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Know Before You Go

We’ve put together a collection of things to help you prepare for your trip to St John.

Looking for the “Best” of St John?
We’ve got your list … Top Things To Do and See on St John.

Do I need a passport to travel to St john / Virgin Islands?
The short answer: NO.
US citizens do not need a passport to travel to St John / St Thomas or St Croix ( USVIs). VI Tourism promotes the “No passport required” slogan. However, you’ll need a passport to travel to and from some of the neighboring islands of the BVIs / British Virgin Islands, Jost Van Dyke, Tortola, etc. So travelling with your passport is recommend by this traveler : )

Enjoying the island is what it’s all about. While on island get to know the place, its customs, people and way of life …along with the beaches, great food and drinks!

A local custom and great way to start every meeting is with a “Good morning”, “Good afternoon” or “Good evening”. Leave out this introduction and you’ll start out on the wrong foot.

Drive on the left!

Relax, you’re on vacation. Island living happens at a different pace. It’s why you came to St John. So remember, nothing happens quickly and that’s how it should be!

Be courteous. The Island is popular …and small. That means we all gotta get along and enjoy ourselves.

Most of the Island is a National Park. Always respect the place, St John’s hiking trails, St John’s coral reefs and sea life.

Don’t be that tourist that ruins your trip on the first day with a wicked sunburn. When packing for the beach include high SPF sun tan lotion, hat, beverages and moderate your time in the sun.

Snorkeling is one of the most enjoyable things to do on St John. But, even a confident swimmer can be distracted. Make sure you stay within your physical limitations. Be aware of your surroundings. Never snorkel alone. Watch for strong currents, waves, boats, jet skis, changing weather and the distance you’ve traveled.

Virgin Islands National Park
covers about 2/3 of the island – respect the natural resources you’ve come to enjoy so that others can do the same!

St John shell

NOTE: It is illegal to collect shells from beaches in the Virgin Islands. There’s your warning : )

Christmas Bush – Same family as poison ivy but nastier. Don’t touch – wash off gently with soap and water.
Catch-n-Keep – A member of the Acacia family. As the name says …hooked thorns are very effective!
Manchineal Tree – Rare but VERY poisonous. Do not touch, sit under or consume the fruit!
Sea Urchins – They are everywhere. Avoid contact as the spines are brittle and resulting wounds can be painful.
Jellyfish – There are over 70 species of stinging jellyfish in the Caribbean. Most do little to no harm – but some can cause skins irritations and rashes. Keep an eye out …and you should be fine.
Lion Fish – Do I need to warn anybody about this fish? Don’t touch …the spines are poisonous!
Mosquitos – Dengue Fever is present in the USVIs.  Dengue usually presents with flu-like symptoms. The very young and the very old are at highest risk. Precautions such as wearing clothes that cover the skin when out for the evening and using insect repellent go a long way toward reducing your chances of becoming ill.
Jack Spaniard Wasps – These little guys aren’t particularly aggressive – but they love to build their nests right at head height. Keep an eye out when hiking or exploring the island – better to see them before they see you!

Photo references (click to enlarge)

Sea urchins - St John

Sea Urchins

Catch n keep plant


Christmas Bush

Christmas Bush

Manchineal Tree

Manchineal Tree