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- 03 Dec 2020, 3 nights
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St. Thomas, in the US Virgin Islands, embodies the Caribbean spirit of laid-back life sweetened with beautiful landscapes (and local rum). The most developed of the three islands, it has stretches of idyllic sandy beaches washed by waves from an impossibly clear sea. You'll find secluded spots in hidden harbours as well as a fun-filled social scene and plenty of sophisticated restaurants and bars. Snorkellers and surfers looking for aquatic action are drawn to the island's crystal waters, but there's always the indulgent option of doing nothing but swinging in hammocks on the shore.
Hostels in St. Thomas emulate the island's free-spirited vibe infused with a creative flair. Stay in colourful buildings in the island's artistic district, where you can order a drink from the on-site bar and discuss ideas with other travellers on the terrace. You'll find free Wi-Fi and air con in a St. Thomas hostel, and some have a restaurant or mini-supermarket to help make daily life a little more stress free.
While on the island, find the offbeat neighbourhood of Tillett Gardens in Tutu. This repurposed cattle farm was transformed into a retreat in the 1960s, and the eclectic district is now home to independent artists and craftsmen. There are serene lily ponds, a theatre, bakeries, a drum museum and various classes to join. For a more vibrant atmosphere, head to Charlotte Amalie. Here you'll find a busy port, and streets filled with Danish colonial architecture and a colourful calypso spirit.
St. Thomas is known as the liveliest of the three US Virgin Islands, so there's a lot to do here. Take to the sea or mangrove lagoons for sailing, windsurfing and kayaking, or dive in the water to spot tropical fish and dolphins. To appreciate the coastline of bays and the island's jungle-covered cliffs, head to Drake's Seat above Magens Bay for panoramic views. For nightlife, head to Charlotte Amalie and its bars by the water, or to Havensight for live music.
To reach the island, you can fly into Cyril E. King Airport, about 5km west of Charlotte Amalie, or take a plane into the Seaplane Terminal downtown. There are also frequent ferries leaving from ports in Charlotte Amalie and Red Hook, connecting St. Thomas to the other US Virgin Islands. Getting around the island is easy via taxi. You can also jump on one of the local buses (open-air trucks with benches in the back) to travel along main roads.