BEST MONTH TO TRAVEL: June
COUNTRY TO VISIT: U.S Virgin Islands
A territory of the United States of America since 1917, the United States Virgin Islands is an exotic group of islands located in the Caribbean Sea. The United States Virgin Islands is comprised of three principal islands – St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas – plus 50 smaller islands, cays and islets that are part of the Caribbean archipelago. The dreamy land and seascapes have earned it the nickname “America’s Paradise.” A year-round destination that has no real “off” season with an average winter temperature of 28 degrees Celsius (slightly higher in the summer), here the weather is almost always beach perfect. The United States Virgin Islands is famous for its beautiful white sand beaches and turquoise waters. Spend the day sunbathing your cares away or relaxing in a beach chair or hammock at one of the islands’ beaches that are consistently ranked among the top 10 in the world.
CITY – ST. THOMAS
A modern paradise filled with colonial jewels, St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands is both a historian’s and an adventure-seeker’s playground. The island boasts one of the most beautiful harbors in the world as well as some of the most popular activities in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Indulge in some of the world’s prettiest beaches. Re-discover history in storied museums, forts and historic houses. Hike, bike or take the sky tram. Play a round of golf. Attractions in St. Thomas appeal to both those seeking adventure and those looking for peaceful relaxation.
THE RITZ-CARLTON, ST. THOMAS
Following a $100-million renovation, The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas features an alluring blend of sea-inspired luxury and resort amenities. Embark on an idyllic retreat at this jewel among hotels in the US Virgin Islands, where you will discover endless views over Great Bay, locally sourced cuisine, well-appointed accommodations.
CLUB OCEANFRONT SUITE KING
Room Highlights Private Outdoor Space Furnished balcony for dining and relaxation Great Bay and St. John view Luxurious Marble Bathroom Two full bathrooms Walk-in rain shower and standalone tub Double vanity Spacious Open Layout Multi-functional writing desk Size 1080 SQ FT | 101 SQ M
ACTIVITIES / SITE SEEING : ST. THOMAS
There’s no beach on St. Thomas (or maybe even the entire Virgin Islands archipelago) that’s as celebrated as Magens Bay. So, let us add our own poetic spiel: This north coast beach could potentially be the most photogenic and swimmable shore of the Virgin Islands. But years of positive reinforcement has led to an intense popularity with tourists who are all too willing to pay the entry fee to enjoy Magens’ charms.
VIRGIN ISLANDS NATIONAL PARK
Virgin Islands National Park’s hills, valleys and beaches are breath-taking. However, within its 7,000 plus acres on the island of St. John is the complex history of civilizations – both free and enslaved – dating back more than a thousand years, all who utilized the land and the sea for survival. Within its borders lie protected bays of crystal blue-green waters teeming with coral reef life, white sandy beaches shaded by seagrape trees, coconut palms, and tropical forests providing habitat for over 800 species of plants. To these amazing natural resources, add relics from the Pre-Colombian Amerindian Civilization, remains of the Danish Colonial Sugar Plantations, and reminders of African Slavery and the Subsistence Culture that followed during the 100 years after Emancipation – all part of the rich cultural history of the park and its island home.
CORAL WORLD OCEAN PARK
Coral World Ocean Park is a guaranteed good time when visiting St. Thomas and the US Virgin Islands. The park is spread over five acres of land and boasts a variety of attractions and activities that visitors of all ages will enjoy.
Some of the attractions include outdoor marine pools, exotic aquariums, a butterfly garden, an undersea observatory, and miles of nature trails. It’s also one of the very few places where visitors can safely feed stingrays, pet many sharks, hold a wild iguana, swim with sea lions, or walk the makeshift ocean floor with a Sea Trek Helmet Dive.
CUSTOM LEATHER SANDALS
Comfortable, durable shoes are a must for any traveller. Get your custom-fitted sandals in St. Thomas to make sure your feet feel healthy and tireless for the remainder of your adventure throughout the city and beyond. Choose from a wide assortment of colours and designs and add arch support if you need it. If you are only staying in St. Thomas for a short time, you can opt for semi-custom sandals, which can be completed in one visit.
St. Thomas is well known as a place to buy diamonds. Luxury jewellery shops are plentiful here, but prices vary so if you want to find the best bargain, shop around and do your research. Even if diamonds do not feature on your shopping list, local jewellery shops are worth visiting. You will discover unique handcrafted pieces by local artists to suit any budget.
Rum is an integral part of the drinking culture throughout the Caribbean, and St. Thomas, with its pirate history, is no exception. Making rum started to utilize the waste from sugar production in the 17th century, and it quickly grew into an industry of its own, which continues to flourish to this day. St. Thomas’ distillers follow their own traditional recipes, passed from generation to generation. Take the opportunity to taste local rum and buy a couple of bottles to take home so that you can re-live your island experience and share it with your friends.
Don’t let the name throw you off – this dish has nothing to do with mushrooms. In fact, fungi is like a Caribbean-style polenta made from ground cornmeal. Whether it’s soft and creamy like mashed potatoes or cooked longer and shaped into balls, this dish is commonly served with fish and may be garnished with onions, okra, and tomatoes. Fungi is a staple comfort food throughout most of the Caribbean and when it comes to what to eat in St. Thomas, it’s a must-try!
No matter where you are in the world, you can be sure that the locals have found a way to turn flour, butter and sugar into something wonderful. In St. Thomas, that something comes in the form of Johnny Cakes. Served fried or baked and always delicious, you can have a sample of this simple, slightly sweet delicacy for breakfast, lunch or as a snack.
BULL FOOT SOUP
Also called cow heel or cow foot soup, this dish is made with a variety of vegetables including yellow split peas, plenty of spices, and yes – cow’s heel. After simmering for hours, all the flavors meld together, the cow foot becomes tender, and the stew is ready for a taste. Hearty, filling and made with love, this soup is one of the most popular traditional dishes in St. Thomas and other Caribbean islands.
COVID TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS
International Travelers (including travelers from the BVI): All International travelers must submit a negative antigen or NAAT COVID-19 test result. Test requirements depend on vaccination, mode of travel, and age.
Travel by Air – Tests must be taken within 1 day of travel. All non-U.S. citizens/non-U.S. immigrants must be fully vaccinated and provide proof of vaccination.
Travel by Ferry – Tests must be taken within 5 days of travel. Non-U.S. citizens/non-U.S. immigrants traveling for non-essential reasons (e.g. tourism) must be fully vaccinated and provide proof of vaccination status.
Travelers aged 2-17 are exempt from the vaccine requirement.