British Virgin Islands Travel Guide
Traveling to the British Virgin Islands? Here’s everything you need to know.
The British Virgin Islands (BVI) is located east of Puerto Rico and north-west of Anguilla. There are four islands the make up the BVI: Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada and Jost Van Dyke.
- Jost Van Dyke – the smallest of the four islands that make up the BVI, measuring about eight square kilometers.
- Tortola – the largest island of the British Virgin Islands, with a surface area of 55.7 km (21.5 square miles)
- Virgin Gorda – the third largest island of the BVI, covering 21 square km (8 square miles).
- Anegada – the northernmost of the British Virgin Islands and the second largest. It is 15 miles north of Virgin Gorda and its highest point is about 28 feet. There is a tiny population of 285 (2010).
Climate and weather in the British Virgin Islands:
The British Virgin Islands has a tropical climate. Temperatures are pretty constant throughout the year; the highest temperature usually hits 32C (90F) in the summer and 29C (84F) in the winter.
The best time of year to head to the British Virgin Islands is between December to April. Hurricane season is from June to November, with the highest probability of hurricanes hitting in August and September.
Getting to the British Virgin Islands:
If you are traveling from the UK, you can fly via Antigua. If you are coming from the US, you can fly via Puerto Rico or fly into St.Thomas and get a ferry from there. BVI is also accessible via St. Maarten and St. Kitts.
Getting around the British Virgin Islands:
The best way to get around is by taxi. However, if you are island hopping, the best way to get around is by boat.
Things to do in British Virgin Islands
- Snorkeling, diving, kayaking, kiteboarding, windsurfing and paddle boarding are all popular activities.
- Necker Island is Richard Branson’s private island and one of the most exclusive islands in the world. The island can booked out up to 48 guests or
- Explore The Baths which are massive granite boulders with secret rock pools located at the southwestern tip of Virgin Gourda.
- Guana Island is one of the most untouched and unspoiled islands in the BVI. Made up of 850 acres, the island includes mountains, gardens, hiking trails, flamingos and more. The island is for registered guests only.
- Follow the trails and ascend to the highest peak at 1370 feet at Gourda Peak National Park on Virgin Gourda and soak in the panoramic views of the surrounding islands.
- Powder white sand and turquoise waters is what you will find at White Bay Beach on Jost Van Dyke. Its also home to Soggy Dollar Bar, named after swimmers coming from their boats with wet bills.
- Smuggler’s Cove on Tortola is a secluded beach and is perfect for snorkeling. It is accessible via taxi or boat to get to the beach. The supplies on the beach are limited, so its recommended to bring your own food, drink, snorkeling gear, etc.
- Take a tour of the Callwood Rum Distillery, which has been operating for 200 years and is run by the Callwood family, who are descendants of the owners.
- Sage Mountain National Park on Tortola is the highest peak in the British and US Virgin Islands at 523 meters (1,716 feet). Take in views of the coastline, neighboring islands and more.
- Cane Garden Bay
- Rhone National Marine Park
Events in the British Virgin Islands
The British Virgin Carnival takes place on the first Monday of every year. Carnival also occurs around the anniversary of the abolition of slavery in 1834.
Wreck Week is when divers band together to explore dive sites, take ship wreck courses, participate in treasure hunts and clean up some of the BVI’s best beaches. This happens between May and June.
150 boats participate in the BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival. This is a week long event held at Tortola’s Nanny Cay Marina, during the last week of March. Victory parties follow the regatta at many of the local bars.
The BVI is known to be one of the world’s best windsurfing spots. HiHo Windsurfing Competition is a weeklong windsurfing and sailing competition between Virgin Gorda’s Bitter End Yacht Club and Anguilla.
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