Virgin Gorda British Virgin Islands

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.

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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

Inter-Island Ferries

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.

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Taxis

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.

Car Rentals

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.

Boat Marinas

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.

Area Attractions

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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28 Comments

  1. Robert M Doyle

    The Virgin Islands are stunningly beautiful! I love the baths. Amazing how those even exist around the world. Very fond of the Copper Mine Pointe too. I love old stone structures and ruins/remains of an earlier civilisation! Thanks again for sharing!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      The Baths are just amazing Robert. I too love to go to beach destinations with more to offer than just the sand, sun and beach. I enjoy seeing the history, the architecture, and just immersing myself in the culture. I can’t think of a better vacation, and Virgin Gorda British Islands has it all.

      Reply
  2. Jens

    Wow it looks really amazing there I have just rewatcht the pirates of the carribean movies with my Girlfriend the other day and we so want to go there now… 😀
    Definately on our travel bucket list now, thanks for this wonderful articel

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You guys will have to visit! You will have a wonderful time for sure. Thanks for stopping by.

      Reply
  3. Eric

    Virgin Gorda British Virgin Islands main attractions are rocks. I must say that it seems like there would be more to do than to just swim around the big ugly rocks. What type of wildlife or festivities goes on there and does any of that happen in the least popular time to go?

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Well Eric, I think it is beautiful 🙂 Not just the “rocks” LOL! You will find an abundance of marine life which is great for snorkeling, a variety of birds and several species of turtles. It is most famous for The Baths. More of a destination for the beach and scenic lover for sure. Thanks for stopping by and visiting beach travel destinations.

      Reply
  4. David Carr

    Wow! That area is breathtaking! One of largest hesitations about traveling to a new area is not knowing what locations to check out or restaurants to visit. Thanks to this article, I have a new place to check out!!!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Great, and you can’t go wrong with the British Virgin Islands for sure. Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply
  5. Dan

    I’d imagine that this is a bit out of my price bracket – but it’s a place that I’d like to visit one day if I could.

    Thanks for the detailed review.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are very welcome Dan!

      Reply
  6. Mandi Borgman

    Oh My! Can I go right now? This places looks amazing! Your article is beautifully written and I love the pictures! I Have definitely added the BVI to my travel bucket list! Just pure Awesomeness!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I am so glad you agree with exactly how I feel! Glad you enjoyed the read and thanks for visiting Beach Travel Destinations!

      Reply
  7. Eli

    What a great vacation place. It would be nice to spend our vacation here when classes end this year. I will show this blog post to my husband. He might consider as part of our itinerary. I’ll bookmark this page so I can show it to him later.

    Your site is totally great, very helpful and full of information needed to easily help visitors to this vacation site.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Glad you enjoyed visiting my site Eli. I think you and your husband would have a wonderful time in Virgin Gorda British Virgin Islands. Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply
  8. Skip

    Wow! That’s a lot of information! Looks like you have some experience with this place. You must spend a lot of time traveling. Have you ever been to Ireland? Honestly, that’s where my wife really wants to go next, do you have any articles coming out on that?

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I am glad you enjoyed reading about Virgin Gorda British Islands. And yes, I will be doing some reviews on Ireland very soon 🙂

      Reply
  9. Mick Krug

    I have heard from different sources that Virgin Gorda is the prettiest of the Virgin Islands. Your webpage shows it too. Plenty to do there. My wife and I have been to St. Thomas, St John and St Croix many times and love the Virgin Islands. We would love a trip to the British Virgins and take in Virgin Gorda and the Baths. Great video!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I’m telling you that The Baths are well worth a visit if you enjoy this type of vacation. So beautiful, so relaxing, and really as you say – there are plenty of things to do in the area. Thanks for reading about Virgin Gorda British Virgin Islands.

      Reply
  10. kuu

    Another fantastic review Leahrae. My brother was there about two years ago and he really loved the place. Some of the things he really enjoyed at the Virgin Gorda British Virgin Islands were how reliable the taxis were, the weather and the beautiful scenery. Keep up the good work Leahrae and I look forward to reading your next destination review.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thank you so much Kuu! I am glad you have enjoyed visiting Beach Travel Destinations. Thanks for stopping by and leaving me some comments as well!

      Reply
  11. jamaar

    Looks beautiful and also very expensive! Looks well worth it though! I have been looking into vacationing to the Virgin Islands, guess I need to save up some first 🙂 Thanks so much for this amazing content.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Yes Jamaar, probably one of the more top of the line beach destinations. But as you say, definitely well worth it. Please let me know if I can help in any way. There are a lot of other amazing destinations that are more budget friendly, yet just as wonderful. Thanks for stopping by Virgin Gorda British Virgin Islands.

      Reply
  12. Danny Baleson

    This is a comprehensive review, thank you! Now sign me up, I wanna go!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      It is beautiful 🙂 I am glad you enjoyed visiting Virgin Gorda British Virgin Islands. Thanks for stopping by.

      Reply
  13. chris

    I must say this is one destination have not been too, and after reading your post it is definitely on my bucket list, I will be bookmarking this page as a reminder for when I book my next vacation.

    You have a great website with great reviews and I will be recommending to my family and friends.

    Chris

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thank you Chris and I am glad you have enjoyed visiting Beach Travel Destinations. Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands is definitely a bucket list item. I hope you can make it there someday soon!

      Reply
  14. Daniella

    Hi there,

    OH, the BVI is absolutely stunning! Some of my friends have been there, and they loved it. I am also planning to travel there by boat. We want to charter a yacht and sail the areas with the children and friends. Since we don’t stay at a hotel, we will need to do some provisioning. So it would be nice to know if BVI is expensive. If it is, then we will have to buy most of our stuff before we start our trip:) Do you have any idea?

    Thank you!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Hi Daniella and great question. I think that if you make most of your meals on the boat, then you will find that there will be quite a savings. Eating out in the BVI averages about $57 per day per person for restaurant food. Seems kind of spendy, but I like to do a bit of both…some cooking in the room, and some eating out. Please let me know if you have any other questions.

      Reply

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