U.S. Virgin Islands
The U.S. Virgin Islands comprises of the three islands; St. Croix, St. John, and St. Thomas. The United States Virgin Islands offers something for everyone. Breathtaking beaches with emerald water. Secluded coves, pristine coral reefs, and untouched rainforests. Friendly people with a unique music, cuisine, and culture. Posh hotels, cozy inns, and unspoiled campgrounds. Wonderful restaurants, world-class shopping, and exciting festivals. the islands offer the most romantic setting for your special wedding or honeymoon.
The U.S. Virgin Islands are located in the eastern Caribbean, just 1,100 miles southeast of Miami. Surrounded by the clear blue waters of the Caribbean, the average temperature ranges from 77ºF in winter to 83ºF in summer.
Each of the three major islands possesses a unique character all its own. St. Croix's Danish influence is perfect for visitors who prefer a laid-back experience. The historic towns of Frederiksted and Christiansted offer quaint shops, charming pastel buildings, refreshing cultural diversity. From horseback riding near eighteenth-century sugar mills to playing golf on one of the island's three scenic golf courses, you're sure to find something to suit your tastes.
Two-thirds of St. John is a national park; its comfortable pace is perfect for enjoying the island's world-renowned beaches such as Trunk Bay, Cinnamon Bay, and Salt Pond Bay. A nature lover's favorite, St. John offers hiking, camping, specialty shopping, and breathtaking views. If you take just a few hours to visit this island, you'll find it well worth the trip.
St. Thomas boasts one of the most beautiful harbors in the world. As the most visited port in the Caribbean, downtown Charlotte Amalie offers elegant dining, exciting nightlife, world-class, duty-free shopping, and even submarine rides. While it's full of energy, especially in Charlotte Amalie, this island also possesses numerous natural splendors, such as stunning views of the Caribbean from 1,500 feet above sea level.
Anguilla is the most northerly of the Leeward Islands in the Eastern Caribbean, with a latitude of approximately 18 degrees north and longitude of 63 degrees west. The island
lies between the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, some five miles north of St. Maarten/St. Martin and one hundred fifty miles east of Puerto Rico. The territory of Anguilla comprises several offshore islets, or cays, including Sandy Island, Dog Island, Prickley Pear Cays, Scrub Island, and Sombrero Island (the location of the island's lighthouse).
Anguilla has a pleasant, healthy, tropical marine climate. The hottest months of the year are from July to October and the coolest between December and February. The mean monthly temperature is 80 degrees Fahrenheit, or 27 degrees Centigrade. The relative humidity is just over 75%.
Cooling trade winds usually sweep across the land from the east. Rainfall is low and erratic, ranging from 22 - 50 inches per year.
St Martin & Sint Maarten
It's not quite as cosmopolitan as Martinique, nor is it the royalty and rock star magnet that is chic St Barts - nevertheless, with its fine French restaurants, the best duty-free shops in the Eastern Caribbean and glorious beaches, St Martin easily slips into the 'Tropez of the tropics' category.
More than a major gateway to the rest of the Eastern Caribbean, St Martin also offers visitors two countries for the price of one: St Martin takes up half the land on its island home, and the Netherlands' Sint Maarten takes up the other half, with no border controls in between.
Guadeloupe is the centre of the Caribbean's Creole culture, boasting a spirited blend of French and African influences. As well known for its sugar and rum as for its beaches and resorts, the archipelago offers an interesting mix of modern cities, rural hamlets, rainforests and secluded beaches.
Mainland Guadeloupe comprises two islands, Grande-Terre and Basse-Terre. Their principal city is bustling Pointe-à-Pitre at the centre of the land mass; the islands' sleepy capital, also called Basse-Terre, is on the remote southwestern side.
Guadeloupe's offshore islands to the south and west make worthwhile side excursions. The most visited, Terre-de-Haut, is a delightful place with a quaint central village and harbour, good beaches and restaurants and some reasonably priced places to stay. The other populated islands - Terre-de-Bas, Marie-Galante and La Désirade - have very little tourism development and offer visitors a glimpse of a rural French West Indies that has changed little over time.
At the southern end of the Caribbean chain, the Windward Islands archipelago stretches 200 Miles from St. Lucia to Grenada and is the best-kept secret in the Caribbean tourism lore. Situated as the last links before Trinidad and South America, the Windwards are lush and richly tropical volcanic islands green with palm lined sandy beaches.
Including the magnificent St. Vincent and the Grenadines, these islands are an adventurer's dream paradise, with incredible sailing opportunities, diving on pristine and diverse reefs, walls, and shipwrecks, and fantastic island exploration hiking in rainforests, climbing majestic volcanoes, and swimming under hot-spring waterfalls. The islanders are warm and welcoming and the islands themselves are unspoiled, and safe.
The diving is outstanding, and off the beaten track of tourism. Encounters with huge schools of fish, and even big pelagic animals including dolphins and rays are commonplace. The small here is also spectacular, with seahorses, frogfish and flying gurnards regularly sighted.
The Islands Of The Bahamas is a 100,000-sq-mile archipelago that extends over 500 miles of the clearest water in the world. The 700 islands, including uninhabited cays and large rocks, total an estimated land area of 5,382 sq miles, and register a highest land elevation of 206 ft. Most notable, however, is that each island has it's own diversity that continues beyond geography, carrying through to the heart of The Bahamas, the Bahamian people. Population: somewhere north of 300,000.
Newcomers to The Islands of The Bahamas quickly realize that they have stumbled upon not one, but many destinations. Between the "poles" of Grand Bahama and Great Inagua are 23 inhabited islands and thousands of unpopulated islets and cays (pronounced "keys"). Cosmopolitan Nassau, once ruled by pirates, seems a world away from the desert-like wildlife sanctuary of Inagua. On many of the islands, tiny villages seem lifted from the Massachusetts coast and set down amongst palms and pines and iridescent sands. These beautiful islands lie only 50 miles off the Florida coast - far closer than any destination in the Caribbean.
Calm waters and cooling tradewinds have rightfully earned the The Bahamas an international reputation for sailing, with regattas and races held year-round. The islands are actually the birthplace of the Gulf Stream, a phenomenon that also accounts for their astonishing variety and abundance of marine life. Legendary gamefish draw sport fisherman in search of the "big one," and more than 50 international fishing records have been set in these waters. The great writer / fisherman Ernest Hemingway considered the Bahamian island of Bimini a home.
The same conditions that make these islands so amenable to sailors and fisherman draw visitors to the vast and diverse underwater parks. With more than 5% of the planet's reef mass, The Bahamas offer inexhaustible pleasures and challenges to snorkelers and divers. The natural beauty of the water extends to the thousands of miles of shoreline, which has some of the world's most stunningly beautiful and unsullied beaches. From the pink sands of Harbour Island and Eleuthera to the deserted strands of the Exumas and San Salvador, there is a lifetime of beaches to experience. Further inland are gardens and National Parks with rare and endangered species, such as the exotic Abaco Parrot and the Bahamian Iguana.