Sunday, September 14, 2008

Paradise for Pennies [St. John, USVI]

St. John is one of the most beautiful islands I have traveled to with lush vegetation, bright white beaches, and crystal clear water. Most of the island is a national park kept pristine from commercial development. The island is a quick boat ride from St. Thomas, and it offers affordable camping at Cinnamon Bay. When I visited, I wasn't able to stay overnight on the island, but I will never forget the remarkable difference from St. Thomas. While St. Thomas is where most tourists visit as a stop on a cruise ship, St. John is the real crown jewel of the US Virgin Islands. I hope to camp on the island in the not too distant future, which can run from $30/night for a bare camping site to $100/night for a cabin.

The above picture of the harbor was taken from the trail to a deserted beach. I remember it being incredibly hot, and we were anxious to cool off in the water.

After writing this post, I was reminded of the popularity of eco-tourism, and I wonder if the US National Parks are taking advantage of this trend. The park system offers some of the most affordable and easy access to our nation's natural splendor.

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