Saint Croix is an island located in the Caribbean Sea and is a part of the US Virgin Islands, which are an unincorporated part of the United States of America. The island has a population of approximately 60,000. The largest town on the island is Christiansted, which has a population of just 3,000. Saint Croix’s capital city, Charlotte Amalie, is actually located on the neighboring island of Saint Thomas.
The island was first discovered by Christopher Columbus on November 14, 1493. Columbus initially named the island, Santa Cruz, which translated into Holy Cross. Prior to Columbus, the island was inhabited by the Arawaks and Caribs, who did not welcome the Europeans with open arms. The first encounters lead to a small battle in which two people died. This eventually lead to a century long battle between the Caribs and the Spaniards, which did not end until the Spanish deserted the island in the 1600’s. The island was eventually successfully seized by the Dutch, who had to fight off both the French and British. The Dutch sold the island to the United States for $25 million in 1917.
With an area of 82.8 square miles, Saint Croix is the largest of all the US Virgin Islands. Like many of the Virgin Islands, Saint Croix’s origin comes from a volcano. This caused the land to have a hilly and rough terrain.
While tourism is one of the largest drivers of the Saint Croix economy, there are other successful industries which do business on the island. US based Hess Corporation owns one of the world’s largest oil refineries on the island. St Croix is also home to the Cruzan Rum Distillery which makes rum such as Cruzan Rum and Southern Comfort.
Like the other Virgin Islands, Saint Croix is a very popular vacation destination. This is because of the pristine white sand beaches, clear water, and beautiful coral. Because of the coral reef, scuba diving is a very popular activity. There are numerous resorts which cater to honeymooners and other tourists. The most popular time to travel to St. Croix is during the dry months of January to April. Traveling later in the year comes with the risk of hurricane.
Outside of the beaches and resorts, there are various activities which drive tourism. The Crucian Christmas Festival is a significant St. Croix festival which occurs around Christmas. Around Mardi Gras each year, there is a Mardi Croix parade which shows off much of the St. Croix culture.
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