Help Virgin Islands National Park improve and maintain trails and restore fragile natural resources, while enjoying vistas of the beautiful Caribbean.
No prior trail maintenance or restoration experience is required. The volunteers are teamed with experienced leaders who will provide training in all aspects of the work. As always, your education and safety are priorities.
What follows is a general description of activities you can expect on the Virgin Islands Volunteer Trip. Please note, however, that every trip is unique. Because local conditions and the Park’s needs continually evolve, detailed plans are often finalized or revised after the group arrives and the trip leaders review the conditions at the site in light of the capabilities and special interests of the volunteers. Tasks may include:
- rehabilitating unauthorized trails
- improving trails to better shed water
- clipping or removing vegetation and removing rocks from the trail tread to improve trail safety
- clearing vegetation from historic structures in the backcountry of St. John to preserve the structures for future generations
To carry out the project work, you should be able to hike up to three miles a day on uneven trails which may be steep.
The Virgin Islands National Park is a wonderful place to volunteer. Conservation Volunteers International Program is pleased to offer this exciting opportunity to protect a national and international treasure.
Look through the tabs on the left for more details about the itinerary, price and gear list or to read reviews and prior trip reports
Day 1: We meet for orientation at 5 p.m. at Cinnamon Bay Campground, St. John Island, U.S. Virgin Islands. The passenger ferry runs from St. Thomas Redhook Ferry Terminal on St. Thomas Island to the Island of St. John. ConservationVIP Trip Leaders will meet you at the St. John Ferry Terminal to transport you and your gear to the Campground located inside Cinnamon Bay on the North Shore Road, Virgin Islands National Park.
In the Park we will stay in large stand-up tents, set on raised wooden platforms. All tents are shared, with a maximum of four people per tent. If you arrive earlier in the day, you can enjoy a short hike, hit the beach located a 5-minute walk from our camp, or just relax until the 5 p.m. orientation. Dinner and lodging included.
Days 2 – 6: This period is a combination of project work days with one rest day where you can choose your own activities. The exact schedule depends on the project locations, weather, and the time needed to move from one location to another. We get to experience the joys and excitement of Island Travel!
On the rest day, you are free to rest at the campground or explore the area. Activities available to volunteers on rest days include hiking in the Park, enjoying a remote beach or snorkeling or scuba diving day trips offered by local dive shops. Experienced leaders will offer suggestions that will guide you to follow your dreams. Breakfast in camp, packed out lunch and dinner will be provided each day. Each volunteer makes their own box lunch which is enjoyed at the project site.
Day 7: Following breakfast, ConservationVIP Trip Leaders will transport you to the St. John Ferry Terminal, where the trip ends. Passenger Ferry Services from St. John to St. Thomas Redhook Ferry Terminal run hourly, starting at 7:00 a.m. You should plan on the entire trip to the airport in St. Thomas taking 2 hours to arrive .
Note: Although we do our very best to adhere to the schedule above, the itinerary is subject to change for numerous reasons beyond our control, including weather and terrain conditions. Project locations may vary with each volunteer trip according to the needs of park rangers at the time the trip takes place.
To see what is included in the price, click on “03 PRICE & PAYMENT” on the left.
$990 for seven days
(Note: Your trip expense may be tax-deductible. Please see our Frequently Asked Questions page and consult your tax advisor for details.)
- all meals from dinner on Day 1 through breakfast on Day 7
- lodging at the campground
- all van transportation noted
- gratuities for services provided to the group
- project leadership and support staff
- group tools
- orientation and training
- park entrance fees
Price does not include:
A deposit of $400 per person is required at the time of signup; final payment is due at 90 days prior to departure. If participant cancels more than 90 days before the trip, the cancellation fee is $300. Cancellations requested 61-90 days before departure incur a $400 fee; at 31-60 days before departure, 50% of the trip cost will be forfeited. At 30 days or less, the trip cost is non-refundable.
The key to staying comfortable while on an active trip is layering. To get maximum comfort with minimum weight, you need versatile layers that mix and match to create the right amount of insulation, ventilation and weather protection. The gear list has been created to help you in choosing your equipment for the trip. View the Gear List.
Average rating: 7 reviews
Nov 29, 2021
I was really delighted with the trip. The work was hot and sweaty, but a quick dip in the ocean certainly helped with that. I would just like to thank our trip leaders and ConservationVIP for really working hard to keep us safe and healthy in this difficult time!
Nov 24, 2021
If you have a caring passion for public natural land and water access conservation, this is a trip for you! We saw much of the territory of St. John's island due to the daily location changes and variety of the work details. Cinnamon Bay makes a wonderful place to base camp. Dress for the climate and you will be fine.
Nov 24, 2021
Virgin Islands 2021
I echo the sentiments of the other reviewers. The whole experience was amazing. Norm and Susan worked so hard and were so patient and so much fun and so supportive of everything we did. The work was strenuous but everybody had the ability to work at their own pace. Doing the work on an enchanted island was such a phenomenal experience. This was so much more than a lie on the beach vacation experience, this was an opportunity to learn about the eco system there and feel we were doing some small part to help the ecology.
Nov 22, 2021
We had an outstanding experience. I enjoyed the chance to make a difference, not just play on a vacation. There was a nice mix of work and play opportunities. The surprise days on the beach and sunset catamaran cruise were completely unexpected and greatly appreciated. Leadership could not have been better - patient and caring though greatly overworked due to Covid protocols. All help was appreciated and acknowledged - from the younger strong men to the older slower women. It all contributed to the final product. I was hesitant about this trip but will now do another one!
Nov 22, 2021
This is a wonderful trip! It is exactly as described in the project/itinerary information but exceeds in beauty/experiences in every way. The trip leaders Susan/Norman were AMAZING and did everything humanly possible to make sure we were safe, having a wonderful time and taking in everything mother nature was offering us as we worked/traveled. The Covid protocols made me feel totally safe. The food was home cooked and excellent (hunger was never an issue)! The camp is more like glamping with the ability to take a shower each day, have plenty of places to relax, walk to the beach for a swim and then listen to the waves at night. The work was very rewarding as it made you feel you are having a positive impact for the future of the island. The special events arranged for us were magical and we definitely got to experience/learn much more than the average tourist to the island.
Mar 7, 2020
This was an excellent trip with a wonderful group of committed volunteers doing meaningful work in the National Park. Although it’s part of the US, it feels like a foreign country with lush green vegetation, tropical plants and driving on the left! Mark and Susan were excellent leaders and provided detailed instructions and all the necessary tools. Everyone worked at their own pace and the views from the worksites were amazing. Our accommodations were basic but not too rustic with tents on platforms and cots provided. And our camp was adjacent to a gorgeous beach so always had time for a swim at the end of the day. Plus some extra unexpected activities like a medicinal plant talk by an island native and a chance to enjoy a local festival with local cooking. A very memorable week and lots of new friends!
Mar 5, 2020
A Jewel in our Park System
This park is a jewel in our National Park system and the work here is rebuilding an incredible park. The local population really supported us and were very positive about the work being done.
There are so many heritage sites to be cleared, beaches rebuilt and facilities to be repaired. The hurricane damage was incredible. But, the park and the people of St. Johns are resilient.
Our trip leaders, Mark and Susan, were remarkable! Mark knew so many people on the island who love him and supported us. Susan was our dynamo manager, cook, leader and first aid guru (when the "Catch & Keep" vines decided to have their way with us😳). The team was so inclusive and fun to work with. So many hard workers and we got so much accomplished. I loved my teammates on this trip! We camped out, cooked out and listened to music around a campfire each night. We even had blueberry pancakes ala David on a Coleman camp stove! Great stuff!
The Virgin Islands National Park is a magical place to visit. The opportunity to work and serve here was incredible.
Volunteers wrote a lot of great five-star reviews about our earlier volunteer trips to Virgin Islands National Park. Unfortunately, all those positive reviews were stored on REI Adventures’ website, because we had partnered with REI to recruit volunteers. When we had to cancel the trip because of the damage from the hurricane in 2017, the reviews disappeared from their site and we did not have the foresight to keep copies! So to hear what volunteers thought about our previous trips to the Virgin Islands, look at these videos on our YouTube channel:
ConservationVIP has always focused on our volunteers’ safety. The COVID-19 pandemic has heightened that focus. Traveling with COVID-19 safety concerns requires some extra planning and flexibility both for trip leaders and trip participants!
Because of continuing COVID concerns, we are restricting participation on this trip to people who have received their COVID-19 vaccinations. Participants will also have to comply with the regulations established by the National Park Service in the Virgin Islands at the time of travel. While we expect that the restrictions may change between now and the time of travel, we cannot predict what those changes will be.
While on the trip, participants will also have to follow procedures such as mask wearing and social distancing. More specific COVID related safety instructions will be provided to those registered for the trip.