Prickly Pear is an uninhabited island in the British Virgin Islands. It is located in the North Sound of Virgin Gorda. This 180-acre island is a BVI National Park. The island is named for the Prickly Pear Cactus which covers the hills of Prickly Pear Island. Four salt ponds and the white and black mangroves provide important bird habitats.
The southern shore is home to a vast selection of tropical fish and other marine life. In addition, two of the best white sand beaches in this area are found at Vixen Point and at the north shore. During certain times of the year, you will share them with nesting sea turtles. Swimmers and snorkelers will enjoy this heaven of sea and sun. For hiking enthusiasts, equally important, a trail was created that leads from the SandBox Bar to the North Beach.
Prickly Pear Island in the British Virgin Islands is a great year-round destination. The most popular season is in the wintertime, until May. You will enjoy an average of nine hours of sunshine and expect very little rainfall. Additionally in the BVI, you will always feel a wonderful ocean breeze. Average daily temperatures are in the mid-seventies in the winter months and mid-eighties in the summertime. But do take the hurricane season, lasting from June 1st to November 30th, into consideration.
Places to See
Vixen Point – enjoy the magnificent view of the North Sound area. Sit on the white sand beach at the Sandbox Bar and Grill. Even more important: ask for a BBC prepared by Lucy, and wait for the flamingos to fly over in the evening. Likewise, there are plenty of water sports activities are available here.
Hike. Prickly Pear National Park is a wonderful habitat for numerous birds. Like blue-winged teals and black-necked stilts. A hiking trail leads over to the north shore leads to two less populated beaches.
Play Beach Volley Ball. This is one of the most popular activities at Sandbox Bar & Grill. Eqipment is available to rent.
Windsurf. Vixen Point
Snorkeling – for the best snorkeling, hike from the Sandbox Bar over a gently sloped hill down to the North Beach
Swimming – in the crystal clear sea surrounding the island. Especially rewarding from the North Beach.
Sitting in a beach chair at Sandbox Bar & Grill – enjoy the magnificent views of North Sound while sipping on a rum punch. And savor the incredible colors of the Caribbean sunset.
Gastronomy Highlights Prickly Pear Island
Dine at The Sandbox Bar and Grill – located on the Vixen Point of the Prickly Pear Island. You can easily distinguish the restaurant because of its colorful pink roof. It serves lunch and dinner and specializes in Caribbean cuisine. Lucy’s (Sandbox owner) fresh lobster and seafood dishes are certainly very popular at this beloved restaurant. To be sure, ask for “Lucy’s Luscious Lobster Salad,” one of the house specialties. And above all: order a BBC (Bailey’s, Banana, Cream of Coconut) or rum punch.
Marinas and Anchorages
The most enjoyable option to get to Prickly Pear Island: While on your Chartered Catamaran cruise, you have the crew take you to Prickly Pear Island on the dinghy for the day.
No marinas are located here but two possible anchorages are:
Northwest side of Cactus Reef – an isolated anchorage. Protected from the wind due to small cliffs.
Vixen Point – It is important to realize to stay clear of the coral reef. Which is located off the western end of Vixen point. It provides a well-equipped anchorage system. Such as 10 mooring balls, which are available. The Mooring buoys are color-coded as follows:
ORANGE BUOYS: Non-diving, day use only
YELLOW BUOYS: Commercial dive vessels only
LARGE YELLOW BUOYS: Commercial vessels or vessels over 55 ft.
WHITE BUOYS: Non-commercial vessels, for daytime dive use only