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a man flying through the air over a body of water

Originally a term coined in photography as the best time of day for taking pictures, the “magic hour” (also known as the “golden hour”) is that gorgeous period of time slightly before sunset. It’s not exactly an hour though – that part is just a figure of speech. As the sun gets low above the horizon, that’s when the magic hour sets in. You’ve surely witnessed it before in various places around the world – the lighting gets softer, the sky is bursting with reddish tones, and all of the creatures become more active as they prepare for nightfall.

While you can partake in this dreamy time of day no matter where you are, getting to experience it in our mangrove lagoon truly puts the magic in magic hour.

The mangrove lagoon is a wildlife and marine reserve on St. Thomas. Mangroves are known for their biodiversity and ours is no exception. Home to a variety of tropical species both above and below the water surface, the St. Thomas mangrove ecosystem is a unique treasure that we’re delighted to be able to share with both locals and visitors to our island through our sunset kayak tours.

While the setting sun makes for a serene backdrop to your photos, the energy of the wildlife around you is anything but. During the magic hour, the natural world is abuzz with activity:

Crabs scurry along the shoreline;

Schools of fry fish jump out of the water, looking like a dusting of glitter through the air, as they try to evade predators below;

Turtles poke their heads up for air, then dive back down to graze on their dinner;

And the birds put on a show, diving for food, socializing up a storm, and flying to their roosting spots for the night.

The magic hour is, in fact, a bird-watcher’s heaven. Here are just a few of the birds you may spot on one of our sunset kayak tours:

The Great Blue Heron:

a bird sitting on top of a grass covered field


The Green Heron:

a colorful bird perched on a tree branch



The Yellow-Crowned Night Heron:

a bird sitting on a rock next to a body of water



The Great Egret:

a flock of seagulls standing next to a body of water



The Frigatebird:

a close up of a bird flying in the sky

The Brown Pelican:

a close up of a bird flying over a body of water

If you’re a fellow nature lover, we invite you to come join us for some magic in the mangroves. We promise it will be one sunset you won’t soon forget.

You can book your sunset kayak tour here.

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