Not just an idyllic spot for swimmers and sunbathers, this picturesque bay is also popular with a raft of colorful marine creatures.
Escape the crowds and unwind in style at beautiful Maho Beach, located at Maho Bay. Snorkel or swim in the clear, calm water and look for turtles nibbling on sea grass beneath you.
The obvious aesthetic appeal of this picture-perfect beach means it can get relatively busy, though generally not overcrowded, during high season between mid-December and mid-April. Arrive early and find your own tranquil patch to sit on and enjoy the scenery. Lie under the warm, tropical sun or shelter from the midday heat beneath the towering palm trees that reach over the sand.
Relax and gaze out at sea or amble along the soft sands, letting the gentle waves lap at your feet. Maho Bay takes its name from the native beach maho tree. See if you can see any of these trees growing on the shore; they can be identified by their heart-shaped leaves and yellow and purple flowers.
If you haven’t yet spent much time in the tropical waters that surround the island, this is the perfect place to take the plunge. Wade into the gently shelving shoreline, which makes this a safe, fun place to swim. The water is usually calm.
Bring snorkeling gear with you to explore the vibrant coral beds just offshore. Admire a plethora of underwater dwellers, including rays and small nurse sharks as well as starfish and anemones. Be on alert for turtles swimming nearby; they graze on the sea grass that grows in the shallows. Come early in the morning or during the late afternoon for the best chance to see these fascinating marine creatures up-close.
Maho Beach is on the north shore of St. John, about a 20-minute drive east of Cruz Bay. The beach is part of the Virgin Islands National Park. Parking is available close by. The beach is always open and has no admission fee.