Cinnamon Bay

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Last updated: April 3rd, 2023

Cinnamon Bay is the place to go on St. John for beach activities and water sports. Besides regular swimming, snorkeling, and picnicking, Cinnamon Bay Beach offers windsurfing, kayaking, volleyball, and camping. It’s pretty close to other beaches in St John, like Maho Beach and Trunk Bay beach, so you can visit both on your itinerary.

cinnamon bay
Cinnamon Bay

Cinnamon Bay Beach Guide

How To Get To Cinnamon Bay

Cinnamon Bay is 3.9 miles east of Mongoose Junction on Route 20 within the Virgin Islands National Park. Park in the parking lot and walk to the beach, which is about a quarter mile away over a flat and shady paved track.

There is a regular taxi bus service to Cruz Bay for those without vehicles.

Cinnamon Bay Beach Facilities

The Cinnamon Bay campground offers facilities designed to support the campers staying in St John. These facilities are also available to the public. They include a small general store carrying basic provisions, the T’ree Lizards restaurant, a snack bar, lockers, a food truck, restrooms, changing rooms, showers, picnic tables, and barbecue grills.

An activities desk offers snorkel trips, scuba diving, snorkel and windsurfing lessons, day sails, cocktail cruises, and Virgin Islands National Park activities such as the Reef Bay Hike and the Water’s Edge Walk.

Entrances to the Cinnamon Bay Loop Trail and the Cinnamon Bay Trail are located across the road from the main parking lot.

Cinnamon Overlook
Cinnamon Overlook

At the end of the road to Cinnamon Beach on your left (west), you can find Cinnamon Bay Watersports, where you can rent sea and surfing kayaks, beach floats, windsurfers, and sailboats. Cinnamon Bay Watersports also offers windsurfing and sailing lessons.

On the east side of the track is an old historic Danish building, which houses the temporary archaeological museum in the western part of the building. The Beach Shop on the eastern side offers swimsuits, souvenirs, snacks, and drinks, as well as snorkeling equipment and beach chair rentals.

The temporary museum features Taino and plantation day artifacts found at the Cinnamon Bay Archeological Dig. The excavation site is just east of the museum on the inland side of the dirt track.

The temporary museum features Taino and plantation day artifacts found at the Cinnamon Bay Archeological Dig. The excavation site is just east of the museum on the inland side of the dirt track.

Snorkeling at Cinnamon Bay

cinnamon cay
Cinnamon Cay

Beginner snorkelers can explore the area around the rocks at the eastern end of Cinnamon Bay Beach or between the bay and Little Cinnamon Bay. The entrance into the water is easy, and there are a fair amount of fish and sea creatures to be observed.

Going a little further out, there is very good snorkeling around Cinnamon Cay, the little island just offshore from the beach. Along the cay, you can find sea turtles, sting rays, starfish, parrotfish, soapfish, snappers, and more.


Cinnamon Bay Skimboarder

Windsurfing – Cinnamon Bay offers the best windsurfing on St. John. The winds are relatively calm near shore, which is good for beginners. As you go offshore, however, more advanced windsurfers will find strong, steady winds but without the waves that are usually associated with forceful wind conditions.

Surfing – Cinnamon is the only beach on St. John where surfers and experienced boogie boarders can take advantage of the north swell that comes in the winter.

Volleyball – On Sundays, locals organize pick-up volleyball games beginning at about 11:00 A.M.

Little Cinnamon Bay

Want some seclusion? Try Little Cinnamon Bay.

little cinnamon
Little Cinnamon Bay

When you get to the beach at Cinnamon Bay, go left (west) and walk to the end of the sand, where you meet an iron gate set up to control entry by animals. Pass through the gate and pick up a narrow trail that leads through the bush along the shoreline and over a section of rocks before emerging at the beach at Little Cinnamon.

trail entrance little cinnamon bay
Trail Entrance

The trail at the center of the beach leads to a National Park Service-controlled house and is off-limits to the public.

Sunken Plane At Little Cinnamon

When it comes to snorkeling at Little Cinnamon Bay, snorkelers can find the remains of an old light aircraft that crashed and sank years ago. The propeller, the engine, and one of the wings are visible most of the year.

The wreck lies in shallow water at the eastern end of the beach, just west of the big rocks, between the old stone wall and the first set of coconut palms. It’s one of the most notable snorkeling attractions in all of the US Virgin Islands.

sunken plane little cinnamon
Sunken Plane

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