The incredible beauty of St. John will leave you breathless. The entire island, from the forested hills to the glistening sapphire waters, is a treasure. The Virgin Islands National Park encompasses a large portion of the land and surrounding waters and it is the Park that is the island’s main attraction. St. John is very easy to explore. One road runs across the center of the island and another along the north shore. Driving or hiking around the island will lead you through lush forest, over mountaintops and along lovely coastlines and beaches.
Shopping & Dining
Within minutes of Estate Zootenvaal there are many fun and colorful boutiques and places to shop. Eight restaurants offer local color, live music and a variety of island cuisine.
Rent a boat and plan your own itinerary; stop at a few snorkeling spots, have a nice picnic on a deserted beach or a fun family trip to a neighboring island. Boat rental operators will provide directions and advice on good locations to visit.
Day Charters (Snorkel Trips, BVI Excursions, Sunset Sails)
Enjoying the magnificent waters around St. John will be the highlight of your vacation. Sail or motor into quiet coves, snorkel beautiful reefs and just bask in the delightfully warm sun and tropical breezes. Or take a sunset sail and enjoy the tranquil beauty and romance of Caribbean evenings.
Rent a dinghy for a fun day of exploring on your own. You can beach hop or pick a few snorkeling spots to visit. Take a packed lunch and drinks and you are all set. Dinghy rental operators will provide you with instructions, directions and advice on places to go.
Eco-Tours & Park Adventures
Explore the wonderful natural environment around St. John by taking a guided kayak, hobie catamaran, hiking or snorkeling adventure trip into ecologically fascinating areas and through the Virgin Islands National Park. Tours typically include a guide that describes history, ecology and fauna as you go along.
Some 21 world records in fishing have been set in recent years in the Virgin Islands; evidence of the amazing experiences that are in store for anglers! Take an offshore fishing charter and test your luck at catching a marlin or enjoy a few hours of inshore fishing for snook and bonefish.
The Virgin Islands (USVI and BVI) are made up of more than 120 islands and cays. There are eight inhabited islands, four in the U.S. Virgin Islands and four in the British Virgin Islands. Each island has it’s own unique atmosphere. Ferry service and inter-island air travel makes island hopping possible.
Arrangements can be made to have Kayaks delivered directly to our private beach at Estate Zootenvaal. From our beach you can explore all the natural beauty that the East End of St. John has to offer.
Learn to Sail
Interested in enjoying the waters around St. John and want to feel the exhilarating rush of knowing how to sail whether on a basic level or advanced. You can, sailing lessons are available on St. John and on St. Thomas, which is just a short ferry ride from St. John. Courses include different levels from basic to advanced.
Explore corals and forests of sea fans. Swim among turtles, parrotfish, blue tangs and so much more. Dive operators are familiar with the various dive locations and can safely guide you to and around them. They can take you out for the first time, teach you to dive, get you certified and instruct you for higher levels of dive certification.
Our Estate Zootenvaal manager will provide you with masks, flippers and snorkels for a nominal fee. With the use of a mask and snorkel you can float on the surface and admire marine life below or super snorkel and explore from under water. View gorgeous coral reefs and an abundance of fish.
Surfing, Windsurfing & Kitesurfing (or Kiteboarding)
While many people come to the Virgin Islands for beaches, snorkeling, sailing, scuba diving and a great number of other water sports, the waters around the islands also beckon surfers to challenge the waves and winds!
Whales migrating from the North Atlantic are sometimes seen in the waters around the Virgin Islands (roughly December through March). The humpback whale being the most popular. Educational whale watching excursions are typically announced by environmental groups a few weeks prior to their intended outing. Such tours are most popular around February-March.
Culture / Local Events
Culture in the Virgin Islands is Caribbean meets American, so plan on enjoying it by taking in a local event, trying local food or listening to a local band perform. You might plan your visit around Carnival or during a Jazz or Blues Festival.
Tennis courts are available at island resorts and non-guests often are allowed to pay a fee and use the courts. There are public courts in Cruz Bay.
The Virgin Islands National Park is located on St. John and it offers over 20 hiking trails. They vary in length and difficulty.
Enjoy a horseback ride during your stay at Estate Zootenvaal. Take a sunset or full moon ride through semi-dry forest trails. Trail rides are just minutes away from Zoot and typically last 2-3 hours.
Island Tours ~ Scenic Drives
St. John has several lookout points that provide stunning views, historic sugar plantation ruins, scenic drives and the gorgeous scenery of the Virgin Islands National Park. How you take it all in is up to you. The most popular option is an island tour by taxi, but you can also rent a car and take a self guided driving tour.
Spas are available at resorts; they offer massages, body wraps, facials and an assortment of other services to help you pamper yourself while on island. Private masseuses are also available.
Get a bird’s eye view of St. Thomas and St. John and perhaps neighboring islands on an aerial tour! Aerial tours are available on St. Thomas by helicopter and on Cessna aircrafts. The pilot will point out popular sights and areas. An excellent option for photographers! Tours can range from 20 minutes to one hour and range in price from $99 to $120 a person.
Parasailing is a high-flying sport and offers a great way to view the islands from the air and the sea. Parasailers sit in a harness attached to a parachute that lifts off from a boat deck. Soon the person is sailing high in the air, soaring to heights of 500 feet.