St. John Today

     St. John is the smallest of the three main U.S. Virgin Islands and has some of the most unspoiled underwater and terrestrial habitats found anywhere in the Caribbean. Snorkel or dive in the crystal-clear, turquoise waters that surround the island or traverse the rolling hills; Those who are passionate about immersing themselves in the untouched nature of St. John will find the island to be a playground of wonder and adventure.  

     The island features many coral reefs; you don’t have to venture far from shore to find sea turtles, tropical fish and rays swimming below you. The 5,500-acre National Park (about 65% of the island) provides around 36 different hiking trails that slope over the mountains and down to beaches, guiding you past historical sugar mill ruins, tropical vegetation and local wildlife.

An old depiction of The Battery in Cruz Bay, St. John.
18th-century Annaberg Sugar Plantation, including a windmill tower & factory.

History &

     The island yields a long and tumultuous history, dating back to AD 1200- 1500 when the majority of the Greater Antilles were occupied by the Taino Indians, the first people to meet Christopher Columbus and his explorers when he came to the Caribbean. Click here to read more about the development of St. John and to better understand the culture of the island today.

Petroglyphs carved by the Taino Indians, dating back to 1200-1500 AD


   Today, St. John's history is reflected in the historical remains of sugarmill plantations that serve as a reminder that the island was once run by Danish colonies. The Dutch formally settled Coral Bay, St. John, bringing with them 20 planters, 8 soldiers and 18 slaves arriving in Coral Bay. Going back a bit further in history, one can also see the marks of the Taino Indians, who carved Petroglyphs around different areas of St. John. You can view these petroglyphs off of hiking trails such as Reef Bay Trail.