The Snorkeling Trail Of US Virgin Islands

Posted On December 8, 2009 

The Trunk Bay Beach in the United States Virgin Islands is one of the favourite beaches of travelers around the world. Apart from the charms of a beach that one is attracted to, there are plenty of diversions as well that makes it a place worth exploring.

To begin with, the ambience itself is very tourist friendly, with all the amenities that you would need at a beach and snorkeling place. There also are historical sites and other such places not far from the beach that is worth a visit.


On the Island of St. John, on the western coast of The United States Virgin Islands is the popular beach of Trunk Bay. It is at a distance of about 0.6 miles from Peace Hill and in proximity to the Cruz Bay.

Trunk Bay Beach

The United States Virgin Islands are in the Caribbean and the North Atlantic Ocean.  The main islands other than St John here are Saint Croix and Saint Thomas Island.

As per the geographic dictionary of the Virgin Islands, the name Trunk Bay may either be from Trunkscildpatt, the giant leather back turtle or the Trunkfish, also known as shell fish for its hard skeleton.

Known for its snorkeling trail, the Trunk Bay is the only beach of the National Park Beach on St. John which requires a fee to visit, unless you arrive here early in the day or late in the evening or enter the bay by boat.

When to visit

The climate of the United States Virgin Islands is arid, moderated with trade winds.  Temperatures are more or less consistent throughout the year. The maximum temperatures in summers are around 33 degree Celsius and the minimum is about 26 degree Celsius. In winters, the minimum temperatures are 26 degree Celsius and the maximum is about 30 degree Celsius.

On an average, the annual rainfall is about 965 millimeters. Rainfall can be variable, though September to November is the driest months and the months of February to March are the driest. June to November is the hurricane season.

How to reach

There are international airports at St. Croix Island and the St Thomas Island at the United States Virgin Islands. St John is easily accessible via St Thomas Island.

There are direct flights to St Thomas airport by major international carriers like the American Airlines, Delta Airlines, Newark and U.S. Airways among others.

The United States Virgin Islands are well connected with each other through ferries and from the British Virgin Islands and occasionally from Puerto Rico as well. Within the Islands, there are bus and taxi services as well as cars and scooters on rent.

In fact, it is best to explore the St. John Island by chartering a boat for a day.

What to do at Trunk Bay

The Trunk Bay offers a secluded beach where you don’t have to deal with a huge crowd. It is most popular for its 30 minutes underwater snorkeling trail where you can spot coral and tropical fishes.

The Trunk Bay Beach is fit for a family outing and can be enjoyed my people of all ages. You don’t need to rent a car or travel far to explore this area, walking here by the sea is sufficient to get a sense of the place.

There are plenty of good restaurants just by the beach, where you can enjoy the local cuisine.  There are local vendors too on the beach. The snack bar is particularly popular here.

Of course, there is a fee you will be charged to enjoy the Trunk Bay Beach. Nevertheless, there are amenities like restrooms, rentals for snorkeling gear, picnic facilities, lockers and a gift shop as well, that make the visit to this beach worth paying a fee for.

Adding to the memorable experiences while you are at this beach, are the places that are worth a visit here. One of them is the Peace Hill, south west of the Trunk Bay Beach, at a distance of about 0.6 miles.

To get a deeper insight of the beach and to get familiar with its history, you should visit the Catehrinberg Ruins, to the east of the Trunk Bay Beach, at a distance of about 1.2 miles. Enlisted on the National Registry of Historic landmarks, the windmill here dates back to the 18th century. It was restored by the National Parks service in 1986. It is a fine example of barrel vaulting construction techniques.

The Plantation Ruins to the south east of Trunk Bay Beach is a historical site that can interest you. The Annaberg Sugar Mill built in the early 1700s is now one of the most intact ruins of a sugar plantation in the United States Virgin Islands. You could tour through the village here, the windmill, horse mill, dripping cistern, oven, slave quarters and dungeon. The dungeon walls also have drawings of schooners that the experts say are more than a century year old. There are demonstrations on baking, weaving, gardening and crafting. This ruin too is enlisted on the National Registry of Historic Landmarks.

Among the other natural attractions that you shouldn’t miss out on while here is the Reef Bay Trail, approximately 2 miles to the east of the Trunk Bay Beach.

The Virgin Island National Park is at 2.2 miles to the south east of Trunk Bay and can be said to be the highlight of the Virgin Islands Coral ReefTrunk Bay Beach. In fact, the beauty of this beach is that most of it is a national park, either on land or in water. This park is also home to the Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monuments that extends eastward from Estate Hermitage to Haulover Bay along the southern shoreline of the St Johns’ Island.

About 3 miles to the east of Trunk Bay Beach is Bordeaux Mountain, another of the natural attractions here.

There is also a museum here, at about 2.3 miles to the south west of Trunk Bay Beach, the Elaine Ione Sprauve Museum and Library that makes for a good visit.

For those enthusiastic about water sports, there is the Ferry Terminal to the south west of the beach, about 2.4 miles away.

Over all, the Trunk Bay Beach is apt for a good time with family and friends.

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