Jumbie Bay Beach is a great beach during the busy season. It only has 5 parking spots so it never gets crowded. It basically gives you the beauty of Trunk Bay (which you can see in full if you swim or paddle out) without the crowds.
The recent Northern Swells have swept away a lot of the beach, so it is quite narrow with not much seating but it also is a great lauch point for paddleboarding and snorkeling. It does get rough in a Northern Swell so take care when swimming but it can be absolutely fanastic to watch the waves smack into the rocks as in the below photo courtesy of www.sup-stjohn.com
How to get to Jumbie Bay
Take North Shore Road past Caneel and Hawknest. You will then pass the Easter Rock and see the Peace Hill parking lot to the left. A little after that, there is a small parking for 5 cars to the right hand side of the road. To the left, a little footpath leads down to the beach. It is about 300 yards downhill and not too bad to carry the boards down, since the bottom is soft, you can set down the board without damage if you need to take a break or switch sides. You will most likely see some interesting hermit crabs on your walk down, take care not to step on one.
Where does the name Jumbie Bay come from?
The bay is supposedly named Jumbie because of some Jumbie Trees on the path down. Those are silk cotton trees and legend has it that there are spirits in these trees and extreme bad luck will occur if you chop of them down. Many pirates would bury their treasure around the trees back in the day because they knew people would be scared to go near a Jumbie Tree.
The myths also state, that a beautiful woman will be found amongst these trees… you will bed her… then the next day die. In some cultures, before cutting down a silk cotton tree village folk would pour a libation on its roots or ceremonially make an offering of corn, or sacrifice a chicken.
The Virgin Islanders have used the leaves of the Jumbie tree for medicinal purposes over the last few centuries. Primarily they use it for a tea to help with fatigue. It’s a very special tree. Silk cotton wood has been used to make coffins, cricket bats, and much earlier, canoes. In some Caribbean countries, the silk cotton tree is called the “god tree’ or the “devil tree.