Introducing US Virgin Islands
Consistent 80°F (27°C) weather, ridiculously white sands and a rum-infused taste of West Indian culture – the US Virgin Islands (USVI) earn a gold star for 'tropical'. Americans don't even have to use a passport to join the fun, as these are US territories. Get ready for reggae rhythms, curried meats and mango-sweetened microbrews. It's still a world away, mon.
Need to know
Two-thirds of St John is a protected national park, with gnarled trees and spiky cacti spilling over its edges. There are no airports or cruise-ship docks, and the usual Caribbean resorts are few and far between. It's blissfully low-key compared to its neighbor St Thomas. Hiking and snorkeling are the big to-dos.
With two to six Love Boats docking in town daily, Charlotte Amalie (a-mall-ya) is one of the most popular cruise ship destinations in the Caribbean. Downtown buzzes with visitors swarming the jewelry shops and boutiques by day. By early evening, the masses clear out, the shops shutter, and the narrow streets become shadowy.