If you’ve never been to St John, you’ll surely be looking for local information on how to get to and around St. John. But even if you’ve been here several times, there is still a valuable FAQ gathered here in this St John USVI travel guide to help make vacation planning & time on the island go smoothly, like a Pro.
You can find things like Jeep/SUV rental; car and foot ferry info; taxis St John; where to get cash; as well as weather & emergency #s. Scroll through our list to jump directly to your section of interest. If you are looking for fun & activities in St John, you are probably looking for the page, Things to Do and can click here.
WHICH AIRPORT TO GET TO ST JOHN?
- St. Thomas USVI (airport code STT)
- PRO TIP: Don’t try to fly to the BVIs in order to get to the USVI in the same day. Unless you plan on spending, a night or two in the BVI before your stay in USVI, you will not make it on time to the USVI on the same day (in other words it is not a shortcut).
- No. But you will need at least a driver’s license.
- Beginning May 7, 2025, every air traveler 18 years of age and older will need a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license, state-issued enhanced driver’s license, or another acceptable form of ID to fly within the United States.
- Alternatively, you can use a passport card.
WHAT TO PACK – Clothing/Cash
- PRO Tip – PACK LIGHT! – BACKPACK IT if you can – Many people find that they could have packed half of what they did. So you don’t need any fancy shoes, and not many dresses at all. Speaking of backpacks, so you can hike hands free …you’ll find an insulated backpack cooler and ice-sticks here at your St John villa rental!
- IT’s CASUAL! – “Casual” means t-shirts/shorts/flip-flops go in almost any setting here.
- SHOES – Similarly you won’t need much here – only two pairs: 1) a pair of flip flops for the sand and, 2) a good pair of sneaker sandals/water shoes like ‘Keens’ are especially useful for hiking and for walking some beaches here which are rocky. There are some good snorkel spots with rocky beaches – We wear Keens to walk right over the rocks, to protect our feet from a sea urchin here or there, and keep wearing them during our swim along with snorkel masks so its easy to get in and out of the water. I.e., High heals are neither practical or seen much here.
- *Bathing suits without at least a cover-up are typically not ok to wear in stores or restaurants (not unless you are literally at a beach bar).
Cash and Credit Cards
Get cash in small bills BEFORE your flight.
- $100 and $50 bills aren’t great here. Seems like everyone brings them, but they aren’t always easy to make change. For that reason, prior to your flight break down $100 and $50 bills to smaller denominations. It will be faster and easier.
- ATMs – on island are very limited.
- CASH-ONLY is common.
- Shuttle Buses from the airport, the Car Ferry, Safari taxis = Small bills mean you don’t have to wait in line as the taxi driver tries to make change for every customer. Again, NO UBER or LYFT in USVI so if you need any rides, it’s cash.
- Some restaurants and some businesses are CASH-ONLY.
- Handy for tips. Most businesses either don’t want to make change, or they are also limited on small change on hand.
- Credit Cards – leave American Express at home – since most businesses do not accept it here.
- ATMs are known to be few and far between on St Johns island, especially after you leave Cruz Bay. Also they tend to be an unreliable source of cash as the machine may often be out of cash.
- For these reasons, bring a stash of your own cash with you before you get on island is a good idea.
- Fees can be high – typically $6 per withdrawal, plus your bank fee on top of that. The large stateside brands of banks don’t exist here so you will be paying about $6 in terminal fees to the bank here, plus whatever your bank stateside charges for the withdrawal.
- Do not expect ATMs at the beaches. That may sound funny to some, but really, people get to the beach then wonder where to find the ATM.
- ATM Locations on St John: There is one inside the gated Cruz Bay foot ferry terminal; One straight ahead on the street after getting off the foot ferry; One on the first street to your right after getting off the foot ferry; One at the Marketplace shopping center; One in Coral Bay (at the Dolphin Market).
- Here is a nice interactive map from Island Tidbits that shows the ATM machines listed below – The interactive map also shows other categories such as Grocery Stores & Markets – Gas Stations – Pharmacy – Free Parking – Paid Parking – Ferry & Barge Locations – Garbage Dumpsters.
- In the foot ferry seating area (Cruz Bay)
- Straight off the foot ferry (Cruz Bay, just after you pass Cruz Bay Landing Restaurant)
- Straight off the foot ferry (Cruz Bay, head right at the first street and it will right on that corner, across from High Tide Rest.)
- Parrot Club Casino (Cruz Bay, Wharfside Village)
- Mongoose Junction (Cruz Bay, Shopping Center)
- Westin Resort (Cruz Bay, lobby of resort – need a pass to get in)
- Dolphin Market (Cruz Bay, at the traffic circle)
- Merchants Bank (Cruz Bay, just up the hill from the Dolphin Market)
- First Bank (Cruz Bay, right next Starfish Market in that Shopping Center)
WHY YOU WILL NEED Your Own Transportation
- Having your own transportation is necessary. St. John is very car dependent. It really is the best way to get around St John. Please rent a vehicle. Keep Left! There is not a more important tip in this travel guide than this! NO bus route nor regular “yellow cab taxi” service to the beaches and the villa neighborhoods. Also, NO Uber, NO Lyft, NO on-demand ride services anywhere on the island. Taxi service mostly goes from the ferry to North Shore Beaches, so there are no taxi stations in local neighborhoods or town.
- If you choose not to book a rental car for St John, transportation on St John by “taxi” or private driver will not be cheaper; and, moreso will be more inconvenient and limiting. Many people love the adventure of exploring the island in their Jeep. Further, traditional taxi-style cars don’t exist on St John island. What would be considered a taxi on St John would be a “safari truck” (a multi-person, open-air truck that people climb into the back bed to ride). Guests may have difficulty getting a safari truck to come to and from a villa for just 2 people or could be waiting a long time for that safari truck to arrive.
- WHY A JEEP/SUV INSTEAD OF A CAR? Read on in the next section below to know a bit more about road conditions on this island.
ROAD CONDITIONS – St John
St. John’s island roads are mountainous, steep & curvy
- WHY A JEEP/SUV INSTEAD OF A CAR? St John is not a flat island by any means. St John is a rocky, volcanic island with steep terrain throughout the territory. For the most part selecting a car rental for exploring St John that has 4-WHEEL DRIVE, 4×4, Jeep, OR A HIGH WHEEL BASE IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for travel on St John as roads are mountainous throughout the island. Roads on St John may be steep, wet/slick, curvy, narrow or single-lane. Switchbacks and hairpin turns are common. Some roads may be rough and bumpy with unpaved, rock and dirt conditions (The road all the way to our villa is paved). Additionally, such vehicle such as described herein will be the most reliable to assist for greater traction in slippery or rough or uneven road conditions as well as for climbing steep terrain.
- Why not a car? A 4-cylinder sedan would generally not be the first choice of vehicle for St John, especially in slick or steep conditions. A vehicle that is not similar to that recommended herein may experience difficulties sliding down or spinning wheels up switchbacks. Even on the main beach road where you will do most of your driving has these conditions. FOR CLARIFICATION: The trip from a VAST majority of vacation rentals to most of St John Virgin Islands’ beaches, hikes, restaurants, stores, and attractions in St John are NOT accessible by an easy or quick walking distance – Caution on those accommodations who state that their location is walkable to town: It may be easy to walk DOWN hill from some accommodations, but walking back UPHILL could be grueling depending on an individual’s physical ability.
JEEP RENTAL COMPANIES IN ST JOHN
- Probably the number one question is where to book a rental vehicle.
- Booking a car rental in St John EARLY is important since demand is high. You will likely wind up with a Jeep or similar. Guests book either on St John or St Thomas.
- How much does car rental in St John or St Thomas cost? Rates of $75-$100+ are not uncommon on either island, as there are no major-brand car rental companies operating on the island. Firstly, the earlier you book the better your rate may be. The later you book, the greater the price will go up due to demand.
- We do not recommend any specific rental car company on St John or St Thomas. You can see a google map of St John Jeep rental company locations here. The map also shows a list. As you will see in the map, they are mostly clustered around the Cruz Bay Foot Ferry Terminal. You can also click this link to find a list of St John Jeep rental companies here.
CAR RENTAL – St John VS. St Thomas
ST JOHN CAR RENTAL – BENEFITS
- … You have car troubles, the Jeep company is here on St John to help you, or if need-be switch vehicles for you;
- … One or more car ferries are down for maintenance you don’t have to wait in a huge line of cars backed up at the St Thomas parking lot sitting and waiting to get to St John. Also, possible long lines at car barge from St John back to St Thomas on the day you need to catch a flight;
- … You have a later flight, you can still get on the foot ferry (which runs later then the car ferry) to get to your car rental and to your villa rental for the night. This may save you the hassle of possibly the next day having to backtrack to cross over islands to get the Jeep in St Thomas (this would also involve taxi charges or ride service to get to and from the villa for the night and again the next day);
- … Unexpected delays (flights, traffic) on your date of arrival, you can still get to St John by foot ferry but otherwise the car ferry may be shut down for the evening. For example: your flight gets in too late, not only may not be able to get your Jeep, but also may be too late to get the last car ferry to cross over to St. John.
- … On occasion a Jeep company’s availability does not match your Check-In and Check-Out dates, therefore you won’t have to go back and forth to St Thomas to pick up/return a jeep a day early; and, we can likely provide ride service on St. John to fill in the gap;
- All things considered, renting in St. John has a lot of benefits
ST THOMAS CAR RENTAL – BENEFITS
- Jeep company may be willing to arrange to meet you at the airport;
- Some guests prefer grocery shopping on St Thomas if they have lengthy stays