On the edge of the Caribbean Sea, the Virgin Islands;
group of about 100 small islands, is 140 miles northwest of St. Kitts and 40
miles east of Puerto Rico, lying closely clustered together. These islands
are considered to be part of the Lesser Antilles, though they are more
geographically close to the Greater Antilles in the west. Although
constituting the westernmost part of the Lesser Antilles, the Virgin Islands
form a geological unit with Puerto Rico and the Greater Antilles; they are of
volcanic origin overlaid with limestone.
The pleasant climate, the picturesque buildings and the clear beauty of
surrounding waters combine to make these Islands an ideal tourist and vacation
site for Caribbean resorts.
On the Island of St. Thomas, good roads and rugged mountains give
unparalleled views of the Virgin group. Homes cling to the hillsides.
Sheltered by bay and mountain is the thriving town of Charlotte Amalie, a free
port, and duty free shopping attraction. Many Cruise Lines bring tourists
to Charlotte Amalie every day, year round.
The long sandy beaches and the crystal-clear waters makes swimming a prime
activity. Fishing and sailing are enjoyed by visitors and natives alike,
and there are always sailboats and fishing vessels for rent. There is a
public nine-hole golf course on St. Thomas, a world renowned golf course on St.
Croix, and public tennis courts on St. Thomas and St. Croix.
The water supply is almost completely dependent on rainfall and is preserved
in cisterns; some water also comes from desalinization plants. The tropical
climate, with its cooling northeast trade winds, and the picturesque quality of
the islands, enhanced by their Old World architecture, have encouraged a large
tourist trade, but the population remains poor.