Cruz Bay travel guide

Cruz Bay Tourism | Cruz Bay Guide

You're Going to Love Cruz Bay

Cruz Bay on St. John attracts tourists and boat charters drawn to the snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, and hiking, as well as the local shops, restaurants, and casino.

Cruz Bay has no airport; therefore, most visitors access the island by boat or ferry from nearby St. Thomas, St. Croix, Jost Van Dyke, Tortola, and Virgin Gorda.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Cruz Bay

1. The Water

The crystalline waters of Cruz Bay bring avid snorkelers and scuba divers seduced by the white sand beaches and coral reefs.

2. Dine on Local Fare

Conch fritters, fried mahi-mahi, and corn-crusted scallops are just a few of the island favorites.

3. The Bars

Perfect for a pub crawl, Cruz Bay has no shortage of bars. The Beach Bar features seaside seating and live music. Dog House Pub hosts karaoke and serves burgers and beer.

4. Explore the Ruins

Among the ruins of the 1780 Annaberg Plantation, you can still see the old slave quarters and windmill with breathtaking views of the Tortola and Jost Van Dyke islands.

5. Shop to Your Heart's Content

Main Street in Cruz Bay boasts duty free shopping with a selection of upscale retailers, such as Lladró, Waterford, and Rolex.

What to do in Cruz Bay

1. "In Your Zone Training"

Located on the Island of St. John, 6-Paq Scuba offers introductory "In Your Zone" scuba diving classes, diving certification courses, and fun dive charters. Step into the warm, clear Caribbean waters and dive the calm 3-6 feet waters. Once you are ready, you'll move to the reef 12 feet below. If you love to dive, then the Tobago Key is perfect amidst the volcanic rocks, reef, nurse sharks and dolphins. And for the night owls, the underwater charter takes you diving at night surrounded by the phosphorescence from the corals. Let the moonlight guide your dive as you pass the sleeping turtles.

2. Ranger-Guided Hikes

Hike the Danish road that takes you to the plantation ruins of the early settlers in St. John. You'll be amazed at the stone structures remaining in the middle of the forest. As you stroll the island, marvel at the baobab, the island's only surviving sacred tree brought to the island by slaves. As you hike down Reef Bay Valley, you'll come across pre-Columbian sugar plantation ruins, cattle grazing stone walls, and antiquated carvings.

3. Luxurious Camping For All

Located in the Virgin Islands National Park, this resort provides the perfect camping opportunity for everyone. If you love to camp and do everything yourself, Cinnamon Bay offers pop-up tents, cottages, and Eco Tents. Wander over to Turn Bay Snack Shack & Bar for a fill of fish tacos, house cut fries, cocktails, smoothies, ice cream and cold beverages. Trunk Bay also has a gift shop so you can get pick up souvenirs to remind you of your trip. Professionally prepared meals are found in the Raintree Cafe, where you can have breakfast, lunch, dinner, movie nights, game nights and live music.

4. The Best Snorkeling Destination

Marvel at the plethora of marine life. Located on the eastern end of Leinster Bay, Waterlemon Cay offers hiking trails overlooking the Caribbean. Stroll by spectacular azure waters teeming with life. As you walk the island, you'll come across seagrass surrounded by green sea turtles, beautiful cushion starfish, and more. Snorkel the clear waters amidst schools of bluehead wrasse, Atlantic blue tangs, and squirrelfish. You'll be surrounded by the spectacular corals of Cruz Bay, including boulder and grooved brain, pillar, and elkhorn varieties.

5. Upscale Shops & Restaurants

Stroll over to the Bajo el Sol fine art gallery for the Caribbean inspired collections or visit Bamboula for primitive art, clothing, and textiles. Pick up island inspired home decor at Portico or Nest & Co. For island-inspired bags, hats or souvenir, visit Island Birds. You'll marvel at artisan jewelry, crafts, glass and pottery from Best of Both Worlds. The Virgin Islands offers duty-free shopping so you'll save money on jewelry, watches, and liquor. Mongoose also offers contemporary Caribbean dinners at Virgin Fire. Kayak, snorkel tours and fly fishing are offered from Arawak Expeditions.

1. "In Your Zone Training"

Located on the Island of St. John, 6-Paq Scuba offers introductory "In Your Zone" scuba diving classes, diving certification courses, and fun dive charters. Step into the warm, clear Caribbean waters and dive the calm 3-6 feet waters. Once you are ready, you'll move to the reef 12 feet below. If you love to dive, then the Tobago Key is perfect amidst the volcanic rocks, reef, nurse sharks and dolphins. And for the night owls, the underwater charter takes you diving at night surrounded by the phosphorescence from the corals. Let the moonlight guide your dive as you pass the sleeping turtles.

2. Ranger-Guided Hikes

Hike the Danish road that takes you to the plantation ruins of the early settlers in St. John. You'll be amazed at the stone structures remaining in the middle of the forest. As you stroll the island, marvel at the baobab, the island's only surviving sacred tree brought to the island by slaves. As you hike down Reef Bay Valley, you'll come across pre-Columbian sugar plantation ruins, cattle grazing stone walls, and antiquated carvings.

3. Luxurious Camping For All

Located in the Virgin Islands National Park, this resort provides the perfect camping opportunity for everyone. If you love to camp and do everything yourself, Cinnamon Bay offers pop-up tents, cottages, and Eco Tents. Wander over to Turn Bay Snack Shack & Bar for a fill of fish tacos, house cut fries, cocktails, smoothies, ice cream and cold beverages. Trunk Bay also has a gift shop so you can get pick up souvenirs to remind you of your trip. Professionally prepared meals are found in the Raintree Cafe, where you can have breakfast, lunch, dinner, movie nights, game nights and live music.

4. The Best Snorkeling Destination

Marvel at the plethora of marine life. Located on the eastern end of Leinster Bay, Waterlemon Cay offers hiking trails overlooking the Caribbean. Stroll by spectacular azure waters teeming with life. As you walk the island, you'll come across seagrass surrounded by green sea turtles, beautiful cushion starfish, and more. Snorkel the clear waters amidst schools of bluehead wrasse, Atlantic blue tangs, and squirrelfish. You'll be surrounded by the spectacular corals of Cruz Bay, including boulder and grooved brain, pillar, and elkhorn varieties.

5. Upscale Shops & Restaurants

Stroll over to the Bajo el Sol fine art gallery for the Caribbean inspired collections or visit Bamboula for primitive art, clothing, and textiles. Pick up island inspired home decor at Portico or Nest & Co. For island-inspired bags, hats or souvenir, visit Island Birds. You'll marvel at artisan jewelry, crafts, glass and pottery from Best of Both Worlds. The Virgin Islands offers duty-free shopping so you'll save money on jewelry, watches, and liquor. Mongoose also offers contemporary Caribbean dinners at Virgin Fire. Kayak, snorkel tours and fly fishing are offered from Arawak Expeditions.

Where to Eat in Cruz Bay

ZoZo's Ristorante at Gallows Point Resort features Italo-Caribbean dishes, such as lobster fra diavolo and osso buco with saffron rice. Entrees are priced at $40 and up. Morgan's Mango serves Caribbean fusion cuisine, including Jamaican steak and Haitian voodoo snapper. Entrees average $30.

When to visit Cruz Bay

Cruz Bay in September
Estimated hotel price
$321
1 night at 3-star hotel
Cruz Bay in September
Estimated hotel price
$321
1 night at 3-star hotel

There are no seasons in Cruz Bay, although June through August are the hottest months, with temperatures in the 80s. Tourists may want to avoid hurricane season from June to November.

Data provided by weatherbase
Temperatures
Temperatures
Average
Celcius (°C)
Data provided by weatherbase

How to Get to Cruz Bay

Plane

There is no airport in Cruz Bay. Flights arriving in the Virgin Islands land at the Henry E. Rohlsen Airport (STX) on St. Croix and Cyril E. King Airport (STT) on St. Thomas. Visitors can access Cruz Bay by ferry.

Car

Visitors may bring their cars to Cruz Bay by car barge. A one-way ticket is $35 and round trip is $50. There is a free parking lot next to the car barge.

Airlines serving Cruz Bay

United Airlines
Good (2,854 reviews)
American Airlines
Good (4,395 reviews)
KLM
Good (355 reviews)
Air France
Good (403 reviews)
Delta
Excellent (3,061 reviews)
British Airways
Good (1,436 reviews)
Qatar Airways
Good (1,219 reviews)
Air Canada
Good (1,456 reviews)
TAP AIR PORTUGAL
Good (549 reviews)
Finnair
Good (703 reviews)
JetBlue
Good (1,298 reviews)
Spirit Airlines
Good (2,506 reviews)
ITA Airways
Good (126 reviews)
Virgin Atlantic
Good (344 reviews)
Sun Country Air
Good (111 reviews)
Silver Airways
Good (42 reviews)
Cape Air
Excellent (16 reviews)
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Where to stay in Cruz Bay

Cruz Bay - the Cruz Bay ferry dock is the point of entry for visitors and is home to the island's shops, restaurants, and watersports providers.

Popular Neighborhoods in Cruz Bay

Chocolate Hole/Great Cruz Bay - nearby Chocolate Hole is home to dozens of vacation villas and the Westin Resort.

Coral Bay - Coral Bay features vacation villas and homes on the hill with restaurants and shops.

Where to stay in popular areas of Cruz Bay

How to Get Around Cruz Bay

Public Transportation

The Vitran Bus System reaches most of the island. Buses leave every 25 minutes from the Cruz Bay ferry dock to Coral Bay and then to Salt Pond Bay. Fares are $1 per person or $0.55 for senior citizens.

Taxi

There is ample taxi service in Cruz Bay, and you'll find a cab stand at the ferry dock. Rates are per person and destination.

Car

There are several car rental agencies in Cruz Bay. Prices range from $65 to $100 a day.

The Cost of Living in Cruz Bay

Shopping Streets

In Cruz Bay, there are shops within walking distance of the dock at Mongoose Junction and Wharfside Village. Duty free retailers carry swimwear, handbags, liquor, jewelry, crystal, artwork, and more.

Groceries and Other

The Calabash Market, open 7 days a week, is a large grocery store. Love City Mini Mart carries general food supplies and Nature's Nook is an open air market with fresh fruit, baked goods, and smoothies. A dozen eggs is $2.95.