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Overview of the US Virgin Islands

The US Virgin Islands is one of the most stunningly beautiful destinations in the Caribbean. From its sun-kissed beaches and calm turquoise waters to the wonderful vibrant West-Indian culture of each island, there is something to suit everyone. The USVI consists of three islands; St Thomas, St John and St Croix. There is also the small and historically fascinating Water Island. Each of our three major islands has a unique character and offers some of the most luxurious vacation rentals in the Caribbean.

The Virgin Islands are an organized, unincorporated territory of the United States which was originally settled by the Ciboney, Carib, and Arawaks peoples. First named by Christopher Columbus in 1493 for Saint Ursula and her virgin followers, these islands are renowned for stunning white sandy beaches, crystal-blue waters and idyllic sailing venues.

One of the great things about the US Virgin Islands is that US Citizens do not require a passport to visit.

At Exceptional Villas, we feature luxury vacation rentals on all three islands. There is no better way to experience a place than to immerse yourself in the culture. Whether that means trying new foods or joining in local celebrations, you will create a lifetime of memories! Islanders are always ready to welcome visitors and share everything they love about the Caribbean!

With a unique blend of African, European, and North and South American culture and heritage, there are endless things to see and do. Each island regularly holds fun activities for tourists and locals alike, so remember to ask your concierge whether anything special is going on during your visit!

There are plenty of things to do in the US Virgin Islands; these include hiking, sailing, scuba diving, water skiing and most other water sports. Sail or motor into small quiet coves, snorkel at beautiful reefs or just bask in the delightfully warm sun and tropical breezes. Newer attractions like zip lining are also available. Taking in a round of golf or horseback riding are also all available in the USVI.


 

Water Island

 

Water Island is the smallest of the US Virgin Islands at fewer than 1.3 square miles. Water Island is only a short 10-minute ferry ride from St. Thomas.

Sometimes called the ‘Fourth Virgin,’ it floats spitting distance from town. But with only about 100 residents and very few cars or shops, it feels far more remote. Water Island is a great day trip. At 2.5 miles tip to tip, it doesn’t take long to walk the whole thing.

Honeymoon Beach offers fine swimming and snorkeling – it’s a 10-minute walk from the ferry dock. To help get around Water Island golf carts can be rented right off the ferry.

Water Island Adventures offers bicycle tours of the island, including swim time at the beach.

The Water Island Ferry departs roughly every hour from outside Tickle’s Dockside Pub at Crown Bay Marina. The journey takes 10 minutes. Taxis from downtown to the marina cost approximately US$5 per person.

Aerial view of densly forested hills over-looking transparent blue waters in the US Virgin Islands


 

Useful Information

 

  • USD is the official currency and English is the official language.
  • Banks with ATMs hooked into worldwide networks (Plus, Cirrus, Exchange etc) are in the main towns.
  • We recommend renting a car – just remember to drive on the left!
  • US Citizens do not require a passport to entry the US Virgin Islands
  • A 15% to 20% tip is customary in restaurants; tip 10% to 15% in taxis and US$1 to US$2 per bag for hotel bellhops. A 10% to 20% tip is reasonable for dive boat operators and yacht crews.

 

Passports

US citizens do not need a passport to visit the US Virgin Islands, but all other nationalities do. Note that when departing the USVI, everyone must clear immigration and customs before boarding the plane.

US citizens will be asked to show photo identification (such as a driver’s license) and proof of citizenship (such as a birth certificate). If travelling to any other Caribbean country (besides Puerto Rico), US citizens must have a valid passport to re-enter the US.


 

Visas

Visitors from most Western countries do not need a visa to enter the USVI if they are staying less than 90 days.


 

Weather Guide

The weather is always warm in the Caribbean and in the USVI it is no different. The balmy temperature averages 78°F (25°C) in winter (December through March) and 83°F (28°C) in summer (June through August).

Easterly trade winds keep the humidity lower than on most other Caribbean islands.

The wettest months are August through November; rain usually comes in brief tropical showers. Hurricane season peaks in August and September. High season is December 15 to April 30 when each island is very busy. November, early December and May are particularly good times to visit.

MonthTemp °CTemp °FRainfall(in)
January 26 78 1.86
February 26 78 1.53
March 26 78 1.58
April 27 80 2.76
May 27 81 3.34
June 28 82 2.50
July 28 82 2.44
August 29 83 3.41
September 28 82 4.95
October 28 82 5.35
November 27 80 5.70
December 26 78 2.95
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