One of the most popular excursions for visitors to St. John is a day trip to Jost Van Dyke, the tiny, sparsely- inhabited British Virgin island noted for its handful of stunning beaches and rollicking beach bars.
If you thought St. John was quiet and remote, think again. Jost Van Dyke is the ultimate place to go to get away from it all. The reason folks come to Jost is for pure isolation... and a little hedonism. It's hardly populated at all -- only 150 people live on the island full time, but during the tourist season day trippers can triple the population, if only for a few hours. What they are seeking are the incredible fine white sands of beaches such as White Bay and Great Harbour, snorkeling in hidden coves, and legendary bars such as the Soggy Dollar and Foxy's.
The four square-mile rock, affectionately referred to as "Jost" by locals (pronounced "yost"), is only about four miles from St. John, and easy to get to by boat. You can either take a water taxi/ferry service such as Dolphin Water Taxi from Cruz Bay, or charter a boat from a company such as Ocean Runner, Wet Woody's, Born to Rhumb, or Island Roots.
Obviously, if you charter a boat you'll have more flexibility to explore both the land AND the water surrounding the island than if you take a ferry. The ferry will drop you at White Bay, which is only about 1/2 mile walk from the majority of bars, inns, and popular beaches. But if you have your own boat, you can pull up to just about any bay anywhere on the island, and snorkel, fish, swim, or go ashore for a hike. Since Jost is one of the most popular anchorages in Caribbean, you'll be in good company.
Sunset on the Caribbean
Soggy Dollar Bar, Jost Van Dyke
Aside from drinking and beachgoing, there are a couple of other things you can do on Jost. The unpaved roads that wind through the hills can be used as hiking trails, and take you to places such as the Bubbly Pool and Diamond Cay National Park. And you can also explore (by boat) offshore spots such as Sandy Cay, a small islet that features a tiny strip of pristine beach, hiking trails, and excellent offshore snorkeling.