Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands, is a popular tourist spot with posh resorts, pristine beaches and great sailing. Virgin Gorda is probably most famous for the Baths, a unique national park on the island’s southwest coast. The Baths is unlike any other beach in the Caribbean. It features white sandy beaches framed by gigantic granite boulders, some of these with diameters reaching 40 feet. Geologists believe that these odd formations are the result of volcanoes.
Natural beauty is in abundance and accessible via indigenous plant-lined trails, nature sanctuaries and natural wonders of our protected national parks. Hike to the island’s high point, Gorda Peak, for a splendid panoramic view of the surrounding islands. Stroll or swim at the unspoiled beaches at Savannah Bay, Pond Bay, Devil’s Bay, Mahoe Bay or Spring Bay.
Wading through the colorful coves and granite boulders of The Baths in Virgin Gorda is the most notable experience you can have in the British Virgin Islands. It’s the must-see attraction of the British Virgin Islands archipelago. Massive smooth ash gray boulders of varying sizes rise from the sea’s crystalline waters, making a maze of sorts for travelers to wade or swim through. Climbing through the crevices and grottoes of The Baths isn’t terribly intensive, but the granite boulders can be slippery so swim shoes or sneakers are encouraged. Once you reach Devil’s Bay, the stunning beach clearing at the end of the rocks, you’ll find shallow clear waters perfect for a little light snorkeling or restful sunbathing.
Because the British Virgin Islands enjoy a warm tropical climate, your Virgin Gorda travel plans don’t need to account for weather, with daytime temperatures in the mid-80s and evening temperatures in the 70s throughout most of the year. The busiest time of year (and most expensive) is the high season, from mid-December through mid-April. Then, of course, there’s the Caribbean hurricane season from June to November, but many travelers still plan trips during these months to take advantage of low rates. Be warned that many hotels close during the summer months, due to the threat of hurricanes.
Getting to Virgin Gorda
The nearest airport is Terrence B. Lettsome International Airport in Tortola, British Virgin Islands. However, visitors traveling from North America typically need to connect through Puerto Rico or the US Virgin Islands, as there are no direct flights. Once visitors arrive in Tortola, they can catch a boat to the neighboring Virgin Gorda. Many of the island’s resorts have their own private transfers available from Tortola, either by boat or chartered helicopter.
U.S. citizens travelling by air to Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda must present a passport or other WHTI-compliant documentation to enter or depart from the United States. For Canadian citizens, a passport is preferred, however you may also use an original birth certificate accompanied by a valid photo ID such as a driver’s license. European citizens need a valid passport to enter the British Virgin Islands. However visitors that are residents of certain countries require a visa in order to enter the BVI.
Getting Around Virgin Gorda
Ferry services within the larger islands of the British Virgin Islands and the US Virgin Islands are frequent, speedy and efficient – the perfect way to go island hopping. If ferry schedules aren’t suiting to your plans, consider catching a water taxi to get between islands on your time.
Inter Island Aviation
The close proximity of the islands lends itself to the exclusive efficiency of charter air travel without the lines and airport waits. Take advantage of the many air charter companies that operate throughout the British Virgin Islands and the Caribbean to get to your destination quickly, squeeze more into your time with us or simply to enjoy a one-of-a-kind travel experience.
Taxis are a reliable and affordable method of transportation in the British Virgin Islands. No matter what your travel requires, you’ll find a taxi to accommodate you – from open-air safari buses, to enclosed air-conditioned buses and smaller passenger vehicles. Taxis are for more than just point A to point B: they’re some of the most popular methods of touring our beautiful landscapes quickly and comfortably.
Renting a car gives you the freedom to move around at your own pace. Visitors staying in the territory under 30 days are not required to purchase a temporary driver’s license, provided a valid driver’s license is produced from another country. A license obtained from the Traffic Licensing Office or Car Rental Agencies is required for stays longer than 30 days. Remember, you must be at least 25 years old to rent a car, and driving is on the left side of the road.
Marinas on Tortola and Virgin Gorda have facilities to accommodate long-term regulars, transients, mega-yachts and live-aboards. Anegada does not have any marinas, however there are designated anchorage sites and moorings around most of the other islands. Both Tortola and Virgin Gorda have active yacht clubs. The marinas have water and fuel stations, and several include full boat yards, haul-out facilities, chandleries, and support businesses for the industry. Contact marinas directly for reservations, pricing, entry regulations, customs and immigration offices, arrival procedures, marina rules and other specific information.
Encompassing the beaches and rocky shoreline at the southwestern tip of Virgin Gorda, The Baths is a collection of massive granite boulders as large as 40 feet in diameter, with white sand beaches and secret rock pools. The cavernous surroundings are a result of the molten rock seeping up into the existing volcanic rock layers; because the molten rock did not reach the surface it cooled slowly and formed the hard crystalline granite layer. Further shrinkage and cracking formed blocks, which were exposed when the softer volcanic rock above eroded away. Weathering rounded the corners of the boulders to what they are today.
A tall stone shaft silhouetted against the sky and a small stone structure that overlooks the sea are part of what was once a copper mine, now in ruins. Established 400 years ago, it was worked first by the Spanish, then by the English, until the early 20th century. The route is not well marked, so turn inland near LSL Restaurant and look for the hard-to-see sign pointing the way.
At the southwestern tip of Virgin Gorda is a picturesque Devil’s Bay. This horseshoe shaped bay is a welcome sight at the end of the 15 minute hike through dry scrub vegetation and boulders from the car park at the top of the Baths. A second trail at the eastern end leads visitors to The Baths through massive granite boulders, where hikers should be prepared to crawl, climb ladders and wade through water. Caution must be used at all times to avoid slipping or failing. A tranquil location for swimming and snorkeling, or just relaxing under the shade umbrellas, Devil’s Bay is one of Virgin Gorda’s most beautiful beaches. At the southern end of the beach is a trail to Stoney Bay, where the Atlantic swells pummel the coastline and seabirds soar overhead.
To the east of The Baths is Spring Bay. The giant boulders line the beach and there are excellent swimming and snorkeling opportunities for novices and professionals alike. The well-manicured lawn leading to the beach is also a favorite for picnic and recreational games. They recently put in swings and added picnic benches to further enhance the park. Its small coves, which provide safe snorkeling are popular with charter boat guests, who moor their boats in the area. Massive boulders form coves that allow a steady but calm flow of water back and forth. Marine life is vibrant at Spring Bay since fishing is not permitted. A unique enclosure of boulders forms a natural pool called The Crawl. In the past, this was used by fishermen to hold turtles and fishes alive until they were ready to be used.
There are two trails at this 265-acre park, which contains the island’s highest point, at 1,359 feet. Signs on North Sound Road mark both entrances. It’s about a 15-minute hike from either entrance up to a small clearing, where you can climb a ladder to the platform of a wooden observation tower to see a spectacular 360-degree view.
Things to Do
Their professional team showcase a variety of experiences including: Closed-circuit Rebreather, Tech Diving, Multi-lingual, Freediving and more! They teach SSI courses from Try Scuba to Instructor programs as well as offer checkout dive completions for SSI, PADI and NAUI students. Dive BVI also has private charter trips, snorkel excursions, and Island Hopper Excursions. For more information call +1 284-495-5513, or visit them on the web at Dive BVI.
Gumption’s Experience is run and hosted by a passionate Virgin Islander and entrepreneur. Gumption provided a positive lifetime experience either on his glass bottom boat or his nature adventures on Necker Island. Gumption is a true loving of the BVI and everyone who connected with him couldn’t have agreed anymore. Experience the Magic of the BVI, contact Gumption for a lifetime experience today. For more information call +1 284-343-9537, or visit them on the web at Sea It Clear Tours.
Blue Rush offers the most diverse water sports activities anywhere in the B.V.I. They offer the new and exciting flyboard experience to beginners and experienced flyers. Their Jet ski tours around the coasts of Virgin Gorda and it’s outlying islands is a must for every visitor. And kayaking over Reefs teaming with marine life while peering through the bottom of a clear-bottom kayak is simply indescribable. Other activities include: Hobie Rentals, SUP Rentals, Body-board Rentals, and Tubing. For more information call +1 512-658-4351, or visit them on the web at Blue Rush Water Sports.
Charter and snorkel the marvel-worthy islands of the BVI on board our comfortable 40 foot sailing catamaran “Tropical Spirit”. Whether you are visiting any of our BVI ports on a cruise ship or staying in an idyllic villa or relaxing resort on Tortola or Virgin Gorda, they have the perfect itinerary for you, and an award winning crew to make you feel at home on board. For more information call +1 284-442-7245, or visit them on the web at Tropical Day Sails.
Experience the thrill of diving without the complication or heavy equipment. SNUBA is as simple as 1 – 2 – 3 .. 1. Participate in a 15 minute safety briefing and learn all about using the SNUBA equipment and what to expect during your guided experience. 2. Get geared up for your SNUBA experience with your mask, fins and weight belt. 3. Swim, breathe and explore our amazing underwater world at your own comfort level guided by a highly skilled and trained SNUBA professional It really is that easy. For more information call +1 284-341-0660, or visit them on the web at BVI Snuba.
Best Restaurants & Taverns
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$$ – $$$ Chez Bamboo
This pleasant little hideaway isn’t difficult to find; look for the building with bamboo fencing. Candles in the dining room and on the patio help make this a mellow place where you can enjoy a bowl of lobster bisque, something from the tapas menu, or one of the specialties such as lobster curry. For dessert, try the chocolate cake or crème brûlée. Stop by Friday night for live music. For more information call +1 284-495–5752, or visit them on the web at Chez Bamboo.
$$ – $$$ Fat Virgin Cafe
Very laid back casual, outdoor, waterside dining on picnic tables. This casual beachfront eatery offers a straightforward menu of baby back ribs, chicken roti, vegetable pasta, grouper sandwiches, and fresh fish specials for lunch and dinner. You can also find a good selection of Caribbean beer. For more information call +1 284-495–7052, or visit them on the web at Fat Virgin Cafe.
$$ – $$$ Fischer’s Cove Restaurant
Dine seaside at this alfresco restaurant that’s open to the breezes. If pumpkin soup is on the menu, give it a try for a true taste of the Caribbean. Although you can get burgers and salads at lunch, local fish (whatever is available) and fungi (a cornmeal-based side dish) are tasty alternatives. For dinner, try the Caribbean lobster or grilled mahi mahi with lemon and garlic. For more information call +1 284-495–5252, or visit them on the web at Fischer’s Cove Restaurant.
$$ – $$$ Bath And Turtle
You can sit back and relax at this informal tavern with a friendly staff (or enjoy the outdoor Rendezvous Bar on the waterfront), although the noise from the television can sometimes be a bit much. Well-stuffed sandwiches, homemade pizzas, pasta dishes, and daily specials such as conch soup round out the casual menu. Local musicians perform many Wednesday and Sunday nights. For more information call +1 284-495–5239, or visit them on the web at Bath and Turtle.
$$ – $$$ Top of the Baths
At the entrance to The Baths, this popular restaurant has tables on an outdoor terrace or in an open-air pavilion; all have stunning views of the Sir Francis Drake Channel. The restaurant starts serving at 8 am for breakfast; for lunch, hamburgers, coconut chicken sandwiches, and fish-and-chips are among the offerings. Sushi is served 11 am to 3 pm every day except Sunday. For dessert, the key lime pie is excellent. The Sunday barbecue, served from noon until 3 pm, is an island event. For more information call +1 284-495–5497, or visit them on the web at Top of the Baths.
Many tourists regard this as a must-visit Virgin Gorda bar. The setting is something of a kind, with tables arranged around boulders offering spectacular views. The food served is also very good, and they have lobster as well as freshly caught local fish on the menu too. For more information call +1 284-495-5482, or visit them on the web at The Rock Cafe.
A lower-profile Virgin Gorda bar located in The Baths, Poorman’s is located in an incredible beachfront location with amazing atmosphere (and great fresh mango margaritas)! It is your go-to place after a day spent exploring The Baths and Devil’s Bay. For more information call +1 284-346-7037, or visit them on the web at Poorman’s Bar.
The Rendezvous Bar is part of Bath & Turtle, offering a great view of the yacht harbor in an extremely casual atmosphere (with delightful food and drinks, of course)! The desserts are the most talked about among customers, and we recommend you try the Key Lime Pie while here! For more information call +1 284-495–5239, or visit them on the web at Rendezvous Bar.
The Saba Rock Virgin Gorda bar is not only a top-notch Caribbean location, but a world-class one too. The bar is part of the Saba Rock Resort, which is literally a hotel and restaurant built on a rock in the middle of the Sea. During your Virgin Gorda trip visiting here is a must, and you can do so either by water taxi or by dinghy. When you do visit, don’t forget the bar and restaurant – you won’t regret sipping from your favorite cocktail or enjoying the Lobster Special here! For more information call, or visit them on the web at Saba Rock Bar.
Jumbies Beach Bar, or simply “The Beach Bar at Leverick Bay” as many refer to it, is first of all your go-to place for the best Pina Colada on Virgin Gorda. Secondly, the Bar is highly regarded for its friendly staff (notably a beyond helpful guy by the name of Joe), and amazing food too! For more information call +1 284 346-7241, or visit them on the web at Jumbies Beach Bar.
This property is a 10-minute walk from the beach. Just minutes away from several beaches, Ke Villas is located on the north-west side of Tortola in Carrot Bay. Offering beautiful ocean views, this self-catering accommodation features a garden and air conditioning. Free WiFi access is available. Each room at Ke Villas comes equipped with a flat-screen TV, desk and refrigerator. Featuring a bath or shower, private en-suite bathrooms also offer a hairdryer. Extras include a radio and fan. Guests can enjoy several beach-side activities, such as sailing, surfing and scuba diving. The property offers free parking. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room, visit Ke Villas.
On the southwest coast of Anegada, this tropical hotel is right on the white sandy beaches of the Caribbean Sea. It features an on-site restaurant and spacious rooms with a garden or ocean view. Air conditioning and coffee-making facilities are included in every room at Anegada Reef Hotel. All rooms have island décor with tile floors and a large private bathroom. The Garden Restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, specializing in seafood and coastal fare. Wine and cocktails can be enjoyed at the beach bar or outside dining tables. Guests of the Reef Hotel Anegada can explore the island and go on deep-sea fishing trips. Snorkeling is available off the coast and the hotel staff can arrange special activities during each stay. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room, visit Anegada Reef Hotel.
Their guest rooms are situated approximately 150 feet from the beach. You can relax in bed or on the porch and enjoy listening to the wind gently rustling through the leaves of the palms and the waves lazily lap the white sandy beach. You’ll also be rewarded with the most spectacular view of the surrounding islands and the most gorgeous sunsets in the whole world. Neptune’s Treasure offers rooms with either two double beds or a single king sized bed. All rooms include air conditioning, private baths and a clean and friendly environment. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room, visit Neptunes Treasure.
Just a 2-minute walk from Brewers Bay Beach, Icis Villas offers an outdoor pool and lush tropical gardens. Each air-conditioned studio and villa has a well-equipped kitchen and free Wi-Fi. The bright studios and villas feature cable TV, a dining area and a balcony, most with views of the gardens or pool. Kitchens include a microwave, hob, coffee maker and fridge. You can enjoy a free continental breakfast each morning at Icis Villas. The on-site restaurant serves international cuisine and local dishes. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room, visit Icis Villas.
This tropical hotel offers a private pool and private beach overlooking the Caribbean Sea. Guests have access to beach and pool equipment. The villas feature a full kitchen area. The spacious villas at Fort Recovery Villas Suites Hotel include a microwave and refrigerator. The villas also have sitting areas and bright, island decor. Guests can dine at the Fort Recovery Restaurant, which is open for breakfast and dinner. Guest can also relax at the full-service spa, which offers massages and exercise classes. Fort Recovery Villa is adjacent to the historic Fort Recovery, which was built by the Dutch in 1640. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room, visit Fort Recovery Villas Suites Hotel.