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.
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. Tents may be 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 volunteer project days and 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.
$1,050 for seven days (single supplement $250, subject to availability)
(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 in large, stand-up tents on platforms with cots 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. The payment and refund policy can be found here.
Group Size: 8 – 12 plus trip leaders
Average rating: 20 reviews
Nov 21, 2023
Virgin Islands Volunteer Trip November 2023
This trip was very rewarding - we could see the results of our efforts as we were working and we got thanks from the hikers on the trail for doing the work. The location was beautiful & scenic & we had time to enjoy touristy activities. Given that our time there was unseasonably warm & humid, for this "senior" the trip was a bit challenging - take electrolytes. This was camping at its best - a big tent to myself & bathrooms sufficient for the group size & the cold showers actually felt good after working in the heat - but be prepared to stay sweaty if a breeze is not blowing. Our leaders Mark & Susan were outstanding & were attuned to everyone's needs. They had everything so well organized, prepared great meals, encouraged us to do the extra activities, & made sure we worked within our limits. Suggestions for the tents - I wished I had had more cushioning for my cot & a better pillow; & I was glad I had earplugs, lighting, a couple of bags for trash, & bungee cords for hanging things in the tent. Loved this trip &, again, being with like minded people.
Nov 21, 2023
Virgin Islands Volunteer Trip November 2023
I had a great time the team leaders Mark and Susan were terrific. They made the experience that more enjoyable. Other than the bug bites, I would recommend this to anyone wanting to make a difference in regards to maintaining our national parks and historic buildings.
Nov 20, 2023
USVI with CVIP, November 2023
I can’t say enough good things about my week on St. John with ConservationVIP. From start to finish it was an amazing experience. Mark and Susan are wonderful leaders who provided expert guidance and warm companionship. Our relatively small volunteer group size of eight made it easy for us all to get to know one another and enjoy each other’s company. Susan and Mark prepared delicious meals at camp. Each day began with a hearty breakfast and ended with dinners that included spaghetti, barbeque chicken, chili, and fajitas. Most of us were solo occupants of our tents, which are plenty roomy. Cots are provided, but bring your favorite lightweight sleeping pad and inflatable pillow for extra cushioning. I loved falling asleep to the sound of tree frogs and the surf! Our work assignments were nicely varied and included trail maintenance, tree planting, and vegetation removal around plantation ruins. We worked hard and accomplished a lot, but Mark and Susan also made sure that we had time to enjoy a dip in the ocean at the end of each work day. (Cinnamon Bay Beach is just a short walk from the volunteer campground!) Our day off was a real treat that included snorkeling to see tropical fish and sea turtles in Maho Bay and a sunset catamaran sail. I’ll be reflecting on this week and all that I learned for some time to come, and I highly recommend the trip!
Mar 7, 2023
Virgin Islands February 2023
It was a wonderful experience. The islands are always nice to visit, especially in the winter, but the company and activities enhanced the trip greatly. The accommodations were more than comfortable since we all had tents by ourselves. Our trail work was gratifying especially after viewing our accomplishments each afternoon. Thanks to our leaders for all the hard work accommodating the various diets. As with most volunteer trips, our group was a joy to be with.
Mar 4, 2023
Extend a trip
My wife Susan sent in a review that takes up the main features of the Virgin Islands project. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and the group cruised through the week sociably, but with room for alone time as well. Leaders Mark and Susan were organized, friendly and kept things moving. Their years of experience with local personnel showed in the welcome receptions and camaraderie. The volunteer work and camping were a pleasant and sociable alternative to the usual hotel stay and our group got along really well. My old back didn’t give me any trouble ! Q
We did the November ‘22 Galapagos trip and the group of people was similarly pleasant, everyone contributing, good leadership.
I’m looking ahead to more of these trips.
We came in to St Thomas a day ahead of meeting the group. We also stayed 3 more days afterward in Cruz Bay with more time to explore the island. I recommend this. We stayed at SeaGrape Vista.
Mar 3, 2023
Virgin Islands Volunteer Trip Feb 2023
The Conservation VIP trip was incredible. My whole world has opened up to a new way of vacationing & giving back. The Trip Leaders, Mark & Susan were phenomenal, so well organized and kept our entire team well fed, and in happy spirits. The fellow volunteers on this team were wonderful, kind, intelligent people. It was inspiring to work side-by-side with them on a daily basis. Waking up everyday on the beautiful Cinnamon Bay campgrounds, eating a nice hearty breakfast and then hiking the break-taking hillside trails of the island was rewarding. Our team worked on trail maintenance and cleaning up the old sugar plantation ruins in paradise. St. John's national park is one of the most beautiful places on earth. We spent our afternoons beach side, swimming and snorkelling with sea turtles and schools of fishes amongst the coral. Nights were spent under the stars by the campfire, with hearty meals and great company. I highly recommend that you do a trip with Conservation VIP. They have a special program.
Mar 2, 2023
Great way to visit the Virgin Islands
This was a great way to visit and experience Virgin Island National Park. This wouldn’t have been my first choice, but trip leader Mark convinced my husband and I that this is a “must do” trip. It certainly is a “first class” volunteer trip.
The trip was culturally interesting as we learned about sugar, plantations, rum, and the human cost of trying to grow sugar in a dry environment that was not really suited to sugar agriculture. The interaction with the natural world from vegetation, both native and invasive was educational and fascinating. The natural world spanned from native to invasive pests. There were beautiful flowers and trees that are invasive and need to be controlled. The same can be said for donkeys and goats and other small flora and fauna. The guides were ready to answer the gamut of questions that were asked.
Camp Volunteer was the best deal on the Islands. We had tents that are on platforms and covered with a rain fly. There was some rain but we were dry and comfortable. The tents are equipped with “army cots” that were made more comfortable with a camping pad and pillow. I brought a light weight stuffable Rumpl blanket for the middle of the night chill. Be prepared to use the well equipped bathrooms (running water, flush toilets and a shower, no hot water) that are on the edge of camp. Our group leaders, Mark and Susan were organized, kept the group moving forward, cooked a tasty nutritious variety of food and were all around great people.
This trip worked well with campers/volunteers who had never met each other, had a variety of skill/fitness levels, and differing levels of “camping.”
There is a beautiful beach to relax and play on a very short walk from camp. Mark and Susan arranged a variety of activities from snorkeling, sailing, and a trip to town. I can’t say enough good things about this trip, Just Do It!
Feb 23, 2023
The trip was SPOT on!
The title I gave this trip is an inside joke for participants who played Susan's game, "Code Names", one evening. They'll get it. For everyone else, "spot on" still holds true: this expedition was a perfect combination of doing meaningful work in a treasured location, together w/ down time for fun in the sun (snorkeling, beachcombing, scuba if you chose, capped w/ a scheduled catamaran cruise on the last afternoon.) Kudos to leaders Susan and Mark for embracing each and every individual, for creating an energized group dynamic, and for tending to every detail. They're great cooks too - wow, did we eat well! I am forever humbled by the opportunity of choosing to work on plantation and sugar mill grounds tended to once by those who had no such choice. Thank you, Conservation VIP. This was my 2nd trip w/ you, and will most certainly not be my last. 🙂
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:
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.
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!
Participants will have to comply with the regulations established by the U.S. Virgin Islands and the National Park Service at the time of travel. Currently there are no COVID-19 entry restrictions, though we cannot predict what those regulations may be at the time of the trip.
While on the trip, participants will have to follow any procedures such as mask-wearing and social distancing as instructed by the trip leader. More specific safety instructions will be provided to those registered for the trip.