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8 Must Do's in the BVI From a Local

They call our tiny slice of paradise “Nature's Little Secrets” but it’s no secret that the British Virgin Islands are some of the most sought after tropical holiday destinations the world over. We are located in the Northeastern Caribbean and feature an archipelago of over fifty islands, cays and islets. We are a quick ferry from St. Thomas or St. John, a short (40 minute) plane ride from San Juan, Puerto Rico, and St. Maarten is an overnight sail to the east. If a tropical paradise is what you are seeking, look no further. The weather here is equatorial - hovering around 82 degrees on average -and the sun shines every day with the heat perfectly moderated by the balmy trade winds that blow daily. The beaches are amazing, the water is spectacular, and the outlying islands beautiful. From kiteboarding to sailing, spa-hopping to lounging, there is truly something for everyone here. Here are my 8 must do's when visiting the British Virgin Islands!

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Written By Guest Writer: Brittany Meyers who lives aboard her sailboat in Tortola, BVI with her husband and three little girls. She is passionate about all things "tropical" and blogs about her adventures in paradise and parenting over at www.windtraveler.net



Four predominant islands provide the main attraction to the BVI: Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada and Jost Van Dyke. The capital, Road Town, is nestled in the middle of Tortola - the largest island - which is 12 miles long by 3 miles wide. Each island is unique, with distinguishing vibes and attractions. It's no wonder that every week I meet someone who tells me they've been coming to these parts for twenty years and have no inclination to stop or go elsewhere.

If you are curious about visiting this incredible place dubbed "Nature's Little Secret," then read on, and I can help point you in the right direction (hint: it's south).

  • When to Come

    November to May is a great window to visit, with various "high peaks" within that time frame (like Christmas, Spring Break, etc). This is our "winter" and while temperatures are still hot and tropical (just how we like it!) they are comfortable thanks to the moderating trade winds. While hurricane season technically begins in June and continues through November, vacationers still flock here to take advantage of "off season" pricing. June and July see a boost of the "summer travelers" and the BVI Tourist Board is currently working on ways to make this place more enticing to families during this time by offering "kid free" perks and such. The months of August and September are the slowest (and hottest), and also happen to be the most "active" hurricane months. If you travel within the hurricane window there will always be a risk of a storm putting a real damper on your holiday, so trip insurance might be wise. For more information on when to come, read this article on the Best Times to Visit the BVI.
  • What to Do

    While some might simply want to unplug and get a healthy dose of R&R during their stay here (and there is no shame in that!), if you are the more active type who isn't prone to lounging - there are plenty of activities to keep you busy! Filling a week with activity to counter the "chill-out" vibe that is so prevalent here will be no problem. Here are just a few suggestions that will be sure to fill your days and leave you wanting more.
  • Children underwater snorkeling in the BVI

    Dive Into Paradise

    The water here is amazing and the diving and snorkeling excellent. There are a ton of dive companies, and every main island has at least one to chose from. Blue Water Divers is located here at Nanny Cay, where the MarineMax Vacations base is located, and have a great range of trips from night dives to wreck dives.
  • Couple walking along beach in the BVI

    Beach Comb

    The beaches here are amazing. Whether you like the bustling vibe of a beach lined with chairs and bars, or prefer your own private paradise - it's all here. Grab a towel, kick off your flip flops and enjoy.
  • Overhead view of The Baths in the BVI

    Island Hop

    Aside from the five main islands of the BVI, there are about fifty others to explore. You can hit the beaches and bars of Jost Van Dyke during the day, enjoy a sunset drink at Pirates Bight on Norman Island, explore the magic and mystery of The Baths on Virgin Gorda, or zip over to Cooper Island Beach Club for a killer dinner...the options are endless!
  • Group by Foxys sign in the BVI

    Party Hardy

    One thing we know how to do here is party. And, where do we party? Beach bars. Some of the most famous shore-side haunts in the world are located right here in the BVI. Jump off the legendary Willy-T at Peter Island which is a floating bar (it’s location as of this time is Peter Island, but it might change), listen to live bands or Foxy himself at Foxy's or swim up to the Soggy Dollar Bar on Jost Van Dyke, and dance your heart out at Paradise Club on Cane Garden Bay on Tortola. Oh, and don't forget to sample our famous local drink - the Painkiller, it's delicious. But be careful, mixers are more expensive than rum here so they pack a real punch!
  • Couple on paddleboard in BVI

    Watersports

    It's all about the water, and here - fun on the water is never far.  Rent a paddleboard in Cane Garden Bay, kiteboard with Tommy Gaut Kiteboarding on Anegada and, if conditions are right, you can even catch a world class surfing wave here on one of Tortola’s north shore beaches! Of course the snorkeling is awesome just about everywhere, so don't forget the mask and snorkel and jump in to have your mind blown!
  • Chefs cooking at event in the BVI

    Partake in a Local Event or Festival

    Islanders like to have a good time, and the BVI are no exception. Enjoying a local event is a great and unique way to experience a place. There are a ton of local festivals, events and regattas to enjoy - check out the schedule and see if there are any that coincide with your visit, or that you'd like to plan your trip around!
  • Group of people hiking in the BVI

    Hike the Hills

    If you want to stretch your legs and get some exercise here, hiking is a great way to do it. Tortola, the largest of all the islands, has some great hikes - most of which are on or around the beautiful Sage Mountain National Park. But, you can find a great trail to explore on most any island. Norman Island has a great hike, just ask the folks at Pirates Bight and walk off your lunch!
  • Chairs on a beach in the BVI overlooking the water

    Rest and Relaxation

    Sometimes, people come to our neck of the woods to unwind and do nothing. Pamper yourself at one of the many full-service spas here and enjoy the many amenities of the fabulous resorts. If lounging by the pool with that book you've been meaning to read is all you want to do while you are here, then do it. Park yourself somewhere with a beautiful view, feel gentle breeze on your skin, bask with the sun on your skin and simply relax. You deserve it.
  • I hope this is helpful for those of you considering the BVI for your next vacation. We absolutely love living here and sharing this place with others is a pleasure, so we hope to see you down here sooner than later! Remember, the lower the latitude, the better the attitude...
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