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Virgin Gorda, Jost Van Dyke & Anegada: British Virgin Islands

Lynne Sullivan


Ulysses Travel Publications

4176 Saint-Denis, Montréal, Québec

Canada H2W 2M5

514-843-9882, ext. 2232; fax 514-843-9448

Windsor Books

The Boundary, Wheatley Road, Garsington

Oxford, OX44 9EJ England

01865-361122; fax 01865-361133

© 2010 Lynne M. Sullivan

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form, or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the written permission of the publisher. Brief extracts to be included in reviews or articles are permitted.

This guide focuses on recreational activities. As all such activities contain elements of risk, the publisher, author, affiliated individuals and companies disclaim any responsibility for any injury, harm, or illness that may occur to anyone through, or by use of, the information in this book. Every effort was made to insure the accuracy of information in this book, but the publisher and author do not assume, and hereby disclaim, liability to any party for any loss or damage caused by errors, omissions, misleading information or potential travel problems caused by this guide, even if such errors or omissions are a result of negligence, accident or any other cause.

Maps by Kim André & Lissa K. Dailey unless noted otherwise

© 2008 Hunter Publishing, Inc.

About the Author

Lynne Sullivan is passionate about Caribbean islands. As the author of a dozen best-selling travel guides to islands throughout the eastern Caribbean, she spends much of her time hopping from one place to another scouting out a variety of activities, attractions, shops, accommodations and restaurants. Her goal is to steer independent vacationers on any size budget to the best each island has to offer.

When she's not in the Caribbean, she keeps readers posted with regular updates and new information on her website,

The Islands

A Dozen Reasons to Visit

Tips on Using This Book

A Historical Timeline

The Islands At A Glance








Coral Reefs

When to Go

Island Celebrations

Travel Documents

Passports & Paperwork

Customs & Duty-Free


Getting There




Island Hopping

Getting Around

By Car

Island Driving Signals

By Taxi

By Bus



Money Matters



The British Virgin Islands

Virgin Gorda


Getting There

By Air

By Ferry

Getting Around

By Taxi

By Car

Touring the Island

Independent Driving Tour

Adventures on Water

Best Beaches

Scuba Diving & Snorkeling

Dive Operators

Boating & Sailing

Watersports & Sportfishing

Adventures on Foot



Spanish Town

Where to Stay

Rental Agencies

In & Around The Valley

North Sound

Where to Eat

Spanish Town

The Baths

The Valley

North Sound


Live Music

Jost Van Dyke


What to Do

Adventures on Land & Water

Where to Stay, Eat & Play

White Bay

Great Harbour

Little Harbour

Long Bay/Diamond Bay



Getting There

Getting Around

Adventures on Water

Adventures on Wheels

Where to Stay

Where to Eat

Single-Resort Islands

Marina Cay

Diamond Reef

Saba Rock

Cooper Island

Peter Island

BVI Facts & Numbers

The Islands

The United States and United Kingdom share an extraordinary mix of islands sprinkled along the northern curve of the Lesser Antilles just east of Puerto Rico. Known collectively as The Virgin Islands, they offer some of the world's most beautiful scenery and idyllic weather. The major islands are amazingly diverse, and each has a well-defined personality, while the 100 or so minor islands (most uninhabited and no larger than prominent rocks) provide privacy and space for anyone who cares to seek it (and can afford it).

St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix (the three main US Virgins) are more like disparate kin than siblings. Only two miles of water separate St. Thomas and St. John, and visitors often ferry between the strikingly handsome pair. St. Thomas is the cosmopolitan capitalist, St. John the rugged environmentalist.

Many visitors say that St. Croix, 40 miles to the south, is a combination of the best of St. Thomas and St. John. But I believe the island marches to the beat of a different drummer, flaunting its Danish past flamboyantly and asserting  its originality. Of the three, it's the least American, the most Caribbean in atmosphere.

Among the sparsely developed British Virgins, Tortola is the largest and most populated island. Visitors are drawn to its green mountains, sheltered bays, and easygoing lifestyle, but few are content to stay put for long. Most hop about by ferry or speed boat to The Baths on Virgin Gorda, the coral-sand beaches on Anegada, Foxy's famous bar on Jost Van Dyke, the caves on Norman Island and the sea turtle playgrounds on Peter Island.

If you can't decide which island to call home base, charter a live-aboard boat, so you can change location on a whim. While it's tiresome to clear Customs each time you cross the international boundary that zigzags invisibly between St. John and Tortola, you'll enjoy the freedom of visiting two countries and countless islands in one vacation.

Of course, you may prefer to pick one island and explore it thoroughly at a leisurely pace. All of the major islands offer enough creature comforts and diversions to keep travelers content for at least a week, and each one offers fabulous sun, sea and sand.

A Dozen Reasons to Visit

Duty-free shopping.