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St. John Off The Beaten Track Paperback – March 1, 2011
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
First published in 1996, when St. John was a still sleepy island, this updated version provides a respite from busy Cruz Bay. The guide offers an insiders view into the quintessential St. John with its hiking trails, scrambles and gut walks. Singer, a long time island resident, provides a framework for reference with lots of fast facts and an easy to read description of places of interest, flora and fauna, amidst a well laid backdrop of St. John s rich history and island legend. --Virgin Voice, December 2006 January 2007
Top customer reviews
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A must if you are wishing to explore St. John and make the most of your time on this beautiful and special island.
This book is packed with tons of useful information that include beaches, trails and history.
We had been to the island a couple times before, but on our 3rd trip we really read this book and we explored and saw so many cool places that most websites do not tell you about.
Highly recommend for the visitors wishing to truly see and experience St. John.
However I wish the maps were a bit more easy to read. There are many maps, and they are full of all sorts of colored lines in purples, reds, tans, and black lines - some with dashes. However there are no map keys anywhere in the book, so you kind of have to guess at what some of the different lines mean. Also most of the maps are of very small sections of the island, and the one big map has such a small font it is practically unreadable, making it difficult to figure out how everything fits together. I can remedy this by getting additional maps, but for the price it would be nice if this book had it all.
We are bringing our kids with us to St. John this time around, so we are looking for easy snorkel spots to get them started. I wish there was more info on a variety of snorkel sites, whereas this book just has "favorite snorkels" and many are specifically for intermediate or advanced snorkelers. You can find additional info if you read through various beach descriptions, but it would be great if the info on all different levels of snorkeling options were together.
All in all, this really is a great book. Just a couple of suggestions perhaps for the next edition!
This one has everything else you want to know about St John - the missing guide, as it were.
I'm planning a trip and want to know what there is to do, and where.
This one gives me everything I need to know.
Which beaches are sand and which are shingle? This tells you.
Where are the hidden coves and how to you get there (trailheads, etc.)?
Which snorkeling beaches are best for beginners, and which have challenges for free-diving snorkelers?
The book is organized into sections - the national park (hikes and trails), beaches, snorkeling, places of interest. Geology and history too.
If you are looking for accommodations or dining you need one of the other books.
If you are looking for a reason to settle in a particular area (renting a villa, for instance), this is your book. It describes each bay and beach, letting you know whether an area is tropical forest or dry scrubland. It describes the severity of trails and tells you about alternatives. It explains 'guts' and other local features that are ignored by traditional guide books.
If you are going to St John you need this book. 'Nuff said.