The U.S. Virgin Islands, which comprises St. John, St. Croix and St. Thomas, are beloved for their beautiful Caribbean waters, welcoming cultures and ample experiences. But these islands are also great destinations for travelers interested in traveling sustainably.
Travelers to the U.S. Virgin Islands can participate in ecotourism initiatives and explore the islands’ bountiful natural beauty in a variety of ways.
Those who’d like to spend their time doing good while on vacation can participate in voluntourism initiatives benefiting three key areas: education, the environment and local enterprise development as part of the Purpose in Paradise voluntourism program. Travelers can choose to participate in everything from beach cleanups to school literacy programs, rebuilding parks, restoring coral and much more.
Accommodations in the USVI can also be more eco-conscious than a typical resort. Lovango Resort + Beach Club is powered by renewable energy and uses a method to convert seawater into water used for cooking, drinking and more. The resort has a partnership with the University of the Virgin Islands to participate in the restoration of the coral reefs around the Lovango Cay, which guests of the resort can also participate in.
Another sustainable accommodation option is the Virgin Islands Campground on Water Island, which offers several self-sustaining cottages located near Honeymoon Beach and a more laid-back, non-resort-style accommodation option for adventurous travelers.
The U.S. Virgin Islands also offers plenty of outdoor adventure opportunities, both on land and in the water. From scuba diving and snorkeling in the region’s beautiful reefs at Buck Island Reef National Monument in St. Croix to hiking St. John’s 11,500+ acres of protected lands, nature lovers will find no lack of opportunity for enjoying nature.
The sustainability also extends to restaurants, many of which source their food from the local sea and from their own gardens. St. Croix is home to the largest agricultural festival in the area, too. AgriFest, held in late May, offers a wonderful look into the islands’ produce with live music, fair games and yes, delicious food.
Travelers can enjoy a sustainable trip to the U.S. Virgin Islands, as long as they do their research during their travel planning; a travel adviser who specializes in the destination or in sustainable travel can aid travelers in making the choices that are right for them.
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This story was originally published May 2, 2022 4:00 AM.