St John, US Virgin Islands - Stein Travel
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St John

The smallest of the islands, two thirds of St John consists of a national park, a peaceful and largely unspoilt paradise for nature lovers that offers pristine forests, secluded white beaches, hidden coves, reefs and miles of hiking trails.

Danish immigrants were the first settlers and became extensive producers of sugarcane. Today the abandoned 18th century plantations scattered about the island provide a reminder of a once-thriving agricultural community. A walk around the ruins of the Annaberg Sugar Plantation, for example, offers a historical glimpse of St John with magnificent views of the British Virgin Islands.

In 1956 the beauty of the island grabbed the attention of the wealthy Laurence Rockefeller who bought a large piece of land to preserve its pristine loveliness and donated it to the government as a national park. Today the Virgin Island National Park offers numerous guided or independent hiking trails into the interior with stunning views from the ridges and a variety of flora and fauna, including wild cats, hummingbirds and iguanas. Of the dozens of beaches the most popular is Trunk Bay, one of the world's most photographed spots, that offers swimming and excellent marine life in the protected reefs. There is also an underwater snorkelling trail with signs identifying the types of coral and its inhabitants.

The centre of activity on St John is Cruz Bay, a small town offering speciality shopping, lively bars and delicious cuisine, as well as jeep rental services and dive centres. There is limited accommodation on the island.

Information & Facts

Climate

Most days the weather in St John is perfect. The sun shines all year round and even during the summer months the temperatures are lower in humidity, but the rain is scarce and fleeting. This subtropical climate is a travellers dream.

Language

English is the official language. Spanish, Creole and some French are also spoken.

Money

The official currency is the US Dollar (USD) divided into 100 cents. Most credit cards are accepted, including American Express, Diners Club Mastercard and Visa, and are useful for withdrawing cash at ATMs. Travellers cheques are widely accepted in hotels, shops and restaurants provided they are in US Dollars. Foreign exchange bureaux are available to exchange other currencies, but it is best to arrive with US Dollars as many banks and hotels will not exchange foreign currency.

Time

GMT -4.

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