I have always been fascinated by photos of Caribbean Islands – both from travel magazines and via the internet. There are times when I just stare at photos of sunsets on beaches, crystal clear water, and Ariel view of the Island is my personal favourite. The mountains used to appeal to me more than an island, but lately, I’ve been visiting more and more islands and I think the former is more appealing. I love watching the sunset over the ocean.
The Virgin Islands was the ideal beach vacation destination as we were unable to leave the US due to visa restrictions and Hawaii had a lot of restrictions around COVID. I have also written an article on how to visit USVI on F1 and H1B visa. The Virgin Islands is comprised of more than 50 Islands but St Croix, St Thomas and St John and the main ones. We started our trip from St Croix where we spend 3 days, then flew to St Thomas where we spend the rest of our time with a day trip to St. John.
Saint Croix is not as developed as St Thomas, but it is equally charming. There are amazing white sand beaches, great snorkelling and Scuba spots, fun water sports, and delicious tropical cocktails. Unfortunately, we had to work two days out of our three-day trip, but that did not keep us from enjoying our time in St Croix.
Day 1 started with 30 mins drive to Sand Castle Beach to the west of St Croix. It is a gorgeous long stretch of beach with calm waters, perfect for swimming, kayaking, paddle boarding or snorkelling. We saw a whole bunch of folks kayaking and snorkelling all around the beach. The beach is actually a part of Sand Castle Resort which is also a great place to stay, they also have a great restaurant “Beach Side Cafe” adjacent to the beach. At this restaurant, we had the best meal on St Croix, with outstanding cocktails and the Breakfast Bowl that is a must-try. I had a breakfast bowl, along with the Cruzan Limeade, and I loved them both. After our lunch we spent some time roaming around the Sand Castle Beach, playing with its gorgeous turquoise waters, it was a perfect place to just rest and soak in the beauty of the Caribbean beach. I would have loved to just lay on this beach for a couple of hours, but we needed to see so much in so little time.
We went to Annaly Bay Tide Pools after Sand Castle Beach and would not recommend driving all the way there by yourself. The road to the pools is unpaved and requires a 4×4 with high clearance. We returned midway to Bay Tide Pools because I couldn’t drive till the end. There are tours that take you to the pool but do not try it on your own. We decided to head to Cane Bay beach which is a popular place for families to spend time with their kids, it has a lot of restaurants and bars, it’s well known for snorkelling it’s like a one-stop beach that has everything. Cane Bay beach is a place where you can spend the entire afternoon. We took a dip in the water, bought a few drinks from a nearby bar, set up our chairs and spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing. We found the beach to be more crowded than Sand Castle, but it does have more amenities. Our first evening in Christiansted ended with dinner at Bombay Club. Looking at the name we were expecting an Indian restaurant, however, we were disappointed it was not; we did enjoy the food there though.
As we were working San Francisco time, we had until 2 PM to roam around and be back for work. For our second day, we had booked a half-day trip to Buck Island with Big Beard Adventure Tours and it turned out one of the best experiences of USVI. We started our day at 7:30 am with a half-hour boat ride to Turtle Beach at Buck Island, which is a long stretch of sugary white sand and crystal clear waters. The beach is perfect for learning snorkelling, lounging long walks and splashing in the clear tropical waters. Before our guided snorkelling trip to the surrounding reef, our tour guide Tito taught us some basic snorkelling techniques at Turtle Beach. As soon as I entered the water I was just mesmerized by the beautiful reef and quantity of fishes. I was cursing myself for not bringing my GoPro. I wish I had my GoPro to capture the abundant sea life. If you are visiting St. Croix a trip to Buck Island is a must-do!
On our last day at St Croix we drove to Rainbow beach and had lunch a drinks at nearby restaurant, now if I look back we should have visited Point Udal but everything could be done better in hindsight. Though we had 1 full and 2 half-day at St. Croix it was a memorable trip and I would definitely love to come back again and particularly for a full day tour to Buck Island 😉