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The US Virgin Islands are US territories in the Caribbean. Together with the British Virgin Islands, they form the Virgin Islands Archipelago. As you can imagine, the US Virgin Islands are a pretty common vacation destination for travelers, especially US citizens. And how could it be otherwise? There is sun, beaches, surfing, and a lot of other means of relaxation that make for the perfect vacation. However, before you go to the US Virgin Islands, you should learn a few things.
The first thing you need to check before planning your vacation to the US Virgin Islands is if you need a visa to get in. What you need to check out is the visa policy of the US since it is US territory. You will see that there are a few categories of travelers. The first one includes citizens of visa-exempt countries. Here, we are referring to the nationals of Canada, Bermuda, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, and Palau. They can go to the US Virgin Islands with only their passport.
The visa policy of the US also contains a list of countries in the visa waiver program. There are 38 of these countries whose citizens need only a passport to go to the US Virgin Islands. However, they still need to go through an authorization process before departure. What they need to obtain is an electronic travel authorization, also known as an ESTA. However, that is simple to accomplish. Eligible nationalities can get it online.
If you do not find yourself on neither of the lists mentioned above, your only option is to apply for a US visa at the nearest US embassy. The process should not be too difficult. Even so, we advise that you give the embassy a call before going visiting the office. That way you can find out the visa requirements from a more reliable source than the internet.
Getting to the US Virgin Islands is easy. There are plenty of flights that will take you either to the island of St. Thomas or St. John. St. Croix does not have an airport, but it is simple to get there from the other two islands. Getting around the islands is just as easy. There are plenty of car rentals available, but you can use taxis or public transportation just as well. To get from one island to the other, you can use the ferries or boats.
As you can imagine, the official language in the US Virgin Islands is English. You will hear some locals using Creole. Some of them speak Spanish Creole or French Creole. However, communication should not be an issue.
What you will find unusual is that while the US Virgin Islands are a part of the US, the driving is on the left, the same as in the British Virgin Islands. However, the cars imported gave the steering wheel on the left, which is why you need to drive with extreme caution. The visibility is not the same as when the steering wheel is on the right.
As to what you can do in the US Virgin Islands, the possibilities are endless. You can choose one of the countless beaches and relax in the sun all day long while getting that perfect tan. If you want to explore, you can rent a Jeep and look out from the hills, although there are no high peaks; the highest is a bit over 400 meters. Even so, the sights are beautiful. When you are not exploring or laying in the san, we recommend that you go snorkeling. The Coral Bay is the best place where you can snorkel. You will find some tour guides that will show you the best spots.
What you need to be aware of is that the US Virgin Islands can be dangerous as well. One of the dangers that may threaten your life is the fact that hurricane season can be deadly. With winds that blow over 200 mph, the hurricanes leave nothing behind: remember the devastation in 2017? The second danger is the crime rate. Unfortunately, the US Virgin Islands is the 7th most violent place (homicide rate) in the world. This happens mostly on St. Thomas Island (Charlotte Amalie). Do not go out alone at night and avoid areas that are known to host drug activities. As long as you acknowledge that, you should be safe and have an incident-free vacation.
The bottom line is that the Virgin Islands are an ideal place to go on vacation. The beaches are fantastic, the food is great, especially during the food and wine festival in April (St. Croix). You can have a lot of fun.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Where can I read more?
- How citizens of Canada can enter the U.S. Virgin Islands during Coronavirus
- How Citizens of the United Kingdom Can enter the U.S. Virgin Islands During Coronavirus
- How US Citizens Can Enter the U.S. Virgin Islands During Coronavirus
- US Virgin Islands Travel Covid Test
- US Virgin Islands Travel Quarantine
- US Virgin Islands Covid 19 Travel Restrictions
- Can you travel to the US Virgin Islands during covid?