ENJOY YOUR VISIT TO ST. CROIX, IN THE U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS.
Part of the U.S. Virgin Islands, St. Croix is an island paradise complete with lush tropical hills, warm, brilliant turquoise water, and a rich history that can be seen at every turn! You will find beautiful white sandy beaches, fabulous, tropical weather, great dining and restaurants, duty free shopping, incredible SCUBA diving, three golf courses, two historic, charming towns, all wrapped up in a friendly and laid back island atmosphere.
Unlike other Caribbean destinations, you won’t find overwhelming crowds and it’s easy to travel to St. Croix from the mainland as U.S. citizens don’t need a passport since the island is considered an unincorporated U.S. territory. Plus, St. Croix is only a 30 minute flight from the international airport in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and direct flights from the states on American Airlines (via Miami), Delta (via Atlanta) and Seaborne or Spirit (via San Juan).
There are two towns on the island, Christiansted and Frederiksted. Christiansted is on the northern shore and is known for it’s historic buildings, boasting some of the best examples of Danish architecture to be found outside of Denmark! If you are lucky, you may be on the island for “Jump Up”. Held in the streets of Christiansted, this is a “carnival-like” evening, which takes place about four times a year filled with steel bands, dancing, local arts and crafts, local food, and lots of fun! Frederiksted, which is much smaller than Christiansted, is known for it’s ” Victorian architecture and it`s beautiful waterfronts that draw cruise ships and visitors from around the globe, creating a renaissance atmosphere. On the third Friday of each month, there is an evening event called “Sunset Jazz”. Admission is free and families are welcome.
Activities on St. Croix
St. Croix is a paradise for water and sports enthusiasts, offering every activity from sailing and motor yachting, snorkeling, including Buck Island snorkeling tours, swimming, and SCUBA diving to riding wave runners, Jet Ski, water skiing, kayaking, parasailing, windsurfing, sailing, sport fishing, horseback riding, tennis, golf and bicycle riding.
St Croix also has great duty free shopping areas and a variety of land activities and water sports, enough to keep visitors very entertained. Among its natural attributes are natural reserves for plant and animal life including Buck Island Reef National Monument, with an underwater snorkeling trail, Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge, a rainforest, and botanical gardens. Historic sugarcane plantations, remnants of a time when slavery and agriculture were the lifeblood of the island’s economy, are located all over the island. As you explore the island, you will notice that the original plantation names are still used to define each small area of the island. The Cruzan Rum factory is based on St. Croix and Diageo, the world’s leading spirits, wine and beer company, completed construction of a high capacity distillery on the island in 2010. The new facility produces all the bulk rum used to make Captain Morgan branded products for the United States. The distillery has a capacity to distill up to 20 million proof gallons of Captain Morgan rum per year! Latherback Brewery is another local establishment, very popular for their beer and tours.
On top of all this, St. Croix offers a wealth of history, culture and scenic beauty all wrapped in a spectacular tropical climate. There are also countless dining options including traditional fast food restaurants like McDonald’s.
St. Croix Traveler`s Guide
St. Croix’s climate is subtropical with an average temperature of 82*F/28*C year round. The humidity level is kept comfortable most of the year thanks to the pleasant easterly trade winds. With only 50 inches/1270 millimeters of annual rainfall, the island gets just enough rain to keep it green most of the year and offer plenty of sunny days!
Because it is a U.S. territory, the currency used on St. Croix is the U.S. Dollar. Credit cards are accepted by most St Croix businesses ,ATM machines can be found at most banks, and there is no sales tax on St. Croix, so combining that with duty free discounts can get you some pretty good prices on jewelry, watches and liquor.
Although St. Croix is a U.S. territory, people drive on the left side of the road! All cars, including rentals, are left hand drive models that you would find in the States. In order to rent a car on St. Croix, you have to be at least 25 years old, have a valid drivers license and proof of insurance.
The most spoken language is English, yet many locals also speak English with a Caribbean twist. For example, the ‘H’ is often discarded in words with a “th” so a word like “thing” will be pronounced “ting”, and “thanks” will be pronounced “tanks”). Spanish is also widely spoken on the island.
In the main towns, and at most hotels, the water is treated and is safe to drink. However, unless you know the water is treated, bottled water is preferred for drinking.
St. Croix offers many types of transportation, including airline flights to and from other Virgin Islands, U.S., the mainland, Puerto Rico, etc. Depending on the airline and your exact connections, flight times may take anytime from 30 min.to 10 hrs. There is a large selection of rental vehicles on St. Croix., from a small economy car to a full-size van and just about everything in-between. Rental rates are only a little more than on the U.S. mainland. Public buses, do operate on St. Croix. Expect to pay about $1.00. Hours of operation vary and bus routes only connect main residential, commercial, and tourist areas. We don’t recommend relying on the buses if you are on a tight schedule, better to call a taxi.
The USVI has the most generous duty free allowance in the entire Caribbean! There are no customs duties on most merchandise, and there are no local luxury or sales taxes. U.S. citizens are allowed a duty-free shopping quota of $1,600.00.
AT&T and Sprint are the two major cell phone carriers on St. Croix.
U.S. Virgin Islands use Country Code – 1 with an area code of 340.
The island offers it’s residents many of the amenities and conveniences enjoyed by those living on the U.S. mainland. There are several large shopping centers with major retailers like Kmart, OfficeMax and Home Depot, as well as countless dining options including traditional fast food restaurants such as McDonald’s, Wendy’s, KFC and Subway.