We do a lot of boating in the Virgin Islands – in fact, that’s what this blog is all about! But what are the other things to do while visiting St. Thomas?
There are some amazing restaurants and bars to visit, there’s shopping, beach hopping (via car) and there are petroglyphs on Botany Bay. Yes, petroglyphs on St. Thomas!
This is one of those “off the beaten path” adventures – and here’s how to do it while you’re on St. Thomas.
First – take the Virgin Islands version of a road trip to Botany Bay Preserve. This is a gated community that allows public beach access when you are on foot. Park your car (yes, it’s safe in sight of the guard gate) and get ready for a hike along the road.
It’s about 1.5 miles down to the beach. At the fork that goes to Mermaid’s Chair or Botany Bay – keep right to Botany Bay.
The first exciting part is the ruins. Keep following the road until you see them on your left.
The 1700’s and 1800’s in the Virgin Islands was a time of sugar plantations and slave labor which has shaped the culture today. Many visitors are familiar with the ruins on St. John thanks to the National Park. All three islands had plantations on them and still have ruins today.
You can see the boilers used for cooking down the sugar cane for molasses, sugar products and rum. Be careful not to damage this part of Virgin Islands history when you are exploring!
Both plants and animals use these ruins as their homes. We found this hermit crab climbing a ruin wall.
From the ruins, head to the beach. You’ll walk through a large and well established coconut grove.
Start walking to the right of the beach. Enjoy one of our rocky beaches – gorgeous, but less than ideal for a swim. At the end of the beach, right where the rocks start to form the shore, you will find the petroglyphs.
Look around while you’re here, there are several. Every time we’ve visited we find a new one!
This one is the largest we’ve found so far. What do you think pre-Colombus Virgin Islanders were communicating via stone?