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Magens Bay Beach, St Thomas

National Geographic Beauty

On our second trip to St. John's in the US Virgin Islands, we sought out the beauty of Magens Bay Beach. Highly recommended by friends and fellow cruise passengers, Magens Bay Beach is rated by National Geographic as one the top 10 beaches in the world. We couldn't pass up the opportunity to see if it lived up to it's rating.

Magens Bay Beach, St. ThomasMagens Bay Beach, St. Thomas Magens Bay Beach is on the Atlantic side of St. Thomas in a large heart-shaped cove protected by high hills and the natural architecture of a secluded cove. The swimming area stretches an arching mile of white sandy beach, lined with palm trees and beautiful blue Caribbean waters. Houses dot the hillsides making the area truly picturesque.

The wide swath of white sand means the beach can be swarming with sun-seekers and not feel congested. Even with 3 large cruise ships docked at the island, we simply walked part way down the beach and never felt over-crowded.

Magens Bay Beach is protected by parklands with it's own arboretum, wetland, mangroves, and camping facilities. Entrance to the park and beach area costs $4 for non-residents and you can rent beach chairs for $5 and lounges for $10 at the concession/gift shop. (Note: the Safari shuttle to Magens Bay from Charlotte Amalie is $9 per person each way). They have washrooms, gift shop, concession stand and a full-service patio-bar.

Married ShoresideMarried ShoresideGoGirlfriend and I spent the day in the clear, Caribbean waters relaxing, sunning and walking the beach from end to end, hand-in-hand. We came across a bride and groom getting married, and at the far western edge of the beach zone we met some European sunbathers doffing their bikini's for some all-over tanning. Nude sun-bathing is illegal in St. Thomas, but this was at the far end of the beach.

Mrs and Mr GoGirlfriendMrs and Mr GoGirlfriendWe got caught in one of the island downpours and spent a half-hour with a few Presidente beers and some fellow cruisers. Despite the short burst of rain, the palm trees lining the great sandy beach and blue Caribbean waters was a wonderful contrast to the February snows back at home in Canada.

To get to Magens Bay, the road from Charlotte Amalie to the beach twists and turns from the southern side of the island where the ships dock up the mountainside. The climb is filled with sharp turns, cliffs and switchbacks in the road ... and they drive on the left-hand side of the road. The Safari shuttle style busses are open and unprotected - so hang on.

Make sure when you leave your cruise ship, you know which pier you're docked at (Havensight or Crown Bay Pier). They're a few miles apart and the difference could mean missing your ship - which will be costly in catch-up costs.

Have you been to St, Thomas? We'd love to hear what adventures you enjoyed while in the US Virgin Islands. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter or drop us a line.

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