Touring the Virgin Islands

The Virgin Islands is archipelago located in the Caribbean near Puerto Rico.  It is one of the most visited locations in the region mostly because of its natural beauty and the friendliness of the people.  Since the islands are divided into two territorial jurisdictions, the British and the US Virgin Islands, tourists from North America and Europe are assured that language and cultural barriers are not much problems during their stay.  Most Virgin Island hotels and inns are also owned and operated by Westerners, which is why guests can expect modern amenities and other features that would make them feel that they are not really very far from home.

There are three major islands in the archipelago each offer attractions that are different.  Because of this, tourists who come to Virgin Islands should make it a point to actually set trips to each of these islands.  To make the vacation really worth its cost, it is best to see the best of the St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix islands.  There are actually two options to do the island-hopping; by air or by sea.  For those who feel that time should not be wasted in going from one island to another, chartered flights are available.

St. Thomas is about 32 square miles in size and is made of rolling hills and some mountains.  Most of the island’s elevated area is covered with lush forests.  Driving through the roadways that wind through the rolling hills can be exhilarating experience.  One particular view is called Drake’s Seat, the very location where Sir Francis Drake is said to visit often just to observe the British naval ships.  Down below Drake’s seat is a beach labeled by the National Geographic as one of the most beautiful in the world.  This is Magens Bay Beach.  Other attractions in St. Thomas are historical sites, golf courses, marine parks, and many restaurants.

Tourists who love to be in a more rugged tropical paradise minus the trappings of the modern world would love St. John.  The island is actually a heaven for nature trekkers as it possesses so many hiking trails.  Some of these trails head directly into hidden beaches that are beautiful and pristine.  These are definitely the choices of those who just want to enjoy the Caribbean sun and sea without the distractions usually found in popular beaches with modern facilities.  St. John is also home to many historic sites, most of which are structures left behind by the early colonizers.

At 82 square miles, St. Croix is obviously the larger in the island group.  Due to its size, it is only natural for it to have more diverse attractions for the tourists and visitors.  One of the attractions is the green and historic Estate St. George Botanical Gardens, which was once a sugar estate during the 19th century.  Just off St. Croix is Buck Island Reef, which is known as the underwater national park of the US.  The reef is probably the most popular attraction in the island.