The Virgin Islands of the United States, or commonly called the United States Virgin Islands, US Virgin Islands, American Virgin Islands, or USVI, are a group of islands situated in the Caribbean and are an insular area of the United States. US Virgin Islands are geographically part of the Virgin Islands archipelago, together with British Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, in the Leeward Islands of the Lesser Antilles. The main islands of the US Virgin Islands are Saint Croix, Saint John, and Saint Thomas, and its capital and largest city is Charlotte Amalie on Saint Thomas Island. It also has the smaller Water Island and other surrounding minor islands. Climate in the US Virgin Islands is described as tropical savanna.
What to see & do
The US Virgin Islands is known for its white sand beaches, especially Magens Bay and Trunk Bay, as well as its strategic harbours like Charlotte Amalie and Christiansted. More than half of the island of Saint John is managed by the National Park Service where major attractions can be visited including the Virgin Islands National Park, housing a complex history of civilisations; Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument with federal submerged islands; Buck Island Reef National Monument, which has one of the finest marine gardens in the Caribbean Sea; Christiansted National Historic Site that houses five preserved historic structures; and Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve, which has the largest mango forests in the Virgin Islands, and coral reefs and a submarine canyon. Almost all of Hassel Island and acres of coral reef in the US Virgin Islands are also under the National Park Service. Guided Running & Power-Walking Tours are held in the islands, where travellers go for a guided tour between scenic and historic sites. In Water Island, there is the Water Island Monday movie night, where tourists can enjoy a movie on the beach. If visiting the country during April, don’t miss the week-long culinary festival in Saint Croix, called the Saint Croix Food & Wine Experience.
How to get around Virgin Islands
All of the islands in the US Virgin Islands are served by buses, taxis, rental cars, and scooters. Car rental agencies are recommended when exploring the most out of the US Virgin Islands. This way, travellers can reach places that the public transportation usually doesn’t. Taxi and bus rates in the territory are regulated. When going between islands, Red Hook offers sailboat rentals. There is also a ferry boat service that transports cars between Red Hook, Saint Thomas, and Cruz Bay in Saint John.
How to get there
The US Virgin Islands is served by Henry E. Rohlsen International Airport in Saint Croix and Cyril E. King International Airport in Saint Thomas. Henry E. Rohlsen International Airport is located six miles or 10 kilometres southwest of Christiansted, and hosts main inter-Caribbean flights. Cyril E. King International Airport is located two miles or three kilometres west of the central business district of Charlotte Amalie, and is the busiest airport in the US Virgin Islands. It also serves the nearby island of Saint John, and is often used by travellers when going to and coming from the British Virgin Islands.