33s):
It is a fun fact.

2 (1m 34s):
I have not been to St. John. I actually was thinking about going on this trip, but it just didn’t work out, but some so excited to hear about it. I haven’t actually heard a lot from you guys yet, and I have seen some of your pictures. It looked gorgeous. I’ve seen some turtle chomping videos.

1 (1m 49s):
Heck yes.

2 (1m 50s):
Which we do have on our YouTube right now, sea turtle, eating a jellyfish. And yeah, I’m really, really excited to hear about it. You know, I love everything Caribbean. So can we get right into it?

1 (2m 1s):
Yes, we can. So Jamal and I took this trip in January and we took it with our friends cash and Ryan. At the time that we took the trip, you did have to have a negative COVID-19 test done within five days of travel. You also had to upload the results to the U S Virgin island portal within 24 hours of travel. And then it gave you a QR code that you will use once you land. And it was also helpful to have our printed COVID-19 negative test results with us. Once we got to the airport as well,

3 (2m 33s):
And with all travel COVID updates and restrictions are being updated regularly. So this is as it stands now. And when we went, obviously, look, when you book what the current regulations are, whether it be to the Virgin islands or anywhere else for that matter, it’s still just a good travel tip in general these days. I’m sure we should have learned by now over a year end. I mean, you really have to track the travel requirements.

2 (2m 58s):
I like your motto there. Look, when you book

3 (3m 1s):
Look, when you book, did I even say, I mean, I know what I said, but did I say it like that’s great, Ryan without even intending to

2 (3m 8s):
Nice. So give us some tips for visiting this island.

1 (3m 11s):
So right now is a really good time to go because cruise ships aren’t sailing or docking to that area. And those are huge cruise port destinations, particularly St. Thomas. You have to take a ferry across to St. John. And because cruise ships, aren’t going to St. Thomas right now. That also means the island of St. John isn’t getting any cruise ship visitors.

3 (3m 31s):
Yeah. And the island of St. Thomas, which is just a little bit away. I mean, it’s about 10 miles, probably a little bit less 30 minute ferry ride. There is no airport on their commercial airport. So you would have to land on St. Thomas and then go over to Saint John, unless you had your own private boat and you sailed there yourself. So that really is the only way to get there. Unless you have your own boat is taking the ferry over from the main island.

2 (3m 57s):
Did you see yachters taking the yacht from one island to the next,

3 (4m 1s):
I mean, so many people had boats. I didn’t realize if they’re just going from one island to the next themselves, but people are recreationally going from island to island because there’s different, like little bays and beaches. So I didn’t see anybody doing it, but I know there are, because there’s tons of boats out there

2 (4m 16s):
And like, what I hear,

1 (4m 17s):
Kim, you definitely want to do a Yatra if one of these days, I feel like, hell yeah, that’s your vibe.

2 (4m 22s):
Oh yeah.

1 (4m 23s):
But another tip for St. John U S Virgin island is you’re definitely going to want to rent an SUV because the roads there are really steep and they’re not that great in condition. So we definitely rented an SUV. And then we took a car barge from St. Thomas over to St. John. And we were able to rent this from our Airbnb host, actually.

3 (4m 43s):
Yeah, you can rent a car through the normal rental car channels and companies. They have them at the airport. We were just fortunate enough that our Airbnb hosts also had a rental car. So you are going to want to do that, especially if you’re not staying on the island of St. John St. John, like I said, it does have a few touristy things in general and a few resorts, but most of those are going to be on St. Thomas. So most people stay there and then take the barge over.

1 (5m 9s):
So Jamal found out very last minute that you actually have to drive on the left side of the road, in the U S Virgin Islands.

3 (5m 15s):
As soon as he gave me the keys to the rental car, I mean, our host for the Airbnb, he picked us up and he said, who’s ready to drive on the left. And we touched upon this when we were talking about St. Thomas, but, you know, thinking it’s an American territory, I thought to myself, well, clearly we’re going to be driving on the right side of the road. I mean, I didn’t even have that thought because I knew this was an American territory. And then lo and behold, you find out that we really are driving on the left. So it’s true on St. Thomas. And it’s also true on St. John for that matter. So do keep that in mind,

1 (5m 46s):
A few more tips for you guys, definitely bring bug spray and also bring some reef friendly sunscreen, because you’re definitely going to be sun exposed. You’re in the Caribbean.

2 (5m 55s):
We have a reef friendly sunscreen that we love, and we will link to it in the show notes for you.

1 (6m 1s):
Yes. And then the last half that we learned actually, as we were leaving. And so we want to pass it on to you guys is to bring your passports or global entry card. It helps with faster processing to leave the airport. And if in times in the future, if you could island hop, you might want to use it to island hop to the British Virgin islands.

3 (6m 20s):
Yeah. I mean, the British Virgin islands are right there. You can see it from St. John from St. Thomas, just as well. When we went during COVID here, it wasn’t open to island hop between since they are technically two separate nations in that sense. But even if you’re flying from the us Virgin islands back to mainland USA or Puerto Rico. So technically at that point, it’s considered domestic. They do want you to have your passport. Now, if you don’t have one, your driver’s license will be fine. It just takes them a little bit longer time to find you in the system to allow you to go through. But since it is technically a port of entry, since it’s an island, it is something that they want everybody to have to make the process faster, but you don’t need it.

3 (7m 1s):
But if you do have it, bring it so that you are good.

1 (7m 4s):
So Jamal mentioned earlier that 60% of St. John is actually a national park, Virgin Islands, national park. And it just has so much to offer when people imagine Virgin Islands, national park, they think of white sand beaches, clear turquoise waters, but there’s just so much more to this national park. You can take a hike to a sugar plantation ruin, or a secluded

2 (7m 25s):
Beach. Did you do that?

3 (7m 27s):
We definitely did do that. Yeah, because I mean, before this was an American territory in island, I believe it was the Dutch who had control over it. Right. And it was a big sugar plantation island. So they have some old, you guess you could call them ruins of their old factories that they had. And one of them is just literally sitting there right on the beach. So we started at a hot we’ll get to it, but we started like at a high level on the road and hiked down into the jungle towards the beach to get to that. So lots of stuff to do hiking wise, and even just simple beach relaxation wise,

1 (8m 0s):
And Kim, they even had ancient petroglyphs carved in to the rocks by the Taino Indians. So it’s a really unique island because you can relax on the beach, soak up the sun, you can snorkel, go explore the coral reefs. And this national park has no entrance fees.

2 (8m 19s):
I like that. Fuck them hard.

3 (8m 22s):
It has no entrance fee, but I think we got a little bit ahead of ourselves here, because we did mention that you do have to take a ferry to get there. So again, unless you have your own boat, you really are going to have to some way pay to get across, to take the ferry to St. John. So in a sense, I guess that could be the entrance fee, if you will. So let’s talk a little bit about the fairies. Cause I feel like most people who are going will be coming from St. Thomas to get there. Right. Brittany, unless

1 (8m 47s):
You’re Kim and you’re arriving on a private yacht. Yeah.

2 (8m 50s):
That’s, that’s how

3 (8m 51s):
I liked Kim lives, the millionaire lifestyle. So it doesn’t surprise me that that’s going to be her way of entrance to St. John. But for us peasants down here, let’s talk about how we got to get there from the barge.

1 (9m 3s):
Yeah. So you can either take a passenger ferry from St. Thomas and then rent a car. Once you get to the other side, or you could do what we did, which was take a car barge from St. Thomas. And so it gets yourself, your passengers and your car across, and it’s about 55 bucks round trip, but you should make reservations online in advance.

3 (9m 21s):
Yeah. You definitely should make reservations in advance. They do say that they do allow some people as I shouldn’t say walk-ups drive ups really to get on without reservation, but we took one of the first ones or the first one in the morning to go across. And we got there maybe 45 minutes to an hour early because that’s the recommendation that we saw online because so many people who don’t have the reservations will try to come in and they let those people without reservations in the line queue to back up onto the barge, even if they don’t have it. So if you have one, they tell you all the time, you may make it on the second one. So squad tip Really do arrive early, at least an hour before your reservation time to ensure you make it on that barge.

2 (10m 8s):
And how long is the barge trip?

3 (10m 10s):
It took us about 25

1 (10m 12s):
Minutes, 20 to 30 minutes, I’d say,

3 (10m 14s):
Okay. Yeah, definitely not too bad.

1 (10m 16s):
And when you’re on the car barge, you can actually get out of your car, go up on like the second level, look out at the sun, the water. Cause like when we went, it was pretty early in the morning. So the sun was rising above the water is really beautiful. And then also another squad tip Is to look up the time that the last barge leaves, because if you don’t and you don’t make it back, then you’re stuck on the island.

3 (10m 42s):
And if you have no hotel reservations, you’re sleeping in your car, I guess, or paying a premium for last minute hotel booking. So do keep that in mind. And the last thing I want to say about the barge is bring your a game when it comes to your driving game, because they make you back up onto that thing and align, and I get back up straight. But when you’re doing it onto a barge and there’s other cars beside you, and then everybody else is kind of watching you because they can’t move until you move. It puts a lot of pressure on you. So it’s a little nerve wracking in that sense. So do keep that in mind, like you’re going to have to reverse up onto that thing so that when you land at the next port, you can drive straight off. So that’s their standard thing is you reverse on?

1 (11m 23s):
Yeah. So the first thing that we did once we got to St. John was we went to the Cruz bay visitor center and it has a lot of exhibits, activity schedules, brochures, maps. You can also ask a park ranger, their questions to help you plan your time in the national park. And then, you know, what was really cool about the visitor center here. They had some of the best Christmas ornaments we’ve ever been able to purchase in a national park. Wow. Like there was such a good selection. We had a hard time choosing what ornament we

3 (11m 51s):
Normally, when we get our Christmas ornaments national parks, if they have them, we try to go for the nice ball painted ones and some national parks have them some don’t. And if they have those ones, then the other ones that they have are usually shitty. And then if they don’t have those, then they’re usually the shitty, like smaller little ornaments. They were so good here that we literally had three or four different ones that we were deciding from. And it made it quite difficult. So if you’re in a Christmas ornaments, you’re going to have a field day trying to pick which one you want, unless you’re going to buy them all. So solid, solid Christmas ornaments at this national park visitor center.

1 (12m 26s):
So we’re going to talk about the beaches and X, which Kim is like probably most enthralled about. Cause she loves a good

2 (12m 31s):
Beach. I’m ready to dive in.

3 (12m 33s):
These are solid beaches here, Kim real, real solid Watts.

1 (12m 36s):
So some general beach tips are there’s limited parking at the beaches. You’re not allowed to have glass on the beach. And unfortunately there are some sand fleas. So just kind of be aware of that as well.

3 (12m 47s):
We got torn up and for awhile we were like, are we getting mosquito bites? Are we getting regular bug bites? And then we realized, okay, we’re getting some sand flea bites here. So they are out and about, so do keep that in mind, you will probably get torn up a little bit, but it’s well worth it.

2 (13m 1s):
I mean, what is a sandfly

3 (13m 3s):
Sand fleas, well are fleas that live in the sand camp.

2 (13m 6s):
I’ve never experienced this when you’re laying on a towel and you’re telling me Bahama beach chair, they’re getting on you.

1 (13m 13s):
You can’t even tell until like you’re done for the day. You’re like, how did I get in your

2 (13m 17s):
Later?

3 (13m 17s):
I mean, they’re like, they’re like, yeah, they’re like microscopic. And I mean, they weren’t all over our body. And we were sitting in our beach chairs, but your feet are in the sand. Or if you’re sitting in a chair, sometimes you bury your feet in the sand, just cause it’s the comfortable thing to do. And so you have a few bites that are on your leg from the sand fleas,

2 (13m 35s):
One to 10 scale of how bad they are compared to mosquito bites.

3 (13m 39s):
I would rather have these over mosquito bites. They were definitely itchy, but they’re tolerable. They’re more like, where did I get these from? And whatnot. Yeah. But do be aware of that.

1 (13m 49s):
So the first beach we’re going to talk about is cinnamon bay beach and cinnamon bay beach is the longest beach on St. John. So there’s plenty of room for everyone to spread out. They have the pristine white sand and there’s Palm trees that are towering over the beach line and they extend for like half a mile down. And so it’s just a really beautiful beach.

3 (14m 9s):
Yeah. And there’s also a really small K area that’s off shore to the east. And it said to be really, really good for snorkeling. You know, we did so many beaches on this trip that sometimes when we went to it, we just sat and didn’t really go in the water. And some of them, we did more snorkeling in, in water adventures. And this one, it ended up raining on us. Did it not when we were there a little bit. So we didn’t get into the water in that sense, we use those beautiful Palm trees as shade, but they have that spot. That’s great for snorkeling. And if you really, really want to, there is a plane wreckage that is in the water that you can see off shore.

3 (14m 49s):
We didn’t go do that either. We found that out after the fact. So it’s a little disappointed I would’ve gotten in for that. But if you’d like to see, see wreckage and plane wreckage and these beautiful, clear, pristine waters, you can check that out here at cinnamon bay.

1 (15m 1s):
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2 (15m 12s):
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3 (15m 15s):
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1 (15m 18s):
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3 (15m 23s):
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2 (15m 29s):
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1 (15m 50s):
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3 (16m 4s):
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1 (16m 15s):
Another really popular beach on St. John is trunk bay, and it’s actually one of the most popular beaches on the island. It’s known for its snorkeling. And it’s actually said to be the most photographed, most popular and most visited beach on St. John.

3 (16m 31s):
You know, what’s really funny is when we were here, I thought this beach was really, really beautiful. It has that one little island. I shouldn’t even really call it an island. It’s not like too far off, but you know, the, the rocks and everything that’s out there really close to shore. And I thought it was beautiful, but I don’t know why people think that this one is the most beautiful than beach that we’re going to talk about next Maho beach. And I’m not trying to get ahead of ourselves. I thought was way more beautiful than that. But nonetheless trunk bay is still so, so gorgeous has great snorkeling and they actually have an underwater snorkel trail in this area here. And you can actually go snorkeling. And on the sea floor, they actually have plaques that will tell you a little bit about what coral this is or some of the sea life.

3 (17m 14s):
And you’re supposed to swim and follow that they had a hurricane a few years back and it’s kind of ruined that a little bit. And the national park service hasn’t really gone in and fixed it. So we were able to see it, but it wasn’t as good as it was. So maybe when you go, it’ll be restored and in its pristine condition for that.

1 (17m 33s):
And all the, we said the Virgin Islands national park doesn’t have an entrance fee. There is an admission fee of $5 per person to enter this beach. So just keep that in mind, but it helps keep this beach really nice and pristine. So that’s nice that they do upkeep it.

3 (17m 47s):
Yeah. And I’m with the $5 admission fee. I mean, you have your bathrooms, showers, there’s a snack bar, picnic tables and the beach area is rather large. So even though if you go now during the COVID times and when they’re still requiring tests to get in, there’s very limited people, but even on busier times, the large beach makes it really nice. Cause everyone could just spread out from each other.

1 (18m 10s):
So like Jamal said about the underwater snorkeling trail, I would say that this is some of the best collection of coral and Marine life that we saw while we were on this island. So I definitely think it’s a must do and to try it out,

2 (18m 20s):
I do have one question about this beach. What were the bathrooms like?

1 (18m 25s):
It were actually decent right outside the bathrooms. There were at least huge shower stations and the bathrooms inside. They were, they were decent bathrooms. They weren’t smelly. They were well aerated. So you know, a decent beach bathroom.

3 (18m 38s):
I’m glad you actually brought that up because we didn’t mention this about cinnamon bay beach. They also have restrooms there. They don’t have the food amenities as a trunk bay does, but they had restrooms. But when we were there, they were doing restoration and redoing some things. So their actual restrooms were closed and they had port-a-potties, but they were the large ones. And when we actually arrived, they had somebody who was in there cleaning them. So they get a good clean down too. So even the port-a-potties here at the beaches at the national park were really, really well maintained. That’s

2 (19m 12s):
Good. Good to know.

1 (19m 13s):
So the last feature we’re going to talk about is Maho beach. And this is mine and Jamal’s favorite beach of the entire island.

3 (19m 19s):
Absolutely. I loved Maho beach. We loved it so much. We went back a couple of times to go here, because again, we were staying on St. Thomas and we went a couple days back and forth to St. John. So as we’re talking about this year, we’re giving you the highlights, not giving you the exact day by day, moment by moment. As we usually do, when we talk about our adventures, we went back here twice. That’s how awesome it was. And the first time we were here, as soon as we got in the water, we immediately saw the sea turtles. There’s lots of sea turtles in St. Thomas and St. John. And they are more abundant here and the national park.

1 (19m 56s):
Yeah. So there’s like a sea grass bed. That’s 30 yards away from the beach and there’s other sea life’s to see as well. But the highlight is a sea turtles. And most of the sea turtles, we saw actually have a shark that swims with it and then eats the algae off of its shell. So they’re like tiny little sharks. They’re not threatening or anything like that. But Maho beach is our number one recommendation for anyone who wants a chance to swim with sea turtles. Because both times that we went, we were able to swim with several.

3 (20m 26s):
It wasn’t just like we got lucky and saw one they’re all around. You can go in there. Maybe you won’t see one for a little bit swim to a location. You’ll find one. You think you want to follow that one because, oh my God, I have a turtle. Then he swimmed somewhere else. And then all of a sudden you see another turtle and then another turtle. So they are abundant over there. And we posted a YouTube video, highly, highly recommend you go to our YouTube channel, Travel Squad Podcast and check out the video that I posted here at Maho beach, we caught a sea turtle chomping on a jellyfish up close and personal is like discovery, channel, documentary nature level stuff that you’re going to find.

3 (21m 6s):
So go check that out. It’s really, really awesome. But what I really liked about this beach is it’s shaped like a bay. It’s rather secluded. The water’s really nice and calm, very clear water, and you could rent the standup paddle boards. We didn’t do that. Cause we were just were so enthralled with swimming with the sea turtles, but I loved how you could rent stand up, paddle boarding out there.

1 (21m 26s):
Yeah, it definitely look fun to do, but we had snorkeling gear. So we wanted to put our faces in the water and watch the sea turtles. And even if you don’t want to get in the water, even from the shoreline, you can see looking out into the ocean every once in a while a turtle will pop its head up for air. And so you’re just like, oh, there’s another one. There’s another one. And so if you are planning to get in the water, I would wait for one to pop its head up and then head straight out to that location.

3 (21m 50s):
Yeah. And another thing that I just want to throw out there is this is a great family beach because the water, like I said is very, very calm and there are some small shady areas. So this is a really, really thin beach. It’s rather long. But I would say from the road to the water where it’s just sand is what maybe no more than 15 feet, but it’s a really, really good family beach in that sense, just as well.

1 (22m 15s):
We also saw steam Ray at the speech as well. Do you remember that, Jamal?

3 (22m 18s):
I think definitely do. You could see lots of sea life out here and we saw some people. This is right up your alley, Kim anchoring their boat, partying out there, having a really good time. I envisioned Kim out on that boat. When I saw,

2 (22m 30s):
I know you guys did not go to this island and did not hike.

1 (22m 34s):
You’re absolutely right. What’s funny is Casha was on this trip with us and she was like, Brittany, I brought my tennis shoes because I knew we couldn’t go to a national park without hiking.

2 (22m 46s):
She knows you. Well, then she knows me.

1 (22m 48s):
Well, so yes, we definitely did do a hike. It was called reef bay trail hike. And it wasn’t very long. It was about four and a half to five miles. I feel like it was longer than what it said online. And you do gain about 1,200 feet in elevation. But what you do do is you start at the top of a road and then you hike down and you hike through the forest and the foliage to the sugar plantation and then to a beach.

3 (23m 15s):
Yeah. So that’s what I was saying earlier when we were introing this episode really, I mean, you start at the top of the road and then you work your way into, I want to call it a jungle because I mean, it is a tropical island. So you have that jungle field and then you work your way down to shore, to sea level, beach level to get to the sugar mill plantation and then the beach. But do keep in mind, there is a lot of what were they like wasps and Hornets that were on this trail.

1 (23m 43s):
Yeah.

3 (23m 44s):
So we saw a lot, those, the wasps, they will actually create their nest on the backside of Palm tree froms or other type of tropical foliage. That’s really hanging over the trail. So do be mindful. These aren’t really like aggressive ones that if they’re out and about flying, they’re going to come and just attack you, but you will get close to them. So do keep an eye as you’re going. And as foliage is low and you’re crossing that you don’t hit them. And there were a lot of big tropical spiders creating webs on this one. I mean, it was, it was quite rustic down in here, so you just gotta be mindful, but it was well worth it. And beautiful.

1 (24m 19s):
And then we did a little spur off this trail so that we could see some of the Petrick lifts carved into the rocks by the Taino Indians and right in that area too, they’re supposed to be a waterfall when we went, it was kind of dry, but I can imagine that when it’s wet or there’s been a lot of rainfall, that it’s a, probably a really beautiful waterfall cascading down the rocks. So that was really cool to see. And then once we made it back to the original trail, we made it to the sugar mill and the sugar mill building. It has a lot of its original equipment and it’s actually the best preserved sugar factory in the Virgin Islands. What was also really cool. Is it, how is this thousands of hermit crabs?

3 (24m 56s):
Yeah. When we got up to it, I mean, we were just looking at it as like this old, crazy brick building. And then you can see the gear equipment, like spin wheels of sorts that are just made of these big iron metal things. And then all of a sudden we saw things kind of moving. We’re like, what is that? And we got closer and I was like, oh, it’s a hermit crab. And then you just realize it’s literally just thousands of them down there. And I got up to them and was looking at them. It was really, really cool. It’s funny because when we were on the trail, we saw one mover like, oh, hermit crab. And we got all excited little did we know when we were going to be at the climactic point of the hike that there’s literally going to be thousands of them there. So they’re all just nasty and chilling, small, large, you name it. They’re there.

2 (25m 33s):
How large is large?

3 (25m 34s):
I would say the largest one was maybe the size of my fist.

1 (25m 38s):
Yeah. But then they have tiny little baby ones too. So really cute to see. And then if you continue on past the sugar mill, then there is a secluded beach in the area, which is really cool. And

2 (25m 51s):
I can imagine what goes down

3 (25m 53s):
Because it wasn’t a very well trafficked tr and again, I don’t know how this trail looks like outside of COVID times, but for us, I mean, you know, us Kim, we’re there first thing in the morning. So we did see a few people coming down as we were going back up. But yeah, you can imagine on that secluded beach, but I will say this, that beach was very pretty. The rocks were a little bit more grainy, so it wasn’t a type of beach that you want to stay on for a long time. Cause the sand wasn’t very comfortable. It was larger sand.

2 (26m 21s):
That’s it? That’s so interesting. What determines that about sand, whether it’s bigger, sand softer sand clean sand.

3 (26m 29s):
Yeah, I dunno. I mean, a lot of factors, I guess really go into it. Sand is nothing more than coral or rocks. That’s broken up over time because of the water. So a lot of times when it’s more coarse sand, I feel like you see a lot more coral and sea life. That’s broken up to make it that way. And maybe it’s just not as smooth of water to really erode it down or it hasn’t been a road that long to be smooth. And some of the beaches are older and these are newer. I mean, I think a lot of things come into play on what makes it soft versus grainy. So

2 (27m 1s):
I would love to do an interview with someone that like knows beach geology,

3 (27m 6s):
That’s Kim’s type of science that she’s interested in geology or geography or whatever.

1 (27m 14s):
So if any listeners, you know, if you have these facts, Kim would love to interview you, invite you on our podcast. And how do you view guest

2 (27m 21s):
Please DM us. I would also like to know what is it about certain beaches that sea turtles are attracted to, to come lay their eggs,

3 (27m 29s):
To come lay the right. That’s a good one. I was going to say, well, they’re attracted to places with sea grass so they can eat, but to lay eggs. Yeah. That’s a, that’s a really good question. We need a Marine biologist over here for Kim stat.

2 (27m 41s):
Yes. I’m on the lookout,

3 (27m 44s):
But going back a little bit here to the reef bay trail, why don’t you tell them a little bit, Brittany? I mean, it was hard to find, cause it wasn’t very well signed. So we had something that was like a good cue lookout to make sure where to park.

1 (27m 56s):
Yeah. So you know, a lot of the roads on the island, they don’t have a lot of space to park on the side. And so it was like, you know, is this a popular enough trail to have a parking lot? What is it going to look like? Because from what I can see on Google maps, it doesn’t look like we’re going to have a place to park. And so I did some research beforehand. There’s no parking lot. You have to park on the side of the road. And the giveaway is like, you see a mile five sign and that’s kind of where you’ll see a yellow walking street sign and then you park there and there’s a little staircase down and that’s the start at the trail.

3 (28m 27s):
That’s not very well signed, but if you find the right spot to park, which is again minimal that they have there you’ll know you’re on the trail because there’ll be stairs down. And once you take the stairs down, then there’ll be the sign giving you the description of the trail itself. But it’s rather hard to find. So unless, you know what you’re looking out for, which is that mile marker sign that you said, and then, you know, you’re going to be in good shape, but I wouldn’t be surprised if some people miss it and pass it.

1 (28m 52s):
Jamal, did we get rained on, on this trail?

3 (28m 53s):
We got rained on, on this trail. It is in the tropics. So even though it’s not really rainy season at the time in which we went, you can expect random downpours. And it started really, really raining on us. So sometimes we would have to stop hide under the dins foliage and we were good. And sometimes when it started raining, we weren’t under such dense foliage and we got soaked

1 (29m 15s):
And we saw a deer on this trail too.

2 (29m 18s):
Oh, that’s

3 (29m 18s):
Cool. Yeah. So lots of wildlife. Oh. And we forgot to mention the first thing when we got the car off the barge, what did we come across that stuck its head in our window, Brittany

1 (29m 27s):
Wild donkeys.

2 (29m 28s):
Oh my God, how cute

3 (29m 30s):
They are abundant on this island. So they were on the road as we were going up. And then we were stopping to look at them and Bernie rolled down the window to take a photo and then it saw the window down and it wanted to stick its head in and get pat. And so we were playing with a donkey for a little bit of time. So wildlife galore on land and NC here at St. John

1 (29m 48s):
St. John is super beautiful. I would highly recommend visiting it. We spent two days visiting this island, not back to back, but we did spread it out. But I would say two days is probably enough time to see everything you want to see.

2 (30m 0s):
Would you recommend spending the night on St. John island? You know,

1 (30m 5s):
I didn’t do a lot of research about St. John and what they had food wise and whatnot. I think if your focus was the national park, I would stay on St. John as opposed to going back. Because the last ferry that goes back is probably like 5 30, 6 30. So you do lose some time having to travel back to St. Thomas instead. So if you were really looking to get the most out of your day, then yes. Stay overnight on St. John.

3 (30m 31s):
Yeah. And I think when we were originally planning this trip, we looked into that as a possibility as staying the night. And then we didn’t because it’s a lot more expensive to stay on St. John than it is on St. Thomas. And so we were like, well, at that point, it’s going to be cheaper for us to just pay for the theory again. So we’re like, all right, we’re going to wake up early to catch the first one and make sure that we hit the last one back. But the last final thought I really want to give and say on St. John is, it is a nice relaxation place. Like it is a national park for a reason. It has scenic beauty, but there’s also the wildlife there. So when you’re there, you know, just respect the beauty and the nature that you’re in, take it all in and enjoy it.

3 (31m 12s):
But it’s so nice. So pristine. This is one of my most favorite tropical island places that I’ve been to. And I would definitely go back to Saint John. I enjoyed it thoroughly.

1 (31m 24s):
Yeah. Jamal had been harping on me, hard. Like when are we going to take a relaxing vacation? What are we going to do a beach vacation? So I finally gave in, finally did it. And you know, we only talked about like three to four beaches, like the secluded beach, and then send men Fe Maho and trunk. But there are so many different beaches on this island. You could spend all of your time, just be chopping if you wanted to. So you could definitely do that.

2 (31m 47s):
Would you say that you could drink on the beach and have like a nice

3 (31m 50s):
Day? Definitely did drink, but not

2 (31m 53s):
Bring your own, like how are there beach bars you can walk up to on the sand.

3 (31m 59s):
I’m trying to remember. I think trunk bay had a place where they were selling alcohol. I think so. I know more on St. Thomas. They had really nice beaches that were selling alcohol there for you, but I would recommend bringing your own. We did that all the time. We brought beers, we just transplanted them into plastic cups. Cause there’s no glass allowed on the beach. I mean, you’re in a national park, even going to beaches in general, you shouldn’t bring glass. You don’t want anybody to step on it. Right. And then for Brittany and Casha, they weren’t really into the beer drinking. So they had some Malibu rum and some tropical juice and murders making Mixed drinks. So, I mean, you can have a really, really good, nice relaxing time out there.

3 (32m 42s):
Just again, you know, be considerate. This is a national park. So that’s how nice the beaches are, is that it’s national park level. So it’s clean. It’s well maintained. And it just has that natural scenic beauty. So don’t pollute. It don’t do anything bad with it, but be respectful of it. But yes, you can definitely drink on that. And we sure did.

1 (32m 59s):
Yeah. Cash. And I filled up a water bottle with juice. It had like pineapple, orange banana flavor. And then we bought some Malibu rum packed that and like another water bottle. And then we brought some cups and we just mixed our drinks on the beach.

2 (33m 13s):
Nice. Proud of you guys.

3 (33m 15s):
We thought you’d be proud of us. Go.

2 (33m 18s):
Very nice. Very nice. Well, if there’s no other final thoughts and I’m ready to get to my favorite time of the

3 (33m 26s):
Week questions of the week,

2 (33m 35s):
We have one question this week and it’s coming in with, Ooh, is this a type of island that you would want to do an all-inclusive resort or a guided tour to?

3 (33m 45s):
I don’t think so. Okay, man, I’m going to go ahead and tell you why and tell our Squatty who had the question, why as much as I enjoyed this island, if you’re really there only for the beach and want to stay in the national park then yes. But if you want to enjoy the national park and then do something else outside and go to St. Thomas, I definitely think that’s better because some of the best food I’ve ever really eaten on vacation, I actually had on this trip. So at an all inclusive setting, you know, the food is included and I’m sure it’s great, but I love the local cuisine in front of the restaurants that we did have. But if you really just want to stay on the beach, stay in the national park then maybe. But if you want to see more than, I don’t think it’s conducive for you.

1 (34m 26s):
I also think that guided tours, you get a lot done in your day. Like you’re always on the go and this is a really good place to relax and go at your own pace and spend time on the beach

2 (34m 36s):
Island time. Yeah.

1 (34m 37s):
Like island time. And so I think like, although guided tours, do you have their perks for other itineraries? I don’t think it really fits the style for this trip.

2 (34m 47s):
Okay. That makes sense. Two up questions from me, the listener over here for Brittany. What about cruises? Do you think it’s a good place to port for the day and just experience it in that way?

1 (34m 59s):
Yeah, I do think so. Like, if you are going to pour and you are going to St. Thomas, I would book the excursion to go to St. John, because I do think it’s worth it and to see some of the beaches there. So in that sense, absolutely.

2 (35m 11s):
Okay. Makes sense. And then Jamal, you said that this island was one of the best foods you’ve had on vacation, the local cuisine. What was that? That you ate?

3 (35m 21s):
Well, this was more so on St. Thomas, because we were staying on St. Thomas and we took our picnic food when we went to St. John. But just in general to get back to that question, we had a lot of good stuff that was more seafood. So not up your alley. Cause I know you’re not a seafood person, but we had some amazing fish tacos. Then one local restaurant has a lobster night. So we did the lobster night and then we went to another restaurant that had this really good linen butter grouper or something like that. And then, gosh, even they had barbecue out there that was delicious, that wasn’t seafood oriented, but that was even good. So I think a lot of the places out on the islands are mom and pops and not chains.

3 (36m 5s):
And they had really, really good food that I know

1 (36m 8s):
At your dinner at the law on the last night with the salmon and the shrimp.

3 (36m 11s):
Oh yeah. How did I forget that? I had probably one of the best salmons and shrimps I’ve ever had also thought that last night, I’m trying to remember the name of the restaurant. I think we talked about it on St. Thomas, did we not? I

1 (36m 23s):
Think

3 (36m 23s):
So, but yeah, that one was really good too. So lots of good seafood all around.

2 (36m 27s):
If you haven’t listened to episode 82 on St. Thomas, then definitely get over to that one next and listen all to that one because they’re so close, you have to hit both.

1 (36m 37s):
And for all of the ladies out there, you know, going on a beach vacation gives you an excuse to buy more cute bathing suits and have like a new bathing suit per day. So that’s always exciting.

3 (36m 48s):
That was what Brittany was doing.

2 (36m 51s):
Very nice, Brittany. I’m very proud of you for that too. All right, Squatty. That is the episode of the week. Thank you so much for tuning in. Keep the adventures going with us on Instagram and YouTube at Travel Squad Podcast and send us in your questions.

3 (37m 5s):
And if you found the information in this episode to be useful, or if you thought we were just playing funny, please share it with a friend that would enjoy it too. And as always guys, you know it, please subscribe, rate and review our podcasts and tune in every Travel Tuesday for new episodes,

1 (37m 20s):
Stay tuned for next week’s episode, we have some more amazing adventures and tips in store for you.

2 (37m 25s):
Bye everyone.

3 (37m 26s):
Bye

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