This blog starts a weekly series of posts on getting to know St Croix. Why should you visit? Why should you invest in real estate in St Croix? Why and how could you move to St Croix? Over the next few weeks, we’ll try to give you the basic information and links to answer those questions.
Many thanks to VI Tourist Information for their resources.
Where is St. Croix? St. Croix is 84 square miles in size, 22 miles long and the widest point is a little more than 6 miles, about 82 sq miles. The island is 1700 miles south of New York, 1100 miles SE of Miami, on the same latitude as Hawaii and Acapulco, with a population of about 55,000. Its terrain varies widely from Mount Eagle, 1,088′ to wide sandy beaches to rainforest. 40 miles from St. Thomas & St. John, it escapes some of the commercialism of the larger VI towns, but is the largest of the US Virgin Islands.
What currency is used in St. Croix? St. Croix’s currency is US Dollars. Most credit cards and travelers checks are accepted, and there is no sales tax.
What time zone is St Croix in? St. Croix uses Atlantic time, or 4 hours behind Greenwich Mean Time. It is on the eastern edge of the Caribbean Island chain, part of the Antilles. They do not observe daylight savings time.
What language is most widely used on St Croix? The language is English, yet many locals also speak English with a Caribbean twist. For instance, the ‘H’ is often discarded (“thing” becomes “ting”, and “thanks”becomes “tanks…mon”). (courtesy of About St. Croix)
What medical services are available on St. Croix? There is one major St. Croix medical facility catering to the island’s emergencies. The Gov. Juan F. Luis Hospital and Health Center is located in Christiansted, and handles all but the most serious of health conditions. Visitors with minor medical problems should be able to find what they need at one of the island’s pharmacies. Recently a new Cardiac Care Center opened on the island.
When is the best time to visit St. Croix? The climate is subtropical with a year round average of about 78*F/26*C with easterly trade winds to help keep the humidity level comfortable. Seasonal temperatures fluctuate less than 10*F/6*C. Average annual rainfall is only 50 inches/1270 millimeters and occurs more in late spring and late summer. When it rains, the showers are over in a few minutes. During rainfall, rooftops are a passageway to the cistern, where the water is collected.The island is more susceptible to potential hurricanes September – October, and was hit in 2008 by Omar.
Will my cell phone work on St. Croix? According to GoToStCroix, Yes and no. First, be sure your plan includes St. Croix in the coverage so you will not be charged outrageous roaming fees. Second, service will depend on your carrier. Currently, you should have cellular service if you use Sprint, Cingular, or AT&T. We do not have local service with Verizon. You can purchase a pre-paid phone at Radio Shack with a set amount of minutes.
Is there Internet Service on St. Croix? Yes, broadband wireless, DSL, and cable, plus internet cafes and WiFi hot spots.
You can see from these basic facts that St. Croix is a modern island ready for your visit. Check our blog next week for a post on the history of St. Croix.