The British Virgin Islands (BVI) consist of over 50 islands, cays and islets grouped together in close proximity to each other. This is a day sailor’s paradise, perfect for boating with it’s protected waters, trade-winds and tiny islands. These islands are located around 60 miles east of Puerto Rico. The largest of the islands is Tortola followed by Virgin Gorda, which is known for “The Baths” a beach with beautiful rock formations. There are another 10 smaller inhabited islands. Most of the other islands are uninhabited or private. Visit VoyageMonkey.com Travel for the best hotel accommodations, flights and car rentals.
Road Town is the capital city on Tortola. Major cruise ships dock in Road Town bringing in thousands of visitors on any given day. You can fill your day touring Tortola or take an excursion by boat to Virgin Gorda, or one of the outer islands for the day. In Road Town you will find many open-air safari buses & taxis that can take you around the island for a tour. If you rent a car, be sure to stay on the “wrong” side of the road. Road Town is one of the Caribbean’s largest yacht chartering centers. The Moorings yacht chartering company can be found in Road Town.
Although the islands are British territory the US Dollar is the only legal tender. Early British settlers operated sugar plantations here and exported large quantities of rum to Britain. Rum is still produced on Tortola today although tourism, yachting and international finance are the main industries. Tax-free international business corporations flourish on paper in this offshore financial haven.
BVI offers many water activities and has many pristine sandy white beaches to enjoy. Here you can scuba dive ship wrecks, snorkel, sail, kayak, windsurf or lounge around on the beach. The most popular beaches on Tortola are found at Brewer’s Bay, Brandywine Bay, Josiah’s Bay and Cane Garden Bay. Cane Garden Bay is one of the most scenic and is popular for its horseshoe shaped bay, water toys, lounge chair rentals, shops and several beach bars & restaurants. At Cane Garden Bay you will also find the Callwood Rum Distillery where you can buy local rum. On the island of Virgin Gorda, the must-go-to beach is The Baths. This geological marvel is one of BVI’s most popular spots that brings visitors from around the world. This national park is filled with giant boulders that form a series of sea pools and secluded grottoes.
BVI has many national parks, historic forts & ruins and museums. While in Road Town visit the Old Government House and Folk Museum. Road Town offers shopping, local dining and historic sight-seeing. Most shopping is on Main St. close to the cruise ship dock. This is the town’s primary shopping street. There is a large open-air crafts market next to the cruise dock where you can buy inexpensive souvenirs.
You can find some of the best sailing and snorkel tours while in BVI. You can board a sailing catamaran in Road Town, put up the sails and sail across the Sir Francis Drake Channel to Norman Island for a snorkel and then over to Peter Island to enjoy the beach at a local beach club. Once you arrive at Norman Island you snorkel directly from the catamaran at a location called the Caves where you can snorkel into small caves along the cliffs. Norman Island and its famous pirate history were immortalized in Robert Louis Stevenson’s book “Treasure Island.” The snorkeling is great and the island is lush and beautiful. Next stop at Peter Island where you stop at a local beach club to enjoy the beach, swim in the clear waters and enjoy tropical drinks at the beach bar. On the sail back to Road Town you are served local rum punch while you enjoy the spectacular views of the Sir Francis Drake Channel and some of the other surrounding islands. These tours are recommended for snorkeling and sailing fans. Other recommended tours in BVI include: Best of Tortola sight-seeing tour; a trip to The Baths on Virgin Gorda; various “Swim with Dolphins” tours. There are also various scuba, kayak & bike tours and beach resort escapes offered.
If you’d like to eat lunch in Road Town, closest to the cruise dock you will find the Captains Table, which offers good seafood, meats & poultry dishes and has nice open air dining overlooking the Inner Harbour Marina. Fresh lobster, grilled shrimp and conch are favorites. Another good restaurant in Road Town is the Dove Restaurant & Wine Bar at 67 Main St. The menu is Eclectic featuring items such as Coffee Crusted Angus Beef, Rabbit Spring Rolls, and Goat Cheese & Beef Salad. You will also find standard seafood & meat dishes. The restaurant offers an extensive wine list, specialty martinis, rums, cognacs and single malt scotches. You can enjoy a harbor view while you enjoy tapas or sushi. A more casual fun atmosphere can be found at the legendary Pusser’s Pub on Main St. The pub serves authentic Caribbean cuisine and has the best happy hour in town. It serves over 50 exotic Caribbean rum drinks. The pub food ranges from peal & eat shrimp, jerk chicken and conch fritters to shepherd’s pie, grilled fish and pizza.
You’ll find plenty of world-class hotels in BVI to choose from. If you need travel reservations for convenient flights and hotel accommodations to any destinations visit VoyageMonkey.com Travel. You can book online or call our travel consultants who can assist you in planning your getaway.