Saint John's Island Overview

Saint John’s Island provides a peaceful getaway near Singapore where you can spend a fun day with your loved ones. Decorated with blue lagoons, tranquil beaches and lush greenery, the island offers visitors to enjoy fun activities like swimming and snorkeling. Explore the corals and diverse marine animals or embark on a trail to uncover all the significant sites here.

Located south to the main Island, Saint John’s Island used to be a quarantine center and a refugee camp before being remodeled to a peaceful escape. Having an interesting history, the island shares a glimpse into Singapore's past. It used to house a quarantine center, a refugee camp, and a drug rehabilitation facility back in the days. For those planning Singapore tours from India, Saint John’s Island serves as a serene destination to explore during your visit to the region.

The island is now flourishing with a variety of flora and fauna, which you will be able to explore on a special trail, Saint John’s Island Trail.

Giving you the opportunity to embrace nature without being distracted by the city buzz, Saint John’s is a must-visit place if you want to relax and spend quality time with your loved ones. You can pack a picnic basket to enjoy an outing with your family.

The turquoise blue water washing over the white beaches will provide you with a perfect setting to play beach games or relax and soak in the sun after a swim in the sea waters.

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• Saint John’s Island provides a peaceful getaway, just 30 minutes away from the busy city life of Singapore
• Embark on the Saint John’s Trail to explore the history, biodiversity and natural habitats of the island.
• Sisters’ Island Marine Park, Singapore’s first park of its kind, is located partially on the western reefs of Saint John’s island with the other half on Pulau Tekukor.
• Explore the former ‘quarantine’ island which played a significant role in Singapore’s history
• You can swim in the blue lagoons and bask in the sun on the white sand beaches of the island.
• The Mangrove tree patches and turquoise water beaches provide a great setting for enjoying a delightful picnic with your family.

How To Reach

The only way to reach Saint John’s island from Singapore is via ferry. You can board any of the two ferry lines, ‘Marina South Ferries’ and ‘Sentosa Ferry,’ to reach your destination in about 30 minutes.

You can board the ferry from ‘Sentosa Cove’ or ‘Marina South Pier’ and get off at ‘Lazarus Seringat Jetty’ station which is just a 21 minute walk away from your destination.

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Best Time To Visit

Early mornings will be the ideal time to embark on a natural retreat to this island. If you plan on returning back to the main island the same day, then reaching early will give you a full day ahead to take things at your own pace and discover the concealed treasures of Saint John’s Island.

However, early evening will be the best time to visit if you have made reservations in one of the accommodations at the island for an overnight stay. This way you get to relish in the beauty of sunset and sunrise from this island.

Although it is a year-round destination, December to June would be the best months to visit the island as the weather during this time period is the most pleasant.

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Other Essential Information

Things to keep in mind while planning a visit to Saint John’s Island

  • Make sure you pack all the essential items required as the island does not have any convenient store or eatery.
  • You can shop for the required items at any of the convenient stores on Marina South Pier.
  • If you wish to spend the night on the island make sure you book the accommodation in advance from any of the two options available, ‘Holiday Bungalow’ or ‘Holiday Camps’.
  • Carry swimwear and extra towels if you plan on going for a swim in the sea waters.
  • Carrying sunblock, sunglasses, caps/hats will be helpful.

History of Saint John’s Island

Saint John’s Island was used as a quarantine center in 1874, for the Cholera outbreak which led to the death of 357 people. Much later, after the epidemic reached its end, during the wars in 1940s, the island housed prisoners-of-war and mentally ill patients. After the war ended, it was converted again to a quarantine center due to its convenient location, just 30 minutes away from the mainland.

In 1948, some parts of the island were used to confine political prisons after the Malayan Emergency. One of these prisoners was the third future president of Singapore, C.V. Devan Nair, who spent most of his time reading and studying here.

With the advancement of Singapore and receding crises, the island also housed a rehabilitation facility for drug addicts from 1955.

By the end of 1973 and 1975, both the quarantine center and the drug rehabilitation facility were closed off respectively. This was the point when the government decided to convert the island into a peaceful getaway with holiday lodgings and campsites. Fast forward to today, the island features a Marine laboratory, a natural trail, a peaceful beach and a Marine park.

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Point of Interest for Saint John's Island
Saint John Island Trail

Saint John Island Trail

 A specially designed nature walk, the Saint John’s Island Trail, takes the visitors through the island’s history and biodiversity. You will be able to discover about the former ‘quarantine island’, enjoy birdwatching, exploring coral reefs and marine life along with coastal forests and lush mangrove plantations.

You will be able to spot the board which displays all the important information about this trail, while walking towards the island from the pier.

A map of the island with 10 site marks is on display here where you can get a basic idea about how the walk proceeds along with some interesting facts about the island. It is recommended that you take a picture of this map to help you along the walk.

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St. John's Island National Marine Laboratory

St. John's Island National Marine Laboratory

The research laboratory is a perfect place for the youngsters and children to learn about the marine life flourishing around them. St. John's Island National Marine Laboratory also hosts different programmes regularly for the youth to come and explore the various advancements the resident scientists have made.

SJINML Research Seminars that are hosted for people to understand the importance of these marine creatures in our ecosystem.

You can easily book your slots to uncover the treasure troves here and get a latest update on ongoing events at this facility.

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Sisters’ Islands Marine Park

Sisters’ Islands Marine Park

First of its kind in Singapore, The Sisters’ Islands marine Park fans out over 40 hectares around Sisters' Islands and across the western reefs of Pulau Tekukor and Saint John’s Island.

Big Sisters' Island (Pulau Subar Laut) is the region of the park which is open for the public to explore the biodiversity of the surrounding regions. Other areas of this park are reserved for research and conservation.

The marine park also provides protect to the coral reefs of Singapore which provide the ideal habitat for endangered species of clams, sponges, seahorses and other aquatic animals.

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Enjoy a picnic/day out at the Beach

Enjoy a picnic/day out at the Beach

The calm and tranquil environment of Saint John’s Island provides a perfect opportunity for people in Singapore to enjoy a day out at the peaceful beach of this southern island. You can enjoy a picnic with your loved ones surrounded by ethereal beauty and relax under the sun.

Playing beach sports, enjoying snacks with refreshing beverages or taking a dip in the blue waters is a great way to go about enjoying your time on this island.

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Tourism Board Alliances

Saint John's Island FAQs

What is Saint John island famous for?

Pristine white beaches, lush green plantation, rich biodiversity, serene environment and an intriguing history of Saint John’s Island attract tourists to spend a day away from the busy city life. The Island also features a marine park, first of its kind in Singapore, and a research center along with a few accommodation options for the visitors.

Can I stay overnight at Saint John Island?

Yes, but only if you make your booking with one of the two accommodation options available on the island.

‘Holiday Bungalow’ comes with a full fledged kitchen and can easily accommodate up to 10 people. Whereas, ‘Holiday Camps’ is a dormitory which can accommodate up to 60 people and has a kitchen with basic amenities.

How much time is required to explore Saint John Island?

A day’s trip should be enough to uncover all the gems Saint John’s Island has to offer, although you can choose to stay overnight in either of the two accommodation options available here. You will have the option of exploring a special nature walk, swimming in the blue lagoons or enjoying an outing at the beaches on this island. You can also visit the Marine Laboratory to learn about the aquatic animals by booking a slot online beforehand.

What are the water sports available at Saint John’s Island?

Offering a peaceful getaway to the visitors, Saint John’s Island is not known for its water sports activities. However, if you charter a jet ski or have your own you can definitely enjoy riding the boat in these calm waters.

What are the best places to eat at Saint John’s Island?

There are no restaurants or food joints available on the island. The island is a budding tourist destination which offers a peaceful getaway amidst nature with little amenities and only two accommodation options on it. You need to plan keeping in mind these important factors.

You can get your essentials required for the time you will be spending here before leaving Singapore.

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