Did you know that you can stay just 40 steps from the beach for as little as $40 a night? It’s true! Camping may not be for everyone, but there is definitely a more affordable way to stay in St. John, and today I plan to tell you all about it. Camping really isn’t your thing? No problem! There are other options at Cinnamon Bay that are affordable and don’t require you to sleep in a tent. 🙂
Let’s start with the basics… Cinnamon Bay is the only campground in the Virgin Islands National Park on St. John. It’s located on St. John’s north shore, between Trunk Bay and Maho Bay. (Peter Bay is to its west, but that beach does not have public road access.) Cinnamon Bay is less than 20 minutes from Cruz Bay, and the taxis go there regularly.
Like all of St. John, Cinnamon Bay was heavily damaged when Hurricane Irma rolled through back in 2017. It stayed closed for several years as renovations occurred, and it finally reopened last January. And since the storms, Cinnamon Bay has been converted to a nonprofit, so all proceeds support St. John.
Cinnamon Bay has three types of accommodations: bare sites, eco tents and cottages.
All bare sites include a wooden platform with a rain cover, a picnic table and a charcoal grill. You can opt to bring your own tent and gear, or you can choose to rent a bare site with a tent and linens. You can also choose to rent a cooking kit for an additional fee. The cost to rent a bare site starts between $40 and $50 a night, depending on the season. They are located in different areas within the campground. My favorite is number 13, which is about 40 steps from the beach.
Want to kinda camp, but not really camp? Then an eco tent might be a good option for you! These are permanent tent structures that include a queen-sized bed, a fan, light, electrical outlet, linens and a cooking kit. The cost to rent an eco tent starts between $130 and $175 a night, depending on the season. Oceanside eco tents are priced a bit higher.
Check out this quick video I took of sites 12, 13 and 14, which are some of my absolutely favorites.
Ok, now this is a great option for those of you who want to stay on the beach, prefer not to camp, and don’t want to break the bank at the same time. The cottages are solid concrete buildings that have windows on the front and back to allow the gentle breezes to roll through. Each cottage has a queen-sized bed, plus a day bed/sofa with a trundle. They also have a mini fridge and grill, and they come complete with linens and cooking kits. All of the cottages are located on the western side of Cinnamon Bay and are very close to the beach. The cost to rent a cottage is between $230 and $285 a night, depending on the season.
Check out this quick video I took to show you the location of the cottages at Cinnamon Bay:
As I mentioned, prices are based on season. Here is the breakdown:
- Low season is July 16th through August 31st. Rates range from $40 to $230 a night.
- Mid season is May 1st through July 15th and also November 1st through December 14th. Rates range from $45 to $250 a night.
- High season is December 15th through April 30th. Rates range from $50 and $285 a night.
All rates are based on double occupancy. The Cinnamon Bay campground is closed in September and October.
Cinnamon Bay is a full service campground, and its amenities are offered to non-campers who are stopping bay to use the beach as well. It has a large restaurant that serves lunch and dinner near the entrance and parking lots areas. There is also a food truck near the beach that serves lunch. A new food truck is coming soon, so it’s food offerings will be expended later this season. I will keep you posted on that.
There are restrooms available to everyone. There is also a spigot beside the main restroom building near the beach where you can rinse the sand off your feet. Showers are only available to campers.
Cinnamon Bay also has a well-stocked camp store that has drinks, snacks, t-shirts, hats, reef-safe sunscreen and more.
I know the world has gotten pricier in recent years, and St. John is no exception. So this is a nice, affordable option for many of us. If you are interested in learning more about the Cinnamon Bay campground, please check out its website at CinnamonBayVI.com.
(Quick note to my readers: This is not a paid placement story. I simply write about the places I enjoy & items I think you will care about. I like to promote cool places and great businesses on the island.)
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Hi Jenn! Thanks soooo much for posting those videos. We absolutely LOVE Cinnamon Bay and to see it come back in all its glory is wonderful. And we know it took a LOT of hard work by many, many people to make it happen. We’ve visited more than 20 islands in the Caribbean have enjoyed extended visits on some of them but St. John will always be our absolute favorite, and Cinnamon is our favorite of the easy-to-get-to beaches. Whenever life seems to be weighing me down I can instantly close my eyes and be right there on the beach at Cinnamon. So again – thank you thank you thank you for going to the effort of building and maintaining your site. I hope to meet you some day! Sincerely, Gene Bourque
When you say showers are only available to campers, does that include those staying in the cottages? Or do the cottages have showers?
Yes, that includes those staying in the cottages. The showers are not available for people not staying a the campground.
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