Why Rent A Car?

Travel Tips for the USVIWHAT TO EXPECT: St. John is the most quiet of the three Virgin Islands, mostly because a large percent of the island is uninhabited and protected by the United States National Park. Because it is so small, we are like family here. Therefore we have a few tips for our welcomed guests.

 

Star Click here to read Visitors Tips!

About St. John, USVI

About the U.S. Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands

 

What you should know about St. John

 

Only three miles from St. Thomas but still a world apart.
St. John is the smallest and least commercial of the US Virgin Islands. Two thirds of the island is owned by the Virgin Islands National Park leaving only limited land for development. Despite that the population has nearly doubled in the past decade or so and the island has grown from a sleepy, unknown destination spot into a vibrant community that has many things to offer the visitor
.

Love City

 

There are two settlements on the island of St. John. On the northwest end is the busy town of Cruz Bay (also known as Love City). Cruz Bay was established in the 1850s as an outpost for the Danes from St. Thomas and it is there that you will arrive by ferry. At the other end of the island is the much smaller community of Coral Bay. Even further yet is the area of East End, prestine and untouched, this coastline is the most quiet of the island and home to many long-time St. Johnians.

 

Read More...
Read more about the towns of St. John

Read more about Cruz Bay, Coral Bay and East End, St. John, USVI

Read more about the Festivals we have in the Islands

 

Visitors Tips

Click here to read some helpful information for the guests of St. John.

 

 

Rent a Jeep Liberty on St. John

Varlack Ventures Auto Rental

Explore St. John with your auto
rental from Varlack Ventures!

 

 

Getting Around St. John

 

Traveling By CarTraveling St. John by car: There's frequent daily service from both Red Hook and Charlotte Amalie on St. Thomas to Cruz Bay. There's also frequent service from Cruz Bay to Tortola and less frequent service to the other British Virgin Islands, including Jost Van Dyke (some via Tortola). Virgin Islands ferry schedules are published on the web site of Varlack Ventures Ferry Services.

 

USVI FerryTraveling St. John by ferry boat: There's frequent daily service from both Red Hook and Charlotte Amalie on St. Thomas to Cruz Bay. There's also frequent service from Cruz Bay to Tortola and less frequent service to the other British Virgin Islands, including Jost Van Dyke (some via Tortola). Virgin Islands ferry schedules are published on the web site of Varlack Ventures Ferry Services.

 

Remember that a passport is now required to travel between the USVI and BVI by ferry. The actual schedules may change due to season or weather, so you should check back frequently to determine the current schedules.

 

 

Traveling By BusTraveling St. John by bus: Modern Vitran buses on St. John run from the Cruz Bay ferry dock through Coral Bay to the far eastern end of the island at Salt Pond, making numerous stops in between. The fare is $1 to any point. This is great for the traveler without time constraints but it is important to know that the service is slow and unfortunately at times unreliable and difficult to get a return ride at certain times.

 


 

 

Ferry

 

Traveling between
St. John and St. Thomas?

If you are traveling between our islands, you're
sure to find some adventure.

 

Click here to view the ferry schedules.

 

Rent a car on St. John and Explore Cruz Bay, Coral Bay and East End

 

Click for San Juan, Puerto Rico Forecast

Guided Taxi TourTraveling St. John by Taxi or Guided Tour: The tour drivers for Varlack Ventures are all knowledgeable of the history and terrain of the island.You will hear many tales while driving along the windy St. John roads avoiding the freely wandering livestock, enjoying the vistas and marveling at the brightly flowered trees

 

Guided Taxi Tour
Enjoy a guided tour from Varlack Ventures that takes you to on a scenic trip around the island to visit some of the world's most beautiful lookout spots and beautiful beaches, such as Trunk Bay!

Please note that Rodney is in retirement but can be your tour guide upon request.

 

Contact us today to schedule a
taxi or guided tour!

Phone: 340-776-6412 or
Email: info@varlack-ventures.com

Varlack Ventures Guided Taxi Tour

 

Taxis and Guided Island Tours

Full Day St. John Island Tour

Half Day St. John Island Tour

Custom St. John Island Tour


 

From Cruz Bay To Coral Bay

From Cruz Bay to
Coral Bay to East End

 

To get from one side of the island to another does not take very long - only about an hour or so, give or take how many donkey stops and pictures you take along the way.

 

Want to try exploring St. John on your own?

Take a look at some of our car tours!

 

Rent a car on St. John and Explore Cruz Bay, Coral Bay and East End

 

Cruz Bay

Cruz Bay, St. John

In Cruz Bay the shopping is varied and, due to its duty free port status, the prices are appealing. On the narrow crowed streets of Cruz Bay, St. John you will find many shops selling gifts, jewelry, clothing, local art, food markets and drug stores interspersed with a large number of fine restaurants, street-side cafes and smoothie bars.

 

Shopping in Cruz Bay
Visit some shopping sites in Cruz Bay, St. John USVI

Mongoose Junction Shopping

Wharfside Village Shopping

 

Bordeaux Mountain looking to Coral Bay

 


Click here to support the Virgin Islands National Park

 

Coral Bay, St. John

An 8 mile, 30 minute, drive to the southeast end of the island takes you to the small town of Coral Bay, St. John. There you will note a distinctly different ambiance. Less populated, with many boat dwellers, it is dustier and more relaxed. Offering their own selection of intriguing shops, galleries, restaurants and bars the residents welcome island guests in a friendly and outgoing manner.

 

Bordeaux Mountain Lookout

On the way to Coral Bay and East End, you will climb Bordeaux Mountain, St. John's highest peak which rises to 1,277 feet. Route 10 passes near enough to the top to offer breathtaking vistas. At this lookout point you will be able see all around the island, the view of the sea is breathtaking. The turquoise blue of the Caribbean can be seen from all around. You can see the British Virgin Islands and on a very clear day, all the way to Virgin Gorda!

 

Shopping in Coral Bay

Visit some shopping sites in Coral Bay, St. John USVI
Coral Bay Shopping

 

Friends of the Virgin Islands National Park

The Friends of Virgin Islands National Park is dedicated to the protection and preservation of the natural and cultural resources of Virgin Islands National Park and promotes the responsible enjoyment of this unique national treasure including 7,200 acres of land and 5,600 acres of underwater lands.

 

 

 

East End, St. John

East End Road to St. JohnFrom Coral Bay be sure to drive out to the East End of St. John for spectacular views and lesser known beaches, or out to Salt Pond where you can enjoy some of the other secluded shores and interesting dining spots.

 

What to see in East End

East End is unique in that there is no stores located here in East End, however, if you missed this opportunity to visit Vie's Snack Shack you will forever regret it! Try her honey-dipped chicken with Johnnie Cake!
Vie's Snack Shack at Hansen Bay

Sloop Jones Wearable Art Gallery

 

 

Rent a car on St. John and Explore Cruz Bay, Coral Bay and East End

 

Dining on St. John

 

From grown-on-the-island greens to the fish catch of the day, the food
here is fresh and unique. There is a restaurant or a snack shack for any budget.

Take a look at some of our restaurants!

Places to eat in Cruz Bay

Places to eat on Bordeaux Mountain

Places to eat in Coral Bay

Places to eat in East End

Places to eat within our resorts

 

Rent a car on St. John and Explore Cruz Bay, Coral Bay and East End

 

...and there were PIRATES!

 

Pirates in the CaribbeanThe buccaneers named the bays and points but the Virgin Islands were named by Christopher Columbus. Coming across them in 1493 when sailing north from St. Croix he was so awed by their beauty he was inspired to christen them after St. Ursula and her 11,000 virgins.

 

Along with the facts we find a certain amount of legend, the most famous of which is probably the Territory's association with the famous pirate Blackbeard. Blackbeard was known by a number of names including Edward Teach, Tatch, and Thatch. There are two "Thatch" islands in the BVI and almost directly opposite Road Harbour is the island known as 'Deadchest,' where Blackbeard allegedly marooned a number of his men giving the island its name. These men were supposed to have tried to swim to the adjacent Peter Island but drowned, hence the name 'Dead Man's Bay' on Peter Island.Wikipedia

 

Christopher Colombus is credited with "discovering" St. Thomas during his second voyage to the New World in 1493. The island was left unguarded by the Spanish and soon its sheltered bays were called on by ships from other nations, captained by men the Spanish would come to consider pirates. St. Thomas' existence would continue as home to pirates and small settlements long before a European power decided to pursue a permanent settlement.

 

Archeological evidence suggests that Indians inhabited St. John as early as 770 BC, however there were no lasting settlements until the 1720s. Attracted by the possibility of cultivating sugar cane for profit, several European countries laid claim to the little island around that time.

 

 

 

Rent a car on St. John and Explore Cruz Bay, Coral Bay and East End

Jeep

Animal Care Center of St. John

 

The Animal Care Center of St. John, Inc.
is a non-profit organization dedicated to the well-being
and care of homeless. abandoned and abused
animals on our island 


 

Native Plants & Animals

A BIT OF ST. JOHN GEOGRAPHY . . . The 12,600 acres of paradise appeared above sea level approximately 120 million years ago and, primarily volcanic in its origin, it has a varied terrain offering moist subtropical forests as well as arid desert vegetation.

 

St. John is the most mountainous of the US Virgin Islands and unlike St. Croix there is very little coastal plains. St. John is the most mountainous of the US Virgin Islands. Its highest point is Bordeaux Mountain, 800 feet at road level and 1277 feet at the top. Hiking the extra 477 feet rewards you with a tremendous ocean view and strikingly cooler temperatures.

 

February, March and April the winds blow away from the islands causing the driest months. Around May the winds shift back flowing again towards the islands and eventually by August they are loaded with moisture bringing the much needed rain. With the exception of Cruz Bay all the water for the island's inhabitants is either collected from the roofs and routed to the cisterns or transported over by ferry from St. Thomas.

 

Donkeys

Today's forests are vastly different from the ones in the early colonial period which were subsequently cleared for crops. Many of the slow growing hardwood trees that originally covered the island are rare now in the second and third growth forests. The annual rainfall on the island can vary from 45-55 inches in the moist forest areas to 25-35 inches in the drier parts. The moist forests can be found mostly along the island's north shore and at higher interior island elevations where evergreen and deciduous trees can grow as high as 75 ft or more. The eastern and southeastern areas and the low lying coastal areas have a much dryer forest vegetation with many sorts of cactuses. Along the shoreline you will find the mangrove forests - where mangroves grow in the ocean, their roots protecting the shorelines and acting as havens for many marine creatures.


The clear warm waters surrounding St. John support a diverse and intriguing complex of coral reefs. The term coral reef refers to an integrated marine community, a functioning assortment of creatures. Sunlight, clear water and the warmth, between 70 and 80 degrees, along with the cleansing water currents nurture the slow growth of a coral colony. Anchors, a swimmer's flipper, and the runoff of sediment from shore edge development can destroy instantly what has taken decades, even centuries to grow. Preservation of the reefs is one of the Virgin Islands National Park's primary goals.

Sea Turtle

 

St. John is a sanctuary for animals as diverse as sea turtles, and reef fish, mongoose, deer, gecko and iguana lizards. More than 30 species of tropical birds breed on the island including the the Bananaquit, also known as the Sugar Bird, the black smooth-billed ani, and two species of Caribbean hummingbirds. Many warblers and other birds seen in continental United States in the summer spend their winters in the dense forests.

 

Certain wild animals are predominant on St. John. Both wild and domestic creatures roam freely from one estate to another. Driving the narrow, windy roads you will need to be wary of the many wild donkeys, unfettered cattle, pigs, goats and roosters that share the roadways with you.

 

Donkeys & goats roam the island freely. At one time the donkeys were the primary form of transportation. Carrying the island's inhabitants and cargo from Coral Bay to Cruz Bay on the historic trails that run the length of the island. Donkeys have been known to invade campsites startle you awake you at night with their loud braying. They look mild but don't believe it. Do not pet or try to feed them and keep your distance when photographing them. Both donkeys and goats cause havoc to un-gated gardens. The goats, cows and pigs you see around look unattended but are all the property of someone. It is a mystery to many on the island how they are identified.

 

StarfishThe small Indian mongoose was brought to the islands in the 1800’s as a method for controlling rat populations on sugar plantations. The intent was unsuccessful however because rats are primarily night creatures and mongooses day. They adapted well and are now common Virgin Island creatures, living primarily in rock crevices and holes AND although they were unsuccessful at controlling the rat population their fierce hunting abilities have led to the 7 extinctions in the West Indies.

 

Mongooses are monogamous. When the mate of a mongoose dies the survivor will never mate again.

 

The Sugar Bird is the official bird of the Virgin Islands and can be seen in large numbers swooping into the open aired restaurants offering bowls of sugar to attract them.

 

Sea urchins are often unidentified until they have been stepped on. Keep an eye out of them when wading in shallow waters, particularly near rock outcroppings. The black thorns of the sea urchin have arrow-like tips that are painful and difficult to extract if they become lodged in one’s foot. Lime juice is the local treatment for dissolving embedded spines.

 

 

St. John Native Plants

There are over 800 species of plants on St. John many sporting vividly colored flowers such as the large and showy Prickly Cactus blossoms. The tall and aromatic Frangipani trees and many brightly colored Hibiscus plants. Tropical fruit trees such as guavaberry, sugar apples, mangos, and bananas are also in abundance.

 

Plants are a core ingredient to the life style and traditions of islanders. Canoes were carved from trees, baskets made from vines, and, as in all earth-locked cultures, many ailments were treated with salves or teas made from roots, branches, leaves or fruits of indigent plant forms. Recipes for such treatments have been passed down through the generations.

 

The island is full of tales of aphrodisiacs. Besides the well known use of raw oysters and sea eggs (roe of the white sea urchin found in the shallow waters surrounding the islands) the islanders have ways of preparing the Cats Paw, a local vine, and the Irish Moss, a fan shaped marine plant that grows along the shorelines. When mixed with milk, honey, vanilla and often rum this sea moss becomes a choice St. Jonian aphrodisiac

 

 

 

 

Century Plants are the Christmas Tree of St. John.
If you are on the island in the spring you will notice sudden upshots of tall asparagus like plants that grow often to close to 30 feet. The bright yellow buds sprinkle the hills across the island. This plant only blooms once in its lifetime, after a few glorious weeks the blooms fade and become hard as the tree dies. Residents search out these crisp remnants and take them home to decorate as Christmas trees.

 Tourist Tree

 

 

 

You will recognize the Tourist Tree ... that is the tree that is red and peeling...

 

The tall cylindrical Kapok tree with its strong wood and carving ease has been used by
St. Jonians for canoe making since the 1700s. The fluffy seed pod was also used in the colonial era
to stuff mattresses and chair pads, and now is often used to stuff boat cushions and lifejackets.

 

 

 

 

Aloe grows naturally on the island and is traditionally used to treat burns, insect bites, colds, asthma and ulcers. They say that if you split the leaf in two and extract the jelly the salve can be successfully used to remove wrinkles.

 

 

It is said that the fruit of the Calabash Tree when roasted is a good treatment for menstrual cramps or to induced childbirth and that the leaf can be used in tea to treat colds, diarrhea, dysentery and headaches. The shells are often used as bowls, musical instruments or carved by artisans into interesting artifacts.

 

Termites create huge brown ball-like nests that you can easily see dangling from tree trunks. Termites, St. John visitors discover, do not kill these living trees.

 

Island Snipits, Facts & Lore...


Rent a car on St. John and Explore Cruz Bay, Coral Bay and East End

 

St. John

 

St. John, US Virgin Islands, abounds with strange stories and interesting traditions and folklore. Some of the tales are borderline, hovering between fact and fiction, and all change with each telling. Here is a small collection to enhance your intimacy with this unique island of St. John.

 

Take all these words with a grain of salt (harvested from Salt Pond of course), add your own wisdom, humor and remember we not only all like to hear a good story but enjoy telling one too.

 

 

The local West Indian dishes come from a mixture of African, European and Indian traditions passed down and enhanced with each succeeding generation. Many recipes originate from the plantation days when the slaves cultivated root gardens for their own eating and for sale at the Sunday markets. The staples consisted of sweet potatoes, yellow squash, peas and yams. Those local root vegetables, termed "provisions" could most often be counted on as they grew underground thus surviving most droughts and hurricanes. The provisions, along with their livestock and what they could harvest from the sea such as conchs, fish, turtles and whelks formed their diet.

 

Christmas means Guavaberry Liqueur. Although this specialty liqueur is now being commercially produced by a local company it is a native tradition for families to make their own personal stash. Usually made in anticipation of the holiday season, neighbors and friends exchange their special creation. Bottled in recycled rum bottles the liqueur should be fermented for a month or more to really shine. Guavaberries, grow throughout the Caribbean, Locally the berries are harvested at either the Guavaberry Farms or on Bordeaux Mountain, different recipes call for their own mixture of the guavaberries which grow yellow, orange and black. The berries are mixed with various liquors, vodka, rums and sometimes even 190 proof pure grain alcohol Depending on the family recipe the potency can be strong. Sugars, honey or other sweeteners are added and such spices as cardamom, mace and nutmeg, cinnamon and of course the local bay rum leaf.

 

 

MISCELLANEOUS TIDBITSRent a car on St. John and Explore Cruz Bay, Coral Bay and East End

 

Coral Bay is not named for the coral that is so abundant around the island. One version is that the Danes thought the bay looked like a large corral and so named it Corral Bay. Other people, however, believe that the name is derived from the "Crawls" or pens for Sea Turtles that built in the harbor. Coral Bay may now be the dusty community on the island but 200 years ago it was the largest settlement on St. John, with the largest and best protected harbor in the Virgin Islands. It is the site of the original Danish Virgin Islands settlement on St. John. It played a key role in the island’s tragic slave revolt of 1733.

 

Easter Rock: Perched off the North Shore Road overlooking Caneel Bay, this egg shaped rock is said to roll down to the sea and back up again each Easter.

 

Mocko Jumbie: traditional symbol of Carnival is the "elevated spirit" on 10-20 foot stilts. Brightly colored costumes, traditions of west Africa.

 

 

LOCAL MUSICRent a car on St. John and Explore Cruz Bay, Coral Bay and East End

 

Traditional local music on the islands includes Calypso, Reggae, Steel Pans and Scratch Bands

 

Scratch Bands originate from the time when found objects were fashioned into instruments of music and rhythm. Gourds, washboards, ukuleles and flute-like instrumentsCruzan Rum

 

Traditional dance of the Virgin Islands is the Quadrille, dating back to the 18th century. Can be flirty and alive, or stately and stylized, varies from island to island.

 

 

 

OUR RUM HISTORY

Rent a car on St. John and Explore Cruz Bay, Coral Bay and East End

 

West Indies is the birth place of rum starting early in the 1600s with the raising of sugar cane and the production of sugar, molasses and finally rum. In the mid 1800s the full bodied rums evolved into a lighter, drier, more flavorful rum.

 

The Cruzan Rum factory is on St. Croix. Ninety percent of the product goes stateside making it the largest export item of Virgin Islands. The rest remains here and is processed into a special VI rum. Customs allows an extra bottle over the 5 bottle duty free limit provided it is a Virgin Island rum.

 

 

FOOD & RECIPES

Rent a car on St. John and Explore Cruz Bay, Coral Bay and East End

 

St. John island favorite foods and recipes include: fungi, saltfish, lobster, red beans and rice, plantains, curried chicken, roti, pates, stewed mutton, conch fritters, johnny cake, pate, bull foot soup and red grout.

 

Caribbean Lobster has no claws, the meat is in the tail.


Roti - tortilla type flat bread, served as a wrapping for curried mixture of meat, or seafood and now often served as a vegetarian meal.


Bullfoot Soup - a stew like soup made of bull's feet, vegetables peas and carrots and local root vegetables with cornmeal dumplings


Red Grout - a cool, sweet and refreshing drink, its base is tapioca and guava juice. Often topped with thick fresh cream.


Johnny Cakes - deep fried unleavened bread usually served with fried fish or chicken.


Pates - fried dough with a slightly sweet and spicy filling of lobster, conch, chicken or beef. It is a favorite snack meal.


Mangos - grown locally are great as a dessert.

Conch
Conch - a mollusk and is tough until cooked. The sweet meat is often ground for fritters or pate fillings


Whelks - large marine snails best served in garlic butter on rice.


Vienna Cake - a plain cake layered with various fruit mixtures and mint jelly, flavored with rum and frosted.


The Local Tart - made of flaky crust and filled with a guava and coconut mixture.


Sweet bread - very much like a simple moist fruit cake.



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LOCAL FAVORITE Rum Drink Recipes

 

Pain Killer: 1.5 oz Pussers Rum, 1 oz Coconut creme, 1 oz Pineapple juice, 1 oz and OJ...nutmeg

 

Bushwhacker: Amoretta, Kahlua, creme de cacao, Baileys, rum, vodka, & coconut : equal parts blended with ice. Dressed with dribbled chocolate syrup and a cherry to mark it.

 

Lime'n Coconut: Rum, a fresh lime, and creme of coconut blended with ice.

 


 

The Beautiful Beaches
of St. John & Virgin Islands

 

St. John has some of the most beautiful beaches the world has to offer. Along the North Shore of St. John you will find the pristine white sand beaches that has made St. John a uniquely beautiful vacation destination. Since most of the island is occupied by the United States National Park, nature has been preserved and enjoyed by the few that discover this tiny island in the Caribbean.

 

Click here to see more!

 

 

Pictures: *michael sweet*'s photostream

 

 

Flowers

Island Attractions

 

Discover the reefs, the trails and the ruins. Explore the St. John's trails and historic back roads by foot, by car, by bike, or by horse/donkey. Go beneath the waters, snorkel, scuba or snuba and tour the coral reefs and rock croppings.

 

The island is networked with tended hiking trails leading to historical sites and hidden beaches which can be hiked on your own or, if you choose, with a knowledgeable guide who will point out and explain to you the unique aspects of St. John's flora, fauna and tell you the history of the old ruins that liberally sprinkle the islands. Learn about the intricate eco system of the precious corals, be awed by the magnificently colored fish.

 

FishGo fishing, take a day sail, fly through the air behind a power boat. The islands attractions are numerous and the ways to discover them varied.


Exploring St. John, VI by Horse, Donkey, Bike

Historical & Archaeological Sites on the island of St. John, VI

 

 

Exploring by Horse, Donkey or by Bike

 

St. John Car RentalCarolina Corral Trail Rides by Horse or Donkey, (340) 693-5778 Located in Coral Bay. Half day and Full day rides offered, lunch & drinks included. Ride to beach for snorkeling, explore the historic mountain roads or choose a flat ground ride for the younger children and less intrepid. Sunset and full-moon rides are also available.            

 

St. John Car RentalArawak : Guided Mountain Bike Tours. A great way to see the Virgin Islands National Park, riding top-quality, front-suspension Cannondale mountain bikes. Several routes to choose from, for both novice and experienced cyclists.

 

St. John Car RentalSt. John Adventures ~ Bike tour

 

 

St. John Art, Things to do while you're here

 

Historical & Archaeological Sites

 

St. John Car RentalNational Park Headquarters: A good place to start: books, maps, excursions.

 

St. John Car RentalThe Battery, now the St. John's Administration Building, is built on the foundation of a 18th century fort. Small museum in the old prison cells: Open 10-2 Mon-Fri. Free. Seashells, old maps.

 

St. John Car RentalElaine Sprauve Library & Museum: Restored Manor House built in the 1750s. The museum is open 9-5 Mon-Fri. Photos, drawings, local crafts and a few Indian and colonial artifacts. 340 776 6359

 

St. John Car RentalIvan Jadan Museum director/curator Doris Jadan, memorabilia relating to the life of the her husband: Ivan a renowned operatic tenor who lived many years on St. John. www.ijadan.vi

 

St. John Car RentalLind Point Trail will take you to the Lind Battery (early 1800s) once a British gun emplacement

 

St. John Car RentalCinnamon Bay Sugar Factory Ruins A short walk tour with signs identifying points of interest and vegetation

 

St. John Car RentalCinnamon Bay Archaeological Dig: Taino artifacts dating back 500 years. Take a tour or volunteer some time. The Dig at Cinnamon Bay | Volunteer

 

St. John Car RentalAnnaberg Plantation Ruins is the most complete sugar plantation ruins in the Virgin Islands. Take the 30 minute self-guided walking tour and visit the slave quarters, windmill, horse mill, cistern, oven rum still and dungeon. During the winter season there are demonstrations and tours highlighting the chores and crafts of the Danish Plantation days and the workings of a sugar mill and factory.

 

The Annaberg windmill was built in the early 1800s, and is almost 40 feet high.The windmill crushed the sugar cane and gravity led the juice through gutters to the factory. Alternatively when there was not enough wind, horses were used to turn rollers crushing the sugar cane.

 

For more information visit Virgin Islands National Park headquarters in Cruz Bay or contact them at (340)776-6201 ext. 238.

 

St. John Car RentalRuins of the Catherineburg Sugar Mill and Rum Factory: (Hammer Farms) Restored in 1986 it is one of the earliest plantations on St. John mid 1700s. A good example of barrelled vaulting construction. Check out the storage vault beneath the windmill the round mill which is found across the road. In the 1733 slave revolt, Catherineberg served as headquarters for the Amina warriors, a tribe of Africans captured into slavery.


St. John Car RentalPetroglyphs and Sugarmill Ruins along the Reef Bay Trail: Partially restored Reef Bay Sugar Factory, the Jossie Gut Plantation Ruins, Estate Par Force and petroglyphs. The petroglyphs were done by the Tainos, early St. John inhabitants, or another theory is by African slaves of the island's colonial era. Petroglyphs & Ruins along the Reef Bay Trail | Reef Bay Trail / Cinnamon Bay Hike | Petroglyphs

 

St. John Car RentalPeace Hill and the ruined windmill at Christ of the Caribbean in the ruins of the Denis Bay Plantation Built in the 50s it was donated to the BI National park in 1975 represented Inner and Outer Peace. Destroyed by Hurricane Marilyn in 1995

 

St. John Car RentalEmmaus Moravian Church in Coral Bay is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. A masonry structure, built by the Moravian missionaries who ministered to the slaves and taught them to read. The cornerstone was laid by slave preacher and mason Cornelius at the end of 1700s. Now referred to as the Bethany Moravian Church if you visit it note the beautiful renovated 18th century parish hall, the vaulted cistern and dutch ovens.

 

St. John Car RentalFortberg on Fortberg Hill in Coral Bay Built by Danish 1717 destroyed by the slaves during the revolt in 1733 In 1807-14 the British built a battery

 

St. John Car RentalNational Park Underwater Trail - Virgin Islands National Park. The world's first marked underwater trail located near the shoreline, making it one of the best snorkeling spots in the Caribbean.

 

 

 

 

Varlack Ventures


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and explore the island of St. John!

 

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USVI Holidays & EventsRent a car on St. John and Explore Cruz Bay, Coral Bay and East End


January 1 - New Year's Day

 

January 6 - Three King's Day**

 

January 17
- Martin Luther King's Birthday**

 

3rd Monday in February 
- Presidents Day**

 

March 31 - Transfer Day**

 

April 20 - Holy Thursday**

 

April 21 - Good Friday

 

April 23  - Easter

 

April 24 - Easter Monday**

 

May 5 - Children's Parade

 

May 6 - Adults Parade

 

Last Monday in May

- Memorial Day

 

3rd Monday in June
- Organic Act Day**

 

July 3 - V.l. Emancipation Day/
Danish West Indies Emancipation**


July 4 - Independence Day

 

4th Monday in July
- Hurricane Supplication Day**

 

1st Monday in September
-
Labor Day

 

2nd Monday in October

- Columbus Day & Puerto Rico
Friendship Day**

 

3rd Monday in October

- Hurricane Thanksgiving Day

 

November 1 - Liberty Day**

 

November 11 - Veterans Day

 

Fourth Thursday in November
-
Thanksgiving Day

 

December 25 - Christmas Day

 

December 26
-
Christmas Second Day or Boxing Day**

 

Rent a car on St. John and Explore Cruz Bay, Coral Bay and East End

 

**If you wish to be married on these court holidays
there is $150 surcharge for doing so.

 

Rent a car on St. John and Explore Cruz Bay, Coral Bay and East End

 


 

 

 

 

 

Jeep

 

 

 

 

 

Shopping On St. John

 

Rent a car on St. John and Explore Cruz Bay, Coral Bay and East End

 

The US Virgin Islands are outside the US Customs Zone and can set their own tariffs resulting in 20% - 50% savings.

 

Add that to the fact that there is no sales or luxury tax and that $1200 of your purchases are duty free and you will find that shopping on St. John is more than fun it is also very reasonable.

 

Rent a car on St. John and Explore Cruz Bay, Coral Bay and East End

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Rent a car on St. John and Explore Cruz Bay, Coral Bay and East End

The Festivals of St. John

 

St. John Festival: June - July 4. The St John Festival is over a month of celebration on the island of St John, in the US Virgin Islands. The activities start in the beginning of June and culminate with concerts, a dance party, a parade, and fireworks on July 4th.

 

St. John Carnival originates in the colonial times when the plantation owners attempted to appease the slaves and encourage them to work harder. Officially first celebrated in 1928 it was scheduled to include Easter and Christmas. Costumes, music and dance were integral of the celebrations. Now starting with the Organic Act Day (3rd Monday of June) it includes Emancipation Day on the 3rd of July and culminates on July 4th with the celebration of Cultural day. An ongoing celebration of the emancipation of the slaves by the Danes in 1848. The colorful costumes, calypso music, and dancing parades and antics of the Mocko Jumbi stilt dancers are highlighted with fireworks.

 

St. John Art, Things to do while you're here

 

MaskVI Carnival: April, St. Thomas's Carnival. Featuring Pageantry, Cultural Night, children's activities, and much more entertainment. A very popular family oriented event during the Virgin Islands Carnival celebration is Cultural Night, which is held at the Lionel Roberts Stadium. This free event is enjoyed by all ages and sectors of the community. Schools, organizations, groups, troupes and individuals perform on stage displaying various aspects of Virgin Islands tradition and culture. If you are a lover of tradition and culture, or if you are a visitor and wish to learn about this aspect of the Virgin Islands, then this is the night for you.


Entertainment includes Quadrille Dancers, Maypole Dancers, the Tropical Masqueraders, the Traditional Indians, the Zulus and fire baton twirlers. Visitors and residents get an insight into the past, present and future of Virgin Islands culture and some mainstays of Carnival. Milo’s Kings, a band that is always associated with traditional and cultural music, provides the musical entertainment ranging from quelbe to calypso.

 

St. John Art, Things to do while you're here

 

Love City Live!

 

 

Love City Live!

As the ultimate winter getaway, Love City Live! gains its major momentum from the high-energy Main Event Concert. The Concert is only part of the full Love City Live! experience including boat excursions, beach & outdoor parties, liming (island-style hangout), duty-free shopping, savoring authentic cuisine, dancing and simply relaxing while taking in local beauty and culture. Join us and Indulge!

 

 

St. John Art, Things to do while you're here

 

Jazz in the Moonlight: Winter season at the Westin Resort. Adults $10.00 each, children under 18 free.

 

St. John Art, Things to do while you're here

 

Epiphany Theater Company: Totally volunteer, not-for-profit company.
epiphanytheater@hotmail.com 776-6744, 714-2807

 

St. John Art, Things to do while you're here

 

Skinny Legs

 

 

 

Skinny Legs: The Pitch 'n Bitch, Kentucky Derby (May), Wagapalooza (June)

 

St. John Art, Things to do while you're here

 

Miss Lucy's

 

 

 

Miss Lucy's: Full moon parties each month in season. Pig roast, local vegetables, great music & dancing. Jazz Brunch each Sunday in season.

 

St. John Art, Things to do while you're here

 

Annual St. John Arts Festival: February - A celebration of art & culture. Free lunch and dinner time concerts in Cruz Bay park and special presentations at St. John School of the Arts. Also daily food fairs and craft displays. The varied island music includes scratch bands, reggae, school marching bands and church choirs. The Artists' Association of St. John holds an exhibit in tandem, and local artists display their works around town at the various galleries. The Epiphany players, St. John's community theater group put on special presentations. This 11 day art-fest raises funds for art scholarships for the community youth.

 

For further information contact: Frank Langley: (340) 779-4038, president of the all volunteer not for profit organization, the St. John Arts Festival Inc.

 

St. John Art, Things to do while you're here

 

Love City Triathlon Land Sharks

 

Love City Triathlon: Each Labor Day Weekend since 1998 the St. John Landsharks, a group of endurance athletes on St. John, host the annual Love City Triathlon - a swim, bike and run event consisting of a half mile swim, a fourteen mile bike ride, and a four mile run, the event begins in Maho Bay then circles St. John and ends in Coral Bay. Participants in the triathlon can do all three legs individually or form a relay team with one or two other participants and each compete in one or two legs.

 

St. John Art, Things to do while you're here

 

8 Tuff Miles

 

8 Tuff Miles is a foot race from Cruz Bay to Coral Bay via Centerline Road that has been held on the last Saturday of February since 1997. All are welcome to participate in the even and volunteers are always needed. 340-779-4035

St. John Art, Things to do while you're here

 

Wagapalooza

 

 

 

Wagapalooza: A dog event that takes place at Skinnies each year in the month of May or June to raise funds for the St. John Animal Shelter.

 

 

 

 


 

 

Virgin Islands Blogs

Sea Shore Allure


On-St. John Blog for the U.S. Virgin Islands

 

St. John Life - All About the U.S. Virgin Islands

 

 

 


What you need to know about driving on St. John

Essential & Emergency Services on STJ

Medical Services
  • Emergency 911

  • Morris F. DeCastro Clinic ~ Cruz Bay, next to park

  • Cruz Bay Family Practice (340) 776-6789

  • James P Clayton, 776-6789
    Medical Care 24 hr

  • Myrah Keating Smith Community Health Center: (340) 693-8900, Centerline Rd at Gift Hill. 24 hr emergency, outpatient medical facility. Appts: 8 AM - 8 PM, Walk-ins accepted.

  • Hospital, St. Thomas: 160 beds, decompression chamber, 24 hr emergency (340) 776-8311

Pharmacies
  • Chelsea Drugstore ~ (340) 778-4888, The Marketplace, Cruz Bay, full service pharmacy

  • St. John Drugs - Center of Cruz Bay across from the Texaco Station

Important Phone Numbers
  • Alcoholics Anonymous (340) 776-5283
  • Clinic (340) 776-6400
  • Emergency: 911
  • Correct Time: 929
  • Directory Assistance: 913
  • National Park Service (340) 776-6201
  • VI Dept.Tourism’s Visitors Bureau (800)372-8784
  • Tourist Info. St. John: (340) 776-6450
  • Dial-A-Ride: (340) 776 1277


Driving Tip #2

Keep Left Always drive on the left (a Danish remnant). Take your time when leaving a parking lot or turning into traffic. The roads are narrow and windy, if you are on the wrong side you may not realize it until coming out from a curve and finding yourself nose to nose with an oncoming vehicle.

Seat belts are required in the front seat.
This law is strictly enforced. The speed limit in town is 10 MPH and 25 MPH, unless otherwise marked, outside of town. Stay slow and keep an eye out for the animals and hitch hikers that share the road with you. Finding a parking spot in town can be difficult, the few official parking areas are often full. If you are renting a vehicle from Varlack they will tend it for you while you are in town.

Off limit roads are for hiking not driving, the Varlack Ventures driving map will indicate which roads these are.


Location and Hours

The Varlack Ventures car rental office is conveniently located one block from the Cruz Bay Ferry Dock for quick, easy pickups and returns. Less than two minutes walk from the Cruz Bay ferry dock, it is easy to find. When you disembark from the St. Thomas - St. John Passenger Ferry walk straight ahead 1 short block and turn right at First Bank. You can't miss us. Varlack Ventures is on the right.
Rent a Jeep on St. John
HOURS: Varlack Ventures office hours are from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Atlantic Standard Time seven days a week. If you are arriving after hours, it would be best to take a taxi to your lodging when you arrive and reserve your car starting first thing the next morning.

Reserve your car rental on St. John