If you're looking for a small, private, intimate beach without having
to walk a long trail to get there, then Jumbie is an excellent choice.
Heading east on the North Shore Road 2.5 miles from Mongoose Junction
or 0.2 miles from Peace Hill, is the small parking area on the right
side of the road for Jumbie Bay. Cross the road and walk east about
twenty yards to the rustic wooden stairs on your left. At the bottom
of the stairs is a short trail leading to the beach.
Jumbie Bay is the only beach on St. John with an African name, coming
from the word djambe, and referring to a malevolent supernatural being,
similar to the duppy of Jamaica and the zombie of Haiti.
Jumbie Bay is situated in such a way that it cannot readily
be seen from passing vehicles on Route 20 or from boats sailing to and
from Cruz Bay. Years ago, when there was only a donkey trail on the
north shore, Jumbie was even more remote and private than it is today
and was reputedly the venue for lovers enjoying private liaisons. Because
of this, it was nicknamed Honeymoon Beach. (At that time, Salomon and
Honeymoon Beaches did not have separate names, the entire bay being
Want More Privacy and a Bit of Shade?
Put your beach blanket down in one of the little coves of sand that
extend inland under the small seagrape trees for filtered sunlight and
The shoreline at the center of the beach is dominated by a smooth cement-like
material called beach rock. Nonetheless, you can still get into the
water in soft sand on either side of the rock.
Jumbie Bay is more exposed to the trade winds than most of the neighboring
north shore beaches and the water can get choppy on windy days. On the
positive side, the breeze can be refreshing and the rough water can
lend a certain drama and intensity to the beach.
From the beach at Jumbie Bay you can see Trunk Bay and the islands of
Jost Van Dyke, Green Cay, Whistling Cay, Trunk Cay and Great Thatch.
There are no facilities at this beach other than garbage cans made available
and emptied by the National Park Service.