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If you go to St. John

Getting there: To get to St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands, you must fly to the neighboring island of St. Thomas. From Los Angeles to St. Thomas, for example, there are connecting flights only on American, Delta and US Airways. Restricted round-trip fares begin at $709.

From the St. Thomas airport, take a 20-minute taxi ride (about $9) to the dock at Charlotte Amalie, then a 40-minute ferry ($7 a person) to St. John's Cruz Bay. Or take a 40-minute taxi ride ($11) to the St. Thomas town of Red Hook and a 15-minute ferry ($3) to St. John.

Once on the island, you can rent a car (around $60 a day) or take taxis, which resemble open-air shuttle buses.

Where to sleep: The lowest nightly rates typically are offered in the summer, which is low season; higher rates are for high-demand winter months. (Prices exclude an 8 percent hotel tax.)

Maho Bay Camps, mailing address 17A E. 73rd St., New York, NY 10021; telephone 800-392-9004 or 212-472-9453 or 340-776-6240 (on St. John), fax 340-776-6504, Internet There are 114 tent-cottages on 256-square-foot platforms (no private bathrooms), plus a beach, restaurant and water sports rentals. Rates: $75 to $115, double. The same company also runs three other lodgings that range from tent-cottages to studio apartments: Harmony Studios (just up the hill from the Maho Bay complex; 12 units with private baths, $110 to $200); Estate Concordia Studios (nine units with private baths, pool, $95 to $190); and Concordia Eco-Tents (11 units with private toilets and showers, $75 to $130). The Concordia lodgings stand on a remote hillside at the island's east end.

When to go: Temperatures are close to 80 degrees year-round. Summer is the rainy season, fall is hurricane season.

For more information: U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism, 3460 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 412, Los Angeles, CA 90010; tel. 800- 372-8784 or 213-739-0138, fax 213-739-2005, or Virgin Islands National Park visitor center, tel. 340-776-6201.