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Reviewed on 16 Sep 2021
Reviewed on 21 Aug 2021
Reviewed on 15 Sep 2021
Go snorkeling among tropical fish and coral and learn about pirates and slavery in these historic Dutch and Danish outposts. St. Thomas and St. John are neighboring islets with a fascinating history and splendid scenery. Pristine beaches flanked by palm trees and undulating forests surround the islands, which have landmarks that tell stories of pirates, slavery, cinnamon and rum. Embark on trails through the tropical vegetation and take photos of idyllic scenes of the islands through the foliage.
Among the highlights of St. Thomas is Magens Bay , a sprawling stretch of white sand with shacks where vendors rent out snorkeling gear and beach equipment. Bring your family to the calm waters of this beach, where you may encounter turtles and conch. Enter Coral World Ocean Park to swim with sharks, turtles and sea lions.
Spend time in the charming town of Charlotte Amalie where you can visit interesting attractions such as the iconic Blackbeard’s Castle . This 17th-century Danish watchtower is intertwined with pirate legends and today serves as part of a park with swimming pools and other historic buildings. Climb the famous 99 Steps leading up to the castle.
Take advantage of the year-round sunny, warm weather with a stay at the resort at St. John’s Caneel Bay . Staying here will give you access to the seven magical beaches the resort manages. Those not staying at the resort can still access the beaches for a fee. Go snorkeling to see the range of colourful fish and coral at Honeymoon Beach , Hawksnest Beach and Caneel Beach.
Make your way east to Cinnamon Bay for even more excellent snorkeling conditions. Visit the adjacent Cinnamon Bay Plantation open-air museum to find out about slavery on the islands in the 18th-century. The plantation was run by Danish settlers who shipped slaves here from Africa.
St. Thomas and St. John are located in the northern section of the U.S. Virgin Islands, which sit just west of the British Virgin Islands and east of Puerto Rico. Arrive at the Cyril E. King Airport on the island of St. Thomas where you can get around by taxi or bus. Take a ferry from one of the ports in St. Thomas to reach St. John and other parts of the U.S. Virgin Islands.
A warm climate, stunning beaches and an intriguing past make St. Thomas and St. John interesting and idyllic destinations to visit while in the Caribbean.