Thomas combines the natural beauty
of the islands with a cosmopolitan atmosphere. Charlotte Amalie,
the capital of the U.S. Virgin Islands, is one of the most beautiful
harbors in the world and the most visited port in the Caribbean.
Elegant dining, exciting nightlife, and world-class duty-free
shopping are abundant in Charlotte Amalie. The city's reputation
as the shopping mecca of the Caribbean draws visitors from all
over the region and around the world.
A mountainous island, St. Thomas offers stunning vistas in almost
every direction. While Charlotte Amalie is full of energy, St.
Thomas also provides natural wonders such as the indescribably
beautiful Magens Bay and stunning views of the Caribbean from
1,500 feet above sea level. Drake's Seat is particularly famous
for its vistas.
John, the smallest of the three U.S. Virgin Islands, retains
a tranquil, unspoiled beauty uncommon in the Caribbean or anywhere
else in the world. Settled in the early 1700s by Danish immigrants
attracted to the island's potential as a sugar cane-producing
colony, St. John soon blossomed into a thriving society. The
ruins of the Annaberg Sugar Plantation and other smaller plantations
on the island attest to the island's agricultural history.
Today, two-thirds of St. John is part of the Virgin Islands
National Park, featuring fascinating trails, secluded coves,
and dazzling white beaches. The Reef Bay Trail takes hikers
through dense forests, plantation ruins, and rock outcroppings
marked by well-preserved petroglyphs. Trunk Bay, Hawksnest Bay,
Cinnamon Bay, and Maho Bay are just four of the dozens of beaches.
Cruz Bay, the center of activity on St. John, contains colorful
shops, lively bars, and fabulous restaurants.
St. Croix's rich culture and history, along with its
beautiful beaches and world-class recreational activities, create
an experience unlike any other in the Caribbean. Since the day
Christopher Columbus first arrived at Salt River on St.Croix
more than 500 years ago, sugar and rum have shaped the island's
life and land. Fifty-four sugar mills, each with imposing windmill
towers and factory chimneys, still rest in the shadows of stately
eighteenth-century and nineteenth-century homes. Located on
the west end of the island, Estate Whim Plantation is just one
example of these "greathouses." With acres of rolling
green hills, St.Croix's plantation estates also bore crops of
okra, cabbage, corn, and other vegetables still prominent in
Caribbean cuisine. As the sugar industry declined after the
1960s, tourism became the most important industry on the island.
Christiansted and Frederiksted, the two main towns of St. Croix,
flourished as commercial ports during the eighteenth century
and nineteenth century. Distinct architecture reflects the seven
flags--Spanish, Dutch, British, French, Knights of Malta, Danish,
and American -- that have flown over the island. Today, visitors
to St. Croix can enjoy a number of indoor and outdoor activities,
from fine dining, shopping, and a casino, to golf, scuba diving,
and horsback riding.
St. Thomas offers plenty of shallow reef sites teeming with
colorful tropicals and tons of soft corals. Sites such as Cow
and Calf Rocks provide caves, caverns and swimthroughs, while
Sail Rock has fast current thrills and the chance to see large
Diving St. John is quite similar to St. Thomas. Lots of dives
with extended bottom times. Check out the Major General Rogers,
a Coast Guard tender ship, intentionally sunk in just 65' of
water as an artificial reef. You will be amazed at the swarms
of schooling fish and large barracuda patrol the wreck on a
What so different about diving St. Croix? Walls! Sites such
as Cane Bay Drop-Off provide walls starting in as little as
40'. Along the crest of the walls, hard and soft corals are
found in abundance. St. Croix also offers a great selection
of wreck and shallow reef dives.