Many tourists who are excited to go to the USVI also need to figure out how to get from point A to point B once they’ve arrived. Instead of going down that route, why not learn how to get around the USVI before you leave? That way, you can focus more concentration on having more fun during your trip!
Getting Around the USVI
Like most destinations, a car is usually the best way to see the US Virgin Islands. However, there are a lot of caveats, and some travelers may not feel comfortable renting a vehicle. That’s why we’re going to explore all your various transportation options, including a rental car, ferry, and many more.
Top 5 Ways to Get Around in the USVI
Remember: whichever transportation option you choose, you’ll get to see the USVI! This is a fantastic trip that will make you very glad you’ve decided to visit. US residents can visit the USVI without needing a passport, which makes these Caribbean islands an exotic location that is super easy to get to. Once you’ve arrived, you can use any of the following transportation options to access everything you want to see.
The absolute best way to make your way through the USVI is to rent a vehicle. However, just because it’s the easiest way, doesn’t make it the perfect method for you. There are definitely some things you need to be aware of before you make the decision to use a rental car.
First off, you’ll be dealing with nerve-wracking roads that are often steep, narrow, bumpy, and winding. For this reason, be sure you ask for a vehicle with four-wheel drive. For instance, in St. John, there are several car rental companies you can go to rent vehicles like Ford Explorers and Jeep Cherokees.
Secondly, there are island customs you must be aware of, including honking twice to say, “thank you” and honking once to say, “you’re welcome.” Finally, beware of blind curves and stick to the left side of the road.
If none of these conditions bother you, then you’ll find that renting a vehicle is easy, Your US driver’s license is enough to qualify you for a vehicle rental as long as you’re at least 21. Once you’ve rented a car, you can use a car barge to transport your vehicle between islands.
Some travelers don’t want to do any driving at all on vacation. If you’re one of them, you’ll want to book your transportation aboard the various ferries that travel between the USVI. There are four main ferries for passengers:
- St. Thomas – Water Island
- St. Croix – St. Thomas
- St. Thomas – St. John
- St. Croix – St. John
Some of these routes will run you an affordable $8-20, but you’ll also find that taking the St. Croix – St. Thomas route will cost $120 roundtrip (or $75 one-way). Carefully consider these fairs versus the cost of a rental car to figure out what option is better for you.
If you don’t want to drive yourself around, you can always hire a taxi, instead. This is considered to be one of the best ways to get around the USVI, and it’ll keep you from having to white-knuckle the roads. Finding a licensed taxi is quite simple if you begin in St. Thomas, by the docks in St. Croix and St. John, or in downtown Charlotte Amalie.
Something to know: Fares are not metered. What this means to you is that you should absolutely negotiate your fare BEFORE you hop into a taxi. Taxi trips will usually cost:
- St. Croix – Between $16 and $72 per person, roundtrip
- St. John – Between $12 and $54 per person, roundtrip
- St. Thomas – Between $8 and $40 per person, roundtrip
If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option, you could ride the bus, just like the locals do! Of course, one of the downsides of selecting this option is that the buses on the USVI aren’t always reliable, and they can also be difficult to plan your trip around.
For instance, St. Croix offers a bus that travels between Frederiksted and Christiansted, but it doesn’t run on the weekends. Even during the week, it only stops once every 2.5 hours. On the bright side, it’ll cost you a mere $1 to ride, at most.
Although St. Croix doesn’t offer weekend buses, you can ride them on the weekend in St. John and St. Thomas. Therefore, if you’re planning on relying on the bus system, be sure not to stay in St. Croix over a weekend.
Some people really splurge when they visit the USVI. For them, there is always the option of booking a seaplane to take you between islands. For example, flying between St. Thomas and St. Croix in June will take a mere 30 minutes, and it’ll cost you between $89 – $298. Comparing this to any other transportation option will show you that it’s by far the most expensive option, but it can also free up a lot of time.
All flights between the islands are operated by Silver Airways. Be aware that their flights can vary, as can their prices.
The five options listed above are, by far, the simplest ways to travel between the USVI. There are also some additional options, however, that can be used to take you to specific places.
Skyride to Paradise Point
Visitors to St. Thomas can take the Skyride to Paradise Point to take in some glorious views. Begin your journey at Havensight Mall. The tram ride takes about seven minutes. Once you reach Paradise Point, which is 700 feet in the air, you can enjoy the on-site restaurant, free Wi-Fi, and maybe even a local band. Most people stay for approximately one to two hours.
Bonus Time Boat Charters
You can rent or charter yourself a ride on a boat. You can select your own individual itinerary, which makes this ride even more worth it. Of course, the primary purpose of renting or chartering a boat is to be out on the water. You can use your rental to go island hopping. Rentals last anywhere from half a day to an entire day.
Plan Your USVI Trip Right Now!
There are many different transportation options to make your way among the islands. Your best bet is to pick transportation that aligns with the things to do in the USVI that appeal to you the most. Whether you’re headed to St. John or want to check out Reef Bay and Trunk Bay, there will be a relatively easy way to get there!