Welcome to the forgotten island off the coast of the forgotten US Virgin Island. If you disagree with me it’s only because you have ventured there and know the real truth. St. Croix enjoys the very thing that keeps it such a hidden gem from the rest of the Caribbean, isolation. Of all the islands in the Caribbean, this may be the largest that is truly all by itself out there when it comes to the chain that stretches from the Bahamas all the way down to South America. And with that isolation comes peace. Want to get away from the cruise ships? Come here. Want a true island vibe that’s hard to pin down in St. Thomas and St. John? Come here. No really, it has this and everything else to go with, and if your idea of an island vacation is having a down island view? Well they have that too. Buck Island. It sits out there all alone, much like a satellite to the moon. Part of the National Park system, Buck Island is quite easy to get to and offers visitors a nice balance of undeveloped coral island as well as crystal clear waters that lend some very good snorkeling. Paddle, row , motor or sail your way to the inviting front porch of the island called Turtle Beach. We personally chose Buck Island Charters out of Tamarind Reef Resort as it is one of the few wind-driven only charters to take you to Buck Island. That’s the preferred speed for us when we visit the Caribbean. The island itself is a small piece of real estate, but one that offers picturesque views of St. Croix and so many photo oops it will have your head spinning.
It’s the view that dreams are made of honestly. Go ahead and take a picture…anywhere. There’s no buildings to block your view, no noises to clutter your ears with the exception of an anchor dropping into the clear blue water below. Step off your chariot and make yourself at home for awhile, but not too long, as you will need to leave the island at some point. And whatever you take on the island, be sure it leaves with you. Turtle Beach has some of the softest sand I’ve felt in the Caribbean as your toes get lost as you disembark to the shore. Most excursions offer some time to explore and play on the island for at least an hour or two. But remember, if you have the means and the ways, feel free to enjoy your day taking it all in. At one point we saw a couple take a foot propelled kayak over to the island in a matter of 35-45 minutes. The current can be a bit strong but from what we witnessed, the short trip seemed easily doable.
The island doesn’t offer a host of activities except for 3 things. Snorkel, hike and play. Is there really a need for anything else on your excursion? Well then there’s beer, and rum, and well I guess some food. Come with provisions as you will want to be prepared out here. If you’re in the mood for a little bit of exercise, Buck Island has a bit of height to it and “somewhat” specially marked trails will take you to the top for a panorama of the surroundings on all sides. The view is quite impressive and makes you yearn to be on your own sailboat without a care in the world.
The locals are quite proud of their small neighbor and take steps to keep it good shape. Our sailboat captain chose to take the hike as well, bringing up the rear with a pair of shears to cut brush that had overgrown the trail as well as pick up any trash he may see. The path drops you off about a hundred yards from where you started which allows you to wade through the shallow clear water back to where you started. Once there, it’s time to enjoy Turtle Beach until the sun starts to set.
So whereas Buck Island may not appear as sexy as a Trunk Bay or Honeymoon Beach, it certainly holds its own. It is a must-do if you visit the island of St. Croix, the island of pure vibes.
“Live Within Your Means, Travel Beyond Them”