Why visit the US Virgin Islands
The US Virgin Islands are made up of four large islands – St Croix, St John, Water Island and St Thomas – surrounded by about 50 other islands and cays. St John is the most unspoiled of the four, offering a dose of breathtaking natural beauty. They may belong to the USA, but these islands also have a distinct Danish heritage, evident in the historical sights located in the town of Christiansted on St Croix. St Thomas also retains a Danish influence, in the buildings in its capital, Charlotte Amalie.
Holidays in the US Virgin Islands comprise plenty of time spent on beautiful beaches or enjoying watersports, exploring some of its fascinating destinations and enjoying a vibrant nightlife. Golfing is another popular pastime on these islands and both St Thomas and St Croix feature championship courses to enjoy. And there’s sailing too. Whether you charter a boat or join a tour, you can’t miss seeing the islands from the perspective of the water. Downtown St Thomas boasts over 400 historic buildings to explore, or you can just lay back and enjoy one of the magnificent beaches.
Why visit the US Virgin Islands
- The islands’ wildlife is diverse and includes butterflies, bats, mongoose and iguanas as well as 144 species of birds.
- Their fascinating history includes everything from plantations to pirates.
- The beaches are legendary.
- The duty-free shopping on St Thomas is unmatched.
- The snorkelling and diving are superb.
- Let’s not forget about the famous rum.
With so many fascinating sights to discover, breathtaking scenery and plenty of activities and adventurous pursuits, the US Virgin Islands offer an exciting holiday. Whether you’re planning a holiday package trip with friends, family or your partner, let Thompsons Holidays take care of the holiday package arrangements for your US Virgin Islands trip. We promise you’ll have the time of your life.
Things to do in the US Virgin Islands
There is so much to do on holiday in the Virgin Islands, from snorkelling in the coral reefs to hiking through lush mountains and strolling along historic streets. The beaches are renowned for their beauty, and watersports abound, but there are also adventure activities to enjoy.
The US Virgin Islands are a joy to explore with their captivating history that includes British Colonial rule, Dutch sugar tycoons and pirates, including the renowned Blackbeard himself. Whether Blackbeard is a legend or not remains to be proven. Still, the islanders have plenty of stories to tell about him, and other tales about the old castles and plantations that still stand here.
Things to do in the Virgin Islands
- Go hiking in St John’s Virgin Islands National Park.
- Stroll through St Thomas to see its historic buildings.
- Explore St Croix’s Estate Whim Plantation Museum.
- Laze on Instagram-worthy Magens Bay beach on St Thomas.
- Enjoy island hopping from St Thomas or St John.
- Discover the Cruzan Rum Distillery on St Croix.
- Shop duty-free on St Thomas’ Main Street.
- Visit St John’s historic Annaberg Plantation.
- Go deep-sea fishing for marlin, sailfish and wahoo.
- Swim with turtles and snorkel off Buck Island.
- Explore historic forts on St Croix.
- View sharks and stingrays at Coral World Ocean Park on St Thomas.
Whatever type of holiday you want to enjoy in the Virgin Islands, you can have it – whether you’re looking for plenty of activity or to do as little as possible for as long as possible. Let Thompsons Holidays take you on a thrilling holiday to the US Virgin Islands.
Know before you go...
- The best time to visit the US Virgin Islands is from April to June when the weather is mild and there is little rainfall.
- Temperatures are good year-round. High season is in the winter months, from December to March.
- Flight duration from Johannesburg to St Thomas in the US Virgin Islands with one stopover: 23 hours, 20 minutes.
- There are infrequent flights from South Africa to the US Virgin Islands.
- South African passport holders require a visa to enter the US Virgin Islands for a stay of up to 90 days.
- If you are flying via the USA, you will require a visa to enter the USA.
- Passports must be valid for the duration of your stay and you must have onward tickets.
- The US Virgin Islands are 6 hours behind South Africa.
- Daylight saving is not used in the US Virgin Islands.
- The official currency is the United States Dollar ($ or USD).
- Credit cards are widely accepted and ATMs are prevalent in big towns and resorts.
- Tipping is at expected in the US Virgin Islands.
- The official language is English.
- Christianity is practised by the majority of the population. The most popular Christian religion is Protestantism.
- When visiting sacred sites and temples, dress conservatively. (See ‘What to pack’).
- It is safe to drink tap water in the US Virgin Islands. Bottled water is also readily available.
- Smoking is not permitted in public areas such as restaurants, bars and indoor workplaces as well as on public transport. Airports offer designated smoking rooms.
- Vaccinations: Check with your travel clinic before you go.
What must I pack?
- Lightweight clothing in summer, layers for the cooler months, when it is still warm.
- Comfortable walking shoes, slip slops.
- Sunscreen, lip balm, hat and sunglasses.
- Mini first aid kit and regular prescription medication.
- Hand sanitiser and insect repellent.
- Travel adaptor
- In the US Virgin Islands, transport includes rental cars and taxis.
What can I do to be a responsible traveller?
- Wherever possible, buy local food and souvenirs and support local artisans.
- Instead of using plastic bags, take fabric shopping bags with you.
- Respect each other's cultures and customs and avoid imposing your beliefs.
- Be safety conscious: don’t display cash or valuables. Leave jewellery and expensive watches at home.
- Keep your belongings safe – use the hotel safe for passports and valuables and watch out for pickpockets and bag snatchers when out and about.
What do I do in an emergency?
- If passports or valuables are stolen, report the theft to the hotel/police immediately.
- Contact the Thompsons Holidays 24-hour care line to assist.
Out of season
We’re sorry! The holiday you’re looking for is not in season. Luckily, we have loads of other exciting options. Take a look!