The U.S. Virgin Islands is a stunning Caribbean island chain comprising St. Thomas, St. Croix and St. John. With warm turquoise waters filled with plentiful marine life, a diversity of island flora and fauna and a thriving multicultural heritage, these islands are some of the most gorgeous in the entire Caribbean.
If you’re considering traveling to the U.S. Virgin Islands or the Caribbean this year, there are a few things you should know about the islands, their entry requirements and their attractions.
Safety, Entry Requirements and COVID-19
The U.S. Virgin Islands is one of the easiest destinations in the Caribbean to enter. U.S. citizens don’t even need to bring their passports! Because they are a territory of the U.S., like Puerto Rico, travelers can enjoy passport-free travel to and from the islands.
The destination is also not listed by the U.S. State Department’s country info or risk level system because of its territory status, though masks are still mandated in public areas where social distancing is not possible. The islands use U.S. currency, so travelers won’t have to worry about exchanging their currencies, and it’s a relatively safe destination for Americans.
Travelers over the age of five wanting to travel to the U.S. Virgin Islands are required to complete the USVI Travel Screening Portal and are also required to test negative for COVID-19 up to three days before arrival using an antigen or RT-PCR test, though travelers are not required to be fully vaccinated to enter.
Where To Stay
St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas all offer some incredible hotels and resorts to stay at. Some are pricier than others, of course, while others offer all-inclusive accommodations and amenities.
Our tip would be to first choose which island you’ll most likely be spending the most time on, then only search for accommodations on that particular island. For example, if you want to spend the majority of your time visiting the coral reefs and the national park, you’ll most likely want to stay in St. John, whereas history lovers will probably enjoy staying on St. Thomas the best.
Either way, there’s no limit to the types of accommodations you can find in the U.S. Virgin Islands, from condos to private villas and luxury resorts!
Between beach-hopping around the islands and making friends with the locals and other travelers, the U.S. Virgin Islands offer an incredible wealth of both cultural and ecological attractions for all types of travelers to enjoy. It’s considered one of the best regions for sustainability in the Caribbean, with national parks that preserve local wildlife both on land and at sea.
Experienced and newbie divers will love exploring the shipwrecks and coral reefs off the island, which are home to over 500 species of fish and over 40 types of coral. One great destination for divers is Buck Island Reef National Monument, which is home to an Elkhorn coral barrier reef system. Hikers and animal lovers can also enjoy exploring Virgin Islands National Park, which includes over 60 percent of the island of St. John, including the island’s rainforests.
Historic and cultural attractions abound across the three islands, too. Having been under seven different nations across history, the multi-ethnic culture of the three islands lives on in its unique music and cuisine, while its buildings stand as testaments to its colonial past.
Travelers to the capital of Charlotte Amalie on St. Thomas can enjoy visiting Fort Christian, a 300-year-old fort, as well as Blackbeard’s Castle, a 17th-century Dutch lookout that came under the infamous pirate’s control during his reign of piracy. Travelers to St. Croix can enjoy visiting the Christiansted National Site, which offers seven acres of history that help travelers understand the island’s colonial past.
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