"A Paradise for Sailors & Divers" Top 5 Page for this destination British Virgin Islands by catalysta

British Virgin Islands Travel Guide: 477 reviews and 1,462 photos

The British Virgin Islands

East of Puerto Rico in the Sir Francis Drake Channel lies a cluster of over 50 islands "flung like jewels upon the sea". Harbours with legendary beach bars like those at Cane Garden Bay and Anegada alternate with secret sheltered coves that can only be accessed by boat. Fabulous wreck dives and pristine coral reefs lie waiting under shifting shades of Caribbean blue.

These are the British Virgin Islands, mythic paradise for sailors & divers alike. Descendants of freedmen have mingled with East Indian migrants and UK wanderers, creating the kind of atmosphere most of us fantasize & seek when we head to the Caribbean Sea. A little rum & reggae, a bit of West Antilles yellow pepper sauce or mango chutney on a fish pate, a hammock slung between two obliging palm trees, and the sound of the waves breaking against the reef as you slip into the dream...

Swimming through the hull of history

It's underneath you whenever you are on the water, the history of Western discovery of the Caribbean Islands & the Americas and the subsequent colonization by many different European countries.

From bits and pieces rumored to be from one of Columbus' ships (like the anchor found offshore from St. Croix), to victims of legendary pirates like Blackbeard and the hopes of Spanish gold still unfound, to cruise ships from the 1800's gone down in unanticipated hurricanes, to all manner of ships and small boats sunk on the treacherous reefs, to more recent small airplanes left to collect a veneer of coral and a few new inhabitants, it's all there awaiting your visit to this magical nether kingdom with a tank of oxygen strapped to your back.

The real way to visit the BVI's is by boat, preferably cruising on a nice big catamaran so you can access all the shallowest coves as well as the deep water harbours. I didn't have that opportunity yet (this was sort of a recon trip to convince some friends to cruise with me in the future), so I opted to spend my time mostly on Virgin Gorda. For more details on the specific islands I visited, please see pages for Virgin Gorda, Beef Island, and Tortola.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Amost everything you imagine perfect Caribbean islands to be
  • Cons:Sand fleas on the beaches around dawn & dusk, they are voracious
  • In a nutshell:Thanks to the friendly people of the BVI's for making this such a wonderful experience!
  • Last visit to British Virgin Islands: Dec 2005
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (18)

Comments (13)

  • RAJASTHANBYCAR's Profile Photo
    Dec 25, 2007 at 3:07 AM

    Dear Friend Wendy, May you always be well, happy, peaceful and free... Best wishes for success in all your endeavors, and good health for yourself and Family. Happy New Year 2008!!! Blessings, Mahavir Yadav elfyourself.com/?id=17710356...

  • Gillybob's Profile Photo
    Oct 31, 2007 at 4:56 AM

    I'm hoping to get to the Caribbean next February/March but still decided on where exactly. Gillybob greetings

  • Jul 21, 2007 at 11:00 PM

    Fantastic colors and fantastic photos Wendy. I love the local custom of saying hello to everyone on the street.

  • VeronicaG's Profile Photo
    Feb 8, 2007 at 2:47 PM

    You've whet my appetite for the BVI's--I hope someday we'll be traveling there. Very good tips and beautiful pictures!!!!!

  • iandsmith's Profile Photo
    Jan 26, 2007 at 1:47 PM

    Useful tips with nice pics, thanks for sharing.

  • BeatChick's Profile Photo
    Nov 8, 2006 at 9:51 AM

    Wendy, my daughter wants to someday visit islands with water that is so clear (in order to see the jellyfish, y'know - just like me - LOL!) and I told her about the VI. Now I have to show her your pics as I think yours are gorgeous!!

  • tiabunna's Profile Photo
    Apr 3, 2006 at 5:46 AM

    Hmmm, "pieces of eight" - I see from your page why the Caribbean was so popular with pirates!

  • Tourtech's Profile Photo
    Mar 22, 2006 at 8:35 PM

    We love the BVI... Our favourite island in the Caribbean. We were looking at getting married there, but chose Cyprus instead. Can't wait to go back though... safe travels.

  • tpangelinan's Profile Photo
    Mar 5, 2006 at 5:41 PM

    Great water shots. We live to be on an island! You know how to have fun!

  • richiecdisc's Profile Photo
    Jan 1, 2006 at 4:01 AM

    Looks like a great trip, Wendy. I can taste that roti now. Will remember the mozzie tip, D is a real magnet when it comes to biting insects! Happy New Year.


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