"Welcome to the Three Virgins" Top 5 Page for this destination U. S. Virgin Islands by catalysta
U. S. Virgin Islands Travel Guide: 1,258 reviews and 3,231 photos
The main 3 US Virgin Islands are St. Thomas, St. John & St. Croix. They were originally inhabited by the Caribs & Arawaks tribes, and the Spanish were the first to colonize the area.
Columbus had an unfortunately violent encounter with the cannibalistic Caribs when he made landfall on St. Croix in 1493. This immediately colored all future Spanish encounters with the indigenous tribes of the Americas in a very negative light. Tragically even peaceful tribes were often slaughtered all over the region by subsequent Spanish explorers.
The nearby British Virgin Islands are closely linked not only geographically and historically, but also politically & socially. The US Coast Guard helps the BVI's protect & patrol their waters, and they train volunteers for the BVI's VISAR (Virgin Islands Search And Rescue). Fast ferries run between the USVI's & BVI's, and small planes & helicopters fly regularly, so small side trips amongst them are easy to do.
As with many of the Caribbean islands, the Virgins were at various times under the possession of the Spanish, French, English & Dutch. And then for 200 years before these islands were purchased by the USA in 1917 they were Danish possessions. They still have a strong Danish flavor, and a lot of Danish families living on the islands.
During those colonial years, wars came & went in Europe, and Caribbean islands changed hands on a regular basis. Pirates raided galleons, stashed treasures, and built fortresses to rival the legitimate citadels.
- Pros:Diverse activities, lovely beaches, great restaurants
- Cons:Escalating crime rate, too many cruise ships
- In a nutshell:Paradise is getting trashed, breaks my heart to see it
Most anyone who's been to Charlotte Amalie on a land-based trip will agree, the mall at Havensight by the cruisehip... more travel advice
To my opinionated way of thinking, most duty-free shopping is a scam, but if it keeps a lot of you cruise ship types off... more travel advice
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catalysta's Related Pages
U. S. Virgin Islands Travel Guide
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- Things to Do in U. S. Virgin Islands
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