The US Virgin Islands is a group of islands that most of us connect to the classic Caribbean stereotype of sandy white beaches, crystal-clear water, and a relaxed holiday atmosphere. The territory -- with around one hundred six thousand permanent residents -- belongs entirely to the United States of America. The US Virgin Islands in the Caribbean Sea mainly consists of St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas. Around fifty smaller islands and cays belong to this island group, as well. The largest island, St. Croix, is famous for its excellent diving sites and burgeoning food scene as well as rum factories. However, St. Thomas is the most popular and probably most touristic island of this trio, including numerous resorts and a well-developed infrastructure. In opposition to that, St. John is more remote with a focus on environmental preservation. Tourism is the biggest economic factor on the islands.
The history of the US Virgin Islands is rich and eventful. In the early twentieth century, these islands were sold from Denmark to the United States. Denmark had been in the possession of the islands since the seventeenth century; before that period, it was firstly under Spanish and subsequently under French reign.
St. John's North Shore is an excellent spot if you want to experience the authentic nature of a Caribbean Island away from the very tourist zones on St. Thomas. It offers excellent opportunities to swim, snorkel, and hike. The scenic landscape including crystal-clear waters, unspoilt beaches, and fewer tourists reward nature lovers. The VI National Park covers two third of St. John including a large area underwater. Apart from the beautiful nature, you can also enjoy interesting wildlife with green iguanas and hawksbill turtles. If you like some culture and history, visit the St. Thomas Synagogue in the capital Charlotte Amalie. The building is a national landmark and the second-oldest synagogue in the United States. The building was opened in the early nineteenth century for a Jewish congregation, which was already founded in the late eighteenth century by Portuguese and Spanish worshippers.
The tropical climate on the US Virgin Islands is characterized as humid and hot. The island group does not experience significant seasonal changes. All year round, the average maximum temperature hover around thirty-two degrees Celsius. There is a bigger temperature difference between day and night. At night, the temperatures mostly are between twenty-two and twenty-six degrees Celsius. Between July and November, you usually get the most amount of rain. Hurricanes are a menace and they can be so powerful that they cause substantial damage to the islands as has recently happened.
There are plenty of accommodation options here, whether you want to stay in a top-notch hotel, holiday apartments, or a small local guesthouse. Most of the options are located on St. Thomas island, where you can also find most of the luxury resorts. However, if you look for an inexpensive place such as a classic US Virgin Islands hostel, the options are extremely limited. You can find a US Virgin Islands hostel on St. Thomas in a community of independent artists. The place offers many additional activities such as music lessons. Keep in mind that this US Virgin Islands hostel is not by the beach and therefore not suitable for classic beach holidaymakers.
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