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National Parks in the Virgin Islands

National Parks of the Virgin islands


Animals of the National Park

There are 140 species of birds, 302 species of fish, 7 species of amphibians, 22 species of mammals and 740 species of plants inhabiting the Island. In addition there are about 50 corals species and numerous gorgonians, and sponges providing St. Johnian’s and visitors with some of the best snorkeling and diving in the world.

Culture of the Virgin Islands

The first humans arrived in the Virgin Islands between 2500 to 3000 years ago.
The Taino culture developed between 500 to 1000 years ago.
Columbus discovers the islands in 1493.
Visitors from the United States began vacationing and moving to the Virgin Islands between 1920 and 1950.
The Virgin Islands National Park was established in 1956.

Nature of the Virgin Islands

Virgin Islands National Park located in the tropical Atlantic, contains examples of terrestrial, coastal and marine ecosystems. These include various types of dry to moist forests, salt ponds, beaches, mangroves, seagrass beds and coral reefs. The land is mountainous, with average slopes being 30 percent. Bordeaux mountain, 1286 feet high, plunges sharply to the sea.

Turtles of the Virgin Islands

There are seven species of sea turtles in the world, and three of these inhabit the waters of St. John. The two most common are the green and hawksbill turtles, while the leatherback is rarely seen. Sea turtles spend most of their lives in the water only coming ashore to nest. Turtles travel thousands of miles a year.

For those that are not very familiar with the Virgin Islands, you might be surprised to hear that St. John is approximately 60% national park!


Quick history and facts about the St. John National Park

In 1917 the United States bought St. John from Denmark. By the 1930s, news of the beautiful American island had spread to the United States mainland and the beginning of what was to become a tourism boom on St. John was established.

Laurence Rockefeller in 1956 donated land to the Federal Government to establish a National Park. The 5000 acres became the nation’s twenty-ninth National Park. The land was presented to Fred Seaton, who was the Secretary of the Interior, he promised the government would ‘take good and proper care of these precious acres and verdant hills and valleys and miles of sunny, sandy shores’. Since then other donations have been made and presently the Virgin Islands National Park includes 7200 acres of land and 5600 acres of underwater land.

Today St. John thrives as a favored tourist destination. A construction boom in the past couple of years is changing St. John from a quiet, sleepy island to one with a little more traffic and development.

Note: The information contained in this brief history was gathered from St. John Back time Eyewitness Accounts from 1718 to 1956, compiled by Ruth Hull Low and Rafael Valls, printed in 1985, and John Lonzo Anderson’s Random Notes on the History of St. John printed in 1970. Compiled from The National Park Service.

You can also read more on the park at National Geographic by clicking here


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Posted in Virgin Islands National Park

Tagged caribbean culture, Friends of Virgin Islands National Park, Island lifestyle, Sea Turtles, St John Virgin Islands, Virgin Islands,

Villa Pearl Luxury Auction (Formerly known as Villa Whydah)

Villa Pearl Luxury Auction (Formerly known as Villa Whydah)

Virgin Islands Real Estate

– Waterfront Luxury Home –

Location:    4-49 Botany Bay St. Thomas, United States Virgin Islands
Date of Auction:    March 22, 2016


Click Here to Request the Villa Pearl Auction Package

Click Here

Villa Pearl, located on St. Thomas in the United States Virgin Islands, that will be going to auction for the second time on March 22, 2016.

Villa Pearl, comprised of 19,000+ total square feet sitting on 4 acres was previously known as Villa Whydah. Originally listed in 2013 at $35m, the owner ended up selling the villa at auction in December of 2014. After reducing the price to $25m in October of 2013 the property was then auctioned off by Platinum Luxury Auctions with a reserve price of $6 million and ultimately closed for $8,855,000 (per the St. Thomas MLS). Currently the last sale remains the highest priced residential sale on St. Thomas. 

The U.S. Virgin Islands is the only English speaking U.S. territory in the Caribbean, making it uniquely attractive to the US tourist market and beyond. Botany Bay remains one of the premier residential developments in the US Virgin Islands. Buyers looking to purchase in Botany Bay often look at other areas as well such as Water Point, Peterborg, and Mahogany Run on St. Thomas. Areas of similar price points on St. John include Peter Bay, Catherineberg, and Ditleff Point. 

If you are interested in participating in the Villa Pearl Luxury Auction please call Nick Van Assche at 340.776.6666 or email nick@seaglassproperties.com

Download Auction Package

Click Here to Learn about St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands

Click Here to Learn about Virgin Islands Hotel Tax Incentives

Broker Reciprocity.

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Posted in St. Thomas Real Estate, The Preserve at Botany Bay, US Virgin Islands Real Estate

Tagged luxury auction, St. Thomas, villa pearl, villa whydah, Virgin Islands,

Move to the VI for the Culture.

why vi culture

Why should you move to the VI? The Virgin Islands is rich with unique Caribbean culture and is one of the many reasons we moved to the Virgin Islands in the first place! Read below to learn about some of the food, music and customs.

Food Culture:

Recipes of some of the island’s favorite plates—sure to satisfy any palate!

Pate |

You can find these scrumptious pates on side street vendors and restaurants alike! Here’s a recipe:

Step I. Pastry

4 cups flour

4 level tablespoons unsalted vegetable shortening

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup water

Mix dry ingredients in large bowl. Cut in shortening with knives or pastry blender. Add water gradually to form a soft dough. Knead gently on a floured board for a few minutes. Cover and let rest for about 10 minutes. Shape into small balls, roll out and cut into size circles desired for turnovers.

Step II. Filling

1/2 lb. lean ground pork AND

1/2 lb. ground beef OR

1 lb. ground beef (omitting pork)

1 large sweet pepper

1 medium onion

1 tablespoon minced celery

1 tablespoon minced parsley

2 tablespoons margarine

1 clove garlic, crushed

Hot pepper to taste (optional)

1/4 cut tomato paste

1/4 teaspoon Oregano

1 tablespoon fine bread crumbs

Sauté pork in margarine until brown, usually about 10 minutes, add beef and continue cooking another 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients. Cook for a few minutes longer (make sure beef is cooked, no longer pink) If filling seems very dry add a little water.

Step III. Prepare and Cook

Place filling on each circle of dough, leaving edge bare, moisten edge with water, turn over and seal meat inside dough by pressing moist edge together with fork. Fry in hot deep fat, until dough in golden brown.

Sorrel |


1oz. dried sorrel

3 slices of fresh ginger (1 inch thick)

1 tablespoon cloves

1 piece dried orange peel


10 cups boiling water

A few grains of rice

Optional Ingredient – 1/4 cup white or dark rum


Put water and ginger slices in a large saucepan. Cover and boil well for 3 minutes. Place sorrel, cloves and orange peel in a jar with boiling ginger-water mixture. Allow mixture to sit for 24 hours. Strain the mixture and sweeten to taste (Sorrel is quite tart, so a couple cups of sugar may be necessary.) Add rum. Pour liquid into glass bottle adding a few grains of rice to each bottle. The grains of rice are said to help quicken fermentation. Leave bottles of sorrel un-chilled for a minimum of 24 hours before serving.

Fungi |


2 1/2 cups boiling water

1 1/2 cups cornmeal

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon shortening


To rapidly boiling water add salt and sprinkle cornmeal in slowly, stirring the mixture. Allow water to boil with cornmeal a few minutes. Stir briskly to prevent lumping. When well combined add shortening. Cover and allow to steam for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Okras may be added. Cut the okra into small pieces and allow to boil for a few minutes before adding to the cornmeal. Suggestion: It is difficult to cook a fungi that is lump free. To prevent lumps and get a smooth fungi – mix 1/4 cup of cornmeal with 3/4 water. Add to boiling water, stirring constantly while adding. Let this cook to consistency of a thick cereal, add remaining cornmeal and stir, mashing lumps as you stir.

Local fruits |

Kenips, Star Fruit,Plantains,Mango,Soursop,Passion Fruit, Breadfruit, avocado, pomegranate tamarind, sea grape, coconuts and banana figs

The Music:

Calypso |

Historically, calypso music can be traced to the days of slavery. It was a means of communication and a vent to the strains of oppression. Calypso has it’s roots on the island of Trinidad. Present in Trinidad during French and Spanish occupation, calypso did not take root until English occupation. With English as the common language Calypso could now be understood by the entire population. Calypsonians are respected as news carriers and what they sing is considered to be truthful interpretations. Calypso is most famously known for expressing political commentary through satire and sarcasm. Today Calypso has evolved into two types, the traditional informative Calypso and a new dance hall type of calypso music.

Soca Music |

Add some soul to Calypso and you have Soca. The origin of the music is Trinidad and Tobago. The lyrics are used to express political and social commentary.

Reggae |

Reggae music is an offshoot of ska music. The order of creation is ska then rock-steady then reggae. Famous reggae artists like Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer began their careers as ska musicians. Ska music started as dance music. Audiences wanted a more steady beat, and the music evolved into the more mellow reggae of today. Reggae lyrics usually have an emphasis on redemption. Reggae music has traveled and become popular across the world.

Fungi |

Is a musical form native to the British Virgin Islands. It is characterized by a variety of instruments and is sometimes called a scratch band.

Meringue |

Is a high energy music characteristic of islands such as Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.

Rock Steady |

Is the precursor of reggae. It is slower, heavier and more vocal.

Salsa |

Is a Latin dance music developed in Puerto Rican and Cuban communities in New York.

Zouk |

Is a dance music from the French Antilles and is played in both slow and fast beats.


The word Carnival brings to mind an assortment of images; for music lovers it might mean heated Calypso shows and for children it brings to mind amusement park rides and cotton candy. To those who enjoy Caribbean delicacies Carnival may mean food fair and food/drink booths at the village. And to anyone who has experienced the Carnival parades, the word certainly brings to mind steel drums, bands, colorful costumes, people of all ages dancing in the streets, mocko-jumbies and fireworks. And if none of these images came to mind, perhaps you have never experienced Carnival in the U.S.V.I.

There is no denying that Virgin Islanders love Carnival! It is the most anticipated cultural event of the year! Carnival is a festival celebrating freedom through dancing, singing, parades, pageantry, music, drinks, food, friends and fun. It includes nightly displays of talented bands and individual musicians, pageants for Carnival royalty and fairs showcasing local crafts, food and drinks. Carnival however is much more than a large party. It is an exposition of culture and a treasured tradition that is passed down year after year. It draws on African and European customs including music, dancing and masquerades. Carnival can be found throughout the Caribbean and is celebrated on various islands at different times of the year. In the United States Virgin Islands Carnival events take place on St. Thomas in April/May, St. Croix in December/January and St. John in June/July.

Mocko Jumbies |

Colorfully costumed stilt dancers, like the one in the picture above. They can be seen at carnival parades and other local events. The word jumbie refers to ghost-like spirits of West African belief.

Facts and information taken from: www.VINow.com

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Posted in Why The Virgin Islands?

Tagged caribbean culture, moving to the virgin islands, vacations in the virgin islands, Virgin Islands,

New on St. John

What's New St. John?

What’s New St. John?

New on St. John

New Restaurant Coming Early January 2015 and North Shore Deli Opens in Mongoose Junction. Joe’s Diner is closed and the renovations for the new restaurant are in full swing. The Longboard will be making it’s debut early 2015, It is expected to have a costal cantina feel and a welcoming bar atmosphere.

The Longboard will be here soon! Longboard owners have said “We are excited to be down here, and we are happy to remodel an old institution, which is a completely new project for us.  This “Longboard” is its own unique brand, and there has been plenty of detailed focus on the interior, logos, and overall designs.  We hope to be a part of the St. John community for years to come (public willing), and after the few setbacks that we have already endured, we are definitely adapting to “island time”. Check out the Longboard website to learn more!

Deli Grotto has closed its doors and the new spot is called North Shore Deli. Some of our favorite Deli Grotto treats are still here and new ones too! Our favorites so far have been the Greek Flatbreads with juicy & tender chicken. They have added a variety of specialty drinks on the menu including the islands favorites Bushwacker and Painkiller.

Check out our blog weekly to find out what is new on St. John! Have a great weekend!


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Posted in Island News

Tagged St. John, St. John News, Virgin Islands,

Carolina Corral

This weeks featured small business is St. John's Carolina Corral.
 Enjoy scenic horseback riding trails or go on a donkey drawn
wagon ride. Every animal who calls Carolina Corral home has a
special story of how they ended up there.

Carolina Corral St. John

Photo Credits | Carolina Corral

Carolina Corral

Come & meet Rodney! He was born in the wild where his mother was hit by a car when he was only 4 months old. He is very friendly. 

The owner, Dana Bartlett tell us about herself on the website for Carolina Corral "I made the move here from Akron, Ohio in the fall of 1993. Originally from Creston located about an hour south of Cleveland, pop. 24,000. My family has always had animals with both parents having grown up on dairy farms. I was one of those lucky girls who got to have a pony at 9 years old. Ten years of 4-H helped me learn about their proper care, the islands have taught me to persevere. I had never handled a donkey before moving here and now can capture one out of the wild if need be and train it. Other animals have rounded out my scope of animal husbandry like deer, sheep, goats, iguanas, land crabs, ducks, my chickens and a tortoise. Best part about this endeavor, besides the animals themselves, has been meeting everybody from every walk of life who love them like I do!"The Carolina Corral website also shares how it all began "The Carolina Corral began with two native donkeys out of the wild in 1993. Donkeys had been running free since the plantation days and were still used regularly until the 1970s for hauling water, wood and charcoal and for taking local children to school. Since then, Carolina Corral has had many new additions, including goats, horses, cats and dogs. Every animal at the Carolina Corral was in need of a better home prior to coming here and all are happy to work for their living. The horses and most of the other animals were rescues and no longer wanted by their owners, and they are now provided with a good home. 
Come learn their names and take home a memory of these special animals."

Carolina Corral Carolina Corral | 340.693.5778 | Info@HorsesStJohn.com | For more information visit the Carolina Corral Website .  Happy Trails Y’all – Sarah 


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Posted in Small Businesses of the Virgin Islands

Tagged Carolina Corral, Horses, Small Business, St. John, Virgin Islands,

Humane Society of St. Thomas

  • The Humane Society of St. Thomas (HSSTT) is a non-profit animal shelter located in the U.S. Virgin Islands dedicated to eliminating cruelty, abuse, and the overpopulation of animals. We receive minimal local funds and rely on donations and special events. HSSTT provides a wide variety of animal welfare programs to island residents and their pets, including pet adoptions, humane education, spay/neuter assistance, animal rescue and animal control.

  • There are many different ways you can help us to reduce animal suffering whether it be through adoption, volunteering, education, participating in our special events throughout the year, or making a donation to support our programs.
 You will find information on all of these options, plus a whole lot more on our site. Together we can make a difference in the lives of homeless and neglected animals, which, in turn, will make a difference in all our lives and help make this a better community.

  • Traveling to & from the Virgin Islands?
  • You could help us transport a pet to their forever home! To relieve our over-population at the Humane Society of St. Thomas, USVI shelter, we support Pets with Wings. This program allows for transporting our adoptable animals to rescues in the states where there is a shortage of animals.
  • Looking to adopt a pet from the US Virgin Islands?
  • CLICK HERE and check out some of the our Island pets that are patiently waiting to find their forever homes!

  • Want to learn about VOLUNTEERING at the St. Thomas Humane Society?
  • The Humane Society is always looking for Volunteers, For more information on  Volunteering CLICK HERE.  

  • Every Thursday at Mojos you can join us to meet the pups & learn more about fostering, adopting, and volunteering.

  • Want to get Involved in your Local VI Community? Follow our blog in the upcoming weeks to learn about the various organizations and charities we have.
  • Sarah 

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Posted in Community Involvement

Tagged St, St. Thomas Humane Society, Thomas, Virgin Islands,

St. Thomas Housing Market Is Recovering

It’s been a long time coming, but the St. Thomas, Virgin Islands housing market is starting to show signs of a recovery.

According to a year-over-year comparison from the St. Thomas/St. Croix MLS, the average median price rose from $512,712 to $544,525, a 6% increase overall.

While the average sales price has only risen slightly, the overall sales volume for St. Thomas houses sold has seen a 48% increase from $20,508,500 in 2011 to $30,493,400.

Out of 22 homes sold on St. Thomas in 2012 and listed between $400,000 and $795,000, Sea Glass Properties has been involved in 12 of the transactions.

“For the past few years, the majority of our sales were from on island professionals, but now we are starting to seeing investors and second home buyers active again.” says Kerstin McConnell.

For more information on the St. Thomas housing market please contact Kerstin McConnell at 340-998-5737.



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Posted in St. Thomas Real Estate, US Virgin Islands Real Estate

Tagged homes sold in the virgin islands, sales, st thomas homes sold in 2012, st thomas real estate, usvi housing market, Virgin Islands,