The U.S. Virgin Islands form the border between the Caribbean Sea and The Atlantic Ocean. With such easy access to dazzlingly clear water, activities like yachting, swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving are incredibly popular. With beautiful beaches and exotic scenery, the Virgin Islands are a perfect place for tropical camping trips. But before you can enjoy a tropical getaway, you’ll have to choose your favorite Virgin Islands campgrounds.
Visitors looking to enjoy privacy and lush foliage while remaining close to the water will love The Virgin Islands Campground. These campsites are at an eco-sensitive resort set on the pristine 500-acre Water Island. Water Island is a secluded spot perfect for campers looking for a chance to get away. The Virgin Islands Campground is equipped with eco-friendly tent-cottages build of wood and canvas. The tent-cottages, complete with a private terrace, offer the comforts of a hotel room along with closeness to nature.
Magen’s Bay, located close by in the Northern region of the island of St. Thomas, is a protected white sand beach. The stunning beach stretches for nearly three quarters of a mile, and is St. Thomas’s most popular tourist destination. The water in Magen’s Bay is typically calm, and campers can often spot turtles, conch, tarpon, and other fish. Open year-round, Magen’s Bay visitors can rent a wide array of beach equipment, ranging from chairs and towels to kayaks and paddleboards when camping in the Virgin Islands.The beach also offers lockers for a small fee. Magen’s Bay is also home to a coconut grove, a mangrove, and an arboretum that visitors can access via a nature trail.
Campers can get a feel for the Virgin Islands’ rich history during your trip by visiting Blackbeard’s Castle, located on the island of St. Thomas. The castle was built in 1679 as a watchtower to protect the harbor, and is built on the highest point in the neighborhood of Government Hill. Blackbeard’s Castle proved to be a great vantage point for Danish soldiers to spot enemy ships. Unfortunately, Blackbeard’s Castle is currently closed due to damage from Hurricane Irma, but the castle still stands and plans to reopen at a later date.
The Virgin Islands has had strong recovery efforts since Hurricane Irma. Many of the beaches, resorts, and attractions have reopened, including the Virgin Islands Campground and Magen’s Bay. However, much of the area is still in the rebuilding process and campers should take extra precautions when camping in the Virgin Islands.
Really enjoyed our visit to Maho Bay (my wife reviewed this one as well- Sasha). There was some really great snorkeling here and it’s a bit more private that Cinnamon Bay! We saw a little clan of turtles that was amazing! Seeing turtles was the highlight of our trip. Also, the Island is known for being almost all National Forest, which is awesome for hiking. There is some really great hikes that lead to some of the best snorkeling! Didn’t see any sharks on our stay, which was great. We spent a ton of time in the water snorkeling! I would recommend going in the summer months because they have terrible storms in the fall and winter months. The weather was perfect, humid, but great! The sunsets are incredible!! Highly recommend this beach, for its snorkeling and relaxation.
Cinnamon Bay was definitely one of my favorite beaches in the Virgin Islands. I went with my family and wife on a trip here, where we spent 2 weeks enjoying the Virgin Islands and all the beaches. Cinnamon Bay was very busy, because it is one of the most popular places to come. We did some early morning hiking, and spent the afternoon at this beach. Some of the best snorkeling was here! We saw so many beautiful fish, turtles and colorful plants. We did a ton of snorkeling here, and enjoyed every bit of it. The beach was clean, but again it was busy. Go early to claim a spot!
I camped in March 2016 prior to Hurricane Irma.
The campsites are approximately 5 minute walk to beach, camp store, dining, and bus stop.
Beautiful scenery - absolutely paradise.
The campsites are sandy with soft ground and have a picnic table.
You can walk to several attractions from the campground.
NOTE: Currently the campground is closed due to Hurricane Irma. The Hurricane destroyed many historic buildings in and around the campground.
Maho Bay was my second favorite beach when visiting the Virgin Islands. It was beautiful but honestly anywhere in the VI is amazing! The water is gorgeous and clear. We did a hike in the morning that was nearby and ended up at Maho Bay in the afternoon after the hike. We got a great spot with trees for shade. Shade is key because it gets super muggy and hot in the afternoons!! The snorkeling at this beach was awesome! We saw some turtles which was my goal to see in the VI and we definitely saw our fair share. It’s so fun to try and find them and then swim along side them. The fish are beautiful as well. This beach is clean and fairly big, although I’d recommend going early to get a good spot. Bring food and lots of water!! We went through quite a few waters while being here for the day. Loved every second of being here and can’t wait to come back someday!!
If you ever have the opportunity to visit the Virgin Islands I would highly recommend it. This place is magical. The water is crystal blue clear and the hiking here is amazing!! I would say half of the island is National Park which is super cool. I would recommend coming in the summer months because during the fall and winter is their hurricane seasons and it is crazy how impactful the hurricanes are. It’s super sad. We went in June and the weather was perfect. It is a little muggy here, so do your hiking early in the morning. Cinnamon Bay was one of my favorite beaches. We did tons of snorkeling and also did a scuba dive here (but farther off the beach). The waterlife is incredible, and of course the water is magical. We saw turtles, tons of beautiful fish and coral. No sharks, which I was glad. This beach was pretty busy, so I’m glad we got here early to get a good spot. Bring lots of snacks and water because there really isn’t a food place on the beach. We brought sandwiches from our rental house and tons of water and Gatorade. There are also a lot of chickens!! So many chickens walking everywhere. They weren’t really on the beach area, but definitely on the boardwalk areas. They were cute at first, but then just got annoying because they were everywhere. If you also have the chance, I’d recommend going over to the British Virgin Islands. It’s onky a boat ride away and it’s amazing!!!
The Virgin Islands are my favorite place on earth. The water is crystal clear and the water life is amazing. Cinnamon Bay was hands down my favorite beach to visit. The snorkeling was incredible here. We brought our own snorkels and goggles, and we were out on the water for hours on end. We got to the beach around 9am and claimed our spot. We found a great spot with some trees, and hung our hammocks up and put our beach towels down with chairs. We immediately went out on the water to snorkel. We saw so many different kinds of fish, all beautiful colors. We also saw some turtles which was my top goal. The turtles were amazing, and they were fun to swim by. There was really pretty coral too. We saw some squid which was really cool. The next day we came back to this beach, but did a hike nearby first. I would recommend hiking early in the morning before the sun starts shinning and it gets miserably hot. We saw Cinnamon Bay from the top of the hike we went on. I seriously cant get over how incredible the water color here is!!
Maho Bay is such a gorgeous place! I mean anywhere in the Virgin Islands is amazing! The water is absolutely crystal clear, and the underwater life is my favorite part. We really loved Maho Bay. It’s definitely busy, so I would recommend getting there early to claim a spot on the beach. There was a great spot we snagged that had wonderful trees for shade AND they were perfect to hang up our hammocks! We enjoyed snorkeling and seeing the underwater life. You definitely have to do this. No sharks spotted but we did see an eel and lots of beautiful fish!! We even saw some turtles which was the highlight of my trip! Great hiking around the area, too! Highly recommend, but do it early because it gets hot and muggy quick. Can’t wait to come back someday!
The Virgin Islands was one of my favorite trips my family and I took. I love that most of the island is National Park. So many great hikes. Cinnamon Bay didn’t disappoint! The water is crystal clear, gorgeous blue color. We did so much snorkeling, which I highly recommend. We brought our own snorkel gear but you can definitely purchase gear nearby. They sell snorkel gear throughout the whole island. The underwater life is incredible!!! There are also some really awesome hikes nearby as well. I’d recommend starting early if you plan to hike because the weather gets hot and muggy! This beach was one of my favorites!!
Maho Bay is such a great place to visit in the Virgin Islands. I would highly recommend making a day trip here. We enjoyed hiking, swimming, snorkeling and putting up our hammock and reading! There are some great hikes nearby too!! We did a hike into a small Bay Area and did some snorkeling. The snorkeling here is incredible. The water is crystal clear blue and the underwater life is top notch. We saw so many fish, turtle and beautiful colored coral. Snorkeling is a must!!
For a national park paradise experience, it doesn’t really get better than camping at Cinnamon Bay in Virgin Islands National Park.
If you are visiting the park and plan to stay there too, there are really only two options: Caneel Bay Resort (expensive) and Cinnamon Bay (much more affordable). Cinnamon Bay has options for a variety of visitors: eco tents, wood cottages, canvas platform tents, and bare tent sites.
We chose a canvas platform tent ($68/night in December 2015) because it provided everything we would need for our time here: cots, linens, towels, gas stove, cooking utensils and dishes, a cooler, and a lantern. Plus, they had a bathroom with an outdoor shower, so we could clean up for going in to town for $1 happy hours :)
Our tent was literally steps from a gorgeous Caribbean-perfection white sand beach. It is paradise.
In Virgin Islands, we stayed busy visiting trails, beaches, and historic sites. Our highlights included: hiking to the Reef Bay Sugar Mill ruins, hiking up Ram Head, snorkeling the Trunk Bay underwater trail, snorkeling with giant sea turtles in Maho Bay, and of course, camping at Cinnamon Bay.
You can read much more about our two days in the park on our blog: Switchback Kids (Virgin Islands)
great view of the water, loved this place.
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