Duration: 4 days (March 8 – 11, 2021)
Hotel: $189.56 split
Ground Transportation: $79
Are you planning a trip to the beautiful Caribbean island of St. Thomas? Are you feeling overwhelmed with all of the Covid-19 guidelines, figuring out where to stay and things to do? Well, I have some good news for you. I recently went to St. Thomas, and in this blog post and YouTube video, I will tell you everything you need to know before you travel to St. Thomas.
WHERE IS ST. THOMAS LOCATED?
St. Thomas is one of the Virgin Islands in the Caribbean Sea, which together with St. John, Water Island, Hassel Island, and St. Croix, form the United States Virgin islands (USVI). The USVI is located east of Puerto Rico and west of the British Virgin Islands.
ST. THOMAS ENTRY REQUIREMENTS
Before you start looking at plane tickets and accommodations, make sure that you find a location that offers a Covid-19 molecular or antigen test. A negative test is required for everyone five and older 72 hours before travel. You also have to upload the covid results to the USVI Travel Screening Portal and get approval before leaving. My approval took 24 hours. When you are approved, you receive a QR code that you’ll need to scan at the airport.
HOW TO GET TO ST. THOMAS
We flew from Omaha (OMA) to Atlanta (ATL) to St. Thomas (STT). We flew on Delta Air Lines because I have flight benefits, and Charity is my travel companion, our tickets cost $3.96 each. Promise’s discounted ticket was $227. The flight from ATL to STT was a little over three hours. I’ve also heard of people getting round-trip tickets on Spirit Airlines for as low as $65 when they are flying from a hub like Orlando. I recommend using Skyscanner to book your ticket.
WHERE TO STAY IN ST. THOMAS
There are several places to stay in St. Thomas. We looked at all-inclusive resorts, Airbnb and VRBO, but they were costly. We stayed at Windward Passage Hotel in Charlotte Amalie, the capital. It wasn’t my favorite, but it was affordable and clean. Pre-covid Charlotte Amalie was the most touristy location because cruise ships and ferries come in and out of it. You’ll also find many hotels, restaurants, and shops within walking distance. Our hotel was $758.25 for three nights, including taxes.
4 Night Stays
Margaritaville $2, 564
The Ritz-Carlton $4,496
I was also surprised to see all of the fees that are included when booking Airbnb. For example
$225.00 x 4 nights $900.00
Cleaning fee $125.00
Service fee $144.71
Occupancy taxes and fees $128.13
Total Cost: $1,297.84
HOW TO GET AROUND ST. THOMAS
We thought about renting a car but later decided not to. I read a blog where a couple rented a sedan and paid $400 for seven days, so they aren’t too expensive. but after more research, I learned that the roads in St. Thomas are bumpy, uneven, and they drive on the LEFT side of the road. If you choose to rent a car, make sure you get one early because they sell out fast. Jeeps are pretty popular because of the terrain, but they typically go from $120-$140 per night. We used taxis. They have taxis at the airport. We also asked the security officer at our hotel for taxi recommendations, and he hooked us up with a couple of names.
One of the best things about having flight benefits is being able to travel cheaply. One of the worst things is flying standby. What that means is that we can have a seat only if a revenue (paying) passenger is not occupying a seat. We were unable to get on the first two flights. We got on the third one but missed our connecting flight to STT, which meant we had to spend the night in Atlanta. I was bummed because this meant that we wouldn’t be able to take a ferry to St. Johns, but Charity reminded me that we can always come back at another time. We didn’t do much that night. We just ate at a Mexican restaurant and watched tv.
We made it to St. Thomas and got first-class seats! We quickly changed and got a taxi to Magens Bay beach. Magens Bay is St. Thomas’s most famous beach and known as one of the top ten beaches in the world. It’s also the longest beach on the island and stretches 1 mile long. The water is very calm and clear. I didn’t see any seaweed. I also enjoyed this beach because it was clean, and there’s no soliciting. Beach chairs and floats are available for rent, and you can purchase drinks and snacks at the bar and diner. Make sure to bring cash, there is a minimum spending of $15 to use any plastic. Lifeguards are also on duty every day. The only downside is there is a $5 admission fee; Children 12 and younger are free. The beach hours are 7:00 am to 6:00 pm daily. Military/veterans with ID get free parking.
After we left Magens Bay, we went to Brooks Bar. It’s open 7:00 am -11:00 pm and serves local and Spanish dishes. I loved the food here. It was delicious, affordable and the portions were huge. Charity got the Chicken curry. Promise and I got the Goat meat dish. The meat came with rice, broccoli, plantains, and beans.
We got together with our taxi driver from the previous day, Love Cab for a full-day tour of the island. It cost $35 per person. He gave us insight into how the locals were being affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, recent hurricane and took us to the most popular spots. We drove by Frenchman’s bay, LimeTree beach resort, the Ritz-Carlton, and Little Saint James. We also stopped by Drake’s Seat, Mountain Top, Emerald beach resort, and The Chicken Fry.
Convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein’s private island, Little St. James, off the southern coast was a hotspot for his sex trafficking ring. He owned it from 1998 until his 2019 death. Love Cab told us that locals were aware of the “wicked” things that were going on there. According to “Little Saint James: The history behind Jeffrey Epstein’s private island”
“The airport workers on St. Thomas knew about Jeffrey Epstein transporting minors to Little St. James. Locals reported that he was seen with girls who couldn’t be older than sixteen. They also noted that Jeffrey tipped generously, motivating people not to come forward”
At 1500 feet, Mountain Top is located on the highest point of St. Thomas. There is a large souvenir shop (the USVI offers duty-free shopping). There is also an impressive observation deck overlooking Magens Bay, St. John, and the British Virgin islands. You can’t leave without ordering a Banana Daiquiri. It was so delicious and invented in St. Thomas. We also stopped at Drake’s Seat on our way to Mountain Top for another view of the city.
Have you ever been to St. Thomas and know of any spots we might’ve missed? Please let me know. I want to return so I can visit St. John and St. Croix. See more of our St. Thomas trip on my Instagram highlights @joyiromuanya.