Part of a larger archipelago in the Caribbean, the US Virgin Islands consist of Saint Croix, Saint John, and Saint Thomas, with Water Island and numerous small islands in the surrounding seas. Situated about 90 miles east of Puerto Rico and about 1,000 miles southeast of Miami, the United States bought the islands from Denmark in 1917. Sugar and rum production were the mainstay of island life up to the 1960s, and tourism is now the most important part of the local economy. The US Virgin Islands host about two million visitors each year, mainly from cruise ships.
Charlotte Amalie on St Thomas is the most visited port in the Caribbean and has a lively dining, shopping and nightlife scene. You get a panoramic view of town from Hotel 1829, half way up Government Hill. Along the coast, Magens Bay is one of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean.
Most of St John is a national park, courtesy of the Rockefeller family in the 1950s, but the island also has fine sandy beaches, notably Trunk Bay and Cinnamon Bay. St Croix has retained some of its Danish flavour especially in historic towns like Frederiksted and Christiansted, and the island has three scenic golf courses. Visitors to USVI enjoy duty-free shopping, world-class diving, kayaking, sailing and ecological nature hikes.