USVI Hotel Taxes will increase as of January 1, 2016 from 10% to 12.5%. Current bookings and any new bookings where travel occurs in 2016 will be adjusted for the new tax rate. For rentals over the holidays that begin in December of 2015, but spill over into January of 2016, the new tax will be prorated and will effect only the nights only spent in 2016.
St. Thomas combines the natural beauty of the islands with an energetic, cosmopolitan atmosphere. Charlotte Amalie, the capital of the United States Virgin Islands, is the most visited port in the Caribbean and boasts one of the most beautiful harbors in the world. The city's reputation as the shopping mecca of the Caribbean attracts visitors from around the world who are drawn to its elegant dining, exciting nightlife and international, duty-free shopping.
A mountainous island, St. Thomas offers stunning vistas in all directions, with views of the Caribbean from 1,500 feet above sea level. Breathtaking natural wonders like magnificent Magens Bay and Drake's Seat are also world- renowned. For the sports-minded, St. Thomas is well known for its world-class yachting and sport fishing, and welcomes golf enthusiasts to the George and Tom Fazio-designed Mahogany Run Course.
St. Thomas boasts some of the most beautiful accommodations including Hotels, Resorts, and Private Villas. Once you leave your resort or villa there is plenty to keep the active vacationer busy. Following are some of the island's highlights and attractions:
St. Thomas has more than 40 pristine white sand beaches with turquoise waters, including the world-famous Magen's Bay.
St. Thomas provides some of the most scenic and picturesque views of the Caribbean. Visitors can enjoy beautiful overlooks, including Drake's Seat and Valdemar Hill. Paradise Point Tramway lifts visitors 700 feet above sea level on a cable car, for one of the most spectacular views of Charlotte Amalie harbor. Situated at the top of the lift on Flag Hill is a complex that includes a cafe, restaurant, a nature trail and several retail shops. Paradise Peak -- a winding quarter-mile nature trail -- gives visitors the opportunity to explore additional overlooks of the island.
Cruising the Caribbean
Attracting thousands of visitors each year, St. Thomas is the Caribbean's number one cruise ship port, and truly a shopper's paradise. Cruise ship passengers enjoy a special duty-free shopping status: No customs duties or sales tax are imposed on tourism-related items.
St. Thomas' Mahogany Run, a George and Tom Fazio design, boasts 18 of the most beautiful and challenging holes in the Caribbean. Golfers extol the virtues of this 6,022-year, par 70-championship course for its sheer beauty and exhilarating play, especially on the 13th, 14th and 15th holes. This signature trio, aptly nicknamed the Devil's Triangle, turns an already ambitious round of play into a veritable Cliffside drama in which golfers must overcome a formidable stretch of Caribbean Seat that sprawls between the tee and the green.
Wet and Dry Water Activities
Opportunities and facilities for snorkeling, scuba diving, snuba, parasailing, windsurfing and kayaking are all available within the beautiful turquoise waters surrounding St. Thomas. For those visitors who prefer to enjoy the water without getting wet, the U.S. Virgin Islands offers submarine cruises and glass bottom boat rides. Both day and night tours are available to explorers of all ages.
St. Thomas' close proximity to the other U.S. Virgin Islands makes island-hopping fun and easy. Visitors staying on St. Thomas can quickly take a ferry over to St. John for a day trip, or a seaplane or ferry to St. Croix.
Local Arts and Crafts
Visitors can find a variety of locally made goods on St. Thomas, including paintings and silk-screened prints. Local artisans sell their products in the marketplace of downtown Charlotte Amalie, along Main Street, in Vendors' Plaza, at Havensight Mall, and at other locations throughout the Island.
Fine Dining, Exciting Nightlife
St. Thomas offers a wide variety of culinary delights ranging from West Indian fare to international cuisine. Caribbean and West Indian delicacies such as conch, kallaloo, fungi, curried chicken, plantains, sour sop and johnnycakes are tantalizing additions to be sampled at many of the island's first-class restaurants. Exciting nightlife includes performances of calypso, reggae, quelbe, jazz and pop music by talented local musicians.
As a United States Territory, the U.S. Virgin Islands does not require proof of citizenship from U.S. citizens arriving from Puerto Rico or the U.S. mainland. Entry requirements for non-U.S. citizens are the same as for entering the United States from any foreign destination. Upon departure, a passport is required for all but U.S. citizens.
Images and descriptive text is courtesy of the USVI Tourist Board. For information about the United States Virgin Islands, call 800-372-USVI (8784) and visit http://www.usvitourism.vi.