The spectacular panoramic views of the US Virgin Islands are nothing short of paradise. In addition to their luscious scenery, the islands are known to visitors and locals for their active water sports culture—one of the most popular sports being paddle boarding. It’s a glorious way to see any island and delivers a breathtaking 360-degree experience unlike any other, with vistas of land and sea spread around you and more wide-ranging views of fish beneath your board than you could get from simply snorkeling. While the ancient Polynesian sport repopularized in Hawaii in the early 2000s, it has since taken off across the globe with paddleboarding gaining popularity everywhere from Australia to the Caribbean. Here are some of the best places to hit the water in the Virgin Islands.
Maho Bay, St. John
A top pick for the novice paddleboarder, Maho Bay is home to calm, clear waters to practice on and sea turtles to keep you company, making it an ideal place for kids and adults alike to earn their sea legs. Best of all, there are beautiful views aplenty on this clean and quiet beach. And there’s plenty more to do at Maho Crossroads, a minimum footprint, energy-efficient, self-powered pop-up village across the street from Maho Beach. Enjoy the Paddle-In Tiki Bar on a moveable trailer, a VW Bus conversion food truck, and the Love Maho Beach Boutique. Rent a board from Reef2Peak or bring your own and experience the magic of Maho.
Honeymoon Beach, St. John
A white sandy beach and aqua blue waters await you at St. John’s idyllic Honeymoon Beach. This is where the locals come to spend their days paddleboarding. While you’re very likely to see some snorkelers checking out the oceanic creatures and locals enjoying the sugary sand, this definitely isn’t a crowded place to paddleboard in St. John. Whether it’s an hour, day, or week rental, Virgin Island Ecotours is happy to accommodate and personalize your expedition. They offer solo or group rentals and guided trips on their equipment, and also day passes that include all-inclusive access to kayaks, SUPs, snorkel gear, lounge chairs and more.
Hurricane Hole, St. John
Join Arawak Expeditions for a special tour to a remote part of the island of St. John, where the water is almost always calm. Hurricane Hole a famous spot where boats have often found shelter during hurricanes. It’s designated as a National Monument, and access is restricted to guided tours by selected companies with National Park Service authorization. The tour begins at Princess Bay, where a wide expanse of pristine white sand and beautiful azure water are a Caribbean fantasy come true. You’ll paddle through Otter Creek, stopping to snorkel among the mangroves, where you’ll see sea anemones, reticulated sea stars and more. The gentle surf and reefs around Hurricane Hole make it a great spot for paddle-boarding,
Magens Bay, St. Thomas
The most popular beach in St. Thomas rivals the best beaches in the world in terms of beauty, amenities and all-around blissfulness. There’s no wonder Frommer’s recommends a visit to Magens Bay for the best views on the island. The huge expanse of palm-shaded white sand, excellent amenities, and most especially, the calm and waveless turquoise water make it an all-around perfect spot for paddleboarding. Keep your eyes open for the sea turtles and squids that inhabit the area. Equipment can be rented from the kiosk at the far right end of the beach and the centrally-located bar features wait staff who will come to you on the beach and take your order. This is another beach where you have to pay to enter but the admission fee helps support the lifeguards, the amenities and the cleanliness of the beach.
Paddleboard Yoga, St. John
You’ve never had a Savasana quite like this before! For a true St. John experience, try SolShine Stand Up Paddle Yoga classes. Using your paddleboard as a mat, they guide yogis through traditional yoga classes while floating on the crystal-blue water The classes welcome yogis of all levels and offer low-impact core strengthening, and intervals to increase flexibility and core strength. Grow your yoga practice in a new way by adapting to the motion of the board. You’ll enjoy the continuous challenge to balance, the focus required to ground while afloat, and the gorgeous views in every direction.
Mangrove Lagoon, St. Thomas
As you weave your way through the mangrove tunnels, look down to see the stingrays, upside-down jellyfish, tarpon and more that inhabit the serene and shallow waters or look up to see the nesting birds overhead. Regardless of what you came to find, Mangrove Lagoon is perfect for beginners and experts alike. The guided tours provide stand-up paddleboards and paddles of all shapes and sizes and keep groups small to accommodate everyone. They even take you around and past many small mangrove islands, including secluded cays, where you get the chance to witness the unparalleled natural beauty St. Thomas has to offer.
Here at Blue Sky Luxury Travels, we are avid paddleboarders and we know all the ins and outs of paddleboarding in the U.S. Virgin Islands. We can arrange paddleboard rentals for a day, or for your entire trip. Simply reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will make all your tropical paddleboarding dreams come true!