Saint Croix is an incredibly diverse island, with no shortage of activities! With so much to see in so little time, let me help you maximize your weekend on Saint Croix, USVI!
Whenever I travel, I rent a car as often as possible. Not only because I live in NYC and miss driving, but having a car while traveling (especially solo) gives you safety and the freedom to be even more in control of your schedule.
Driving in the US Virgin Islands is tricky, but not impossible. They drive on the left side of the road in the islands. Something that definitely takes some getting used to! I would have to look both ways at an intersection multiple times, because I wasn't exactly positive where traffic would be coming from. The cars are imported from the US, so at least the side of the car you are driving on is familiar.
Tip: "Shoulder to the Shoulder" is a tip that my Airbnb host taught me. Keep your left shoulder to the shoulder of the road. I found myself repeating that to myself a million times during my trip!
Buck Island can be summed up in two words: must do. Located just 1.5 miles off of Saint Croix, it's an easy excursion, and completely worth it. There are many tour companies that offer excursions out to Buck Island and all are going to give you time to sit on the golden brown sand and dip in the turquoise water. The extras are up to you. I chose to do a Full Day Sail from Big Beard Adventure Tours because it also included time to snorkel. I was not disappointed!
Buck Island is a true Caribbean dream, straight out of a postcard. Even if there are other tour boats on the island, you won't have any problem finding a secluded part of the beach to relax. The water is crystal clear and truly a shade of blue I have never seen before.
After some time on the beach, we went to snorkel with colorful fish and lush coral. There is an underwater "trail" to follow while you're snorkeling that goes right along a huge reef where you will find plenty of diverse marine life. This was without a doubt the highlight of my trip and could not recommend it highly enough!
Something a little "off the beaten path" but is absolutely worth it. I booked a ride with Cruzan Cowgirls, a mother/daughter owned company that rehabilitates horses. They take you on a guided ride through the lush rainforest and down to the beach.
I am not a horseback rider by nature at all. Prior to this, I was only on a horse once as a kid and remember being so tense the entire time. I was nervous to try again as an adult, but the horses were so gentle and the staff was very patient with me.
Trotting along the beach on horseback was an experience I'll never forget! If the water is clear enough, the even let the horses walk into the water and cool off. Unfortunately it was too cloudy on my day, but have your GoPro on hand for photos so you can be ready if you do go in the water!
Only about 15 minutes north of Christianstead, you'll find one of the many remote beaches on the island. Follow this link for an exact pin to the access point. Park your car in the small dirt lot and walk down the short path to the beach. The path itself is incredibly picturesque, lined with lush foliage with the bright blue sea contrasting in the background. A few small hotels line the beach, but I was able to lay on the beach and relax for well over an hour before I even saw another person! Enjoy the solitude! You're welcome ;)
A small, but very walkable town, Christianstead is where you'll find most of the "action". Stroll down a few blocks of King St and Company St and pop in and out of the different shops and restaurants. Pastel colored buildings line the streets and make for incredible photo-ops while also giving you that classic Caribbean feel.
Walk down to the sea where you can stroll along the Christiansted Boardwalk to take in the ocean breeze among more shops and restaurants. Take a seat at one of the many open air bars and treat yourself to a drink or some fresh seafood.
If you're in search for some greenery, head further down the boardwalk to D. Hamilton Jackson Park. You'll find kids flying kites or playing soccer, families having a picnic, and even an old fort to explore!
You'll truly feel like you're at the end of the earth at Point Udall, which is the Easternmost point of the United States and all its territories. You'll love sitting among the tall golden grass looking out at nothing but deep blue Caribbean sea.
There are even a couple hikes from Point Udall down to secluded beaches. Jack's Beach and Isaac's Beach are two options if you are looking for beach time with the only sounds being the waves crashing.
Between the two "steds" (Christianstead and Frederiksted), Fred has their sunsets on complete lock. Walk along the promenade off of Strand Street near the pier and collect various shells and sea glass that wash ashore. Take a seat at one of the many park benches and watch the sun slowly fall below the horizon. You won't be disappointed! Afterward, head across the street to one of the many bars and restaurants for dinner and a drink. I found myself at Lost Dog Pub & Pizza and had a great time chatting with locals and expats!
Tip: St. Croix airport does an agriculture scan of your bags before you leave the island. They screen your bags and confiscate all large seashells. According to the agent, shells smaller than your palm are okay to take home. However, don't overdo it as the quantity is up to the discretion of the officer.
Highway 60/South Shore Road is an amazing stretch of beautiful, untouched coastline that will make your jaw drop open when you see it. This part of the island is pretty rural, so you will have the open road almost all to yourself as you twist and turn along with lush green vegetation on one side, and the turquoise sea on the other. At some points, you'll find yourself far up onto a cliff for amazing views of the beaches and water. There are plenty of places to pull off and jump out of the car for a quick photo and selfie!
Benin, formerly known as Dahomey, is characterized by a great diversity of landscapes and ecosystems. Indeed, the Pendjari National Park and the W Regional Park, located in northern Benin, are two of the most protected and biodiverse semiarid grassland ecosystems in West Africa.