St. Croix Journals

Two Days on St. Croix

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A June 2004 trip to St. Croix by pepperpot

Avalon Villa and Retreat Center Photo, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands More Photos
Quote: St. Croix is my favorite of the three U.S. Virgin Islands. Gorgeous beaches, stunning scenery, beautifully preserved colonial architecture… check. But it’s the island’s genuine, laid-back feel that really makes it stand out. This isn’t just a tourist destination—it’s a real place with a vibrant local culture.

Avalon Villa and Retreat Center

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Hotel

Avalon Villa and Retreat Center Photo, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
Quote:
Coming up the road to the Avalon Retreat Center, I wasn’t sure just what to expect. What exactly did "retreat center" signify? Your typical megaresort-tarted-up-with-a-few-spa-services? A clinical sort of place where you’d be put on forced bedrest for 16 hours a day and visited periodically by white-uniformed nurses? A haven for movie-star types seeking refuge from the prying eyes of the general populace? We passed through the front gate into a lovely lawn and garden, secluded from the outside world by trees and large bushes. Looking to our left, we saw a stately ranch house, its doors thrown open in welcome. Soothing music wafted out of the doorway to gently caress our ears. We followed it insi...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 3, 2004

Avalon Villa and Retreat Center
P.O. Box 25193
St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands

Mount Victory Camp

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Hotel

Quote:
It used to be that if you said the word "eco-resort," people would stare at you blankly. "Eco… resort? Isn’t that an oxymoron?" But now, slowly but surely, the idea is spreading. Case in point? Over 25 years after its opening, St. John’s pioneering Maho Bay Camps finally has a counterpart on St. Croix: Mount Victory Camp. Like Maho, Mount Victory features open-air tent-cabins offering a selection of basic amenities (furniture, kitchen facilities) that can best be categorized as "camping deluxe": close to nature, but without the disc...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 3, 2004

Mount Victory Camp
Creque Dam Road, PO Box 696
St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
1(866) 772-1651

Buck Island Reef National Monument

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Attraction | "Buck Island"

Buck Island Reef National Monument Photo, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
Quote:
Buck Island has a hell of a reputation to live up to. Every guidebook waxes rhapsodic about it. For locals, it’s the place to gather and mingle on Sundays—if you’re lucky enough to own a boat, that is. And the reef surrounding it was named America’s first-ever underwater national monument in 1961—which, naturally, has resulted in an ecosystem so thriving and well-preserved that 30,000 visitors a year flock to see it, making it the single most popular attraction on St. Croix. Could one little 176-acre island really be all that? Well, that was what I was about to find out, as my tour boat followed St. Croix’s northeast shoreline towards the islet and anchored a few yards out from the beach....Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 3, 2004

Buck Island Reef National Monument
Buck Island
Christiansted, St. Croix 00820
+1 340 773 1460

Ay Ay Eco Hike & Tours

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Attraction | "Guided Hike with Ay-Ay Ecotours"

Quote:
It’s no exaggeration to say that the owner of Ay-Ay Ecotours, Ras Lumumba Corriette, has elevated tour guiding from a skill to an art form… and one for which he has a born gift. His flawless mixture of encyclopedic knowledge, showmanship, authenticity, infectious enthusiasm, and out-and-out charisma made the guided walk/hike I took with him hands-down the best tour I’d ever been on, and the undisputed highlight of my trip to St. Croix. My first thought upon meeting Lumumba was that he wasn’t quite like anyone I’d ever seen before. Rangy, spry, and vaguely Rastafarian, he seemed ageless—but I can tell he looks a lot younger than however old he is, I thought, as we embarked on a long ramble...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 3, 2004

Ay Ay Eco Hike & Tours

St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands

Salt River National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve

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Attraction | "Kayaking Tour of Salt River Bay"

Salt River National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve Photo, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
Quote:
I have to admit that I approached my kayaking tour of Salt River Bay with some trepidation. After all, this was only a few days after my kayaking misadventure on St. John, during which I’d given every indication of being an exceptionally incompetent kayaker. But hey, I’ll try anything twice, so here I was, entrusting my life once again to a big yellow piece of plastic and my pathetically frail upper arms. Thank God for two-person kayaks—at least there’d be someone else to pick up the slack. And at least I had professional guidance this time. This wasn’t just an aimless kayaking trip—it was an hone...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 3, 2004

Salt River National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve
Route 801
Salt River, St. Croix 00820
+1 340 773 1460