Charter in the British Virgin Islands: Crystal-clear blue waters, calm seas, and white sand beaches are some of the many reasons that make the British Virgin Islands an ideal charter vacation destination. From snorkeling, diving to hiking, sunbathing, and partying, the BVI has it all and is a Must-See Spot.
Hurricane Irma horrifically damaged the islands in September 2017, followed by Hurricane Maria. But the British Virgin Islanders are a strong and resilient nation. They persevered, and now the islands, including the resorts, are restored to pre-hurricane condition. Since the pandemic, the BVI is not fully open to tourists yet. Please consult the CKIM Group Yacht Charter specialist at (321) 777-1707 to receive correct and up-to-date information regarding pandemic restrictions.
The largest of the 60 islands as well as home to the capital, Tortola offers beautiful beaches, sheltered harbors and is the perfect jumping-off point to the other islands. Smuggler’s Cove offers an idyllic beach with snorkeling right off the coast. There are a couple of low-key bars right on the beach as well, just in case you get a little thirsty.
For a little land-based exploration, there is Mount Sage National Park. It is named after the highest peak on the island, which stands at 1,716 feet (523m). Hiking here is a welcomed reprieve from walking on sandy beaches. Through most of the park, you walk under the cover of a rainforest. Beautifully mahogany trees, tropical vines, and exotic birds will make the magnificent views of the other Virgin Islands from here even more memorable.
The center of activity can be found on Tortola. And here Cane Garden Bay, a BVI Must-See Spot, is Tortola at its best. A beautiful beach, laid-back atmosphere, live music, and delicious food. During the day, walk on the beach, float in the turquoise clear water, and snorkel around the western edge. Here, you can rent kayaks, or stand-up paddleboards and explore the entire bay. Enjoy a stellar BVI sunset right from here. Relish real island time. Once the sun goes down, Cane Garden Bay activities turn up. Quito’s Gazebo, Bananas Bar and Grill, and Myett’s Garden and Grill offer delicious fresh local food and invigorating live music. You will be dancing to island tunes right away.
Jost Van Dyke is the smallest island in the BVIs. It is just 3 square miles, has approximately 300 inhabitants, and lies equidistant between St. John and Tortola. And there is plenty to do here! If there’s one place that defines the Caribbean beach bar, one place that draws rum-loving pilgrims from around the world, it is the Soggy Dollar Bar.
The Soggy Dollar certainly defines the Caribbean beach bar. A lot of its fame is thanks to the delicious “Painkiller”. In essence a mix of dark rum, cream of coconut, pineapple juice, and orange juice and topped with Grenadian nutmeg. The bar’s name was inspired by people swimming ashore and handing over soggy dollars for their beverages. There is, of course, an array of bar food on hand to sop up some of the alcohol. Whether it be at the Soggy Dollar or elsewhere, you have to have a chicken roti while in the BVIs!
Foxy’s Tamarind Bar is also a must-see spot. Philliciano “Foxy” Callwood is the owner of Foxy’s and founded his empire in the late ’60s. The many regattas and parties (and most of the time a mixture of the two) have made this bar the epicenter of BVI yacht tourism. There are many organized parties and regattas throughout the year. The “Old Year’s Night” parties on New Year’s Eve are legendary. Foxy also offers charters and water taxis between some of the islands.
The Bubbly Pool is also a cool spot to visit on the island. Located on the Northshore of the island, this little rock enclosure makes waves squeeze through a tiny pass into a natural pool, providing a Jacuzzi-like experience. Make sure the wind is coming out of the North, as this will make sure there are plenty of waves creating the bubbly effect.
The third-largest island in the BVIs, Virgin Gorda‘s shape reminded Christopher Columbus of a woman reclining, hence its name (“fat virgin” in Spanish). There are many nature sanctuaries and bays to roam and explore, notably Mahoe Bay and Savannah Bay.
Gorda Peak stands at 1,370 feet above sea level and has panoramic views of the clear waters surrounding the island. The peak overlooks the popular North Sound anchorage and, on a clear day, Anegada as well. Gorda Peak National Park is one of the very few remaining examples of Caribbean dry forests in the region. And is home to the world’s smallest lizard, the Virgin Gorda gecko.
The Baths, a BVI Must-See Spot, are world-famous. The large, granite boulders, some 40 feet in diameter, tower over crystal-clear pools. The rocks are a result of molten rock seeping up into existing volcanic layers. They later eroded. Weathering created a smooth, round surface. There can be a lot of tourists in the area, but it’s definitely worth a trip.
Wading through the colorful coves and granite boulders of The Baths in Virgin Gorda is undeniably the most notable experience you can have in the British Virgin Islands. Travelers and experts alike agree: It’s the must-see attraction of the BVI 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.
Visitors are consistent in their praise of The Baths, calling the natural wonder “beautiful” and the beach “pristine.” Although photo opportunities are abundant at The Baths, some travelers recommend saving space on your camera for a few shots of The Baths’ Cathedral Room – a natural pool within a small cave.
Norman Island is at the southern tip of the British Virgin Islands archipelago. This island was in fact a prime hiding spot for pirate booty about 250 years ago. It is rumored that this island-inspired Robert Louis Stevenson’s pirate novel Treasure Island. Norman Island is uninhabited, save for a few goats, although it was home to the famous Willy T, a floating bar and restaurant. The Caves are a series of sea-level caves that you can snorkel inside as well as along the exterior wall. If you bring a dive light with you into the caves, you can see the spectacular colors of the coral and sea sponges that cover the walls. Finally, make sure to get there early, as charter boats begin to arrive around 10/10:30 am.
The Indians is also another great snorkeling spot just off Pelican Island, which is not far from The Caves. This archipelago is easy to find, the four pinnacles rise from the water next to Norman Island. It is also regarded as one of the best shallow dives in the BVI. Below the water surface you will find radiant coral gardens, and a 15-foot tunnel that is abundant with brilliantly colored angelfish and black triggerfish, to name a few.
Salt Island is located just under 5 miles southeast of Road Town in Tortola. One of the best dive spots in the BVIs is located here. The RMS Rhone is one of the premier shipwrecks to explore. The British mail ship sunk during a category 3 hurricane in October 1867, killing 123 people on board. Both divers and snorkelers alike can enjoy the many artifacts still present at this site. Parts of the vessel are located at varying depths, so divers of all levels can feel comfortable. The vessel is still largely intact. And at a depth of about 90 feet, you can swim among the moray eels, turtles, and octopuses that now call the Rhone home. In fact, Night dives are offered on the wreck.
Guana Island is an 850-acre, private island. It is mostly a nature preserve with beautiful, white-sand beaches, but there is also a private resort. A Quaker colony was founded on the island in the 18th century, which lasted about 45 years. While the island is owned privately, the public has access to the beaches. Monkey Point on Guana Island is another great dive and snorkeling spot.
Anegada is a very flat island, unlike the others in the BVI. The highest point is only 28 feet above sea level. The appeal is more than 300 shipwrecks to dive into and explore. You can view flocks of flamingos in the salt ponds. And uncrowded sandy beaches that are powder-sugar white are waiting to be enjoyed. Most visitors sail here from Tortola for the day, but it offers a few villas, hotels, and privately run inns. You can rent scooters to explore Anegada.