Caribbean Tourism

British Virgin Islands

Sandy Cay

Sandy Cay This small uninhabited islet just east of Jost Van Dyke is owned by Laurance Rockefeller. It is covered with scrub but there is a pleasant trail set out around the whole island, which makes a good walk. Bright white beaches surround the island and provide excellent swimming. Offshore is a coral reef.

Jost Van Dyke

Lying to the west of Tortola, Jost Van Dyke, (pop: 300), was named after a Dutch pirate. It is mountainous, with beaches at White Bay and Great Harbour Bay on the south coast. Great Harbour looks like the fantasy tropical island, a long horseshoe shaped, white sandy beach, fringed with palm trees and dotted with beach bar/restaurants. The local people are...

Norman Island

The island is reputed to be the ‘Treasure Island’ of Robert Louis Stevenson fame. The floating bar/restaurant William Thornton II, T4940183 or VHF Ch 16 is anchored in the Bight of Norman to the north of the island. The first William Thornton, a converted 1910 Baltic Trader sank in 1995. There is also the Billy Bones beach bar, open for lunch and dinner,...

Peter Island

This 1,000-acre island has a tiny population and offers isolated, palm-fringed beaches, good anchorage and picnic spots. The exclusive, luxury, LL Peter Island Resort and Yacht Harbour reopened 1999 after a complete facelift and hurricane repairs. It is built on reclaimed land jutting out into Sir Francis Drake Channel, forming a sheltered harbour with...

Dead Chest

A tiny island in Salt Island Passage, between Salt Island and Peter Island, this is reputedly the island where the pirate Blackbeard abandoned sailors: “15 men on a Dead Man’s Chest – Yo Ho Ho and a bottle of rum!”.

Salt Island

Very few people visit Salt Island, (pop: 20), there are no ferries and access is only by private boat. There are two salt ponds from which salt is gathered by two ageing residents. A bag of salt is still sent to the British monarch every year as rent for the island, the remainder is sold to visitors and local restaurants. The two old men who live there...

Cooper Island

In the chain of islands running southwest from Virgin Gorda, (pop: 9), is Cooper Island, which has a beautiful beach and harbour at Manchioneel Bay with palm trees, coral reefs and L-A Cooper Island Beach Club (PO Box 859, Road Town, T4943721, F4943721, in USA Parlmes Enterprises Inc, Box 512, Turners Falls, MA 01376, T413-8633162, 800-5424624, F413-8633662...

Necker Island

This 74-acre, private island northeast of Virgin Gorda is owned by Richard Branson, who wanted a Virgin island to add to his Virgin enterprise. It is available for rent, contact Necker Island (BVI) Ltd, 1 Uxbridge Street, London W8 7TQ, T020- 73136109, F77278343, toll free in USA 800-5574255, www.neckerisland.com The house and two cottages, all in Balinese...

Mosquito Island

Mosquito Island is privately owned by LL Drake’s Anchorage Resort and enjoys beautiful views over North Sound to Virgin Gorda and Prickly Pear Island. This 125-acre island is just northwest of Leverick Bay and can only be reached by boat (complimentary 5-min boat trip to hotel from Leverick Bay). There is a lovely beach at South Bay, sandy with boulders,...

Virgin Gorda

Over a century ago, Virgin Gorda, (pop: 5,000), was the centre of population and commerce. It is now better known as the site of the geological curiosity called The Baths, where enormous boulders form a natural swimming pool and underwater caves. The island is seven miles long and the north half is mountainous, with a peak 1,370 ft high, while the south...

The Dogs

Northeast of Tortola are The Dogs, small uninhabited islands. West Dog is a national park. On Great Dog you can see frigate birds nesting. The islands are often used as a stopping off point when sailing from North Sound to Jost Van Dyke, and are popular with divers coming from North Sound. The dive sites are not spectacular but there are some interesting...

Guana Island

North of Tortola, Guana Island is an 850-acre private island and wildlife sanctuary as well as having a very expensive hotel. LL Guana Island, PO Box 32, Road Town, T4942354, F4952900, www.guana.com 15 rooms in stone cottages, 1 secluded beach house, tennis, restaurant, watersports, US$35 for airport transfers, no credit cards. The island is available for...

Marina Cay

This tiny private island of six acres just north of Beef Island was where Robb White wrote his book Our Virgin Isle, which was made into a film starring Sidney Poitier and John Cassavetes. A charming cottage hotel, LL-AL Pusser’s Marina Cay, comprises most of the island, which is encircled by a reef, offering some of the best snorkelling in the BVI. Marina...

Beef Island

This island was famed as a hunting ground for beef cattle during the buccaneering days. The island is linked to Tortola by the Queen Elizabeth bridge. The main airport of the BVI is here. (Taxi to Road Town, US$15.) Long Bay beach is on the north shore. Also Trellis Bay which has an excellent harbour and bars. The Last Resort, run by Englishman Tony Snell,...

Tortola

The main island, is where 81% of the total population live. Mount Sage, the highest point in the archipelago, rises to 1,780 ft, and traces of a primeval rain forest can still be found on its slopes. Walking trails have been marked through Mount Sage National Park. The south part of the island is mountainous and rocky, covered with scrub, frangipani and...