The Segmental Info System
The U.S. Virgin Islands boast a rich colonial history and heritage that includes three different Indian tribes and elements of Spanish, English, Dutch, French, and Caribbean cultures.
Despite a turbulent history, today the U.S.V.I. is a Caribbean haven for the American way of life, and strives to preserve the natural aquatic beauty for which the islands are so famous. For more information, visit the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism or the U.S. Virgin Islands Guide.
|U.S. Virgin Islands: Facts at a Glance|
U.S. and Canadian citizens need only proof of citizenship and a photo ID to enter the country. All other visitors, including those from the Caribbean should follow the same procedures as if they were visiting the U.S. mainland.
The U.S. Virgin Islands is an archipelago with three main islands, St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix, and about 50 smaller surrounding islands and reefs. One of the most unique features of the islands is their location in two bodies of water. St. Thomas is wholly in the Atlantic Ocean, while St. Croix is located entirely in the Caribbean Sea. St. John is a divider between the two. As a result of this unique feature, the islands are naturally stunning, featuring some of the top ranked beaches and top-notch diving and snorkeling in the Caribbean. As such, the Virgin Islands (and especially St. Thomas) are also a popular cruise destination, since there's nothing quite like gazing at a sunset over the gorgeous waters from the deck of a cruise ship.
There are two main airports located within the U.S. Virgin Islands: Cyril E. King International Airport on St. Thomas, and Henry E. Rohlsen International Airport on St. Croix. Both airports handle international traffic, with direct and connecting flights from many major airlines, including, but not limited to, Air St. Thomas, Air Sunshine, American Airlines, American Eagle, Cape Air, Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Leeward Island Airways, LIAT, United Airlines, and US Airways.
Most visitors have no problems with tap water in the U.S. Virgin Islands since it is clean and well-filtered but, as usual, those with more sensitive stomachs should stick to bottled water.
As far as crime goes, the U.S. Virgin Islands experience a higher level of crime than many Caribbean islands, but still less than major metropolitan areas like New York City or London. However, a little common sense goes a long way. Keep your visit fun by following basic traveler's rules: Never walk alone at night and keep an eye on your belongings.
The U.S. Virgin Islands' residential population is widely diverse. Those who are Virgin Islanders by heritage are mostly descended from the African population who worked sugar cane plantations before abolition. Recently, the population has grown immensely, with many people from other parts of the Caribbean and the U.S. mainland moving to the U.S. Virgin Islands to live comfortably in the islands' relaxed atmosphere. Puerto Ricans have especially taken to the island, bringing with them a Spanish lilt.
The climate of the U.S. Virgin Islands is ideal, with perfect Caribbean temperatures and rainfall. January averages run from a low of 69 to a high of 84. July temperatures are not so different, with a low of 75 and a high of 89 (all temperatures in degrees Fahrenheit). Rainfall averages 54.4 inches annually, with summer and spring as the rainy season, and winter as the driest; however, it has been known to shower in the winter, so don't be surprised if it starts to sprinkle! Most rainfall occurs in the form of mild sun showers, and the precipitation is usually over as soon as it starts.
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