St. John Activities Guide

Things to do in St. John, USVI – Insider's Guide

Search results: "jost van dyke"


Day Trip to Jost van Dyke

One of the most popular destinations for day trips is Jost van Dyke. Named for an early Dutch settler and former pirate, rugged scenery and colorful folklore make up Jost Van Dyke.  With fewer than 300 inhabitants, it measures just four miles by three.It retains the island culture that much of the Caribbean has lost. Jost Van Dyke is a little island with a big reputation.

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Top 10 Things to do in St. John, USVI

Wondering what to do while on St. John? Our page currently has 99 activity suggestions for St. John. Wondering where to start? Here is our ultimate top 10 list.

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Painkiller Cup 2016

Get ready for the 2016 Painkiller Cup Paddleboard race. The Caribbean’s most exciting SUP event offering $10,000 in prize money!

The 2016 Painkiller Cup will take place on Saturday, January 23rd. The race, a 14-mile downwind run from Trellis Bay to the famous Soggy Dollar Bar on Jost Van Dyke, is open to any team comprising three racers, at least one of which must be female.

The Painkiller Cup is sponsored by the Soggy Dollar Bar, HIHO, The Moorings and Ocean Potion. The event offers $10,000 in prize money with the winning team earning $5,000!

Painkiller CUP 2016 on Facebook:

Painkiller Cup Website

Need Carbon Raceboards or an escort boat?

Contact SUP-St. John / Rockhoppin

Summer in January – Love City Live 2016

Beach, Boats, Reggae, Rum & Island-Vibe…Don’t be left out in the cold.

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Johnny Horn Trail, St. John, USVI

Even after a few years on St. John I am still amazed by the beauty of the nature and the trails. Today’s story is about the Johnny Horn Trail, just half an hour outside Cruz Bay you can find yourself in total wilderness and enjoy tranquil, stunning views.

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Peace Hill, St. John

The Peace Hill hike on St. John  is a very easy one, but nonetheless very rewarding. It begins at a Parking off Northshore Road, about half a mile after Hawksnest.

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Build a Mosquito Trap

Ok, St. John is paradise. The only true nuisance are the mosquitos. They are not only a nuisance, they can actually infect you with bad diseases like Dengue and Chikungunya Fever. Both viruses are transmitted by Aedes species mosquitoes, which have black and white stripes markings. The National Park Service has actually just issued a warning about Chikungunya outbreak in the Caribbean.  In Makonde (African language), chikungunya means “that which  bends”, referring to stooped appearance of patients in severe pain.

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Love City Country Music Festival 2015

Saturday was the last day of Love City Country Music Festival 2015 at totally amazing event pulled of on this tiny, beautiful island with only 4000 inhabitants.

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Spend a weekend on Anegada, BVI

Have you been to Jost van Dyke, Norman, Willy T. and Virgin Gorda already? Looking for something new/different? How about Anegada in the British Virgin Islands. It is about a 50 mile ride and the ocean can be rough, so it is a bit of a stretch, but it is ideal for a weekend trip.

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St. John Country Music Festival 2015

St. John Country Music Festival 2015

Crystal blue Caribbean waters, toes in the sand, country music and cold beer! Nope, you ain’t dreamin’… it’s the 1st annual Love City Country Music Festival on St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands. If you’ve been here then you know… it’s going to be a wild ride

Thursday May 14th

11:00AM to 3:00PM

BEACH PARTY at the Soggy Dollar on Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Islands. Passport and transportation is required. No ticket is required for admission to this event

Woody’s Stage (Across The Street)

  • 9:00PM to 12:00AM – Woody’s Bithday Bash with Houston Deese from Tallahassee, FL

Barefoot Cowboy Stage

  • 7:00PM – Special Engagement – Pirate Sessions with Jesse Rice and opening guest performance with Chicks with Picks

Parrott Club Stage

  • TBA

Friday May 15th


MAIN STAGE – Winston Wells ball field – Cruz Bay

  •  6:00PM – Jesse Taylor
  •  7:00PM Hit Makers & Rum Chasers ~ Nashville Songwriters Showcase
  •  9:00PM Dean Alexander
  •  10:30PM Loving Mary


Woody’s Stage

  • 3:00 – 6:00PM – Houston Deese from Tallahassee, FL

Across The Street Stage (after party)

  • 11:30PM – 1:30AM Levi Lowrey, Travis Meadows & Whiskey Jack

Parrott Club Stage

  • TBA

Saturday May 16th


MAIN STAGE  – Winston Wells ball field – Cruz Bay

  •  2:30PM Kaitlyn Weathers
  •  3:30PM Wheeland Brothers
  •  5:30PM Sunny Sweeney
  •  7:00PM Dallas Smith
  •  8:30PM Pat Green
  • 10:30PM Jerrod Niemann


Woody’s Stage (Across The Street)

  • 12:00AM – TBA

Accross The Street stage

  • 3:00PM – 6:00PM Happy Hour with Levi Lowrey & Friends
  • 11:30PM – 1:30AM – Official After Party Dean Alexander

 Parrott Club Stage

  • 11:00PM – 1:00AM Jesse Taylor

Get all the Love City Country Music Festival 2015 details here:

More St. John Events:

Painkiller Cup SUP Race – 10.000$ prize money

The painkiller cup is a  14-mile downwind team race from Trellis Bay to the Soggy Dollar Bar. It has been great fun in the past few years and the 2015 race date has just been announced: January 17th, 2015.

Painkiller Cup Race Format

A team consists of three people and must include at least one female. You will also require an escort boat. Start of the race is at Trellis Bay, Beef Island (Tortola East End). The finish is on the beach in front of  Soggy Dollar Bar on Jost van Dyke.

Board class: You can use any board 14′ and under. Teams must use the same board for the entire race!

In the 2014 Cup, Racers had to switch off their board every 30-minutes. This was mandatory. Racers had to paddle in a rotation that was submitted to the race marshal at the 8:00am registration. There was no need to switch racers at the 30-minute interval once your team has entered White Bay. Each team was free to choose which course they wanted to take, so make sure you have an experienced captain on your escort boat!

The 2015 rules are still to be announced. Stay tuned here and on the event facebook page!

St. John Teams

Among others, Rockhoppin’ Charters has entered a team for the race. Even if you don’t paddle, come and cheer for the riders!

Welcome Party.

Don’t miss the great pre-race party at the last resort!


Prize Money:

Minimum $10,000 prize money. The winning team will receive a check over whopping 5000$. The photo below are the 2014 Painkiller Cup winners.


Pain Killer Cup Event Course:


Start is in Trellis Bay, Beef Island. From there you will paddle along the North shore of Tortola, which is relatively protected. After passing Brewers Bay comes the unprotected open ocean leg, where you can expect some big wave and more wind. You will paddle towards Sandy Cay and can either pass it North or South. After crossing the channel between Sandy Cay and Jost van Dyke, it will be more protected again as you paddle along the South Shore of Jost van Dyke and then make a turn right into White Bay for the Soggy Dollar Bar Finish. Stay clear of the reef in White Bay, which will be marked with buoys.


Big thanks to the sponsors which make this great event happen! Soggy Dollar Bar, HIHO & The Moorings

2014 Painkiller Cup Results:

Team Race Winners

First place went to Team Tired consisting of Lori Park, Noa Ginelli and Kody Kerbox, of Hawaii, who finished in 2 hours, 30 minutes and 30 seconds. The team also won a $750 bonus for reaching Guana Island first. America’s Cup sailors Jimmy Spithill and Shannon Falcone also competed in the event. They finished in fourth place.

  1. Team Naish (Noa Ginella, Kody Kerbox, Lori Park)
  2. Team BOGA (Nat Ford, Bill Kraft, Isabelle Picard)
  3. Team Caribbean Surf Co. (Colin Butler, Gail Vento, Eric Walker)
  4. Team InterNashional (Shannon Falcone, Paula Lenny, Jimmy Spithill)
  5. Team Riviera (Lee Donovan, Brian Duff, Helga Goebel)

Solo Painkiller Cup Winners

  1. Petra Offermanns, Germany
  2. Sam Morrell, Tortola
  3. Christine Thompson, St. Thomas
  4.  Johnnie Ward, Tortola
  5. Liz Wheeler, Laguna Beach, CA
  6. Tom Wheeler, Laguna Beach, CA

Solo race

Have no team and no boat or want to take it easy? The Mini Painkiller Cup is from Sandy Cay to Soggy Dollar Bar.  The start will be at approximately 11:45. It will be times to start as the lead teams pass Sandy Cay. This course is 3-miles and should take less than one hour. Start is off the beach.
Since the wind and waves are in your back, it is a pretty easy race. Last year some novice paddlers made it to the finish on fun boards. Don’t be shy, give it a try!
There will be plenty of trophies and prizes. Entry fee for the Mini-Painkiller Cup is $50 and includes lunch, race jersey and HIHO clothing.

Need a team/boat?

Rockhoppin’ Charters is entering a team and is looking for 2 male paddlers. Escort boat will be a comfortable 32 FS Regulator with twin Yamaha 250s. You can also try to find team members on the Event Facebook Page.

More information:

Past Race Pics

Here is a gallery with photos from the 2014 Painkiller Cup by BVIBeacon


St. John Webcams & Virgin Island Webcams

Follow the action live! There are a number of webcams on St. John and the other islands. Click on the photo to start the webcam!

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What to pack

I always find it hard to pack for a place I am going for the first time, so here is a suggestion on what to pack for USVI. Comments and feedback are very welcome!

What to pack for the USVI

The mistake I did when coming to the Virgin Islands for the first time, was packing way too many clothes, especially long-sleeves/sweatshirts/jackets. You really won’t need anything warm, except for on the plane. It is always warm on St. John, even at night. The average temperature is 80° F  and at night it does never drop below 70°F. Most bars / restaurants are open-air and the only I ever wear something long is in the supermarkets or on a boat where the wind can make it chilly. Check out these great charts with temperature overviews

That said, thin, light long sleeve shirts or pants can provide great mosquito protection.

You are fine with shorts, T-shirts, tank tops, dresses & a tunic or scarf for cover-up. Also for watersports, the water temperature is 78°F to 86°F, you won’t need a wetsuit, just a long sleeve lycra against sun-burn. If you want to surf/snorkel around reefs, a short, thin (2/1 or 1/1) wetsuit can protect you from scratches. That said, the water gets colder with depths, so for diving you do want a wetsuit.

So here we go with the Virgin Island packing list

Which clothes to pack for St. John, USVI

  • T-Shirts & tops/tank tops
  • Shorts & Skirts
  • Dresses & a tunic
  • Flip Flops
  • Bikini/Boardshorts and Lycra (also long-sleeve against sunburn)
  • Underwear
  • A thin, light rain jacket, downpours can be crazy
  • One long sleve against bugs, sunburn or windchill on boat trip.

Which Shoes to pack

  • Flip/Flops and Sandals are all you will need unless you want to engage in some of the sports below
  • Reef Booties if you want to go snorkeling / paddleboarding / surfing on rocky beaches
  • Hiking shoes/sandals, there are some great hikes which cannot be done in flip-flops. They should have a firm sole but be otherwise open and airy (mesh on sides)
  • Tennis or Running Shoes if you want to play tennis or hit the gym


  • Passport if you want to go to Jost van Dyke or other BVIs
  • Medication & small first aid kit for reef cuts (desinfect)
  • Sunscreen/Bugspray (you can buy on island but it is really expensive, 7.95$ for a can of bug repellent
  • Batteries (also very expensive on Island)
  • Camera & SD/CHF Cards (cards can be hard to find on island) & chargers
  • Tripod for your camera, you will make some amazing sunset and night-time pics.
  • Waterproof Case for Camera, unless you have a waterproof one like the Go Pro Hero or Sony TX-10
  • Waterproof Case for phone & passport and Dry Bag.

Entertainment / Sporting Goods

  • Fins&Masks: If you have a good fitting snorkeling mask or a shop at home that has a very wide variety of masks to try on, get it there and bring it, as the right size is crucial. Fins might be a bit bulky to pack so you can rent those on St. John.
  • Surfboard (you’ll need a thick one with a bit of volume)
  • Tennis Racket&Shoes (you can buy tennis balls at Chelsea Drugstore)
  • Beach Games
  • Cards, Board Games
  • Binocular
  • Books or Kindle (choice of books is limited on St. John, but you will find some great local books at the Bookstore opposite Starfish and the Spice Shop at Wharfside Village)

Buying/renting on St. John

  • Beach Chairs: At Hardware Store by Starfish or Paradise Lumber on Centerline Road. Check if your villa provides them
  • Hammock: The Surf Shop next to beach bar has some nice hammocks
  • Snorkeling gear: Low key water sports
  • 1$ disposable rain coats
  • 1$ bug repellent bracelets at Pine Peace
  • Overall, St. John is a tiny island, most of the stuff is imported and you will not have the choice/variety of things you are used to at home. All imported goods will be much more expensive then home, also groceries. A good option is to actually rent a car on St. Thomas, stop at Kmart for groceries & beach chairs/snorkeling gear and come over on the car barge (50$ round trip). Make sure rental company allows to take car on car barge.
  • While everything that is imported is naturally expensive you will find some great unique things that are locally created at good prices: clothes, jewelry, arts&crafts.



Charter a boat on St. John

The best way to explore the Virgin Islands is via boat and getting out on the water is the top priority of most visitors. With its warm, crystal clear, turquiose  waters, St. John is a paradise for boating.

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