Now the home to a rich yachting crowd rather than a hangout for pirates, the Virgin Islands are both a Crown Colony of the United Kingdom and an unincorporated territory of the USA but have a calypso and reggae rhythm that marks them out as defiantly Caribbean.
More commercial than their British equivalent, the US Virgin Islands are popular with American tourists who don't require a passport to visit, arriving in the commercial centre of St Thomas.
Escape the hub though and travel to St John, which is ideal for snorkelling and hiking, with excellent eco-credentials and the Virgin Islands National Park to play in. St Croix also has great diving along with a wealth of history from sugar plantations to colonial architecture.
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