Mar 18, 2020
Just a 15 minute water taxi ride south of the island of St Thomas, lies Water Island. A peaceful and airy island boasting beautiful white sand beaches and lush greenery. It is one of the smallest US Virgin Islands (491.5 acres) surrounded by the warm waters of the Caribbean sea and is residential with a very small population. So if you are looking forward to a day of relaxation, sun bathing and a little quietude then Water Island is for you. Read along as I share this piece of heaven off the island of St Thomas that I have visited twice. Overall, both occasions were absolutely amazing.
Getting To Water Island
You will have to take a water taxi from Crown Bay Marina to Phillip’s Landing on Water Island. The cab is roughly 15-20 min from Haven Sight cruise ship port to Crown Bay Marina with the water taxi being 15 minutes to the island.
It costs $14 for a round trip making it relatively pricier than other water taxis on other islands for the same, if not a longer distance. You will be issued a ticket to present to the driver upon returning. Do not lose it otherwise you will be charged again, as a result making it an unexpected expenditure. Once at Phillips Landing you can rent a golf cart for the day or take a walk up the hill to the beach.
What to Expect on the Island
Since the island does not have many establishments, there isn’t much to do. Individuals that live on this island are mostly retired US citizens. There is also one hotel if you wish to spend a night or two there. Because there isn’t much establishment e.g hospitals, gas station, grocery store or police station, locals rely on St Thomas to acquire all their necessities.
If you are looking to have a peaceful, quiet day then this place is perfect. There is a beautiful white sand beach called Honeymoon beach. The views from the top of the hill making your way there from Phillips Landing are breathtaking. On a beautiful sunny day you can clearly see the bright blue hues of the ocean.
Honey Moon Beach and ‘Dinghy’s Bar and Grill’
Sunbathe, dip your toes in the warm waters or snorkel alongside sea turtles in their natural habitat on Honeymoon Beach. You can also rent a kayak and paddle boards. Power boats and jet skis are prohibited making it more peaceful from less noise. There is also a bar and pop up BBQ spot if you ever feel hungry during the day. After lunch you can make your way to the swim up floating canopy or ring that you can enjoy over a cocktail or two.
Snorkeling with Sea Turtles
Relaxation on an electric-operated cabana
Looking for more adventure
…then take a walk to the north of the island where you will find a white pebbled coral beach. You will take a short walk through a brush however take extra caution and wear proper shoes as there are loose rocks. The pebbles and dead choral on the beach can get very uncomfortable as well.
This hidden gem is breathtaking. Depending on the season, the water is pretty blue and clean although my second visit there was a lot of sargassum washed up on the beach. Sargassum is a brown like seaweed algae that washes up on some beaches in the Caribbean. This may be due to the rise in water temperatures and change of sea currents due to climate change.
The ocean on this side is more choppy given that it is open and exposed to wind. Honeymoon beach on the other hand is more of a cove hence there is less wind and current.
The island also offers hiking and bike trails that you can utilise.
Things to take note of
Be mindful of the water taxi’s operating hours. The ferry leaves Crown Bay at the hour and leaves Water Island quarter past the hour. The last ferry leaves the island at 18:15 pm.
If you are on the cruise ship, give yourself enough travel time. If the ship leaves you, you will have to book a hotel and flight to the next port of call at your expense.
The traffic in St Thomas can be really bad during peak hours so if you are on the ship be mindful of that.
If you are looking for a livelier place then this island is not for you. Water Island is quiet and there isn’t much to do there but relax.
You can rent a golf cart for the day to explore the island or you can walk if you are fit enough.
There are taxis readily available at all times at Crown Bay Marina. Taxis in St Thomas are very expensive however if you have more people in your group it will work out a cheaper.
There are no ATMs on the Island so make sure you take enough cash with you.
It is a quiet island but although you will have a party boat from a cruise ship excursion come in for an hour or so. That is the only time the beach may feel a bit crowded.
Ultimately Water Island is perfect for some down time and relaxation. So if you have a couple of hours in your day to spare and are looking for a bit of solitude then definitely visit Water Island.