Getting to Know the Islands

Size St. Croix: 84 square miles, St. Thomas: 32 square miles, St. John: 19 square miles, Water Island: .76 square miles.

Location Latitude 18º 20 N, longitude 64º 50 W, 40 miles east of Puerto Rico, 1,100 miles southeast of Miami and 1,500 miles from New York City, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.

Capital Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas.

Population 104,170 year-round residents (July 2014 estimate). The majority live on St. Thomas and St. Croix.

Communications Most stateside cell phones may work, but check with your provider in advance to avoid roaming charges.

Time Zone Atlantic Standard Time. Daylight Savings Time is not recognized.

Official Language is English, but Spanish is common, as is patois (PA-twah), a blend of Danish, Spanish, English, Portuguese and African.

Climate/Rainfall The average temperature is 80Fs during the day and mid 70Fs at night year round. The average rainfall is approximately 40” per year.

Currency U.S. dollars.

Customs & Taxes U.S. residents may bring home up to $1,600 of merchandise duty-free per person. Families can combine their duty free allowances for larger purchases. Those over 21 years of age are allowed five liters of liquor duty-free, provided one is made in the U.S. Virgin Islands, 100 cigars and 5 cartons of cigarettes. There is a 12.5% hotel tax but no sales or luxury taxes.

Area Code 340

Time Zone Atlantic Standard Time. Daylight Savings Time is not recognized.

Entry Requirements No passport is required for U.S. citizens with valid identification such as a driver’s license. Non-U.S. visitors must show a valid passport and, if applicable, a visa. A passport is required to visit neighboring islands such as the British Virgin Islands.

Government The U.S. Virgin Islands is a self-governing unincorporated U.S. territory. Virgin Islanders are U.S. citizens, but cannot vote for the U.S. President.

Legal Drinking Age is 18.

Voltage Standard American 120-volt current.

U.S. Postal Service, Federal Express, DHL and UPS are available, international rates may apply.

Tipping 15% to 20% is customary.

Driving is done on the left. Visitors may drive with a valid U.S. driver’s license for up to 90 days.

Street Names The word Gada (pronounced Gah-da) is the Danish word for street.

Smoking is prohibited in restaurants and other public buildings. Bars may allow smoking outdoors, 20 feet from the entrance or any service area.

Go to Places to Explore Virtual Book for more information!


No passport is required for U.S. citizens traveling to the U.S.V.I., if another proof of citizenship, such as driver’s license or birth certificate with picture ID, is available. Non-U.S. visitors need a valid passport and appropriate visa. No immunizations are necessary.


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