The Virgin Islands are an archipelago found in the Leeward side of the Caribbean. Some of the islands are territories of the United States, while others are territories of the United Kingdom. The British Virgin Islands are located to the northeast of the US Virgin Islands. The archipelago’s name was derived from Christopher Columbus’ founding name for it: Santa Ursula y las Once Mil Virgenes. The name directly translates to Saint Ursula and her 11 thousand virgins.
What is the difference between the US Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands? It seems that the American territories, except for St. Croix, are more developed than their British counterparts. Whether American or British in ownership, the islands are definitely West Indian in flavor. Put together, both American and British islands seem like one archipelago under the same ownership. Expect a lot of fun in the sun in the whole Virgin Islands, through swimming, sunbathing, snorkeling, and scuba diving. If you are tired of the sea, you can always drive around the lush countryside surrounded by green rain forest and sugar plantations.
To visit the Virgin Islands, you can fly to any of the international airports in the area. You can always go island-hopping by cruise ship or ferry if you are not content with just one island. Within any of the islands, you can get around by bus, taxi, or by rented car. The islands boast of a tropical climate. Avoid visiting during the peak of hurricane season in the area.
To get into the Virgin Islands, consider whether you are visiting the US or the British part. This is because you will be following the same entry requirements as the ruling country. If you are from the United States, you do not really need a visa or a passport to get into American territories. If you are entering a British territory, you do not need a visa but you will need to present a valid passport. You can stay in the territory for up to 30 days without a visa.