Although considered one archipelago, the virgin islands are divided between two countries: The Bristish virgin islands (BVI) and the United States Virgin islands (USVI) . The curiosities doesn’t stop there… they all have something completely different to offer! St. Thomas on the USVI is very busy for much of the year, (with ships larger than some islands docking here by the dozen!), while St. Croix and St. John are much quieter and feature beaches and wild places as beautiful as tropical islands in your dreams! Meanwhile, the 40 islands of the BVI are more content to remain as silent and peaceful as possible, except for the tranquil island rhythms and the waves crashing in on the beaches.
Best time to visit: The weather is beautiful all year, however November and May tend to be quieter times to visit!
Top things to see:
- Virgin islands National park on St. John (USVI), with its perfectly preserved beaches,
- Devil’s Bay (BVI), a natural play land of a perfect beach surrounded by grottos, boulders and more!
- Christiansted on St. Croix (USVI), which has a vast 18th century fort and an appealing waterfront,
- Buck island reef national monument off St. Croix (USVI), a haven for sea turtles!
- The baths on Virgin Gorda (BVI), a collection of volcanic boulders forming pools – how cool is that?!
Top things to do:
- Make some underwater friends in the glittering Leinster Bay and Waterlemon Cay (USVI),
- Kayak through the mangroves on the wild end of St. Thomas (USVI) ,
- Go diving at historic sites like the sunken RMS Rhone (BVI), and the Cane Bay (USVI),
- Laze away your cares on the hideaway of Anegada (BVI),
- Deaden your pain with a trademark painkiller cocktail at the White Bay (BVI).
Local cuisine to sample: Soups, stews and pot roast (beware daube is the spicy version!), all of which tend to be served with johnnycakes ( which is fried bread).
Best known for: Huge cruise ships, reggae rhythms, Cruzan and pusser’s rum, and flamingos!
Described in one word: Limin; Universal West Indian slang for hanging out!
Official Language: English
Land Area: 505km2
Capital cities: Roadtown (BVI)/ Charlotte Amalie (USVI)