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The U.S. Virgin Islands and St. John

The U.S. Virgin Islands are an American territory, English-speaking, use the U.S. dollar, and offer a lot of choice in terms of what to do and good restaurants. The Virgin Island archipelago encompasses the three U.S. Virgins - St. Croix, St. Thomas, and St. John - and numerous islands a part of the British Virgin Islands (BVIs) in very close proximity to the USVI.

Two thirds of St. John's 28 square miles are designated National Park and there are only two resorts on the island. It is completely free from the usual commercial development. St. John's casual ambiance, coupled with the sense of seclusion the island provides, quickly sends visitors into a vacation state-of- mind. Once through the security gates of Mare Blu and into the villa's main pavilion, guests are not only convinced that they have escaped civilization, but are also certain they have found paradise! From a lounge chair on the veranda at Mare Blu, one may feel as if they are completely secluded, but in fact, they are only a short drive from the best of everything the island of St. John has to offer. Mare Blu is only a short distance from the festive town of Cruz Bay with its upscale shopping, trendy boutiques, gourmet markets, art galleries and fine dining. It's only a short drive to numerous bays and inlets suitable for kayaking, scuba diving, sailing, power boating and also to the renowned National Park beaches for a leisurely day of snorkeling or simply relaxing on powder white sand.

On the whole, the US and British Virgin Islands are small and closely spaced, making it easy to hop from one to another. St. Thomas has good airline connections and is home to the capital, Charlotte Amalie, a popular cruise-ship port. The most populous island, St. Croix, has its own distinct feel, with varied colonial architecture and rum distilleries to tour.

Getting There: Fly into St. Thomas, USVI airport (STT)

Ferry: Catch the hourly on the hour ferry from Red Hook on the east end of St. Thomas (a 30 minute taxi ride from the airport) or the ferry from Charlotte Amalie (near the airport but much less frequent). The ferry dock in St. John is right in the center of town in Cruz Bay.

Geography: St. John has numerous beaches, one qualifying in the top ten beaches in the world, with wonderful snorkeling, interesting and sedate hiking trails, plantation ruins, and coral reefs teeming with life. More than half of the island's area has been placed under the aegis of the National Park Service. Rising steeply and quickly from the shore, St. John's ridges climax in three peaks of 1,100 to 1,200 ft. There are over 800 species of plants. More than 160 species of birds have been recorded in and around the park and, of these over 25 nest on the island.

Climate: The weather is very pleasantly tropical, year-round. Afternoon average temperatures range from 82F in January to 88F in August and September. The average annual low is 74F. Monthly rainfall averages 1.6 inches (February) to 5.8 inches (September)

Customs:

*** ALTHOUGH PASSPORTS ARE NOT REQUIRED FOR ST. THOMAS AND ST. JOHN - PLEASE REMEMBER TO BRING PROOF OF CITIZENSHIP! ***

You will need a passport to visit the British Virgin Islands,
which you may very well want to do, so we highly recommend having a Passport with you.

When departing the U.S. Virgin Islands, U.S. Immigration requires all persons, including Americans, to provide proof of citizenship. This can include a passport, or a certified copy of a birth certificate with a photo ID.

Restaurants: La Tapa, Morgan's Mango, Waterfront Bistro, Ocean Grill, Lime Inn, Cafe Roma, Baked in the Sun, Asolare, Zo Zo's and Skinny Legs. There are restaurants too numerous to mention, but these provide good service and quality with a variety of faire and price and provide lunch and/or dinner.

Services: St. John Gourmet Market, Starfish Market, Starfish Gourmet and Wines, Mongoose Junction shopping, Warfside Village Shopping.

Attractions: Reef Bay Trail, 5000 acres of Virgin Islands National Park, countless sugar plantation ruins and the most beautiful white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters.

Activities: World Famous Beaches, Swimming, Scuba-Diving, Snorkeling, Boating, Sailing, Wind-Surfing, Parasailing, Jet-Skiing, Deep Sea-Fishing, Hiking, Tennis, Horseback-Riding, Beachcombing, Sight-Seeing, Eco-Tourism, Shopping at Duty-Free-Shops, Whale Watching


For more information contact Teri Ackerman at 704-578-4887 or email us at info@marebluvilla.com

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