Visiting the Eco-tents at Maho Bay


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After hearing for so long about Maho Bay, I’m finally visiting the eco-tent camp during what seems to be its last couple of months. Opened in 1976 by Stanley Selengut, it has served since the first nails were hammered into the wooden boardwalks, tents and gathering areas, as an eco-lodge innovation that it is now a classic icon of sustainable travel. We didn’t venture far from camp our first day, instead we decided to get acquainted with the place. The northeastern storm had followed us down from New York, and Jason at activities, advised us that the swell it brought with it would affect conditions at Little Maho Bay more than Big Maho. So DSCN5355we walked past the general store and the coin-operated washing machines and followed the green sign down the goat trail to Big Maho. The blue waters of the bay peaked through the forest cover on our way down the rocky slope where tree roots sometimes offered a perfect stair, or a divergent obstacle. Several paths opened onto the beach and we picked one at random that provided a sandy seat under the overhang of a large sea grape. We sat and gazed out at the wonderfully complex horizon created by the green peaks of the other islets of the archipelago. The air carried a mist that played with the afternoon light and our three-dimensional scene
DSCN5354seemed to shift frequently that first long afternoon on the beach…

The spacious tents are nestled into the hillside of this tropical dry forest on the north shore of St John, USVI. Banana quits, warblers and thrashers make their homes in the acacia trees, yucca and strangler figs, and huge hermit crabs walk in the underbrush of the wooden stairs and walkways. The tents are more screen
DSCN5485than canvass with enough distance between them to allow the forest in. At night the sound of the sea travels up the hillside and provides a cadence for the nighttime singing insects.

It is no wonder that a wealthy buyer would want to occupy this bay, but keeping the conditions and future plans for the site a secret have made the loss felt by so many who have visited here only worse. I’ve been asking what will happen to this place and have heard different things from different people. I’m starting to sort it out. More later….

4 thoughts on “Visiting the Eco-tents at Maho Bay

  1. Lovely, lovely photos and place. I had never heard of Maho, but it looks totally wonderful. It’s unclear what the situation is there– what wealthy buyers? Are there any local people — it looks so isolated. You might want to put a small map so one can locate the place right away. VI wasn’t until far down the text.

  2. Hi DeeDee, Thanks so much for your comment. You would really love this place. They are closing at the end of May, and so far nobody knows who the buyer is. They filed in a state with non-disclosure agreements. I’m still doing some research on it. Hope you like the next post abut glass blowing.

  3. Beautiful area to visit.

    We are planning with our team of moroccotrekking to explore this area next year.
    it will be little bite expensive.
    We have other opportunities to travel to similar zones.
    We will think about it during the next few days to discus all the arrangement at all.

    Angelika for moroccotrekking.net

  4. Hi Angelika, the Maho Bay camp is closed, but their other property is open:
    http://www.concordiaeco-resort.com/ You can camp at Big Maho Bay, at a campground owned by the Virgin Islands National Park.
    It’s a lovely place well worth the trip. Lots of protected areas rich with bird life. Have Fun!

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