Today’s article is about Jumbie Bay Beach. A tiny gem of a beach that is often forgotton or unknown. It only has 5 parking spaces (plus some “creative parking” spots in the woods) so it is never crowded. It is a nice beach for privacy if you want to try out paddleboarding or do SUP Yoga without anyone watching,


How to get to Jumbie Bay

Take North Shore Road past Caneel and Hawknest. You will then pass the Easter Rock and see the Peace Hill parking lot to the left. A little after that, there is a small parking for 5 cars to the right hand side of the road. To the left, a little footpath leads down to the beach. It is about 300 yards downhill and not too bad to carry the boards down, since the bottom is soft, you can set down the board without damage if you need to take a break or switch sides. You will most likely see some interesting hermit crabs on your walk down, take care not to step on one.


Jumbie Bay

The beach itself is narrow, most of the sand has been swept away in recent storms so there is not much seating but it is a great launch place for a paddle. Jumbie can be a bit rough in a Northern Swell but on calm days is suited for beginners as well (If there is a lot of wind and swell, beginners should head to Maho)

Intermediates can have some fun playing around in the waves. It is not really a surfbreak for a surfboard but on a big Allround board you can have some fun playing around.


The beach has no facilities, so you want to bring some food & snacks. What is lacks in facities, Jumbie makes up for in beautiful water color and the private, intimate setting. Besides, you can see almost all the beauty of Trunk Bay without the admission price.

Jumbie Bay Beach St. John

Paddleboarding at Jumbie Bay

The private setting of the bay is great if you want to try out paddleboarding for the first time or maybe practice some SUP Yoga without anyone watching.


With a bit of experience you can also paddle over to Trunk Bay at the right (just don’t paddle into the swimming zone, the life guards will yell at you) or to Denis Bay around the corner to the left. Or you can paddle out into the ocean (paddle towards the North East, then the wind you be in your back on the way back.


The beach is fringed with sea grape trees, so you will always find some nice shade to cool off after paddling. On calm days there also is some good snorkeling at the rocks between Jumbie and Trunk Bay. But stay clear of this area when there is high surf the waves will smash against the rocks!

Where does the name Jumbie Bay come from?

The bay is supposedly named Jumbie because of some Jumbie Trees on the path down. Those are silk cotton trees and legend has it that there are spirits in these trees and extreme bad luck will occur if you chop of them down. Many pirates would bury their treasure around the trees back in the day because they knew people would be scared to go near a Jumbie Tree.

The myths also state, that a beautiful woman will be found amongst these trees… you will bed her… then the next day die. In some cultures, before cutting down a silk cotton tree village folk would pour a libation on its roots or ceremonially make an offering of corn, or sacrifice a chicken.

The Virgin Islanders have used the leaves of the Jumbie tree for medicinal purposes over the last few centuries. Primarily they use it for a tea to help with fatigue. It’s a very special tree. Silk cotton wood has been used to make coffins, cricket bats, and much earlier, canoes. In some Caribbean countries, the silk cotton tree is called the “god tree’ or the “devil tree.

SUP Paddleboard St. John Jumbie Bay

After Paddleboarding at Jumbie

you might make a quick stop at the Peace Hill Parking lot to enjoy the view that awaits after a very short hike.