Caneel Bay Resort, St. John USVI, Wild Donkeys, and a Spectacular Sunset

St. John, US Virgin Islands – it is day #4 of our romantic 25th wedding anniversary tour of the Caribbean.  Sadly, today we left the island of St. Thomas.  But, happily we are only a 15 minute channel crossing from the island of St. John, US Virgin Islands.

As you can see in the map below, the Ritz-Carlton is on the dry east side of the island affording great sunrise views, while Caneel Bay is on St. John’s wet, tropical west side affording great sunset views.

As Caneel Bay’s private ferry pulled us into their private dock, we were immediately whisked away into seemingly another time and place.

In the 1950s, the island of St. John had only 400 inhabitants.  While sailing in the Caribbean, Laurance S. Rockefeller happened across the 170 acre Caneel Bay Plantation, bought it, and turned it into his own personal tropical residence.  Later on, Rockefeller also bought 5,000 acres of unspoiled tropical rain forest land around his residence.

Today, Rockefeller’s estate is the Caneel Bay Resort, and the 5,000 acres of land was donated to the United States National Park system.

Caneel Bay Resort, while luxurious and modern in every way, has purposefully maintained the 1950s feel of each of its bungalows spread around it seven, count ‘em seven, private beaches!

Here is the view from our Caribbean ocean bungalow on Scott Beach at the Caneel Bay Resort.

The wildlife here is simply amazing.  Sitting in those beach chairs we watched a very large iguana stroll by us, within three feet, as if he owned the place. The skies are full of beautiful black and white sea birds of some sort, and even a fair number of pelicans fly by checking for their next tasty fish dinner.

When we were out swimming in the ocean, we found ourselves surrounded by sea turtles, and we are told that we are very likely to see stingrays.  Carol is a little apprehensive about that, but I can’t wait.

Also, to make this place even more like Eden, seemingly under every shade tree is either a deer, or one of the islands wild donkeys.  Here is a picture of wild donkeys right off our back porch.

As if all this wasn’t enough, we were treated to the wonderful soft hued sunset below.

Tomorrow we snorkel outside our back porch.  Stay tuned!

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