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Virgin Islands

Ooaj Travel Guide, tourism, hotel reservation, residence, plane, cheap pension for you holidays in virgin islands

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North America : Caribbean : Virgin Islands
Flag
Image:vq-flag.png
Quick Facts
CapitalCharlotte Amalie
GovernmentNA
CurrencyUS dollar (USD)
Areatotal: 352 sq km
water: 3 sq km
land: 349 sq km
Population123,498 (July 2002 est.)
LanguageEnglish (official), Spanish, Creole
ReligionBaptist 42%, Roman Catholic 34%, Episcopalian 17%, other 7%

The Virgin Islands is a Caribbean island territory of the United States of America between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, east of Puerto Rico. It was formerly known as the Danish West Indies. Together with the British Virgin Islands, to the northeast, the territory forms the Virgin Islands archipelagoVirgin Islands archipelago. The islands natural resources are sun, sand, sea, and surf.

Map of Virgin IslandsMap of Virgin Islands
Map of Virgin Islands

virgin islands Travel Guide :

Virgin Islands

Regions

There are three main islands:

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Cities

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Other destinations

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Understand

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Climate

Subtropical, tempered by easterly trade winds, relatively low humidity, little seasonal temperature variation; rainy season May to November. Has experienced several hurricanes in recent years as well as frequent and severe droughts and floods.

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Terrain

Mostly hilly to rugged and mountainous with little level land. There are occasional earthquakes.

Highest point
Crown Mountain 474 m
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Location

Is in an important location along the Anegada Passage - a key shipping lane for the Panama Canal; Saint Thomas has one of the best natural deepwater harbors in the Caribbean

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History

During the 17th century, the archipelago was divided into two territorial units, one English and the other Danish. Sugarcane, produced by slave labor, drove the islands' economy during the 18th and early 19th centuries. In 1917, the US purchased the Danish portion, which had been in economic decline since the abolition of slavery in 1848.

National holiday 
Transfer Day (from Denmark to the US), 27 March (1917)
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Get in

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By plane

If coming from US you will likely land in Charlotte Amalie on St. Thomas and then take boats or other small planes to the other islands. If you're coming in on a big plane, try and arrive before nightfall so you can see how close you actually come to sliding right off the edge of the runway into the ocean.

Many flights connect through Puerto Rico, but direct flights from the states are usually cheaper and involve less hassle and flying time. They come from Chicago or New York (on American), Atlanta (on Delta), as well as Charlotte, Miami.

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By boat

Ferries run between all three US Virgin Islands, as well as to and from the British Virgin Islands and, on a seasonal basis, Puerto Rico.

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Get around

Getting around St Croix for one, is fairly easy. With plenty to explore on the island, car rental agencies are recommended. From the lush rainforest to the quaint Christianstead, driving the island is both scenic and a visual pleasure. Stick to the left-hand side and with a good handful of sharp curves, take your time navigating the roads. Remember that you're on "island time."

All of the Islands have bus service and/or a regulated Taxi service. For example, upon landing at St.Thomas Airport, you could rent a Taxi to take you to Charlotte Amalie, or to Red Hook Landing; either of which have Water Taxi service to Cruz Bay, St. John Island. Upon docking at Cruz Bay you may take a Taxi to your destination or rent a car or Vespa Scooter. Generally car rental rates will be comparable to "the states" (about $500 per week or $80 per day. Take out the insurance if you plan to go four wheeling up the steep mountain roads. You can "bargain" for most things on the Island's, but the Taxi and Bus rates are regulated. Sailboat rentals at Red Hook, will allow you to get around by water. If you plan to sail to the British Virgin Island's you MUST have your passport. Usually not required for American's in St. Croix, St. Thomas, and St. Johns.

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Talk

English is the official language but you may also find Spanish or Creole being spoken.

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Buy

The islands are duty-free and have all sorts of shops, with special emphasis on rums and tanzanite.

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Eat

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Drink

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Sleep

  • Hostel Happy, 1 (http://www.hostelhappy.net/). Offers a sailboat hostel for hosteling and chartering all over the US and British Virgin Islands and the greater Caribbean.
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Learn

The University of the Virgin Islands is a small and fairly respectable school on St. Thomas http://www.uvi.edu/ The public high schools have had a history of trouble with accration, but recent improvements have gotten them accepted on a probationary basis.

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Work

As a US territory, Americans can come here and work with no special visa. Foreigners must go through the rigorous process of obtaining a US work permit.

The economy is quite seasonal, based mostly around cruise ship calls, which taper off from May through September and peak in December and January.

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Stay safe

This is the only US possession where driving on the left side (British) of the road is practiced.

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Stay healthy

Low-lying buildings usually use the public water, which is fine to drink. Places up in the mountains almost all have independent water supplies, replenished by the rain that falls on their roofs. The safety of this water depends on regular cleaning and treatment of the building's cistern. Given the "island time" work ethic of the average islander, caution should be exercised.

Virgin Islands

Respect

Islanders follow a charming system of greeting which depends on the time of day. Good morning, good afternoon, good evening and good night are the norm. You may also be greeted with "ya arright?", to which an appropriate response would be "arright!" or "OK".

A woman walking alone will most likely not receive the same kind of respect that she would expect at home. This is a simple matter of culture.

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Contact

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External links

Camping at Cinnamon Bay, St. John

http://stjohnusvi.thebeach.vi/cinnamon-bay.html

http://www.stjohntraveler.com/activities-attractions/cinnamon-bay-snorkeling.php

http://www.here.vi/Camping/camping.html

http://www.cinnamonbay.com/



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