Planning on visiting the British Virgin Islands or the United States Virgin Islands, then check out our guide on what 10 things to know before you vist.
The British Virgin Islands Should Be On Your Bucket List
Best trip of our life. That is how we have describe the British Virgin Islands. Without a doubt we would go back and you should too. The BVI’s are comprised of four larger islands and over 50 smaller islands.
As a matter of fact, it can take many trips before you even get close to visiting each one. Even after being hit hard by two hurricanes in 2017, the beaches are still gorgeous and what hasn’t been reopened, will in the future.
Island-hoping is a must do with the bigger islands of Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Jost Van Dyke, Peter and Anegada. In fact, you will encounter warm weather year round. There’s a reason tourist flock each year to the Caribbean.
Whether it be for relaxing, sailing, or exploring, you will find a little bit of something for everyone. Make sure to put the BVI’s on your bucket list to visit, it’s worth taking a trip here, trust us, we are going back.
So, here is why the British Virgin Islands should be on your bucket list!
The best time to visit the British Virgin Islands come down to two times. Each one depends on what you are willing to negotiate on or not. The absolute cheapest time too visit is during the summer season, which is during the main hurricane season. You can probably see why it is the cheapest, but has the most major drawbacks of weather and water clarity.
For best prices, you will want to book your accommodations during the fall season. This will run from September to November. Hotels will be cheaper and you will see less crowds, which is awesome. Downside is this is during the last part of the hurricane season, so always check the weather.
If you don’t want to even bother with the chance of a hurricane then come during the winter season or spring. Holidays are the busiest and with that the hotels will cost more. In addition, March is a very busy month for sailors since they hold the BVI Spring Regatta here.
What To Expect
Paradise that’s surrounded by lots of water with your delicious dinner swimming a few feet from you. That is the short version and here is the longer one. Fall season will be the end of the hurricane season, so expect more clouds and rain. Don’t like crowds and can can your plans easy then go for this time.
The winter will see large crowds for the Christmas week and especially for New Years Eve at Foxy’s or the BVI Spring Regatta. With the larger crowds comes your chances to book reservations or activities can diminish, so book early. Very rarely will you see temperatures beyond the normal 70º – 90ºF for most of the year.
Our Trip Experience
My wife and I decided to still go on our Christmas trip to the BVI in 2017. Yup, that was right after hurricane Irma. We arrived in St. Thomas the week the island was just getting power back on to most parts. So you can imagine how many of the smaller islands were, or how their rental cars looked. We might have had to run back in the road at one point to get a piece of the car, but besides that it worked great. Places are still rebuilding and still need your support.
Everyone we met was kind and many were helpful with what to try. As lesbians, we felt very comfortable during our trip, but were always on guard. You can still see discrimination in any place you visit. Most of the islands are pretty safe with the normal crime here and there. Always take caution with your valuables or where you are at.
Try These Islands
Norman Island is a small uninhabited place, with a protected harbor. You can anchor in the harbor and head in towards the Bight bar and restaurant. The food and drinks were very good. Expect to pay $15-20 for a meal. Try to make reservations to eat right around early dinner time, which creates some photographic sunsets.
Make sure to check out the Norman Caves for some snorkeling before you leave. The red sponge and orange cup coral make for a gorgeous view against the rocky island. Best part of this island is that the BVI and Audubon Holdkings have agreed to make it environmentally conscious, since it’s a destination tourists love.
Anegada is a small and pretty flat island. They are known for their Spiny Lobster. Best way to view the island is to rent a scooter and drive the flat terrain. It’s not hard navigate the small island and make stops long the way to enjoy their white sand beaches.
Virgin Gorda has the famous Baths, which is composed of clear water pools, separated by large granite boulders. As you walk through them, follow the painted errors if you get turned around. You will need to climb some wooden stairs and duck to avoid hitting your head on the rocks.
Honestly, you can easily spend a whole day relaxing in the Baths. If you somehow can pull yourself away from the pools, then make sure to head to Spanish Town on the island. Here you can buy souvenirs if you wish, eat, explore, or take one the many tours they offer.
Jost Van Dyke
Jost Van Dyke can be consider one of the smallest islands, but it has the most clear water. Are on a boat, then anchor it and head to the Soggy Dollar Bar for some food and drinks. Known for their famous Painkiller drink, which was out of this world. After you have a drink or two you can either relax on the beach or go in the water. They even had a small floating platform out in the water to lounge on.
Last, but not least is this is home to the world famous Foxy’s Bar. Their New Years Eve Party is one many seek out to attend, along with celebrities.
How To Get Around
There are only a few ways to get around. The first is to fly and only a few of the bigger islands have a landing strip. On these islands you can either get a taxi or rent a car. Planning on heading to a tourist spot then check out the local buses. They can be a cheaper alternative to a taxi or car rental.
What most people do is take one of the ferries too and from the different islands. We did this ourselves, with landing in Saint Thomas, an U.S. Virgin Island, and taking a ferry to Tortola Island. You can also hire a boat to take you to a specific island or a few different ones.
What You Should Know
So you might be wondering what currency to use on the British Virgin Islands. It is indeed the American dollar. Cash is always preferred and if any storms or events happen where the internet goes down, then expect to use it. Trust us on this, we visited the islands a few months after Hurricane Irma in 2017.
What To Do
The Baths in Virgin Gorda is a must for anyone. What awaits you is a maze within large boulders, that holds little pockets of clear pools and small beaches. You will see an array of people who visit this site and stay for hours.
Scuba or Snorkel a few of the different islands. Each holds it’s own charm and is worth exploring. You can choose from caves to shipwrecks, and of course you can’t forget the many reefs you can explore. Anegada Island has over 300 shipwrecks to dive alone, so imagine all of the other islands.
Anegada Island is home to the third largest reef that’s continuous and made up of barrier reefs and patch reefs. These reefs give a home to the Spiny Lobster, Panulirus argus. Try the lobster, since the island is know for them. Before you fill up on lobster, try a tour or bike the island.
Best snorkel place with a very high visibility is Loblolly Beach area, which is located on the north side. See Cow Wreck Beach or the Flamingo Pond as well.
Rhone National Marine Park is perfect for scuba divers. Beginners to advanced divers can find some part to explore. The park was created out of the RMS Rhone Ship that sank in a hurricane in 1867.
Tips On Saving Money
1. Bring Your Own Snorkel Gear
2. Buy Your Liquor At The Store
3. Rent A Car
4. Make Friends and Grab A Taxi Together
5. Take Advantage Of Happy Hour
The Caribbean has a large supply of seafood at their disposal, which you will find in many dishes. Try some of the local catches of Spiny Lobster, Conch, Kingsfish, Maui Maui, Grouper, and Salt Fish.
Try Deadman’s Beach Bar & Grill on Peter Island. You will be able to sit on the beach as you eat and listen to live music, two nights of the week. Great atmosphere with fantastic views. For a more fine dining experience try out the CocoMaya on Virgin Gorda. Expect the meals to be Caribbean based with an Asian infusion.
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Have you visited the British Virgin Islands? Did you enjoy yourself and is there anything you would recommend? Have any other activities or places we should see, let us know in the comments section. From Phoenix? Hi neighbored! Thanks for taking a look at our site and don’t forget to subscribe for future articles and tips.
The information on this website has come from research and by experiencing it ourselves. Opening hours, closures, prices, etc. are always subject to change. We try to keep up to date on any new information, or tips to help make your adventure more enjoyable.