Country: United States Virgin Islands (VQ).
Nationality: Virgin Islander(s) (US citizens).
Languages: English 74.7 %, Spanish or Spanish Creole 16.8 %,
French or French Creole 6.6 %, other 1.9 % (2000 census).
Capital: Charlotte Amalie on St. Thomas.
Population: 109,825 (July 2010 est.) with about 52,000 people
on St. Thomas, about 50,000 on St. Croix, and about 6,000 on St. John.
Climate: Subtropical, tempered by easterly trade winds, relatively
low humidity, little seasonal temperature variation; rainy season September
to November. Average temperatures range from 77 F in the winter and 82
F in the summer.
Area: Total: 1,910 sq km, land: 346 sq km, water: 1,564 sq km.
Comprised of approximately 50 islands and cays, the largest of which are
St. Croix, St. John, St. Thomas and Water Island. St. Croix: 216 sq km
(84 sq miles, Point Udall is the easternmost point of the United States);
St. Thomas: 83 sq km (32 sq miles); St. John: 19 sq miles (52 sq km, two-thirds
U.S. National Park); Sater Island: 491.5 acres.
Coastline: 188 km. Thomas and St. John have a craggy coastline.
St. Croix has a gentle coastline.
Geographic coordinates: 18 20 N, 64 50 W.
Highest point: Crown Mountain on St. Thomas (475 m; 1,556 ft);
Bordeaux Mountain on St. John (390 m; 1,277 ft); Mount Eagle on St. Croix
(332 m; 1,088 ft); Water Island's highest point is 90 m (300 ft) above
Location: In the Lesser Antilles between the Caribbean Sea and
the North Atlantic Ocean, east of Puerto Rico.
Size: St. Croix is about 35 kmn (22 miles) long and a maximum
of 10 km (6 miles) wide; St. Thomas 21 km (13 miles) long and 6 km (4 miles)
wide; St. John is 14 km (9 miles) long and 8 km (5 miles) wide; Water Island:
1.5 km (2.5 miles) long and max. 0.6 km (1 mile) wide.
Terrain: St. Croix: The east end of the island is rocky
and arid with short grassy hillsides and many cactus clusters. The west
end of the island is lush with large fruit trees and ferns gracing the
mountains. In the middle of the island are miles of beautiful beaches,
rolling pasturelands and beautiful land.
Terrain: St. Thomas: One long ridge of hills is running
east and west through the center of the island with smaller ridges branching
off from the center. St. Thomas has a beautiful natural harbor and many
protected bays. There are relatively no flat areas on St. Thomas. St.
John: There are hills and valleys and relatively few flat areas.
More than two thirds of the island is protected by the National Park Service.
Water Island: The smallest populated island of USVI group.
It is only 491.5 acres in size. The island has an irregular shape with
many bays and peninsulas.
Accommodations: Approximately 4,600 hotel rooms.
Activities: Diving, kayaking, sportfishing, snorkeling, windsurfing,
kiteboarding, parasailing, horseback riding.
Average tourist arrivals: 666,051 (2009).
Crime: Fairly high on St. Croix and St. Thomas, but crimes against
visitors and tourist are very low, with an infrequent occurrence of bags
being stolen. Car-theft occurs periodically and often in poorly lit areas.
St. John is quiet with the exception of a few thefts of items left unattended
in parked open cars or on the beach. Water Island is also quiet.
Electricity: 110 volt, 60 cycles, just like in the U.S. Two flat-pin
American style plugs are standard on the Islands.
Entry requirements: Passports are not necessary for U.S. citizens,
only the usual government issued IDs (driver's license, certified copy
of birth certificate). British citizens do not require a visa for holiday
purposes providing their stay does not exceed 90 days and they hold a return
or outward ticket. Canadians do not require a visa.
Extension of stay: Same as for the USA.
Telephone: The international country code is 1-340.
Time: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time).
Noon in New York means 1:00 PM in the islands. There is no Daylight Savings
Time change in the USVI.
Zip Codes: St. Thomas 00802 for physical addresses and 00801,
00803, 00804, and 00805 for PO Boxes; St. Croix 00820 for physical addresses
and 00823 and 00824 for PO Boxes; St. John 00830 for physical addresses
and 00831 for PO Boxes.
Cost of living: About 33 % higher than average costs in cities
across the US mainland.
Credit cards: Major credit cards are accepted by almost all businesses.
Currency: US Dollar.
Tipping: As on the U.S. mainland, tipping of 10-20 % of the bill
is expected and is customary for good service. Some hotels and restaurants
automatically add a service charge as well as the statutory room tax.
Airport: Cyril E. King international airport (STT) is 15 minutes
from Charlotte Amalie, easily reached by taxi, public bus or rental car.
Henry E. Rohlsen Airport (STX) in Christiansted, St. Croix.
Departure tax: US$ 5 by ferry and US$ 10 when leaving by air.
This tax is only payable in cash and in US Dollars.
Flight times: Nonstop flights from New York City take
hours. Flight time from Miami is about 2.5 hours. Flight time between
Thomas and St. Croix is only 20 minutes. Flying to San Juan, Puerto
Rico, from mainland cities and connecting to St. Thomas may cost less
Ground transport: Visitors may choose from a variety of transportation
options, from taxi vans to buses to car rentals. Full-service bus lines
operate on St. Croix and St. Thomas. Taxi and jeep-rental services are
available on all three islands. Taxi vans are the most widely used mode
of transportation, and most taxi drivers are able to provide comprehensive
tours of the islands. Taxi rates are based on destination rather than mileage.
Ferry service: There is a ferry service within the USVI, between
the USVI and the British Virgin Islands, between the USVI and Puerto Rico.
See our forum for further information.
Ports and harbors: Limetree Bay, Charlotte Amalie. Cruz Bay,
Ethnic groups: Black 76.2 %, white 13.1 %, Asian 1.1 %, other
6.1 %, mixed 3.5 % (2000 census).
Government type: US American territory.
Legal system: Based on US laws.
Literacy: 90-95 % est..
Religions: Baptist 42 %, Roman Catholic 34 %, Episcopalian 17
%, other 7 %.
Agriculture-products: Fruit, vegetables, sorghum; Senepol cattle.
GDP per capita: US$ 14,500 (2004 est.).
Population below poverty line: 28.9 % (2002).
Industries: Tourism, petroleum refining, watch assembly, rum
distilling, construction, pharmaceuticals, textiles, electronics.
Natural resources: Sun, sand, sea, surf.
Unemployment rate: 6.2 % (2004).