St. Croix Travel Guide

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The biggest of the US virgin islands is best explored from the town of Christiansted. Colonial development of the Virgin Islands is commemorated by the 18th and the 19th century structures in the heart of the capital of the former Danish West Indies on St. Croix Island

Just a few miles away is Salt River Bay. It is the only known site where members of the Columbus expedition set foot on what is now U.S. territory. The park contains the only ceremonial prehistoric ball court ever discovered in the lesser Antilles, village middens, and burial grounds. The area was a focal point of various European attempts to colonize the area during the post-Columbian period by the Spaniards, French, Dutch, English, and Danish. The site is marked by Fort Sale, a remaining earthworks fortification from the Dutch period of occupation.

Just off the coast you find one of the finest marine gardens in the Caribbean Sea, located on Buck Island. Buck Islands is the location of the only underwater national park in the country. The elkhorn coral barrier reef that surrounds two-thirds of the island has extrodinary coral formations, deep grottoes, abundant reef fishes, sea fans and gorgonians, and the occasional sea turtle. At the eastern most point of the reef is the famous underwater trail; both novice and expert snorkelers will enjoy the passages through the reef. The island, which has an overland nature trail and white coral sand beaches, is a rookery for endangered brown pelicans and a nesting area for three species of sea turtles. Seasonally Buck Island Reef supports one of the last remaining protected nesting populations of endangered hawksbill sea turtles in the eastern Caribbean. Visitors can take daily trips to the park. Once there they can enjoy the tropical island its extraordinary array of marine life and tropical flora and fauna while leasurely swimming in the crystal clear waters, or snorkeling or SCUBA diving through the fantastic reef or hiking over the island while getting a birds-eye view of the reef and sea below.

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February 25, 2005 change by key

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