St. Croix
Arrival Briefing
If there ever was an island made for exploring on your own, this is it. For lots of reasons.

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This information is specific to St. Croix. You may also wish to consult the general U.S. Virgin Islands Arrival Briefing.

Getting Around: St. Croix needs more road signs. Because things are so spread out, a rental car is only way to move around the island; taxi fares will eat you alive.

But if you drive, remember: drive on the left. True, you're on American soil, but these American territories have used the "English" side of the road since they were under Danish rule.

Where to Stay: The Hotel Caravelle is located on the Christiansted waterfront just a few steps away from the seaplane landing and the Caravelle Arcade. The 43-newly furnished rooms include air conditioning, private bath, refrigerator, cable TV and direct dial phones. For information, call 800/524-0410.

Hiking & Walking Services: Unlike St. John , where the trails and distances are clearly marked with a system of signs, St. Croix's hikes tend to be hidden treasures and so visitors often hike in guided groups.

However, it is easy to walk the roads at the western end, such as Mahogany Road and Creque (pronounced "creaky") Dam Road which provide an obvious path into the rainforest.

The St. Croix Environmental Association (SEA) offers hikes into the Caledonia rain forest and in the Salt River National Park on a demand basis. SEA rates its rain forest hike as strenuous because of the boulders and fallen trees. Salt River is where Columbus landed in 1493. This hike concentrates on describing the mangrove system and other ecological communities.

For more information, call 340/773-1989. Web site: http://www.stxenvironmental.org. The fee is different for adults and children 12 and under.

Environmentalist Olasee Davis conducts groups hikes (30 person maximum) on Sundays and holidays for a charge of US$15 per person. The itinerary changes regularly and he sometimes can be persuaded to do individualized hikes. Contact him at 340/778-9491 or 340/772-0325.

St. Croix Heritage Tours offers weekly walking tours of Christiansted and Frederiksted. Each walk lasts about 1.5 hours.

The Christiansted tour starts at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesdays at the gazebo on the grounds of Fort Christiansvaern. It costs US$12, which covers all admission fees and includes a cold drink; half-price for children under 10.

The Frederiksted walk, beginning at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesdays, starts at the end of the cruise dock. The cost is US$8.

Tours also are offered of Estate Mount Washington, the St. Croix LEAP wood-carving operation, and Estate Little Princess, which is owned by the Nature Conservancy. For more information, call 340/778-6997.

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