Virgin Islands Vacations
American and British Paradise

Virgin Islands Vacations are one of the most popular destinations in the Caribbean. We are going to address all the Virgin Islands and then one by one. These beautiful virgins are divided into three groups, not two as some think.

The US Virgin Islands, the British Virgin Islands and the Spanish Virgin Islands, two small islands belonging to Puerto Rico that are geographically part of the group but politically and culturally are an integral part of Puerto Rico.

Map showing the US and British Virgin Islands

Map showing the US and British Virgin Islands

Both English Speaking groups are as diverse as you may think, with a heritage of the Arawak Indians, the local population before Columbus and many coming from Africa, Europe and Asia.

They are happy people ready to welcome you to their islands and are thankful for your business. After all tourism is the number one provider in the area.

Magens Bay in St Thomas  is one of the Best Beaches in the World

Magens Bay in St Thomas  is one of the Best Beaches in the World

United States Virgin Islands

Also known as the USVI, they are the true American Paradise and have been in American hands since 1917 when bought or transferred from Denmark.

Since then it is considered an American Territory and the islanders are American Citizens that control their islands and elect their local government. They also have a nonvoting representative to the US Congress.

The USVI are a group of three islands lying to the east of Puerto Rico, namely St Thomas, St John and St Croix. Each one of them has its own flair and character to make them unique. But they all have in common beautiful beaches and a year round perfect climate.

On the islands you have tropical rains, meaning that it stops as fast as it started. I know you worry about hurricanes, but I can tell you, after living more than forty years in the area, that with today’s technology you can make and alter your plans with enough time so you don’t get caught by one of them on your vacation.

Virgin Islands Vacations
Coki Beach on the Island of St Thomas USVI

Coki Beach on the Island of St Thomas USVI

St Thomas Beaches

St Thomas USVI is the one closest to Puerto Rico, just half an hour on a propeller plane, and also the most cosmopolitan of the three. The capital of the territory is in Charlotte Amalie on the south coast. It is the largest town in St Thomas and is also the center for tourism arrivals by plane, by boats and Top Cruise Lines.

This is a hilly island and the vegetation is awesome. You may see the island in one day; remember to drive on the left side. On the north side there is a beach called Magens Bay that has been named many times as one of the ten Best Beaches in the World by many travel magazines.

I can tell you personally that just from watching from the top of the hill on arrival to Magens Beach you will confirm it. The heart shaped beach is a paradise.

On the far east of the island is Red Hook from where you take the ferry to neighboring St John USVI.

Virgin Islands Vacations

My favorite is Caneel Bay one of St John Beaches

My favorite is Caneel Bay one of St John Beaches

St John Beaches

This smallest of the three islands lies to the east of St Thomas and a great part of the territory has been designated as an United States national Park. The island has no commercial airport, so it only accessible by ferry or private boats. It is also close to the British Virgin Islands to the northeast.

This is the place to be if you like nature, hiking and Ecotourism. The park has marked paths and as any US National Park is extremely organized and very well kept.

It has great beaches being the most world renowned Trunk Bay Beach. It is a lovely white sand beach kissed by azure transparent waters. Another one and this is my favorite is Caneel Bay Resort.

It has changed administrations over the years but the place remains as beautiful as the first time we were there in the late 1960s. We have been fortunate to visit many times since then. The seven beaches surrounding the compound are awe inspiring.

Virgin Islands Vacations

Aerial view of St Croix the largest of the USVI

Aerial view of St Croix the largest of the USVI

St Croix Island

St Croix Island is the largest of them laying way to the south on the Caribbean Sea. It is a flat island and surrounded by great beaches. It also has some of the best golf courses in the Caribbean.

The main city on the northern shore is Christiansted, a busy town full of energy and the center for business on the island. Even though St Croix has its own International Airport on the south of the island, many use the ferry to get to St Thomas and some, not me, like to use the hydroplane that departs from downtown and lands in downtown Charlotte Amalie.

Another important town on the west is Frederiksted that has for some reason, a large Puerto Rican population. Here you may hear a lot of Spanish like on the big island.

Virgin Islands Vacations

World renowned Little Dix Bay Resort in the British Virgin Islands

World renowned Little Dix Bay Resort in the British Virgin Islands

British Virgin Islands

The BVI lay northeast of the USVI and are an Overseas British Territory, also known as the British West Indies. They belong and are governed by the UK as its sister islands of nearby Anguilla, Turks and Caicos Islands north of Hispaniola and the Cayman Islands on the Western Caribbean Islands.

It is an archipelago of many islands, some of them uninhabited. Some of the most important for tourism are the following:

Virgin Islands Vacations

Smugglers Cove on the Island of Tortola BVI

Smugglers Cove on the Island of Tortola BVI

Tortola BVI

This is the largest of them all. Road Town on this island is the capital of the BVI therefore the center of government and finances. By the way the BVI are an important banking Center in the Caribbean. The island is host of Sage Mountain national park a fabulous Rain Forest and is the tallest peak on the islands.

Virgin Islands Vacations

The Baths on the Island of Virgin Gorda BVI

The Baths on the Island of Virgin Gorda BVI

Virgin Gorda BVI

Virgin Gorda BVI, literally in Spanish “Fat Virgin” was called like that by the discoverers because of its form. The main beach here is The Bath a formation of granite boulders surrounded by white sand beaches.

This site is world famous for its snorkeling and scuba diving. Spanish Town in Virgin Gorda is another financial center on the islands and features the Gorda Yacht Harbor with stores, restaurants and many yachts of the Rich and Famous that love the exotic beaches of this island.

Virgin Islands Vacations

Aerial view of the Island of Anegada BVI

Aerial view of the Island of Anegada BVI

  • Anegada Island, the “Drowned Island” is known for its white sand beaches. This is a paradise seen only in the movies or on your dreams. Snorkeling or scuba diving is a must in its magnificent coral reefs.

  • Peter Island is a private resort featuring the most beautiful beaches, restaurants, Spa and all facilities. There are ferries going back and forth from Tortola.

  • Cooper Island is visited by many boaters due to its safe harbor and great beaches while Ginger Island next to it is almost undeveloped.

  • Norman Island remembered from the famous tales of Treasure Island. It is known for its colorful fish and lots or corals.

  • Salt Island is uninhabited and is known for the Rhone, a shipwreck sunken of its coast, Divers come here from all over the world.

    West of St John USVI, besides Sir Francis Drake Channel, are the smaller islands. Just to mention a few: Ginger, Salt, Peter, Norman and Cooper Islands.

    This is just a summary of both the British and US Virgin Islands. Please visit our pages with descriptions on each one of them and enjoy your Virgin Islands.

For more information:

US Virgin Islands Tourism Website                               

British Virgin Islands Tourism Website

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Eddy Tuchman