If you’re looking for a small and intimate beach without having to walk a long trail to get there, then Jumbie Bay Beach is an excellent choice. It’s one of St John’s smaller beaches. It’s also not the easiest to find, which also means a lot less people come to its shores.
How To Get To Jumbie Bay
Head east on North Shore Road, 2.5 miles from Mongoose Junction or 0.2 miles from Peace Hill. Here you can find the small parking area on the right side of the road for Jumbie Bay. Cross the road and walk east about twenty yards to the rustic wooden stairs on your left. At the bottom of the stairs is a short trail leading to the beach.
Jumbie Bay is the only beach on St. John with an African name, coming from the word djambe. It refers to a malevolent supernatural being, similar to the duppy of Jamaica and the zombie of Haiti.
Jumbie Bay is situated in such a way that it can’t readily be seen by passing vehicles on Route 20 or from boats sailing to and from Cruz Bay. Years ago, when there was only a donkey trail on the north shore, Jumbie Bay Beach was even more remote and private than it is today. It was reputedly the venue for lovers enjoying private liaisons.
Because of this, it was nicknamed Honeymoon Beach. Around that time, Salomon and Honeymoon Beaches did not have separate names, as the entire bay was called Salomon Bay.
Put your beach blanket down in one of the little coves of sand that extend inland under the small seagrape trees for filtered sunlight and enhanced privacy.
The shoreline at the center of the beach is dominated by a smooth cement-like material called beach rock. Nonetheless, you can still get into the water in soft sand on either side of the rock.
Jumbie Bay is more exposed to the trade winds than most of the neighboring north shore beaches, and the water can get choppy on windy days. On the positive side, the breeze can be refreshing, and the rough water can lend a certain drama and intensity to the beach.
From Jumbie Bay beach, you can see Trunk Bay and the islands of Jost Van Dyke, Green Cay, Whistling Cay, Trunk Cay, and the Great Thatch.
There are no facilities at this beach other than garbage cans made available and emptied by the Virgin Islands National Park Service.
Snorkeling at Jumbie Bay
As mentioned above, the water can be quite rough, so it’s not the best place to snorkle. However, on days where the water is calm, you can get a glimpse of nurse sharks, angelfish, groupers, squid, and several other tropical fish species.
But ideally, Jumbie Bay is a better option if you’re looking for a private beach to relax and watch as the waves crash into the shore. There are plenty of other areas in Saint John where snorkeling is a much better choice.