• Trunk Bay Beach, considered one of the 10 best beaches in the world is home to the underwater trail.

    Virgin Islands

    National Park Virgin Islands

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    There are two mosquito transmitted diseases (virus), Dengue, and Chikungunya Fever, now confirin in the Virgin Islands. For more information on the disease and it's prevention please take a look at this link. More »

Things To Know Before You Come

Although there was some evidence of inhabitants on St. John as early as 1100, no lasting settlements existed until the Danish took possession of St. John in 1694. They established the first permanent European settlement near Coral Bay, attracted by the lucrative prospects of cultivating sugar cane.

By 1733, there were 109 cane and cotton plantations covering the island. As the plantation economy grew, so did the demand for slaves, who were essential to sugar production. Under the auspices of the Danish West India Company, St. Thomas became the center of the slave trade with Africa. But the slaves soon revolted, killing all the whites on the island in 1733. French troops from Martinique, not Danish troops, subdued the slaves.

Sugar production continued for more than a century, effectively ending with the emancipation of the slaves in 1848. The United States purchased the Virgin Islands from Denmark in 1917. Bay rum production, cattle and subsistence farming were the main occupations until tourism discovered St. John in the 1930s. [more…link to sugar production page]

Word of the untouched paradise on St. John spread in the 1930s, and in 1956 the Rockefeller interests bought land and gave it to the Federal Government for a national park, forming the Virgin IslandsNational Park. More than half of the land on St. John lies within the park boundaries. The rest is small towns, shops, homes and private lands. In 1962, the park was enlarged to include 5,650 acres of submerged lands off the island. The Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument was proclaimed in 2001 that includes 12,708 acres of federally owned submerged lands off the island.

Did You Know?

Wasps, locally called Jack Spaniard in their nest.

A wasp common to St. John is called the Jack Spaniard. These paper wasps are not aggressive, but will sting you repeatedly if disturbed. The sting can be quite painful, and should be treated with common sting relief remedies. The discomfort can last three days.