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Magen's vs. Coki


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Hi all,


I'm torn between Magen's and Coki for our St. Thomas excursion. I get that Magen's is prettier, but Coki is better for snorkeling. I'm looking for a couple of lounge chairs and an umbrella. Do both places have that? Any beach/water activities at Magen's other than digging in the sand for my 9 year old son?

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Here's my review of Coki Beach from October 2009.

(My wife and I love Coki. Never been to Magen's.)


This is another beautiful, simply gorgeous beach. The environment is very, very different than Trunk Bay, however. I will admit, when we were first dropped off at Coki, and told by our taxi driver, “Just go right through that little gate there,” I thought about bagging it, and asking to be driven back to the resort. (The surrounding neighborhood is in bad shape, and the area right around the entrance is quite run down. We are so glad that we decided against leaving, though.)

Upon entering, we made our way to the snorkel stand and met Richard, a huge size of a man – very friendly — who set us up with chairs, snorkel gear and two large dog biscuits (to feed the fish with). The rental fees are about double that of Trunk Bay. I believe snorkel gear and chairs ran about $30.00 for the day. The snorkeling was great. I thought there was many more fish at Coki, compared to Trunk (possibly because of the dog biscuits).

I will now get the negatives out of the way. The bathrooms are bad. There once were showers but they are no longer operating. The facilities are somewhat dirty and smelly. With that being said, you are not going to be spending much time in the restrooms when you are at a place like Coki Beach. The other negative is the general conditions. There is some trash, old boats, broken chairs – things like that – sort of strewn all around. Trunk Bay is absolutely pristine. Coki Beach is somewhat disheveled. However, this was not a big deal to us. If you are a glass-half-full type, you might even allow this to add to the overall ambiance!

The overall environment at Coki Beach, given you take some time to breathe it all in, is purely loveable. First, there are friendly, local women walking the beach as waitresses that will not only bring you sandwiches and drinks, but also provide valuable information on anything ranging from snorkeling tips to St. Thomas history.

There are small, cozy, well-worn wooden shacks set up as a bar and a restaurant grill. They fit right in to the entire scene; very island-esque. The drinks, served in plastic cups, are pricey but tasty. A rum punch and a pina colada will run you $13.00 plus tip. We also split a grilled mahi mahi sandwich, served on a hamburger bun, for $10.00 ($12.00 if we wanted french fries with it). The sandwich was DELICIOUS!

A great selection of fun music plays constantly from the grill area. There is dancing from some locals who are hanging out, as well as the waitresses, who bop along to the tunes as they walk the beach.

We spent an entire day there; from about 10 am until 5 pm. And, when it was time to go, Richard graciously hooked us up with a cab ride home. One’s first impression of Coki must be set aside, and you will surely have a fun-filled, memorable day.

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Actually Coki is much more gorgeous than Magens in our opinion. Magens is just highly-touted and a biller bay. We consider Coki to be the nicest beach on STT along with Sapphire. Both of these offer great snorkeling, rentals, restrooms, and food/drink.

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Magens and Coki are two different kinds of beaches.


Magens is part of a territorial park system. There is a concessionaire who rents chairs, floats, etc. Non-motorized water toys are available. There is one pizza/burger restaurant and a bar. Servers will bring drinks to you in the water. There are several bathhouses. Especially on weekends, you may see locals having picnics and parties. The beach is about a mile long with a sloping sandy entry and is usually calm enough to bob in the water.


Coki has several vendors who will set you up with equipment, food (local food) and drinks. The beach area has been completely redone, so ignore the 2009 review. (And please say "no" to anyone who wants you to feed the fish dog biscuits!) There is a scuba operator and Coral World is next door. The beach is smaller than Magens.

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If you want a quaint area with some beautiful calm waters and don't want to be around hoards of people, go to Magen's. Every time I have seen Coki (in a tour), it has been packed to the brim. Now this isn't to say it's not a great beach, b/c I'm sure it is. But it seemed very busy, many many more options than what Magen's had. But it was just me and bf who don't drink, don't party, and have no kids. We were also the only ship in port so you may want to check that out before making a decision too.

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Actually from our experience Magens and Coki are two of the most crowded beaches on the island. Coki is a smaller bay and so can get quite crowded as the day goes on, and Magens is the most-hyped beach and so attracts the most people and tours. And of course there's no snorkeling at Magens which is a prerequisite. Even though we're not avid snorkelers we prefer Coki over Magens for its charm or character similar to Sapphire and Secret Harbor.

While staying at Sapphire once we took a beach tour to see Coki, Magens, Lindquist, Cowpet, and Secret Harbor. There was 1 smaller ship in port one day and most beaches were fairly quiet while Magens was very crowded. Just typical there and so not a favorite for us.


If chairs and umbrellas weren't needed Smith's Bay / Lindqvist would be the best option for the least crowded yet gorgeous beach. But there are no amenities there and that's why it's so quiet. Lindbergh can be somewhat quiet on less busy days but doesn't offer snorkeling.


Sapphire is actually a good alternative because it's a larger bay and home to condo resorts and has a low key vibe. It's a gorgeous beach with abundant natural shade and great island views as well as amenities and good snorkeling.


All STT beaches are nice, and for the requested amenities and snorkeling Coki, Sapphire or SH would be the best choices IMHO.

Edited by blue_water
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