St. John US Virgin Islands
St. John, USVI has the reputation of being the most beautiful, friendly and tranquil island in the Caribbean. St. John, (not St. Johns) is less than 20 square miles in area. (About 2/3 the size of the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport.
St. John's population is about 5,000. About half of the island is part of the St. John Virgin Islands National Park.
St. John - 20 square miles
St. Thomas - 32 square miles
St. Croix - 84 square miles
St. John's coordinates: 18.2N 64.5 W, 1075 mi. East/Southeast of Miami, 50 mi. East of Puerto Rico, 3 mi. East of St. Thomas; north is Atlantic Ocean and south is Caribbean Sea. At its widest points, St. John is approximately 13.5 miles long and about 6 miles wide. The highest elevation is 1,277 feet at Bordeaux Mountain.
St. John - 5,000 residents
St. Thomas - 52,000 residents
St. Croix - 54,000 residents
The official language is English, although in addition to Standard English you will encounter various West Indian Dialects spoken by Virgin Islands natives and residents from other English speaking Caribbean countries. In general these dialects are easy to understand, but if you have trouble, politely ask the person to repeat what they said.
Other languages spoken on the island are Spanish, spoken by natives of Puerto Rico and Santo Domingo, patois, spoken as a second language by residents of St. Lucia and Dominica, and creole, spoken by residents of Haiti.
In 1950, Mr. Laurence Rockefeller purchased extensive holdings on St. John including holdings of the Danish West Indies Company, developed Caneel Bay Resort and donated much of the remaining acreage to the U.S. Government as public parkland and Congress formed the VI National Park.
The VINP holdings include 7890 acres of land, 5650 submerged acres off shore, plus approximately 13,000 acres submerged off shore as "Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument."
In addition to beaches regularly declared to be among the best in the world, the Park offers hiking trails, archaeological sites, educational talks and tours, a Visitors' Center, and a campground.
Weather on St. John ranges from perfect to excellent, with near-ideal temperatures and gentle tradewind breezes. Rainfall averages around 43 inches per year. Winter temperatures range from about 77 to 84 degrees and summer temperatures range from about 82 to 90 degrees. Cooling tradewinds blow east to northeast in the winter switching south to southeasterly in the summer.
Spend some time with local West Indians and you can learn a lot about the island. A wonderful custom here is greeting everyone with a “good morning” or “good evening.” This simple courtesy can be your ticket to learning and navigating St. John with ease and enjoyment.
The far eastern reaches of the island, East End and Concordia, are generally long spines of land which extend into the surrounding waters, and are usually drier and windier than mid island Bordeaux.
In Coral Bay you'll find several significant landmarks. As you come into town on the right you will see the Moravian Church, a historical landmark built in 1741. Notice the traditional Danish color scheme, red roof with pale yellow walls and dark green shutters. Services are still held here on Sunday mornings.
There are four plus "grocery stores" in or near Cruz Bay and one small store in Coral Bay . Grocery prices are approximately 25% higher than in the Washington DC area . Some locals make the trek to St. Thomas to do large grocery orders and other shopping, as prices on St. Thomas are closer to the mainland.
The Caribbean is Atlantic Standard Time, one hour later than Eastern Time (Eastern US Coastline). When Daylight Savings Time goes into effect in the States (April - October), we are the same time as the East Coast's Eastern Daylight Time.
You can find news daily on St. John and the surrounding area. The St. John Tradewinds, St. John Sun Times, The Virgin Islands Daily News (on St. Thomas), and the St. Croix Avis are the local papers.USA Today, The Wall Street Journal & several U.S. metropolitan and Puerto Rico newspapers are flown in daily.
If you decide you want to bring a pet to the island, you will need to acquire a complete, up-to-date vaccination history from your veterinarian as well as a required Health Certificate stating that your pet is healthy enough to travel and withstand specific altitudes and endure temperatures typically ranging from 46 to 86 degrees. (This is not usually required by the airline, but is required for your pet to pass through the USVI Customs Department).
There are no sales taxes in the US Virgin islands
Each Visitor to the Virgin Islands enjoys a $1600 Duty Free Allowance upon returning to the United States. In addition you may bring back five bottles of liquor duty free or six if one is locally produced like Cruzan Rum. The Duty Tree cigarette allowance is 10 cartons of cigarettes or 100 cigars. For more information contact the Bureau of Custons 340 774 2540
Bring passport or other proof of citizenship and picture ID
The rates for mailing are the same as when within the United States.