"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

A Long Colorful History

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.

Colonial Era

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.

Pirates & Citadels

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 and Cons
  • 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
  • Last visit to U. S. Virgin Islands: Jan 2004
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (43)

Comments (12)

  • Apr 22, 2007 at 10:21 AM

    I am going to St. Thomas end of july..you talk about needing passport and or birth certificate...airlines and expedia said not needed..we are united states citizens.......only need ID

  • Jul 25, 2006 at 2:10 PM

    What an awesome page! Great job! My husband & I are planning our dream vacation to the islands...the honeymoon we never took almost 10 years ago! Thanks for the insight!

  • kris-t's Profile Photo
    Mar 7, 2006 at 7:37 AM

    Look like it's a nise place! Great page! Thank you for sharing! K&T

  • kyoub's Profile Photo
    Jan 28, 2006 at 2:46 PM

    Great page, Wendy. You did a great job of discribing the islands. It brought back fond memories.

  • myriam_c's Profile Photo
    Jan 27, 2006 at 5:06 AM

    Wish I was there NOW! My hubby is a scuba diver too.

  • nicolaitan's Profile Photo
    Dec 19, 2005 at 10:30 AM

    This is a spectacular page. Recalled our trips there. Yeah, we came on a ship, but got right away a taxi and headed for Magen's. Fond memories - thanks. N>

  • Dec 19, 2005 at 10:14 AM

    I enjoyed looking at your site, very nice photos.

  • RickinDutch's Profile Photo
    Nov 30, 2005 at 2:54 PM

    Looks like a heck of a trip! Great tips and photos as usual!

  • aussiedoug's Profile Photo
    May 2, 2005 at 3:35 AM

    Gr8 tips, pics & commentary giving excellent, balanced & helpful info. Love the wages of sin pic. Did you do the setting up you cheeky cat? St Thomas from the air looks like a 3 clawed hand in the ocean.

  • Callavetta's Profile Photo
    Apr 30, 2005 at 2:52 PM

    Bella bella bella! What a great counterpoint to Alaska! You've been working hard. Very nice job with hyperlinks! :-)


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