We just returned from spring break 2016 and I’m excited to record all the details about our trip. We took a cruise through the Southern Caribbean, hitting a number of islands. The first island was St. Croix.
I was lucky when it came to finding things to do in St. Croix because not only do I know a lot of people who have been to St. Croix, but I have one friend who lived there for a while. So I was able to get some good insider information.
When we cruise, I like to do some scheduled excursions, and some stuff on our own. Usually we like adventuring on our own better than the arranged tours, and since we had some tips on what to do in St. Croix, I booked a rental car (at Budget, right off the ship pier – $60) and planned to spend the day out and about on our own.
While looking for things to do, I definitely was looking for something that was cheap. A seven-day cruise gets pricey when you add in airfare and excursions, so since this was an “on our own” trip, I wanted something that wasn’t going to be costly.
The hike to the Annalay Bay Tide Pools was just that! It wasn’t just cheap, it was free. I like free!
We drove to the Carambola Beach Club where we first had a drink and some snacks before our hike. The restaurant there overlooks the ocean, there was live Caribbean music playing, and the service was great. Afterward, we walked around the property past the basketball courts, past the tennis courts, and then over a wooden bridge to start our hike. On our walk to the trailhead, an employee pulled up next to us in a golf cart, asked if we were going on the hike, made sure we were headed in the right direction, told us we’d love it, and said, “No fallin’ down now!” So nice.
Upon researching this hike, everything we were reading told us that it was best to take a trained guide, that it was a treacherous hike. But we are seasoned hikers, and we were pretty sure we could handle it. It was a long hike, often times steep, sometimes muddy and slippery, and you have to climb over boulders at the end. It was a strenuous hike for sure and took us almost an hour to get there. The views along the way were awesome though.
On the last section when you get to where the tide pools are, you have to climb over some steep rocks and you will get wet! Plan accordingly. But once you get in, the water is crystal clear and beautiful. Sometimes waves would splash over the outcropping of rock that creates the tide pools which is really fun. When we got to the tide pools, we were the only ones there. We had our own little paradise.
We splashed around for a while, swam in the tide pools and looked at the views. If you have water shoes, this is a good place to bring them because it was very rocky. We all wore our sandals in the water.
After swimming for a while, knowing we still had an hour hike back plus a drive back to the ship, we decided we had better get started drying off. While we were getting dried off, some locals came climbing in over the walls. One of them immediately asked where we were from, how long we were staying on the island, etc. We told him we were only there for the day from the ship. His response was this, “Come back.” And he said that sincerely, with a tone that I felt implied that he loved his island and really wanted to share it with us. He told us the people of St. Croix were very friendly and loved tourists.
And that was very representative of all the people we met in St. Croix. Everyone was friendly, everyone seemed happy we were there. (Also, everyone we met was beautiful and I don’t know if that’s something in the water or what. Seriously, beautiful people here.)
We climbed back over the rocks and began the long hike back. It was a great hike, and I highly recommend it. We saw other families with kids on the trail, and even one dad carrying a baby on his chest (which I wouldn’t recommend).
Tip: Bring towels, water shoes or waterproof sandals, and plenty of water.
Tip: They drive on the left in St. Croix.