I need a vacation. But there won’t be one till summer. So, in the interest of suviving till then, and distracting you from whatever important thing you have to do, here’s a report from my good friend Derk about his recent trip to Maho Bay in the US Virgin Islands. Derk, take it away…
Serene, quiet, relaxing, and cheap. I was probably lucky to get in,since I scheduled only a week in advance. Direct flights from JFK, BOS,and elsewhere on the east coast to St Thomas makes this very accessible. It does take a little more than an hour from the airport (cab-ferry-cab) to get to the camps, but its not too painful.
This is not a place to go if you want to join a raging spring break party. The camps are fairly remote and attract a somewhat reserved family set. But there are some great beaches just steps from the tents where you can rent little sailboats, snorkels, scuba gear, sea kayaks, et cetera. A couple of sail boats offer regular day-sail/snorkling trips that leave from the beach right at the resort. Maho Point, on which several tents are situated and a zero minute walk from the main beach, has excellent snorkling – green turtles, nurse sharks, puffer fish. Also a glassblower and pottery shop on site offering classes – might have been cool but I did not partake.
The tents consist of wood floors, screens, and canvas. They’re 16×16 with plenty of room for 2; there were several couples with some young kids perfectly comfortable packing into one tent. Electricity and a propane stove, but no running water or toilets – expect a 100meter hike for those things. When it rains you may want to shift your bed away from the walls. Beds with linens are very comfortable. You wont miss the AC – nights are cool in the high 60s to low 70s.
I didnt do any of my own cooking. There is a dining hall type facility at the camp that serves good, inexpensive food. Very college-like – wait in (a short) line, salad bar, clear your own tray.
Staff is very laid back and friendly. Mostly in their mid-20s and into the eco-resort angle of the whole thing. Several live on site year round (including hurricane season!) in tents very similar to the Maho camps.
The only bad news is a rumor that Maho may be shutting down in 5yrs when the lease on the land expire. I plan to visit at least one more time before then.