The US Virgin Islands are part of an archipelago which is aligned with the British Virgin Islands, but these are the relatively unknown islands of the archipelago. Yet they have just as much to offer. You can rent a st john villa or a hotel on the island of St. Thomas and with this, you can do everything the Caribbean islands have to offer from snorkelling to lounging by your pool and plenty more in between there is plenty the islands have to offer. But being relatively unknown some people are sceptical about visiting or worried about the unknown. For this reason, it is always important to do some research when you are of the more sceptical mind.
Here we have put together some facts, figures and history if the island to give you a better insight into how to travel around the islands and what they have to offer the average visitor. From their own unique history to their cultural blend with the united states the US Virgin Islands are a place that you should take the opportunity to visit.
The US Virgin Islands are located within theVirgin island archipelago. The first islands are located around 40-50 miles east of Puerto Rico and 1100 miles south of Miami Florida. The US Virgin Islands consist of 4 large islands and over 50 small islands, the four large islands are popular tourist destinations and therefore have well-developed transport and tourist networks although there are areas improvements which could be made throughout the islands. The four major islands are named St. Croix, St. Thomas, St. John and Water Island.
The four larger islands have tropical climates like the rest of the Caribbean providing a warm temperate climate for most of the ear allowing for long hot sunny days and warm waters most of the year around
History of the US Virgin Islands:
The Virgin Islands have a long history of colonization since the time of Christopher Columbus. This began with a joint Dutch and English colonisation of the islands, then followed by French, Spanish and finally the Danish West India company in 1773. The major islands thus became the Danish west indies.
During this period the islands saw the elimination of Indian influence on the islands. The introduction of slavery and mass about work on the land of the island and turbulent periods of slave and labour unrest. Emancipation and the reduction of the importance of the plantation economies led to developments in trade and other economies throughout the islands.
The islands remained in the possession of Denmark until 1917 when the US bought the islands to strengthen its position throughout WW1.
Progress was slow on the islands as it took a while for laws to pass allowing US citizenship and elected officials. The military and interior government managed the islands until 1936. Today it is run by an elected government, however, the population are not allowed to vote in US presidential elections.
One major benefit of the intervention of the US into island life was the development of tourism on the islands. Due to its proximity to the states and untouched beauty, it became a popular tourist destination which continues to today. From this began the development of tourist business on the island ranging from villas to hotel and everything in between. Now, most of the islands economies are based on tourism while the lands are still farmed but on a much smaller scale.
Being in the Caribbean and part of the united states the Virgin Islands are simply described as a blend of both cultures. There is a huge cultural mix on these islands as there is on the mainland USA. From fast-food chains to local fishing stores the blend here is both unique and at the same time quite comforting as you can find local cultures that you came to see, and you can also find everything you would find at home.
Expect to see Hispanic, American, European and Afro Caribbean influences throughout the islands.
You will find that English is the main language on the island, the only difficulty being regional and local accents and dialects which may make understanding some locals a little difficult. Along with English, you may find some French, Creole and Spanish speakers as immigrants from neighbouring islands have developed their own small communities on the islands.
As already stated the islands are a blend of cultures but the most important and noticeable remains the afro-Caribbean culture that dominates the region. This is important in everyday life as people have a more laidback attitude, friendly demeanour and a love of energetic music.
Reggae and Soca and steel pan dominate the airwaves and can be heard day and night, while you can also find Latino dance halls and jazz and blues clubs. Be sure to ask a local where the best venues are and what nights have special events on. You will not be bored when on a night out and you can dance the night away with locals and visitors alike as the islands are so small they encourage a great relationship between locals and visitors.
These are just a few small points of interest about the US Virgin Islands, there culture and history. Be sure to take your time on each island and try to spot the differences and similarities between all the different peoples and how this makes a perfect cultural vacation.