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St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands

Uncommon Attraction: Natural Tide Pools of NW St. Croix

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the best pools in the Caribbean are the natural ones.

Carved by Mother Nature, generally difficult to access, uncrowded, and always fun, natural pools reward those intrepid enough to find them well beyond any drink you might find at a resort pool swim-up bar. Case in point: the natural tide pools found along the northwestern shores of my home island of St. Croix.

What you see above is not one of the dazzling natural pools at Annaly Bay. This one’s just a bit further east, closer to The Renaissance Carambola Beach Resort.

While there are organized 4×4 excursions and hiking trail options to access Annaly Bay, the route to this particular pool is a bit more treacherous.

You basically have to scale and climb along the jagged rocks at the far western edge of Carambola Beach (formerly Davis Bay). At varying points you’ll find yourself dodging crashing waves, leaping to/from slippery mounds, clinging to sheer walls, some loose rocks, a random tree root, or small shrubs the only thing keeping you from what would surely be a painful fall.

Once you get here, though, any thoughts of peril are soon forgotten, replaced instead by the sheer child-like joy that comes from repeatedly jumping in and splashing around your very own private and pristine slice of tropical heaven.

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