Your Amazing Race: A Paradise Beginning in The US Virgin Islands

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A Pirate’s Life for Me
After receiving their next clue via a message in a bottle, the contestants raced to an old fashioned pirate ship, Blackbeard’s Revenge, docked in the harbor. After boarding the galleon, the teams were greeted by Blackbeard himself and received a map to buried treasure. If you are looking to experience the pirate life while in St. Thomas, here are some great places to start your adventure!

Shiver your Timbers in Charlotte Amalie
Cool Boats USVI offers a unique experience to travelers looking to test their sea legs. If sailing like a pirate has always been a dream, this company offers tours on their pirate schooners! These boats are aptly named Dubloon, Bones, The Silent Lady and Blackbeard’s Revenge. The largest and grandest of these ships is Blackbeard’s Revenge measuring in at a whopping 65 feet. The crew will offer stories of swashbucklers and island lore as you cruise around St Thomas.

The crew helps passengers get into that pirate spirit but offering local spirits! St. Thomas’ signature rum drink is called a Painkiller and these cocktails are served all day long on your cruise. To further your experience, walk the plank! These cruises also double as diving excursions.

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Find Me Buried Treasure
The Race contestants left Blackbeard is search of his treasure on the beach. Using a water compass, they had a pretty tough go at locating their chest. Three teams unfortunately took a time penalty, eventually gave up and relied on a footrace to ensure a chance at Leg 2. I am hesitant to suggest that anyone attempt treasure hunting with a water compass after watching each challenger struggle with the task. For a similar and hopefully less stressful experience, I’m suggesting geocaching!

Geocaching is the modern day equivalent of treasure hunting. Participants use GPS receivers or other navigating techniques to hide treasures all over the world. These treasures are referred to as “caches” and are typically small waterproof containers containing a logbook. Geocaching is all about the hunt! When a cache is found, the finder signs the logbook and puts the container back for the next treasure seeker. Just like pirates had their own aliases, so do geocachers. Each seeker has a registered code name. If you are lucky enough to come across a larger treasure, you might find a trinket left behind by your predecessor. Proper protocol asks that if a trinket is taken that a new one is left behind. Check out to learn more about this popular hobby and the specific site on St. Thomas.

Bonus: Living the Pirate’s Life
Many pirates made their home on St. Thomas during the days of swashbuckling on the high seas. Many people know the stories of Blackbeard and Bluebeard. While visiting the islands, you can call either of their castles home for your stay. The primary structure of Bluebeard’s Castle Hotel has been in existence since the 1600s. Legend states that the pirate Bluebeard built the castle for his love, Mercedita. While the story doesn’t offer much in the way of details, the location certainly provides an air of romance for a pirate and his wench. History tells a bit of a different story that the Danes built the property to supplement their defenses on the island. I think I prefer the pirate love story version.

Credit: SPM Resorts

This property has recently undergone a multi-million dollar renovation. The hotel combines the history of the property with the comfort of modern amenities. The red roof of the property is iconic to the area and is one of the first things that tourists notice when approaching the island.

For picture opportunities, visit the other pirate stronghold, Blackbeard’s castle! This fortress boasts the world’s largest collection of life-sized bronze pirate statues. A posse of pirates including the infamous Edward Teach (or Blackbeard to those in the know) are available year round to document your trip. These figures are equally as fierce as the people who inspired them! The grounds at the castle also include know pirate hideouts, gardens and even archeological sites.