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US Virgin Islands

US Virgin Islands Travel Guide

The US Virgin Islands are Caribbean islands, which sit in-between the Caribbean Sea and North Atlantic Ocean and have an area of 135 square kilometres. The islands contain a total of around 120,000 people, who are mainly of African, US, Puerto Rican and Danish descent and Catholic, Baptist and Episcopalian religion. The inhabitants speak Spanish, English, French and Castilian and make their living from first and foremost tourism and oil refining trading mainly with Puerto Rico and the good old US of A!

Back in the 17th century, these three islands were divided into two territorial divisions, one being Danish and the other being English. During the early 18th and 19th centuries, sugarcane was the US Virgin Islands’ main profit maker, with slaves being made to work in the fields for many hours per day. In 1917, the United States bought the Danish section of the islands, which, after the 1848 abolition of slavery, was under much financial distress.

The most popular of the 60 islands are St Croix, St Thomas and St John, each with its own interests. St Croix is the biggest but the farthest away, so less travellers flood this island, unless they come by ship from the islands’ ports, to see St Croix’s historical structures and artefacts, modern shopping malls and snorkelling and diving regions. The island of St Thomas is filled with many stunning white, sandy beaches, surfing opportunities and its capital of Charlotte Amalie, is a very pretty region, which is very americanised with lots of trendy shops and cafes. The island of St John, the baby of the three islands, is a hikers haven, full of natural wilderness, whose National Park, is interestingly half on land and half underwater, with many walking trails and various tranquil beaches, where visitors can enjoy a bit of windsurfing.

Most people get from island to island by boat, with regular ferries travelling between all three islands. The ferries on St Thomas set off from Red Hook and Charlotte Amalie to St John Island and to reach St Croix, there is a seaplane, which fly’s to the island regularly, taking only 20 minutes each way. Once on an island, car hire is a good way to travel about, especially by jeep for those far out places. The bus service is slow but safe on St Thomas and St Croix, with a small bus service running frequently on St John. Visitors will also never be short of a taxi on any of the islands, which will take tourists wherever they please at a set rate, decided upon by the amount of passengers in the cab.

Flying to the US Virgin Islands is direct from the USA, with flights from Europe having to connect in San Juan or Miami. Passenger will usually land in St Thomas first and then carry on to St Croix. The high time for tourists is usually from December to May, so to avoid the crowds, travellers are best arriving before or after this period, which is also when accommodation prices fall dramatically.

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