Some travelers have said the British Virgin Islands are old school Caribbean. That means there are less tourists and more unfussy beach bum types of places to visit. But the British Virgin Islands do see their fair share of tourists. However there are plenty of islands to go around, giving it a more laid back and less crowded vibe.
So where are the British Virgin Islands located? These sixty some islands, islets, and cays lie between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic. The BVI remain under the British Crown’s rule and are well known worldwide for great sailing and yachting as well as having awesome dive sites and beaches.
Because there are so many islands, you most definitely won’t run out of things to do and discover. The main islands are made up of Tortola, Anegada, Virgin Gorda, and Jost Van Dyke. Tortola Island is where you’ll find the capital city of Road Town. Most of the islands have volcanic landscapes with dramatic peaks and pristinely clear bays.
Nature enthusiasts will have plenty to love on the BVI. And there’s always the option of chartering a boat to explore many of the unspoiled, more remote islands in the island chain. These islands are ideal for diving, fishing, and snorkeling…and of course, plenty of sunbathing. So let’s take a look at some of the top spots to consider during a BVI getaway.
SMUGGLER’S COVE BEACH
You’ll find this secluded gem on the island of Tortola. It’s an undeveloped patch of land perfect for those looking to escape the busy resort scene. It’s a quiet beach…great for a romantic getaway. The area is great for snorkeling. And you may even see a few sea turtles swimming just off shore. This area was made famous when the Hollywood remake of “The Old Man and the Sea (1990) was filmed there.
CANE GARDEN BAY BEACH
This famous beach is also located on Tortola. And it’s the islands most popular one too. Steep green hills provide a dramatic backdrop to the bay where the blue waters are sheltered from winds inside the barrier reef. Cane Garden Bay Beach is a well known beach for foreign travelers to socialize on. It’s also a great spot for snorkeling and other water sports.
THE BATHS NATIONAL PARK
Located on Virgin Gorda, the Virgin Gorda Baths are a distinct landmark of the British Virgin Islands. The bay is scattered with huge granite boulders. These boulders create pools that are perfect for snorkeling. It’s an all around cool place to explore and is a great change of pace from a day of sunbathing on the beach.
WHITE BAY BEACH
This popular beach can be found on Jost Van Dyke Island. And it’s definitely one of the most picturesque beaches of the British Virgin Islands. The soft white sands and clear waters are a beach bum’s dream come true. The sea is protected by a barrier reef, making it an excellent swimming spot. White Bay Beach is also a great spot for snorkeling as well.
SAGE MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK
Nature lovers and hiking enthusiasts must check out this national park located on Tortola. Here you’ll find Mount Sage. It’s the highest peak in all of the Virgin Islands. Sage Mountain National Forest offers some great natural scenery to hike through. Cedar, ferns, hanging vines, mahogany, and manikara trees are abundant here. There’s also plenty of wildlife to discover as well. This is a great option for those looking for something different from the usual beach bum outings.
This is the capital city of the British Virgin Islands located on the island of Tortola. It’s not only the commercial center of the entire BVI, but is full of great history and culture. It’s worth taking a day trip to Road Town to explore and discover this unique city. There are historic forts and sugar mills…some dating back over 200 years. There are some great classic examples of British Colonial Architecture, as well as a botanic garden and folk museum to check out too.
RHONE NATIONAL MARITIME PARK & RMS RHONE SHIPWRECK SITE
This site offers some of the best diving in the Caribbean…and probably one of the coolest! Here divers can explore the wreckage of the RMS Rhone. It crashed off the coast of a nearby island during a hurricane in 1867. Aside from the shipwreck, the marine park also has two coral caves to explore. And there are plenty of overhangs, tunnels, caves, and marine life to discover as well.
Located on the northeast shore of Virgin Gorda, the North Sound is a great place for adventure seekers. Here you’ll find just about any kind of water sport and boat activity available. Windsurfing, parasailing, jet skiing, and water skiing are just a few of the options you’ll find on North Sound. There are also fun glass bottom boat trips to secluded beaches and hiking options as well. It’s also a popular location for yachts and private boat charters.
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