St John Island’s most famous beach is also one of the most photographed beaches in the United States Virgin Islands. Over a quarter mile of beautiful white sand makes this the showpiece beach of the National Park Service. Enjoy the self-guided Underwater Snorkeling Trail; with underwater information about coral formations and sea life. Facilities include a snack bar/grill, souvenir shop, showers, restrooms, public telephones, and lifeguards. Please note: Trunk Bay is the only St John beach that charges an entrance fee.
HOW TO GET TO TRUNK BAY:
From Cruz Bay – take Rte 20 ( North Shore Road) approx. 2.5 miles. There’s a scenic overlook where the majority of Trunk Bay pictures are taken. Continue on down the hill and you’ll see signs for Trunk Bay beach parking.
360 VR View of Trunk Bay Beach
St John Island’s most visited beach, the most photographed beach and voted one of the top ten beaches in the world by Condé Nast Traveler magazine! If that isn’t enough for you – it lives up to all the hype! Conveniently located with good parking and taxi service, you’ll find plenty of beautiful white sand beach with towering coconut palms, aqua blue water and terrific snorkeling.
Because of its popularity, Trunk gets a fair number of visitors. The numbers, not surprisingly, often correspond to the number of cruise ships at port in Charlotte Amalie on St Thomas. Check the cruise ship schedule.
While the beach can get crowded nearest the beach entrances and closest to the snorkeling trail – fewer people venture down the beach to the west ( left as you face the ocean). If you’re looking for a bit more space …make the walk. you’ll also find a little beach at the far end. It doesn’t get as much sun …but it’s about as private as you get on Trunk ; )
Note: Unlike most of St John’s beaches – Trunk does have a lifeguard.
SNORKELING TRUNK BAY
Snorkeling the 650′ Underwater Snorkeling Trail is great for first-timers, kids and older adults. Although this site sees a lot of visitors, it’s still one of the best snorkeling spots on St John to see colorful fish and corals – in less than 20′ of water. Keep an eye out for clusters of indigo-blue tunicates. They are a rare treat – and seem to thrive in this location!
The best snorkeling at Trunk Bay is around the small cay that lies just 30 yards off the beach. The western side ( left as you face the water) enjoys more protection from waves and is home to more corals and fish than the eastern side. Visitors will be treated to a wide variety of fish and corals in the patch reef that encircles the cay. Most are easily seen from the surface – since the water is never more than 8′ to 16′ deep. For more experienced snorkelers – diving down you’ll be able to see smaller marine life and corals. Keep an eye out for Arrow Crabs, Juvenile Spotted Drum and Blue Bell Tunicate corals.
Snorkel around the rocky cay is more adventure than sightseeing. Waves increase and corals decrease as you reach the far side. The eastern side of the cay is relatively barren of corals.
CAUTION! – Depending on the weather, tides and moon phase – there can be waves and a strong current on the far edge of the Cay. Use common sense, never exceed your abilities and always snorkel with someone.
The western-end of Trunk Bay Beach is less crowded. There’s also a secret little pocket beach just beyond the rocks …
WHERE TO STAY
Trunk Bay is located within the Virgin Islands National Park – but there are plenty of places to stay that are just a short 10 minute drive or taxi to this beautiful beach! If you’re interested in staying at an all inclusive resort on St John then you’ll be disappointed. Unlike other Caribbean destinations you won’t find an all inclusive resort on the island! For a resort experience check out Caneel Bay Resort ( CLOSED), The Westin St John, Grande Bay Resort ( Cruz Bay ), Gallows Point Resort ( Cruz Bay ).
For guests looking for the privacy and amenities of an island cottage or villa – the island boasts some 300+ vacation rentals. You’ll find a huge selection and the lowest prices along with seasonal discounts by visiting this St John vacation rental owner web site.