Traveling to Paradise: Virgin Islands with ESTA

us virgin islands visa

The most beautiful islands to visit in the US are surely the Virgin Islands which contain some of the most spectacular scenery in the world and the best part of it is that anyone eligible for an ESTA can now visit these idyllic isles without the hassle of extra travel paperwork or special US visas!

That’s right, all you need to travel to the exotic archipelago is a valid, eligible passport and the ESTA for Virgin Islands and here you’ll find out how to get your hands on the ESTA visa waiver and all the best tips for places to visit in the US Virgin Islands.

Do you need a passport for a US Virgin Islands vacation?

First things first, in order to get the ESTA for your blissful vacations in paradise, you’ll need to ensure you have the new biometric US passport chip including the electronic passport photo up-to-date and valid for the duration of your stay.

The US Virgin Islands passport requirements are simple:

  • For trips to the American Caribbean, US citizens can travel with their US passport and do not need a US Virgin Islands visa or other travel paperwork
  • Foreign nationals from Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries are able to travel to the US Virgin Islands with their electronic passport and approved ESTA visa waiver
  • Other foreign citizens will need to apply for a US tourist visa and obtain the correct US travel documents before attending a visa interview at the Embassy or Consulate in their country of residence.

St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands

St Thomas is often regarded as the main island as it contains the most popular cruise ports, the capital city and the airport. Well-known for luxury, this paradise island offers lavish resorts, upscale boutiques and superb shorelines where travelers can enjoy the Caribbean sunshine on any of St Thomas’ sandy beaches. There’s also a range of Virgin Island tourist attractions such as Blackbeard’s Castle with a real pirate tower, Paradise Point for the most amazing panoramas and Coral World Ocean Park for fans of the deep blue.

St. Croix, US Virgin Islands

The largest of the US Virgin Islands is St. Croix, spanning 82 sq. miles, home to 2 main towns: Christiansted, known for it’s historical and architectural importance and Frederiksted, an area celebrated for rum! The Cruzan Rum Distillery is among the various must-see places on the Virgin Islands, other attractions on St. Croix include the Estate Whim Plantation Museum where tourists learn about sugar cane plantations, Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge and Fort Frederik or ‘Frederiksfort’.

St. John, US Virgin Islands

Best known for the National Parklands that make up the majority of this picturesque island, St. John offers a range of outdoor activities and the chance to spot an exotic array of wildlife in their natural habitat. Camping, trekking, diving, swimming and snorkelling are some of the most common forms of entertainment on the island, as well as indulging in the natural beauty and romantic scenery while surrounded by pristine beaches, crystal waters and lush green rainforests.

Tips for Visiting the US Virgin Islands

Here are some tips to help travelers prepare for their most incredible vacations in the US Virgin Islands:

  • Despite being part of the US, people drive on the left-hand side of the road and the steering wheel is also on the left-hand side! So take care! Especially those coming from the mainland.
  • The accepted currency is the US Dollar so no need to change money between the islands and the mainland.
  • Culture on the Virgin Islands falls somewhere between US and Caribbean cultures with a mix of cuisines, music, drinks and true laid-back Caribbean lifestyle.

And remember, to make sure there’s no hiccups on your paradise vacation, eligible citizens should apply for their Virgin Island holiday ESTA at least 72 hours before departure!

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