The location of the United States Virgin Islands ( UVSI ) between the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean provides travelers with a perfect blend of warmth and tropical breezes, making it one of the most-visited vacation spots in the world. These islands, named by Christopher Columbus after Saint Ursula and her 11,000 virgin followers, all offer a mixture of modern vacation luxuries, antiquity, and exotic natural attractions, as well as great cultural diversity. Though most of the islands' populations come from Afro-Caribbean descent, Dutch, Italian, American, Spanish, and other heritages influence the wonderful cuisine, indigenous art, and historical sites. In the past, the Virgin Islands have flown under the flags of 7 nations: Spain, Great Britain, the Netherlands, France, the Knights of Malta, Denmark, and the United States. Natural attractions include the beautiful beaches, known for their fine white sand and superb snorkeling, diving, and fishing spots.
St. Croix, St. Thomas, St. John, and Water Island make up the main US Virgin Islands. St. Croix, the biggest of the four, measures 84 square miles with a population of 51,000. The two major towns on this island are Frederiksted in the southwest and Christiansted in the north. Famous historical attractions, such as Fort Christiansvaern and Fort Frederik along with guided tours for visitors, make these towns rich with historical sight-seeing. The north shore, the most tourist-oriented area, offers beautiful beaches, hotels, luxury resorts, and plenty of places to shop.
At 32 square miles and population of 60,000, St. Thomas seconds in size among the four islands, but reigns today as the biggest tourist attraction and busiest cruise harbor in the archipelago. St. Thomas presents a myriad of beautiful and attractive vacation spots, especially the incredibly attractive beaches. Famous for their beauty, Magens Bay and Sapphire Beach display sparkling turquoise waters and white sand. Experts rated these as some of the world's best places for snorkeling, diving, sailing, and fishing. Charlotte Amalie, the capital of the US Virgin Islands, resides at the heart of St. Thomas. It rules as the largest city in the Virgin Islands and has become a bustling hub for shopping and historic sight-seeing, offering some of the best cuisine and nightlife in the Caribbean. St. Thomas has definitely made a name as one of the largest cruise ship destinations in the world.
Visitors who prefer a more quiet and relaxed vacation might make a voyage to St. John. Reachable by ferry, St. John lies to the east of St. Thomas and measures 20 square miles with a population of 5,000. Though not quite the place for exciting nightlife, St. John offers a gorgeous variety of natural attractions: hiking trails, trips through the historical Danish sugar plantations, beautiful bays and beaches, with diving tours to take tourists through magical underwater trails. Clear waters and amazing coral reefs make Trunk Bay Beach an ideal location for beginner snorklers and divers. Furthermore, St. John hosts the Virgin Islands National Park, a veritable gold mine of historic hiking trails. The Park spans about half of the entire island and a trip might consist of a nature trek through lush forests or a historic trip through the ruins of an 18th century sugar plantation. Other activities on St. John include windsurfing, horseback riding, and kayaking.
Water Island, the smallest of the four, recently joined the main US Virgin Islands in 1996. It lies to the south of St. Thomas where visitors and residents travel there by ferry from Crown Bay Marina. The area originally belonged to St. Thomas until a channel was built and administratively, it remains a sub district of St. Thomas. Culturally, the island's population is mainly of Afro-Caribbean descent as well as Danish and other European nationalities.
As a vacation spot, Water Island offers a more relaxing and tranquil alternative to the excitement and ritzy nightlife of St. Thomas. Water Island gives visitors a chance to completely relax and enjoy the stunning scenery and peaceful beaches. They can enjoy boating trips, fishing, kayaking, and hiking trips.
No matter on which of these islands you choose for your USVI travel, a trip to the US Virgin Islands definitely provides a fun, exciting, and stimulating experience. Whether as a romantic honeymoon or a family holiday, experience the USVI for an unforgettable vacation.
Travel to the US Virgin Islands and treasure your time in paradise!