St. John is one of the U.S. Virgin Islands. It is the smallest of the three, at about 20 square miles.

Archeological evidence shows that humans lived on the island as early as 700 BC. Some of the pre-European settlers left petroglyphs next to the only fresh-water spring on the island.

Danes took formal possession in 1694 and established cane and sugar plantations using slave labor. There was a large revolt and massacre in 1733.

St. John is very rough and mountainous, formed mostly out of volcanic basalt. It is the least-developed of the three islands as well -- the Virgin Islands National Park covers 2/3 of the island and about that much of its beaches. Because of this, St. John is very laid back and unspoiled. The land for the park was purchsed by Laurence Rockefeller and then donated to the United States federal government in the 50s. The park opened in 1956.

St. John has one town, Cruz Bay, and another small community, Coral Bay. There is no airport, but a ferry from St. Thomas docks hourly at Cruz Bay. Some of the best snorkeling and hiking in the region can be found on St. John.