Destination: Antigua

Destination Antigua! Do you like beautiful beaches? 

Coco Beach, Antigua
Are you looking for your next island getaway? Here are a few things to know about Antigua:
~ Antigua, along with Barbuda, is an independent Commonwealth nation that lies in the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean Sea at the southern end of the Leeward Island chain. Other islands close by are Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis.
~ The beautiful island of Antigua is approximately 108 sq. miles , has a population of about 80,000 and is fringed by gorgeous beaches. 365 of them to be exact. One for each day of the year!

View from Shirley Heights, Antigua
What to do on Antigua:
~ Enjoy a beach or two!
~ Take in the stunning view from the Shirley Heights overlook. If you visit Shirley Heights on a Sunday afternoon, you will be treated to the weekly Sunday BBQ with live music and a party that goes on into the evening!
~ Spend a day hiking and exploring the historic forts of Nelson’t Dockyard. Enjoy the views over lunch of the scenic harbor and beautiful boats!
~ Stop at a fruit stand in the southern part of the island and try an Antigua Black Pineapple – so sweet and delicious, or other locally grown produce!
~ Go shopping in St. John’s at the Public Market and the Arts & Craft Market for Antiguan products made by local artists.
~  Sample some delicious English Harbour Rum!

Black Pineapple on Antigua
Some of the Best Beaches & Beach Bars:
~ Jolly Beach (west) Beach Bar: Castaways
~ Dickenson Bay/Runaway Bay (northwest) Beach Bar: Anna’s on the Beach
~ Pigeon Point Beach (south) Beach Bar: Bumpkins
~ Ffrye’s Beach (west) Beach Bar: Dennis Cocktail Bar
~ Turner’s Beach (west) Beach Bar: Turner’s Beach Restaurant
~ Half Moon Bay (east) Beach Bar: Harry’s Bar
~ Long Bay Beach (east) Beach Bar: Barrow’s Chill-Out Bar

There are many ways to experience the beauty of Antigua, but here are a few featured properties and cruises. Rum Therapy Vacations would love to help you plan and book your Antigua vacation! Ready to start planning? Email [email protected] for more information on any of these hotels, resorts or cruises, or to find one that would suit your needs even better! 

Hotels:
Curtain Bluff Resort – 72 rooms on a dramatic bluff, this resort is surrounded by tropical gardens and two sandy beaches.
Carlisle Bay – this 5 star resort with a private beach is near St. John’s and will absolutely pamper you in tropical luxury.

All-Inclusive Resorts:
Jumby Bay Resort – this private island all-inclusive resort features two beaches, Jumby Bay Beach with pristine, white sand, and Pasture Bay Beach, an untouched wild beach set aside as a protected nesting site for the Hawksbill Turtle.

Hermitage Bay – surround yourself in all-inclusive luxury! With tropical gardens and a white-sand beach, this intimate hotel is located on Antigua’s west coast.

Galley Bay Resort & Spa – this adult only all-inclusive faces a secluded, long, tranquil beach, and offers peaceful holidays for adults in West Indian-style beachfront rooms and Tahitian-style lagoonside cottages.

Cruise Vacations that make a stop in Antigua:
Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Celebrity, Princess, MSC, Disney, Crystal, Windstar

Are you ready to see Antigua? Email me at [email protected] to start planning your next vacation!

Long Bay Beach, Antigua
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Pictures and other content may not be re-used without written consent from Rum Therapy, LLC

Best Beaches of the British Virgin Islands

The British Virgin Islands, a chain of islands well known as a premiere sailing destination, seem to have more than its fair share of stunning beaches as well. We’ve been asked by many to recommend our favorite BVI beach and well, it’s hard to even narrow it down to our favorite 5 – and I’m quite sure there are still more to discover. All of the beaches listed below are beautiful in their own way and we’ve enjoyed the time we’ve been able to spend on each one. Really though, if you’re on any beach in the BVI, you are one lucky beach bum.

Best Beaches of the British Virgin Islands

Deadmans Beach, Peter Island, BVI

Deadman’s Beach/Little Deadman’s Beach, Peter Island


The Baths, Virgin Gorda, BVIThe Baths, Virgin Gorda
(see more here)

Spring Bay, Virgin Gorda, BVI
Spring Bay, Virgin Gorda

Little Dix Bay, Virgin Gorda, BVI
Little Dix Bay, Virgin Gorda

Savannah Bay, Virgin Gorda, BVI
Savannah Bay, Virgin Gorda
(see more here)

Cow Wreck Beach, Anegada, BVI
Cow Wreck Beach, Anegada
(see more here)

Loblolly Bay, Anegada, BVI
Loblolly Bay, Anegada
(see more here)

White Bay, Jost Van Dyke, BVI
White Bay, Jost Van Dyke
(see more here)

Sandy Cay, British Virgin Islands
Sandy Cay, British Virgin Islands
(see more here)

Sandy Spit, British Virgin Islands
Sandy Spit, British Virgin Islands
(see more here)

Cane Garden Bay, Tortola, BVI
Cane Garden Bay
(see more here)

Smuggler's Cove, Tortola, BVI
Smuggler’s Cove, Tortola
(see more here)

Long Bay, Tortola, BVI
Long Bay , Tortola
(see more here)

How many of these beautiful BVI beaches have you had a chance to visit? Tell us about  it!

copyright©Rum Therapy 
Pictures and other content may not be re-used without written consent from Rum Therapy, LLC

Anitgua and Barbuda Beach Bar Trail

Well this could come in handy!

The Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority has released a Beach Bar Trail Map which highlights some of the best beaches and hotels on Antigua and it’s sister island Barbuda, AND beach bars – some of them well known and some local favorites.

antigua-and-barbuda-map-600-oBeach Bar Trail Map by Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority
Click here for an expandable version

 Some of these scenic bars are also a great place to sample authentic local cuisine and experience Antiguan culture. The inclusion of the hotels on the map makes it easy to see what beaches – and beach bars are in close proximity to where you will be staying.

dennis-new-logo-600-oRum Punch at Dennis Cocktail Bar & Restaurant overlooking Ffryes Beach

How many of the beaches and bars on the map have you had a chance to visit? Tell us about it!

 

For more information on Antigua and other island destinations, be sure to check out our Island Blog Directory

Copyright©Rum Therapy
Pictures and other content may not be re-used without written consent from Rum Therapy, LLC

 

7 Things to Do on Providenciales


Providenciales, the most developed and populated island in chain of islands called the Turks & Caicos, is home to some luxurious hotels and resorts and is fringed by some of the prettiest beaches in the world. Are you planning a trip to Provo? This list of  7 Things To Do on Providenciales might give you some ideas of what to do during your time there!

Taylor-Bay - copyright Rum Therapy

Beach
Boasting some of the prettiest beaches in the  world, including the highly ranked Grace Bay Beach, spending some time on one of Provo’s gorgeous beaches is the top thing to do on our list. See photos of a few of our favorites and read more in our post “The Stunning Beaches of Providenciales“.

Leeward Beach - copyright Rum TherapyPelican Beach at (part of Leeward Beach)

Eat
Whether looking for fine or casual dining on Provo, you’ll find a variety of restaurants and bars to suit your taste. Conch and seafood, in all manner of preparation, is served at many different establishments. One of our favorites? A restaurant called Mr. Grouper’s. The Coconut Crusted Grouper and Blackened Grouper were recommended by a friend and after ordering both, we decided to go back again later in the week for another go-round. Delicious!

Mr Grouper's Restaurant - copyright Rum TherapyCoconut Crusted Grouper at Mr. Grouper’s

Drink

With a plethora of gorgeous beaches, you’d certainly guess there are great beach bars to be found on Provo and you’d be right. Da Conch Shack & RumBar, Bugaloo’s Conch Crawl, Kalooki’s Beach Restaurant and Bar and Somewhere Café & Lounge are great selections – each on a beautiful beach, but there are others bars to check out as well, such as the 90 ft long Infiniti Bar at Grace Bay Club – touted as the longest bar in the Caribbean and Jimmy’s Dive Bar in Ports of Call. Be sure to sample the local made Turks Head Beer and Bambarra Rum.

Drinks at Bugaloo's - copyright Rum TherapyRum Drinks at Bugaloo’s Conch Crawl

Golf
Hit the links at the Provo Golf Club and enjoy a round of golf on an 18 hole championship golf course that is voted consistently within the top ten Caribbean golf courses.

Provo-Golf Club - copyright Rum TherapyProvo Golf Club

Shop

There are some very nice shops in and around Ports of Call and Grace Bay offering a variety of gift, art, locally  made and luxury items. Our favorite place to pick up souvenirs for friends & family at home? Mama’s Gift Shop in Ports of Call. Run by two sisters from North Caicos, you are sure to get good service and a friendly chat from Mama #1 or Mama #2 while shopping!

Mamas Gift Shop - copyright Rum TheapyMama #2 at Mama’s Gift Shop

Explore
Other things to explore on Provo?
1. The Caicos Conch Farm where you can take a 30 minute tour that will teach you about the life cycle of the conch and where you can se many thousands of Caribbean Queen Conch growing the facilities ponds.
2. Chalk Sound – take a scenic drive around the amazing turquoise water of Chalk Sound National Park.
3. Snorkel at the Bight Reef or Smith’s Reef, or snorkel on a boat excursion – the underwater life is beautiful!
4. Take an excursion to neighboring cays such as Little Water Cay and Half Moon Bay

Conch-Farm - copyright Rum TherapyCaicos Conch Farm

Experience
There are so many more things to experience during your vacation in Providenciales, Turks & Caicos, but we’ll leave you with two more. The Thursday Fish Fry, held at the Bight Park from 5:30-9:30 is an excellent place to enjoy  food and drink from several local restaurants, local arts & crafts and live music & entertainment.
One last thing to experience on Providenciales? A sunset. Sunsets from many areas on the north part of the island are simply spectacular and the perfect way to cap a perfect day on the island.

Pelican Point Sunset - ccopyright Rum TherapySunset at Pelican Reef

Have you been to Providenciales? Tell us about it!

Find many of these attractions on our Turks & Caicos Map

 To see more posts on Turks & Caicos and other islands, check out our Island Blog Directory

 Copyright©Rum Therapy
Pictures and other content may not be re-used without written consent from Rum Therapy, LLC

The Stunning Beaches of Providenciales, Turks & Caicos

If you ask anyone that has visited the island of Providenciales in beautiful Turks & Caicos what they think of the beaches, you’ll probably get an enthusiastic thumbs up. From the very well known Grace Bay Beach which is frequently included on lists of “Top Beaches”, to some of the lesser known and less visited beaches, the stunning beaches of Providenciales are sure to leave an impression on you.

Leeward Beach, copyright Rum Therapy

Unfortunately one week was just not enough time to fully explore every beach on the island (after all, we had to reserve some time to check out the impressive list of great bars & beach bars on island too!), so we will just give the lowdown on what Provo beaches we’ve gotten to see so far. Be sure to leave a comment below with any others that you’ve enjoyed.

Check out our Turks & Caicos Island Map to find the locations of these beaches.

Grace-Bay Beach - copyright Rum Therapy

Grace Bay Beach
Frequently listed as one of the Top Beaches in the world, this very long stretch of stunning white sand and turquoise blue water is a beach lover’s paradise. Many of the major resorts and accommodations in Provo are found along this stretch  of beach.

Grace-Bay Beach - copyright Rum Therapy
The Bight Beach
Although it seems just like a continuation of Grace Bay Beach, The Bight Beach is west of Grace Bay along the same stretch of sand. The Bight Beach is best known for it’s snorkeling with a good amount of lush sea grass just off the shore.

Somewhere-Beach-Bar - copyright Rum Therapy
A view of The Bight Beach from Somewhere Café & Lounge

Leeward Beach
Heading east from Grace Bay you will find another long and beautiful expanse of white sand beach called the Leeward Beach. We read that from Leeward Beach it is possible to walk 7 miles of beach passing Grace Bay and The Bight Beach and ending at Turtle Cove. We originally thought that Pelican Beach was a separate beach on the northeast side, but found it included in Leeward Beach in some maps.

Pelican-Beach-copyright Rum Therapy
Pelican Beach (part of Leeward Beach)

Pelican-Beach - copyright Rum Therapy
Sapodilla Bay
Heading down to the south part of Provo, Sapodilla Bay lies on the Caicos Banks side of the island adjacent from Chalk Sound. With blue, shallow, calm, clear water, it’s a pretty place to pull up a beach towel and enjoy a quiet afternoon in the sun.

Sapodilla-Bay - copyright Rum Therapy
Sapodilla-Bay - copyright Rum Therapy
Taylor Bay
Not far from Sapodilla Bay is another pretty, shallow bay called Taylor Bay. Taylor Bay is very shallow for yards out into the band has a long expanse of white sand that is perfect for walking. Parking is very limited next to the path that opens up to the bay.

Taylor-Bay copyright Rum Therapy
Taylor-Bay copyright Rum Therapy

Have you spent time at a beach on Provo? Tell us about it!

Find these beaches on our Turks & Caicos Island Map

To see more posts on Turks & Caicos and other islands, check out our Island Blog Directory

Copyright©Rum Therapy
Pictures and other content may not be re-used without written consent from Rum Therapy, LLC

The Beautiful Beaches of Tortola

When you think of Tortola, the largest island of the British Virgin Island chain, do you think of the place you meet to embark on your BVI sailing adventure? Do you think of bustling Road Town or the picturesque Soper’s Hole? Do you think of a stop on the ferry on the way to another island? Perhaps Full Moon Parties?

For whatever reason, Tortola is known for many things, but not always it’s beaches – which really is surprising. Tortola has some stunning beaches. The best beaches are found on Tortola’s North and West sides and range from wide swaths of soft, light colored sand to beaches with some of the best surfing in the area. Because many face north, some can really rock ‘n roll when there’s a north swell, but on calm days they can be downright tranquil.

Long-Bay-Beach copyright Rum Therapy

Although Brewer’s Bay and Josiah’s Bay are both beautiful Northside beaches that should probably be on a “best of Tortola” list, we’ve seen them only by boat (We won’t talk about that time we rented a Jeep while staying on island and the adventure we had trying to get there. Have we mentioned that parts of Tortola are hilly and VERY steep?). Anyway, for the purposes of this post, we’ll cover just the Tortola beaches we’ve actually gotten to stick our toes in – so far.

Long Bay – West

Long-Bay-Beach copyright Rum Therapy
Long-Bay-Beach copyright Rum Therapy
Long Bay is a “long” stretch of powdery, light colored sand on the west end of Tortola. Long Bay Beach Club occupies a portion of the lovely beach, but the several times we visited, we were one of the few walking along and enjoying the scenery. Good photo ops include the overlook of Long Bay from the road at Lower Bay Point and the western end of the beach with Belmont Point in the background. If Winston is bartending at his Nature Boy Beach Bar,  located on the beaches western end, be sure to stop in for a cold beer and some conversation.
Read more about Long Bay here.

Long Bay – East

Long-Bay-East copyright Rum Therapy
Long-Bay-East-copyright Rum Therapy
Not technically on Tortola, Long Bay East is on Beef Island, a small island separated from Tortola by the short Queen Elizabeth Bridge – close enough we thought, to be included on this list. Apparently it’s a favorite with locals on the weekends and why wouldn’t it be? With its white sand and calm water, it’d be a great place to enjoy that Tortola sunshine.

Apple Bay

Apple-Bay copyright Rum Therapy
Not far from Long Bay heading north, you’ll find Apple Bay, sometimes called Capoons Bay.

Apple-Bay copyright Rum Therapy
Apple Bay has a great view of Jost Van Dyke, is one of the premier surfing spots in the BVI and is home of the one and only Bomba Shack, where you can sit and sip a Rum Punch while checking out the scenery.

Smuggler’s Cove

Smuggler's-Cove copyright Rum Therapy
Smuggler’s Cove is on the westernmost tip of Tortola.

Smuggler's-Cove copyright Rum Therapy
With beautiful palms, a view of Jost Van Dyke and an arc of soft light sand, Smuggler’s Cove is one not to miss. It’s a little tricky to get to, but that seems to keep the crowd’s at bay. Read more about Smuggler’s Cove here.

Cane Garden Bay

Cane-Garden-Bay copyright Rum Therapy
A boater’s favorite, one could easily while away a few days in Cane Garden Bay just leisurely walking the beach, splashing in the calm water and enjoying food, drink and live music at several excellent beach bars. If that weren’t enough, there is also a rum distillery to tour within walking distance and a recycled glass studio to enjoy. Read more about Cane Garden Bay here.

Cane-Garden-Bay copyright Rum Therapy
And to top it off, Cane Garden Bay has some of the best sunsets in the BVI.

If you haven’t had the chance to enjoy some of Tortola’s beautiful beaches, make sure to check a few out next time you’re in the area!


Find all of these great beaches on our Tortola Map

To see more posts on Tortola and other islands, check out our Island Blog Directory

Copyright©Rum Therapy
Pictures and other content may not be re-used without written consent from Rum Therapy, LLC

Best of USVI Survey Results

 Thanks to all who took our survey on the “Best-Of St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix”. We hope the results of our Readers Choice survey will give people planning to visit one of these beautiful islands in the near future some ideas of what to do during that well deserved vacation. The results below are simply a compilation of the answers given by our readers based on what they’ve enjoyed while vacationing in the USVI and we do not endorse, nor discount any of the properties, restaurants, shops or attractions listed or not listed. We encourage you to continue to do your own research prior to your trip.

Some of the answers were eye-opening to us and after reading this, we’ve added a few things to our list to see and do during our next visit! Enjoy!

Magens-Bay-Overlook-(600)-O
St. Thomas

Best Beach on St. Thomas:
1. Magens Bay
2. Sapphire Beach
3. Coki Point
4. Bolongo Bay

Best Beach Bar/Island Bar on St. John:
1. Duffy’s Love Shack
2. Iggies
3. Big Kahuna Rum Shack
4. Island Time Pub

Best Rum Drink on St. Thomas:
1. Painkiller
2. Bushwacker
3. Banana Daiquiri
4. VooDoo Juice

Best Restaurant on St. Thomas:
1. Sunset Grille
2. Fish Tails
3. Banana Tree Grille
4. Mafolie

Best Hotel/Resort on St. Thomas:
1. Bolongo Bay Beach Resort
2. Marriot’s Frenchman’s Reef & Morning Star Beach Resort
3. The Ritz-Carlton
4. Dreams Sugar Bay
Write ins with multiple votes: Mafolie Hotel, Bluebeards Castle

Best Villa/Condo Rental in St. Thomas:
1. Slice of Heaven, Magens Bay
2. Sapphire Beach Condos – write ins
3. Point Pleasant – write ins
4. Brigadoon – Red Hook

Best Shop or Boutique on St. Thomas:
1. Pirates in Paradise
2. Bones Rum
3. Native Arts & Crafts Cooperative
Write ins with multiple votes: Fish Face, Caribbean Surf Co.

Best Souvenir to bring home from St. Thomas:
1. Bones Rum
2. Larimar Jewelry
Write ins with multiple votes: Hook Bracelet, Cruzan Rum

Best attraction to experience in St. Thomas:
1. Coral World Ocean Park & Undersea Observatory
2. Skyride to Paradise Point
3. Mountain Top
4. Tree Limin’ Extreme
Write ins with multiple votes: Great House Botanical Gardens, Drake’s Seat, Magens Bay


Salomon-(600)-O

St. John

Best Beach on St. John:
1. Trunk Bay
2. Cinnamon Bay
3. Maho Bay
4. Salomon and Honeymoon
Write in with multiple votes: Gibney

Best Beach  Bar/Island Bar on St. John:
1. The Beach Bar
2. Skinny Legs
3. Woody’s
4. Joe’s Rum Hut

Best Rum Drink  on St. John:
1. Painkiller
2. Bushwhacker
3. Rum Punch
Write ins with multiple votes: Mojito and Island Girl from Joe’s Rum Hut, Lime in de Coconut

Best Restaurant on St. John:
1. The Lime Inn
2. Cruz Bay Landing
3. The Banana Deck
4. The Terrace Restaurant
Write in with multiple votes: The Fish Trap

Best Place to Stay on St. John:
1. Private Villa: There were more write ins on this one than votes on the entries posted. Most of the write ins were for private villas with no specific name mentioned with the exception of Villa Mar de Amores and Villa St. John.
2. Westin St. John Resort & Villas
3. Caneel Bay Resort
4. Gallow’s Point Resort

Best Shop or Boutique on St. John:
1. St. John Spice
2. Bougainvillea
3. Coconut Coast Studios
Write ins with multiple votes: Sloop Jones, Caravan, Freebird, Bamboo Studio

Best Souvenir to bring home from St. John:
1. St. John Hook Bracelet
2. Cruz Bay Grill Rub from St. John Spice
3. A Hand Painted Shirt from Sloop Jones
Write ins with multiple votes: T-shirt from The Beach Bar, Larimar Jewelry, rum, a good suntan

Best Attraction to Experience on St. John:
1. Snorkeling the trail at Trunk Bay
2. Snorkeling at Waterlemon Cay
3. Hiking anywhere in the VI National Park
Write ins with  multiple votes: Drunk Bay, Exploring the town of Cruz Bay

 Shoy's-Beach-(600)-O

St Croix

Best Beach on St. Croix:
1. Sandy Point Beach
2. Rainbow Beach
3. Cane Bay Beach
4. Sandcastle Beach
Write ins with multiple votes: Buck Island Beach

Best Beach Bar/Island Bar on St. Croix:
1. Rhythms at Rainbow Beach
2. Rum Runners
3. eat @ cane bay
4. Off the Wall
Write ins with multiple votes: Beachside Café

Best Rum Drink  on St. Croix
1. Painkiller
2. Cruzan Confusion
3. Green Flash
Write ins with multiple votes: Lime in de Coconut

Best restaurant on St Croix:
1. Polly’s On the Pier
2. Rowdy Joes
3. The Waves at Cane Bay
4. Galangal
Write ins with multiple votes: Duggans Reef, Rum Runners, LeReine Chicken Shack, eat @ cane bay

Best place to stay on St. Croix:
1. TIE: Renaissance St. Croix Carambola Beach Resort & Spa and Sand Castle on the Beach
2. The Buccaneer
3. Divi Carina Bay Beach Resort
Write ins with multiple votes: Cottages by the Sea, Condo Rental

Best shop or boutique on St. Croix:
1. Sonya Ltd
2. Purple Papaya
3. ib designs
4. From the Gecko Boutique
Write ins with multiple votes: Franklins on the Waterfront

Best Souvenir to bring home from St. Croix:
1. St. Croix Hook Bracelet
2. Cruzan Rum
3. Chaney Jewelry

Best attraction to experience on St. Croix:
1. Catamaran Sail to Buck Island
2. Kayaking at night in a bioluminescent bay
3. Point Udall
4. Beer drinking pigs at Montpellier Domino Club
5. Cruzan Rum Factory Tour
Write ins with multiple votes: dive the wall, dive or snorkel the pier, Jump Up Festival, St. George Village Botanical Gardens

To read more about these and other islands, be sure to check our Blog Directory by Island

Copyright©Rum Therapy
Pictures and other content may not be re-used without written consent from Rum Therapy, LLC

5 Days on Staniel Cay, Part 1 – The Beaches

Staniel Cay, a small island in the middle of the Exuma Cays, a chain of beautiful islands and cays in the Bahamas, is a hub for the area because of the amenities it offers: a small airstrip, three grocery stores, three restaurants, a clinic, church, marina, gas and a variety of accommodations.

We got to spend 5 days on this lovey island (thanks to Embrace Resort), which is only about a square mile in size and home to about 100 people. What’s it like to stay on a small island, or cay such as Staniel Cay?

Bench on the beach - copyright Rum Therapy
Well, if you like spending lots of time on beautiful deserted beaches, if you like an island where on-island transportation is via golf carts, bicycles or walking, if you don’t mind that there’s really only one nightspot – but it’s a good one, if you enjoy getting to know the locals and other visitors to the island by name, and if you don’t mind “island time”, you would probably love Staniel Cay. We absolutely did.

Flamingo Air - copyright Rum Therapy
Our arrival from Nassau was by Flamingo Air on a very small plane that seated about 8 – less if the passengers have much to carry on. The views over the Exuma Cays were spectacular and we could hardly wait to land and start exploring.

Exumas from the airplane - copyright Rum Therapy
From the moment we set foot on Staniel Cay, we felt welcomed. Smiles and greetings from everyone – even other visitors were abundant and we quickly started to relax and get on island time ourselves.

Welcome to Staniel Cay - copyright Rum Therapy
Our first day or so was spent exploring the island by foot and golf cart. What’s there to see? We’ll show you!

Beaches…
 Exuma is known for its stunning beaches and sandbars and there are secluded ones around every corner in the chain of cays, but if you don’t want to leave Staniel Cay, there are several great ones right on island to explore, such as,

Ocean Beach - copyright Rum Therapy
Ocean Beach.
On the east side of the island, you can access this long expanse of beautiful sand from the bluff above it. We took our golf cart, parked at the top of the bluff and walked down to the beach.

Ocean Beach - copyright Rum Therapy
Once on the beach, you can find just the perfect secluded spot to spend the day. As you can see, you won’t be competing for a little space.

Ocean Beach - copyright Rum Therapy
The surf was very calm the two days we visited and we spent a lot of time in the water snorkeling and floating, but I imagine it could get rough on stormy or windy days due to its orientation.

Ocean Beach - copyright Rum Therapy
Find all of these beaches marked on the Staniel Cay map below.

Staniel-Cay-Map2---Beaches-(600)-)
Another beach that we really enjoyed was Pirate Trap Beach.

Pirate Trap Beach - copyright Rum Therapy
The beach itself is not huge and varies with the tide, but the views from the cove are stunning and the water was calm and great for swimming when we were there.

Pirate Trap Beach - copyright Rum Therapy
Although the Ocean Beach and Pirate Trap Beach were our favorites, there were several other beaches on island that are worth exploring.

Ho-Tai-Cay---copyright
Ho Tai Cay was a bit hard to find, but had a nice little park with picnic tables, a tire swing and a volleyball net in the water. The beach is located on an inlet on the islands southeast side and gets very low during low tide, but is probably always calm due to its location.

Ho Tai Cay - copyright Rum Therapy
Just over the hill from the park was another beach that we believe was the upper edge of the South Beaches. We couldn’t find a public access path to the South Beaches (beside this little area) as the beach is dotted with private homes, but it looks like another beautiful area.

Ho Tai Cay - copyright Rum Therapy
And last, but certainly not least – the beach next to the Staniel Cay Yacht Club. It was calm and fairly shallow. Looked like a perfect place to kayak or SUP.

SCYC Beach - copyright Rum Therapy
Did we do anything other than visit beaches during our stay on Staniel Cay. Yep.
Check out Part 2 – The Island and Part 3 – Off  the Cay. We’ll let you know the other fun things we got to experience on this beautiful cay!

Find Staniel Cay and its beaches on our Bahamas Map

To see more posts on the Bahamas and other islands, check out our Island Blog Directory

 Copyright©Rum Therapy
Pictures and other content may not be re-used without written consent from Rum Therapy, LLC

A Day Trip to Vieques

A few days after our day trip to Culebra (read “A Day Trip to Culebra” here), we headed back to Fajardo to board the ferry to the other main Spanish Virgin Island – Vieques. Vieques lies about 8 miles east of Puerto Rico, and is an easy ferry ride from the mainland. Although there were a few raindrops on our ride over, we were greeted with a full day of warm sunshine upon our arrival.

copyright Rum Therapy
Wanting to explore as much of the island as we could in a day, we rented a Jeep from a small car rental agency just a few blocks away from the ferry.

So what did we do during our day on Vieques?

Vieques is known for its beautiful beaches, and our goal was to see as many on the south side as possible. We left Isabel Segunda and headed down island, entered the US Fish and Wildlife Reserve on the east side and took the road as far as we could. There are still some areas of Vieques off limits due to the cleanup of former military exercises (see a brief history here) and several of the beaches in this area were closed during our visit. It was a pretty, but bumpy ride through the Reserve and the area had an abundance of horses roaming around.

copyright Rum Therapy
We got a chance to peek at several beaches, including Pata Prieta, Red Beach (or Caracas Beach), Navio Beach, Media Luna and Sun Bay. Our favorites that day?

copyright Rum Therapy
Media Luna because it was shallow, sandy and calm…

copyright Rum Therapy
And Sun Bay. A beautiful long expanse of tan sand with calm clear water. Sun Bay also had a small restaurant/bar/gift shop and a bunch of wild horses meandering the area around the beach.

copyright Rum Therapy
copyright Rum Therapy
copyright Rum Therapy
After an hour or two in the surf and sun, we wandered into the small beachside town of Esparanza. The town was quiet and laid back – just the type of town we could see ourselves hanging around for a while. Thirsty, we stopped at a colorful place called Bananas for a beverage.

copyright Rum Therapy
Rum Punches were the Happy Hour special, so we ordered a couple.

copyright Rum Therapy
The drinks were delicious and the view across the street wasn’t bad either.

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We could have stuck around Bananas enjoying a few more cocktails and chatting with the locals and other visitors, but we were determined to find the black sand beach – and headed west. We took a hike down to the beach on a dry river bed and spent a couple of minutes enjoying the contrast of colors with the sand and the cliffs.

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The afternoon was flying by and we started back to Isabel Segunda to return the Jeep. We made a stop at Al’s Mar Azul (read more) to grab some dinner and a drink and enjoy a phenomenal sunset before heading back the the ferry for our ride back to the mainland.

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As wonderful as our day on Vieques was, we just couldn’t squeeze everything we wanted to see into just one day, including more beach time, time to roam around some of the towns to check out the local shops, restaurants and bars, learn more about the history of the island, enjoy more wild horse sightings and take an evening excursion through the Bioluminescent Bay. Another visit of several days or more will remain on “our list”!

Have you been to Vieques? Tell us about it!

 Find Vieques on our Puerto Rico Map


To see more island posts, check out our Island Blog Directory

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What to See and Do in Cruz Bay, St. John

Cruz Bay is the active, yet laid back main town and port of St. John, US Virgin Islands. Here you will find most of the islands stores and restaurants and visitor services such as taxis and car rentals.

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Ferry Dock in Cruz Bay, St. John

Passenger ferries from either Charlotte Amalie or Red Hook on St. Thomas arrive and depart from the dock in Cruz Bay, bringing many people to the island throughout the day.  See ferry schedules here. Many people head directly for one of St. John’s gorgeous beaches and spend very little time in Cruz Bay, but if you have the time, there are many great things to experience right here.

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View of beautiful Cruz Bay

We’ve had the pleasure of visiting Cruz Bay quite a few times, and although we’ve yet to experience all that this fun & funky town has to offer, we’ve listed a few of our favorite attractions to date. Feel free to leave a comment below with some of your favorite things to see and do while visiting Cruz Bay, St. John.

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Map of Cruz Bay, St. John, USVI

We’ve highlighted a few of our favorite stops (so far) on the map above.

Upon arrival at the ferry dock, we usually head straight for the wonderful smelling St. John Spice, which can be found on the second floor of the building just to the right as you leave the dock.

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St. John Spice, Cruz Bay

Here you can find all sorts of spices, Cruz Bay Grill Rub, coffee, local cookbooks, island gifts, and island wear. St. John Spice also has a webcam that gives a real time view of the ferry dock and beautiful Cruz Bay. Tell your family and friends to watch for you as you enjoy yourself in paradise!

If you’ve worked up a thirst (or appetite) already, there are three great beach bar/restaurants right at the waters edge. High Tide, Joe’s Rum Hut and The Beach Bar all offer slightly different menus and drinks and all are great places to hang out, chat with locals and visitors, listen to some live music and admire the scenery.

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High Tide, Bar and Seafood Grill

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Joe’s Rum Hut

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The Beach Bar

From there we always try to make a stop at the Pink Papaya, a Caribbean Style Gallery that specializes in unique and unusual Caribbean style gifts including fine painting and jewelry from local artists.

A little more walking and we’re usually ready for a Love City Smoothie from Our Market Smoothies.
Cognac, Passionfruit, Strawberry and Rum – cold and delicious!

Want information on St. John National Parks? After all, much of this beautiful island has been designated as a National Park. Find out how to explore it at the National Park Service Visitor Center.

More shopping? No problem! Mongoose Junction on north side of Cruz Bay is a beautiful complex of intimate shops, restaurants and services. A few of our favorites here are:

Bajo el SolArt Gallery – featuring the works of several local artists.

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The Tap Room

The Tap Room – have you heard of St. John Brewers? Check out some of the tasty local beer crafted by Kevin and Cheech at this Island Microbrewery & Brew Pub.

Sun Dog Cafe – casual dining and a really good Sunday Brunch

Arawak Expeditions – looking for adventure? Check out their kayak, paddleboard, fly fish and snorkel expeditions!

Still have more time to explore? Here are a few more places that are on our Cruz Bay to-do list:

The Elaine Ione Sprauve Library & Museum – Find a great deal of information on St. John, the other American and British Virgin Islands and the Caribbean in general.

Quiet Mon’ Pub –  the best Island Irish Pub around!

Woody’s Seafood Saloon – good food and a great place to hang out!

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Cruz Bay, St. John

Whew. There you have it. Just a few ideas of what to see and do in Cruz Bay, St. John to help you plan for your next visit.

Tell us – What are some of your favorite Cruz Bay attractions?


Find Cruz Bay on our St. John Map

To see more posts on St. John and other islands, check out our Island Blog Directory

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Pictures and other content may not be re-used without written consent from Rum Therapy, LLC