About Your Vacation in the US Virgin Islands  

US virgin islandsThe U.S. Virgin Islands is a U.S. territory, and offers the traveler a chance to experience life island style with an American touch.

Located only 80 miles east of Puerto Rico, the US Virgins are near the "top" of the Caribbean chain, and offer some of the shortest air flights from Miami or other stateside departure points.

The US Virgins consist of three main islands: St. Thomas, which is the capital; St. Croix, and St. John. Travel between the three islands is easy and inexpensive; both tourists and residents frequently use water or air taxi services for shopping and business.

Each island is unique. Casual St. Croix boasts the easternmost point in the United States - Point Udall - a terrific photo opportunity. It also has a complex eco system with a rainforest on the west end of the island and to the arid east end. Both St. John and St. Croix have National Parks with underwater self-guided tours. St. Thomas has a sophisticated modern port reknown for duty-free shopping, and is home of pirate 'castles'. St. Thomas and St. Croix are popular romantic wedding islands as well as great family vacation destinations.

Visit our individual Virgin Island information pages for more about St. Croix and St. Thomas.

The principle language of the islands is English, with some Spanish and Creole. From its British roots, the islands retain driving on the left side of the road.

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History of the Islands
The U S Virgin Islands have been inhabited for thousands of years by early settlers who migrated from South America. The three most prominent groups were the Ciboneys, Arawaks and Caribs. In 1493, Christopher Columbus landed in St. Croix and, since then, seven flags have flown over the islands including Spain, Knights of Malta, France, England, Holland, Denmark and the United States. Early in the island's history are tales of the great pirates, Bluebeard and Blackbeard.

In 1917, during World War I, the United States bought the Virgin Islands from Denmark to prevent the Virgin Islands from becoming a German submarine base in the Caribbean. During World War II, St. Thomas was developed as a military base.

US virgin islandsIn the 1950s, after Cuba was closed to American travelers, the Virgin Islands moved into a new position of importance as a preeminent tourist Mecca. In the 1960s, St. Croix's economy expanded with the construction of the Hess Oil refinery and Harvey Alumina bauxite refinery. Today, the Virgin Islands economy is a healthy mix of tourism, light and heavy industry.

Politically, the Virgin Islands is a Territory of the United States. The Territory was managed by the Departments of Defense and Interior until the passage of the Organic Act (our Constitution) in 1936. Today, the people of the Virgin Islands elect a governor, lieutenant governor, fifteen senators and one non-voting delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives every four years.

Virgin Islanders are U.S. citizens but do not vote in national elections. The income tax system mirrors the Internal Revenue Code but all taxes remain in the Virgin Islands.

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Money and Banking
U.S. Dollars. Credit cards and traveler's checks are generally accepted.

Banking hours:
Monday to Thursday 9:00am-4:00pm. Friday 9:00am-5:00pm. Chase Manhattan Bank and Banco Popular De Puerto Rico: Saturday 9:00am-12:00n. Please check with individual banks for variations in banking hours.

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Taxes and Service Charges
Resort tax: 8%. Service charge: 10%. No sales tax. Tips or gratuities are "American style" and usually not included in your charges (unless specifically included), and are up to your discretion for service received.

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Geography of the US Virgin Islands
St. Croix, the largest (82 sq. miles) is the easternmost point of the United States and is surrounded by the Caribbean Sea. Just offshore St. Croix near the east end, you'll find Buck Island Reef National Monument. St. Thomas (32 sq. miles) and St. John (20 sq. miles) are next to each other 35 miles north of St. Croix. They lie between the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. Highest points above sea level are: Mt. Eagle St. Croix 1,165 ft. St. John Bordeaux Mountain 1,277 ft. St. Thomas Crown Mountain 1,556 ft.

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All US Virgin Islands Time Zone
Eastern Standard Time +1 hour. Greenwich Mean Time -4 hours. No daylight savings time. Generally, sunrise is between 5:30am and 6:30am and sunset 6:30pm-7:00pm, all year around.

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Average daytime temperature 78 degrees in winter and 82 degrees in summer, low humidity.

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USVI Resorts
Antilles Resorts presents seven USVI properties on St. Croix and St. Thomas:

On St Thomas:
Crystal Cove Resort    
Sapphire Beach Condominium Resort    
Sapphire Village Resort

On St Croix:
Club St Croix Resort    
Colony Cove Resort

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Antilles Resorts' St. Thomas Resorts:Sapphire Beach Condominium Resort, Sapphire Village Resort
Antilles Resorts' St. Croix Resorts: Colony Cove Beach Resort, Club St Croix Resort

© 2009-2012 Antilles Resort Management, Inc. St. Thomas US Virgin Islands and Dibbern & Dibbern. All contents of this site are copyright protected. Any reproduction of these images, art and contents is prohibited without specific permission.

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