Plan your trip to Saint Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
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St. Croix is the largest island in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Christopher Columbus visited St. Croix on his second voyage to the New World in 1493 and named the island “Santa Cruz” (Holy Cross), which became a major export of sugar in the late 1700s. The ruins of over 150 sugar plantations are still visible along the hillsides of Christiansted and Frederiksted, the two major towns on St. Croix.
The island, which became a U.S. territory in 1917, is filled with a diverse assortment of plant life including giant cacti on the eastern side of St. Croix and rain forest on the western end, which features Blue Mountain. To help protect the islands’ unique ecology, St. Croix locals host several workshops and garden tours through the Virgin Islands Sustainable Farm Institute, a certified Organic and Green Globe forest farm. Many of St. Croix’s native plants are also found in the St. George Village Botanical Gardens, where tourists can stroll through a cactus garden and an orchid house.
Visitors can also explore the protected waters and lush habitat of St. Croix by kayaking through Salt River—the historical landing site of Columbus’ expedition—or snorkeling in the underwater National Park, Buck Island Reef National Monument.
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