In addition to approximately 50 uninhabited islands and cays, the USVI has 3 principal islands: St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas. The U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) became a U.S. territory after the United States purchased the islands from Denmark in 1917. For U.S. citizens, it means no passport is needed to reach this tropical paradise.
Beyond the white sand beaches are turquoise waters teeming with sea life — over 500 species of fish, 40 types of coral and hundreds of other marine dwellers. These islands are well suited for newly certified and advanced divers alike.
Each island has its own unique flavor:
- St. Croix. Steeped in Danish influence, the two largest towns of Frederiksted and Christiansted feature quaint shops, pastel buildings and lots of cultural diversity. Golf, water sports, an underwater national monument, pristine beaches as well as historical sites await you in St. Croix.
- St. John. Accessible only by ferry, a visit to St. John is well worth the trip. Two-thirds of St. John’s is national park land with world-renowned beaches, including Trunk Bay, Cinnamon Bay and Salt Pond Bay. St. John’s tranquility and carefully preserved natural beauty make it unforgettable. Each July 4, you can enjoy a Carnival festival celebrating the USVI’s independence.
- St. Thomas. Downtown Charlotte Amalie offers fine dining, energizing nightlife, duty-free shopping and more. Surrounded by some of the Caribbean’s healthiest reefs, St. Thomas is perfect for diving and turtle watching. Local diving favorites include the Navy Barges (trumpetfish, angelfish), Wit Shoal II (barracuda, orange cup coral), the Cow & Calf (large caves), Tunnels of Thatch (sponges, butterflyfish and parrotfish) and Coki Beach (yellow-headed jawfish, stingrays, turtles).
With year-round summertime weather, reliable trade winds, gorgeous scenery, protected anchorages and short sails between the islands, the USVI offers some the world’s finest sailing grounds.
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