Where To Rent Snorkel Gear On St. John

A question we get asked frequently by Island Abodes guests is about where they can rent snorkel gear on St. John for their vacation. St. John’s beaches are some of the best in the world, and the beauty extends into the crystal clear water as well. To get up close and personal with coral reefs, fish, turtles, rays and other wildlife, snorkeling is the way to go, and you really want high quality snorkel gear. We think the best to rent snorkel gear in St. John is with our friends at Beach Bum.

St. John Beach Bum has a huge selection of masks, snorkels, and fins, including prescription masks for those of us who wear glasses. They’ll make sure you get a perfect fit, and their top notch equipment is sanitized between rentals. When you book with Island Abodes, we will send you a 10% off coupon code to use when renting your gear.

St. John Beach Bum is also the place to go for any other beach gear you might need during your St. John vacation, including SUP rentals, kayak rentals, beach tents and toys, and even GoPro cameras. They also carry awesome rash guards, hats, t-shirts, insulated cups, sunglasses and more.

St. John Beach Bum’s location couldn’t be more convenient. They are right there, upstairs, at the entrance to the Cruz Bay passenger ferry dock, across the street from the park and Cruz Bay Landing (one of our favorite St. John bars and restaurants).

If you haven’t been to St. John Beach Bum, be sure to stop in on your next St. John vacation.

Our Favorite Hike On Jost Van Dyke

A Hike With Drinks, Views, and Shopping.

One of the questions we get asked often is about our favorite St. John hikes. With 2/3 of St. John lying inside the Virgin Islands National Park, there are miles and miles of amazing trails offering spectacular views. And many of them end at a world-class beach. So there are tons of fantastic options when it comes to hiking on St. John.

But today we want to tell you about a favorite hike on the neighboring island of Jost Van Dyke. Jost is in the British Virgin Islands, lying just across the Sir Francis Drake Channel from St. John’s north shore. If you think St. John is an idyllic island paradise, which of course it is, Jost is a place where even those living on St. John can get away from it all.

visual view of the hiking trail on jost van dyke
part of the hike trail on jost van dyke

Getting to Jost Van Dyke from St. John is pretty easy. The most economical option for a day trip to Jost is to take the Inter Island Boat Services ferry, which leaves from the Creek on St. John Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at 8am, returning at 4pm. The round trip cost per adult is $130, including all the taxes and fees to clear customs. Things change, so best to check their website for current schedule and cost.

Jost Van Dyke Hiking Guide:

Ok, now for the hike details. When you reach Jost, walk along the road to the right through the settlement at Great Harbor. It’s a super cool little place — you’ll see an old church and a few bars, restaurants and shops. The last establishment on the strip is the world famous Foxy’s. After Foxy’s you just hike on the road along the south side of the island for approximately 2.5 miles and then turn sharply left. The pavement soon ends as you hike the dirt and gravel road over the spine of JVD. You probably won’t see any people for a while, just goats and maybe horses. Some of the views are out of this world, especially back towards St. John.

When you reach a point above Great Harbor, there’s a short cut that will take you back down in case you’ve had enough by then (shown in yellow on the map). But you really want to continue on to Soggy Dollar Bar. At the end, just walk toward the water and you’ll find paradise, complete with ice cold beer and a hammock on the beach! After lunch and a few beers or painkillers, we usually opt for the taxi back to the ferry dock.

This is an incredible hike, but the difficulty level is hard, so it’s only recommended for the very fit and adventurous. Be prepared with sunscreen, hat, food and bring lots of water. A word of caution, there’s almost no shade on the hike and the sun can be quite intense.

a view of the islands from a dirk hike trail on jost
a view from one of the hike trails on jost van dyke

So if you’re looking for a new challenge on your next St. John vacation, consider this awesome Jost Van Dyke hike from the ferry dock to Soggy Dollar. It’s a St. John day trip you won’t forget.

Lameshur Bay, St. John USVI

This off-the-beaten-path gem is located 1.5 miles past the Salt Pond parking area. The last trail is unpaved so the short distance will take 15 minutes. There are actually 2 bays. You reach Great Lameshur Bay St. John first — a long, rocky, crescent beach where access isn’t super easy. Next door is the real charmer, Little Lameshur Bay, with some of the best snorkeling on St. John. The beach offers soft, white sand and the bay is very protected and usually very calm (except when the weather is coming out of the South). There are great trails around and cool ruins to explore.

Chocolate Hole Bay, St. John USVI

Chocolate Hole Bay in St. John is the other walkable beach from Down Yonder Villa or the Garden Suite. Same directions like you’re going to Hart Bay, except don’t turn left on Tamarind Road, keep straight on Chocolate East until you reach the Pond Bay development. There are two public parking areas, the first one is paved and the second one isn’t. The beach is mostly rocky with a little sand here and there, but it’s a great place to walk and explore. There’s surprisingly good snorkeling on either side of the bay, especially near the point. Chocolate Hole Bay is a dog friendly beach. 

Sunset Serenade Suites is 1.1 miles away from Chocolate Hole Bay

Down Yonder Villa and the Garden Suite are .5 miles away from Chocolate Hole Bay

Hart Bay, St. John USVI

This is an awesome pebble beach with sand here and there, located down an easy trail right in the Chocolate Hole neighborhood. There’s pretty good snorkeling in spots, with rock formations, coral, and sea life. The seas can get quite rough when weather is coming from the Southeast. We love the vibe of this usually deserted beach. If you’re staying at Down Yonder Villa or the Garden Suite, it’s a 10-15 minute walk to the trail head and another 10 minutes to the beach. Walk up Southshore Road towards town, take the first left on Chocolate East Road, then the first left on Tamarind Road, keep to the right and you’ll see a small sign for Hart Bay in front of a small parking area. Hart Bay is a dog friendly beach. 

Sunset Serenade Suites is 1.5 miles away from Hart Bay

Down Yonder Villa and the Garden Suite are .5 miles away.