ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Find a Vacation Rental on St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands.

Updated on October 26, 2012
Trunk Bay, St. John, U. S. Virgin Islands
Trunk Bay, St. John, U. S. Virgin Islands

Why Visit St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands?

Don’t judge all the Virgin Islands by cruise-ship infested St. Thomas!

With about 2 million cruise ship passengers stopping by St. Thomas each year, the most well-known of the U.S. Virgin Islands teems with day-trippers jamming the roads, the beaches, and the restaurants. Hordes shop for jewelry, handbags, and other duty-free consumer goods in mini-malls that cater to tourist taste. St. Thomas offers golf, gaming and nightlife. If you are looking for a laid-back respite on a pristine Caribbean beach, why would you want to go to there? The answer: to get to neighboring St. John, a jewel in the Caribbean!

More than half of St. John has been designated national park. With no airports and just a few ports, St. John is harder to get to . . . but that’s why it’s less spoiled. St. John boasts beautiful beaches and superior snorkeling without the tacky trappings of its bigger, more popular sister.

So book a flight to St Thomas, then get on the ferry and head over to St. John.

Finding lodging on St. John requires a bit of time and effort. The 20-square-mile island has only a couple resorts. Most visitors choose to stay in a private villa, cottage or condo on St. John. Many rentals are not on the beach, but in the hills with a gorgeous view of turquoise Caribbean waters.

Most of the vacation homes and condos on St. John USVI are managed by professional property managers who live on the island. You can find the listings on a number of website that specialize in St John vacation rentals. Before you peruse the listings, you need to consider several factors.

Caneel Bay, St. John. Beautiful Caribbean beach.
Caneel Bay, St. John. Beautiful Caribbean beach.

When Should I Visit St John, USVI?

High Season in Virgin Islands vs. Low Season in the Virgin Islands

Except for hurricane season, weather on the Virgin Islands is sunny almost all year around. June, July and August tend to be the hottest months with temperatures in the mid 80s, and December through February are cooler with high 70 degree temps. Atlantic hurricane season runs from June to November with the highest number of storms in August and September. If you book during this time, inquire about what the hurricane policy is.

When researching rentals, take note of HIGH season and LOW season. High season generally occurs during months that are cold in the eastern part of the U.S., about January to April. Holiday break times are also considered high season. Low season are the hotter months. Rates drop by as much as half in low season at some rentals. For a budget vacation, try to book during the low season.

How Far in Advance Should I Book a St John Vacation Rental?

Repeat visitors often book their favorite St John condo or villa months in advance, especially during high season. When you start looking at St. John rentals online, you will find availability calendars.  Put in your desired dates and you can see if the place you want is booked.  If you wait too long before doing your research, you will find the calendar for that cute cottage with the jacuzzi and perfect view booked solid. The more affordable St. John rentals seem to go fast. When you find a place you like, email or call the property manager to confirm the price and availability. The reservation is not confirmed until you send in your deposit.

St. John, Virgin Islands

What is the Best Place to Rent in St John?

Get up a map of St John up online when you look at rental listings. You will see that two popular places for rentals in St John are Cruz Bay and Coral Bay. Rentals on Cruz Bay in St John offer a small town with everything you might want (such as restaurants, markets, and internet cafes). Rentals on Coral Bay in St John offer a bit more privacy and quiet. Be sure to read up on a location before you commit to renting. Ask about road noise if you rent in Cruz Bay. Ask about whether there is a paved driveway if you rent in Coral Bay. We recently rented in Fish Bay and loved it. Close enough to restaurants and shops to be convenient, but peaceful and beautiful.

Will I Need to Rent a Car on St. John?

Unless you stay at one of the few resorts, enjoying St John requires travel to get to a beach. Some visitors rent a jeep, others use a taxi. If you are not going to rent a vehicle, make sure you reserve a rental that has easy taxi access.  Although St John is only 20 square miles, it can take 45 minutes to get across the island because you must navigate across a mountain road. Some vacation rentals in St. John require a 4-wheel drive Jeep. Be advised that although the cars are American with the drivers side on the left, you drive on the opposite side of the road than Americans.  If you are uneasy about driving, take that into consideration before you reserve lodging.

What is Included in a St. John Vacation Rental?

When looking at rentals compare what they offer, such as
pool or jacuzzi
driveway access (paved or not)
beach gear such as towels or snorkel equipment
size of bathroom
internet access
air conditioning (it can get hot)
screens (see info on mosquitoes)
outdoor shower
filtered water

Things to Buy Before You Go

DRY PAK Belt Pack, Nylon, 6 x 5 x 3/4, Yellow/Blue
DRY PAK Belt Pack, Nylon, 6 x 5 x 3/4, Yellow/Blue

Be safe. Do not leave keys and wallet on the beach while you swim. Use a waterproof dry bag.


Will I Need Air Conditioning on St. John?

St. John can get hot. To avoid an uncomfortable stay, look for places that have AC at least in the bedroom, especially if you are staying during the summer. Certain areas get more of a breeze, others that are higher up in the mountain are always a bit cooler and may not need AC.

Are There Mosquitoes on St John?

As a Caribbean island, St John can sometimes be bothered by mosquitoes. You can lessen the chances of mosquitoes by booking at certain times of the year, looking for a rental higher up in the mountain, and looking for a place that has screens. Ask the property manager of any possible rentals up front about mosquito questions.

What is the Water Supply on St. John?

St. John gets its water through a rain collection system. Getting a rental with a filtered water system means you can just re-bottle water (buying bottled water on St. John is expensive). Also ask about water pressure. Some rentals have good pressure, others don’t.

Will I Need Phone or Internet on St. John?

You are on vacation to get away from it all, but you may want the option of being able to stay in touch or look up information. Some rentals include a phone for local calls. Some offer wifi access. The local towns will have internet cafes if your rental does not, but they are not always open or convenient. Be advised that if you use your cell phone from the US, you may be charged international roaming rates, which can be quite high. Call your carrier before you leave.

How to Find Listing for Rentals on St. John USVI

If you do an internet search using the right keywords, you will stumble upon several property managers who specialize in St. John vacation rentals. Use keywords such as: “St. John vacation rentals,” “St. John cottage,” “St. John villas,” “St John vacation house,” “Cruz Bay rentals,” Coro Bay rentals” and “U.S. Virgin Islands rentals.” One site to check is VRBO stands for Vacation Rentals by Owners. You can find urls in travel books on the Amazon link below as well. Be advised that many rental houses may be listed on more than one rental site. Some sites have better pictures than others. If you find a house you like, do a search using the house’s name (most owners give their rental house a name). You may find more info, better photos and reviews on that particular rental.

How to Find Reviews on St. John Lodging

Many rental listings show guest comments, but these can be edited so that only positive comments show up. is a good place to find real reviews on St. John rental listings. You can also Google the name of a particular vacation rental and the word “review" and see what else comes up. You can also check various online travel forums that specialize in travel in the Caribbean. Remember to share your review when your stay is over to help others.

Wedding on the beach, St. John, Virgin Islands.
Wedding on the beach, St. John, Virgin Islands.

How Much is a St. John Vacation Rental?

St. John may be more remote, but that does not mean it is less expensive. In fact, because it is less developed, it attracts affluent travelers willing to pay for its natural beauty. High rates have earned this beautiful island the distinction of being the “Beverly Hills of the Caribbean.” You can find vacation villas for astounding prices that only the rich and famous can afford. Although you will be hard pressed to find a real bargain rental, you will find houses that rent for a more reasonable rate if you look early.

Soak Up Caribbean Sun on St. John

I hope you find this advice on finding a vacation rental in St. John helpful! Please feel free to share tips that you feel may help others. Enjoy your vacation.

What are Best Travel Books for St. John?

You can find tons of information on St. John on the Internet. But an up-to-date travel book is handy because you can take it with you. I found the Fodor's Book the most helpful. Other good books are listed in my Amazon link below.  Many of the books come in a Kindle version.

Best St. John Travel Books

St. John Off The Beaten Track
St. John Off The Beaten Track

If you want to scoop on where to hike and the best beaches, this is the book to get.


Share Your Tips About St. John!

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • gailalovesbijou profile image


      7 years ago from Wyomissing, PA

      Wish I would have read this before we went. Lots of helpful advice. This was our second time there, so we did much better this time. Good article!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)