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OFFICIAL IN-ROOM PUBLICATION OF THE BVI CHAMBER OF COMMERCE & HOTEL ASSOCIATION

the British Virgin Islands

2020

C E L E B R AT I N G 5 0 Y E A R S O F B V I C C H A In-room copy. Please do not remove.


A

WELCOME

V i s i t t he Bri t i sh Virgin Is lands 2020


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WELCOME

V i s i t t he Bri t i sh Virgin Is lands 2020


Tortola Pier Park, British Virgin Islands sales@houseofluxurybvi.com

HE AR T S O N FI R E ST O R E S, AUT HO R I ZE D R E TAI L E R S, 877- P E R FE C T


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WELCOME

V i s i t t he Bri t i sh Virgin Is lands 2020


ABOUT CYRIL B. ROMNEY TORTOLA PIER PARK he Cyril B. Romney Tortola Pier Park is a multifaceted facility infused with cultural elements and designed with the splendour and grandeur one would expect to find in the BVI. Elegant arched walkways hover above brick layered paths with Old World colonial architecture that’s refined to meet the Islands’ modern-day tempo. A muted blend of colours segues into picturesque scenes of the harbour by which it is surrounded. This new facility is replete with over 70 businesses carefully selected to provide the best experiences in shopping, dining and various convenient services (medical, banking, hair care, car and bike rentals, and telecommunications). The park also features stunning locations to host outdoor entertainment and events. With over 15 unique restaurants and over 28 shopping options, our family-friendly locale is open to everyone to enjoy our beautiful facility for whatever the occasion. Whether it be finding the perfect

outfit for a night out on the town, purchasing a gift for a loved one, spending time out with the family whilst enjoying our bubble teas and ice cream by our open lawn, conducting a business meeting whilst sipping your favourite coffee or enjoying a night out with your friends at one of our cocktail lounges, there is something for everyone at Tortola Pier Park. For more information about the Cyril B. Romney Tortola Pier Park, our services and store listings, www.visittortolapier.com, call (284) 494-8775 or email info@tortolapier.com. See, Shop and Stay at Tortola Pier Park!

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WELCOME

t is my pleasure to extend a warm welcome to all our lovely guests who have chosen to visit the British Virgin Islands (BVI) for their business or leisure travel. As a Territory, we continue to build on our reputation as a premier luxury travel destination. We are happy that you have chosen to stay at one of our signature accommodations. You may be relaxing at one of our small apartment properties or inns owned by charming local hosts. You may be staying at a hotel with all the modern amenities and conveniences, or a luxury villa, or a resort that pampers you like royalty. Alternatively, you may be enjoying a vacation on the seas aboard one of our yachts, ranging from surprisingly affordable options to luxurious vessels rivaling the most elite resorts. Wherever you are staying, we say welcome and THANK YOU! Allow me to share some of what we are doing as a Territory to demonstrate our commitment to enhancing our tourism product in the BVI. The BVI is steadfast in its promise of exemplary environmental stewardship by ensuring that our streets and waterways are immaculately clean, improving our national parks and attractions and encouraging environmental best practices with renewable energy legislation already passed and other progressive environmental legislation and projects in the pipeline. While working to preserve the pristineness of our environment is one of our key goals, I am even more excited about the programmes we have embarked on to upgrade our human resources and enhance overall service delivery to you, our guests. This is being achieved through ongoing training programmes orchestrated by the BVI Tourist Board, with world-class partners like the Disney Institute and Aquila Centre for Cruise Excellence. There are other training initiatives spearheaded by our community college such as our recently launched “Back to the Sea” Marine Industry Training Programme, aimed at raising the level of professionalism and service in our local workforce. Our commitment to improved service delivery can be seen in the progress we have made through ensuring that our frontline personnel throughout the Territory are trained and committed to upholding our service standards of Safety, Authenticity, Friendliness and Efficiency while holding to our Common Purpose, “We create happiness when we work together to provide lasting British Virgin Islands memories.” You can help us in the process, too, by filling out V i s i t t he Bri t i sh Virgin Is lands 2020

hotel and destination comment cards or participating in surveys aimed at creating a culture of service excellence. I invite you to write your own story of your visit to Nature’s Little Secrets. Tell others how you stayed at our renovated and revitalised resorts and villas; sampled delicious cuisine at a local restaurant; engaged in new adventures such as ziplining, night-kayaking on see-through kayaks; got a relaxing massage and treatment on a floating spa or enjoyed one of our many exciting festivals and events. The experiences available for you to enjoy in the British Virgin Islands are as countless as the sand on our beautiful white-sand beaches. Our team at the BVI Tourist Board is ready to assist with your needs. They have destination hosts at our main ports of entry and representation on all of the main islands. You can also visit their website (www.bvitourism.com) or call the main office at 284-852-6020. I hope that you enjoy your stay in the BVI and be sure to share your chapter of “Nature’s Little Secrets” story with others.

ANDREW A. FAHIE PREMIER OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS


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WELCOME

n behalf of the British Virgin Islands Tourist Board & Film Commission, I am extremely proud to join hands with the BVI Chamber of Commerce & Hotel Association through its partnership with North South Net for the launch of Visit the British Virgin Islands. Comprised of 60 islands, rocks and cays, the British Virgin Islands not only earned the prestigious title of the “Sailing Capital of the World” but is also known as “Nature’s Little Secrets.” The BVI is rich in events, festivals and beautiful nature and is an awe-inspiring destination in all aspects. We invite our guests to explore our islands, immerse themselves in the local culture of food, music and history, and intermingle with the friendly people. How exciting is it that our guests can enjoy an island-hopping experience of having breakfast, lunch and dinner, all on different islands. We invite you to explore our many landside attractions such as the Greater Baths National Park including Spring Bay and Devil’s Bay, The Copper Mines and Savannah Bay in Virgin Gorda; White Bay and Great Harbour on Jost Van Dyke; the Conch Shell Mounds, Faulkner House Museum, Flamingo Lookout Point and Loblolly Bay in Anegada; and Callwood Rum Distillery, Tortola Pier Park, Sage Mountain and the Original Virgin Canopy Tour in Tortola. Those attractions along with the many anchorages and beaches found in the Islands along the Sir Francis Drake Channel give our guests more than enough to explore and enjoy during their stay in the BVI. The BVI’s guest service credo is driven by safety, authenticity, friendliness and efficiency. Our worldwide repeat guests are a testament to their satisfaction with the destination’s unique qualities and attributes that drive them to return over and over again. We hope that you enjoy this publication and its features, and that you find its content valuable and worthwhile. Enjoy your stay in the British Virgin Islands, share with your family and friends and come back again, as a friend. For more information, please visitbvitourism.com or email us at info@bvitourism.com.

SHARON FLAX BRUTUS DIRECTOR OF TOURISM, BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS TOURIST BOARD & FILM COMMISSION

V i s i t t he Bri t i sh Virgin Is lands 2020


Couture Collection

That’s Beautiful Exclusively at

Merchant Walk, Pier ParkRoad Town, Tortola B.V.I. • 1-284-541-8507


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WELCOME

elcome to the British Virgin Islands! On behalf of the BVI Chamber of Commerce & Hotel Association (BVICCHA), I am delighted that you made the excellent decision to visit one of the finest islands throughout the Caribbean region! With more than 60 islands, rocks and cays, we are not short on offering you a plethora of experiences to make this a memorable trip filled with excitement on both land and sea, while you are surrounded by our natural beauty and rich cultural heritage. We are especially thrilled that you have chosen to visit as we rebuild and restore from the 2017 hurricanes and ask that you please pardon our construction dust. While we have come a long way, there is much to do as we continue to embody to you the depth of who we are as “Nature’s Little Secrets.” If you are a new visitor, we encourage you to pace yourself as there are ample encounters that will tantalise your senses. Be sure to treat your taste buds to our delectable Virgin Islands cuisine, while being amazed at our sunsets, unspoilt beaches and the cultural sites that reflects the journey of the Virgin Islands people. If you are a return guest, we say welcome “home” to those who have become like family and friends over the years and a special heartfelt thank you for once again choosing the BVI experience! The BVICCHA’s vision is to be a confident and proactive voice for the business sector and a driving force for business development and economic growth here in the Virgin Islands. We take pride in representing the various tourismrelated industries to ensure that excellent service is delivered by each business you encounter and hope you are satisfied beyond your expectations. We appreciate your support of our economy and look forward to welcoming your family and friends for many years to come. For more information, visit our website at bviccha.org or email us at info@bviccha.org.

SINCERELY,

CHAUNCI CLINE PRESIDENT OF HOSPITALITY, BVICCHA V i s i t t he Bri t i sh Virgin Is lands 2020


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CONTRIBUTORS

Jane Bakewell

Carol M. Bareuther April Tia Glasgow Writer

Writer

Andrea Milam

Experience you’d want to repeat: Double rainbow off an early morning ferry to Anegada (if God cooperates) Interesting fact you learned whilst writing your stories: BVIslanders are a resilient people and when faced with even the hardest challenges meet it with a combination of faith, laid-back humour and the delightful, old-time wisdom sayings of their elders.

Foodies must-try: Locally caught Anegada lobster cooked fresh and served right there in Anegada at one of the handful of beach bars and restaurants BVI is most magical when... You’re sitting on the covered open-air dining deck at the Heritage Inn’s BananaKeet Café, and it’s just after sunset on a Friday night.

Hidden gem in the BVI: Visitors may not know about the budding poetry scene and open mics on the Islands, with the main one happening at Mellow Moods Cafe the third Saturday of every month. Foodies must-try: Roti from the Roti Man at Naturally Tasty BVI is most magical when... It’s Christmastime and the guavaberry liquor, pineapple tarts, friends and family gatherings are in abundance.   

The ultimate BVI vacation involves... Nature. Take a hike, find a secluded beach, swim, snorkel and dive. The BVI’s natural beauty is boundless. Hidden gem in the BVI: Anegada. This beautiful outlying island feels like the Virgin Islands of yesteryear. The pace is perfect for inspiring relaxation, the people are warm and friendly, and the island’s beauty is unmatched.

Clive Petrovic

Freeman Rogers

Steve Simonsen

Todd VanSickle

BVI spot not to be missed: The Baths remain a spectacular natural wonder where you can explore the giant boulders and then take a refreshing dip in the sea. Experience you’d want to repeat: Visiting Jost Van Dyke and enjoying Foxy’s island songs BVI is most magical when...  You are on a beach as the sun gently dips below the horizon and the stars magically fill the sky.

The ultimate BVI vacation involves... Snorkelling at The Baths, a drive around Anegada, a surf in Josiah’s Bay, a hike at Sage Mountain, a sail to Norman Island and a couple days of doing absolutely nothing on Jost Van Dyke Favourite BVI tradition: Saying “Good Morning,” “Good Afternoon”and “Good Night” to everyone you meet

BVI spot not to be missed: Sandy Cay Experience you’d want to repeat: Visiting The Baths and Devil’s Bay Hidden gem in the BVI: Short hike to a Pac Man–shaped cave in Brewer’s Bay BVI is most magical… During the months of January through March when the humpback whales are migrating through.

The ultimate BVI vacation involves… A lot of relaxation. Sandy beaches. Snorkelling and swimming. A little sunburn and plenty of rum. Favourite BVI tradition: August Emancipation Festival is a tradition that is ingrained into the culture of the Islands. It is a fun, colourful and exciting time to be visiting the Territory.

Writer

Writer

Photographer

Photographer

Writer

Writer


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CONTENTS

20

Welcome to the BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS

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A Resilient Spirit Stronger than ever

OFFICIAL IN-ROOM PUBLICATION OF THE BVI CHAMBER OF COMMERCE & HOTEL ASSOCIATION

the British Virgin Islands

2020

VISIT THE BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS 2020

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History & Culture A glimpse into the BVI’s heritage C E L E B R AT I N G 5 0 Y E A R S O F B V I C C H A In-room copy. Please do not remove.

Calendar of Events Save the date

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On the Water Beaches, watersports and sailing

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Exploring Island-hop to all the sites

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Just For Kids Activities for little ones

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Maps of the BVI Getting around the Islands

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Adventures on Land For those on terra firma

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Josefina Nunez, Miss British Virgin Islands 2009, in front of the Fahie Hill Murals.

Ecotourism An array of natural wonders

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Shopping One-of-a-kind buys 44

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ON THE WATER

BY R U T H R O S S , C H A R T E R YA C H T S O C I E T Y O F T H E B V I

SAILING CAPITAL

Dining & Nightlife Global cuisine and lively tunes

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Where to Stay Diverse lodging options

OF THE WORLD With around 60 unique islands and cays stretching across 40 miles from west to east and surrounded by some of the most beautiful waters in the Caribbean, what better way to enjoy your time in the British Virgin Islands than on a boat? Every room is an “ocean view,” and every day can bring new adventures. V i s i t t he Br i t i s h V i r g i n I s l a n d s 2 02 0

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STAY CONNECTED

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View the digital edition of this publication online at bviccha.org and download the new Visit the British Virgin Islands app to have the latest information about what to see and do at your fingertips.

Real Estate Make this a permanent vacation

Useful Information Helpful travel tips

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Advertiser Index Guide to shopping, dining and activities

heB rBri t i sh Is lands Vi s s iitt t t he i t i sh Vi r Virgin gin Islands 20202020

ABOUT THE COVER

The BVI Tourist Board

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18 18 C O N T R I B U T O R S CONTENTS

the British Virgin Islands

2020

NORTH SOUTH NET INTERNATIONAL CUSTOM CONTENT SOLUTIONS

P.O. Box 133, Grand Cayman, KY1-1101, Cayman Islands Tel: 345-949-7282 | Email: info@northsouthnet.com Chairman Peter D. Savill Editorial Director Vanessa Molina Santamaria Art Director Sarah Rusin Sales Alex Isaia Operations Director Thomas Savill Finance Director Paul Lewis Accounting Managers Linda Villena, Robert Villena Contributing Photographer Steve Simonsen Contributors Jane Bakewell, Carol M. Bareuther, April Tia Glasgow, Casey McNutt, Andrea Milam, Janet Oliver, Clive Petrovic, Dayana Rivero, Freeman Rogers, Ruth Ross, Chris Smith, Todd VanSickle Map Production Rodrigo Nuno U.S. Representative Office

President & CEO Garry Duell, Jr. Advertising Services Manager Rosana Duell 4848 SW 74 Court, Miami, Florida 33155 Tel: 305-222-7244 Email: gduell@northsouthnet.com

Official Publication of the BVI Chamber of Commerce & Hotel Association (BVICCHA) Tropic Isle Building, Road Town, Tortola, British Virgin Islands VG1110 Tel: 284-494 3514 | Fax: 284- 494 6176 Email: info@bviccha.org | Web: bviccha.org Chairman Shaina Smith Past Chairman Nona Vanterpool President of Hospitality Chaunci Cline Executive Assistant Tywanna Andrew

heB rBri t i sh Is lands Vi s s iitt t t he i t i sh Vi r Virgin gin Islands 20202020

Copyright © 2019 by North South Net International, Ltd. All rights reserved. Reproduction by permission only.


PROUD TO BE SERVING

the British Virgin Islands for 48 years!

AN ISLAND INSTITUTION! Vanterpool Pharmacy is a second-generation, familyowned business known for its friendly service and high-quality products.

WICKHAM’S CAY 1, ROAD TOWN

+1 (284) 494 2702

WWW.VANTERPOOLPHARMACY.COM


2 0 / Visit the British Virgin Islands 2 02 0


W E L C O M E

T O

T H E

British Virgin Islands You’ll find yourself surrounded by white-sand beaches, emerald green mountains and aquamarine waters; but there’s much more to these beautiful isles. Turn the pages and discover all there is to see and do in the BVI.

visitthebritishvirginislands.com / 2 1


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A RESILIENT SPIRIT

BY A P R I L T I A G L A S G O W

A RESILIENT SPIRIT As you will see during your visit, the BVI is back and it’s stronger and more resilient than it’s ever been. BVIslanders are excited to welcome visitors and share Nature’s Little Secrets.

Cane Garden Bay


The BVI Tourist Board

“Green and brilliant are your hillsides! They replenish our hopes and pride! Oh Beautiful Virgin Islands! Your qualities can never be denied!” – from “Oh, Beautiful Virgin Islands,” the Virgin Islands Territorial Song

T

he lyrics of the territorial song is a history lesson, a call on residents and leaders, and a reminder of the Virgin Islands’ natural beauty. And now, two years after being hit by two Category 5 hurricanes in September 2017, the islands’ beauty is still undeniable. Hurricanes Irma and Maria caused destruction to homes and businesses, with damages estimated at approximately $3 billion; but with a commitment to rebuild the Territory better than before, the islands’ recovery and development plan is well under way. This recovery is being led by the Government of the Virgin Islands, and the Virgin Islands Recovery and Development Agency, along with residents, friends of the BVI and other stakeholders.

Foxy’s Tamarind Bar

B

ouncing Back The BVI has been open for business for some time. Through voluntourism, where many visitors travelled to and are still coming to the BVI for charitable activities, the tourism industry is bouncing back sooner rather than later. Accommodations are still not back to full capacity, with the BVI Tourist Board reporting that 60 percent have reopened since September 2017. The yachting sector is ripe with activity, as some bareboat companies were already accepting guests by November 2017 and the cruise lines have already returned. The BVI’s impressive annual calendar of events is also back in full swing. This includes the Leverick Bay Poker Run, Summer Sizzle fashion show, August Festival celebrations and BVI Food Fete.

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A RESILIENT SPIRIT

New Business The BVI is not only back in business but back with new business. The BVI’s capital city of Road Town, already a culinary hub, has new restaurants including Lady Sarah’s Farms, Captain’s Kitchen, The Rooftop by Brandywine and Pancake Paradise. Tortola Pier Park, a shopping and entertainment centre, has expanded its evening activity calendar, with the addition of The Coconut Lounge and The Avenue Bar & Lounge. Some businesses have also expanded their offerings, like Anegada Beach Club’s new glamping suites, and Quito’s Luxury Inn, which reopened its new 21-room property. Tourism Awards In 2018, the BVI received Carib Journal’s Innovative Destination of the Year award because of recovery and development efforts and what the publication described as a “teachable moment for the rest of the V i s i t t he Bri t i sh Virgin Is lands 2020

The BVI Tourist Board

The BVI received Carib Journal’s Innovative Destination of the Year award because of recovery and development efforts and what the publication described as a ‘teachable moment for the rest of the region.'" region.” And, more recently, U.S. News & World Report named the BVI as the number one Caribbean destination to visit for 2019-2020. The Territory beat out 17 others in the region due to its not overly developed landscape and its pristine beaches and sailing waters. Your Role in Recovery The BVI Tourist Board’s Seeds of Love programme is a charity where donors provide seeds, seedlings or saplings, or the monies to purchase them, to replace much needed plant life lost during the hurricanes. The replanting of coconut trees, mangroves, white cedars and other indigenous flora is being done to mitigate soil erosion and protect ecosystems. More information can be found at seedsoflovebvi.org. We’ve all heard the old adage, “Sharing is caring.” Go follow the BVI Tourist Board on social media and share all the latest happenings with your friends and family. The British Virgin

Islands Chamber of Commerce & Hotel Association (BVICCHA) represents both island businesses and hoteliers, so we encourage you to help speed up The BVI’s road to recovery by visiting us again soon and telling your friends and family to make it their next vacation destination.

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ON THE WATER

BY T O D D VA N S I C K L E

SUPREME SANDS Two years after Hurricane Irma roared through the Territory, the British Virgin Islands’ beaches are a dazzling display of Mother Nature’s resilience.

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Cane Garden Bay

Take us with you on the go View the digital edition of this publication online at bviccha.org and download the new Visit the British Virgin Islands app to have the latest information about what to see and do at your fingertips.


Foxy’s Tamarind Bar, Jost Van Dyke.

LOOSENED UP AND LIVING IT UP. Uncover the true spirit of the Caribbean from sunup to sundown. Stay on land where endless possibility is just a beach away, or out at sea with the wind in your sails. Wherever your compass takes you, your trip will be one of a kind.

BVITOURISM.COM | 1-284-852-6020 Tortola | Virgin Gorda | Jost Van Dyke | Anegada | Cooper Island | Guana Island Little Thatch | Necker Island | Norman Island | Peter Island | Saba Rock | Scrub Island

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HISTORY & CULTURE

BY A P R I L T I A G L A S G O W

HERITAGE

Callwood Rum Distillery

HIGHLIGHTS A variety of sites offer a glimpse into the BVI’s local culture, social development and the islands’ African heritage. V i s i t t he Bri t i sh Virgin Is lands 2020


The BVI Tourist Board

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The Baths National Park


HISTORY & CULTURE

L

ong before Christopher Columbus arrived in the Virgin Islands, other groups of people — known as the Ciboney, Igneri, Taíno and Kalinago — called these islands home; and their influence on the Territory is still evident in the local culture. With more than 500 years of historical treasures, there is much to explore on Tortola and the other islands that make up the BVI, including ruins from the plantation era when sugar was in high demand. Here’s a rundown of the top historical and cultural attractions to take in.

T

ORTOLA Kingston Church of the Africans This one-of-a-kind church is a historic relic of the African settlement in Kingston,

V i s i t t he Bri t i sh Virgin Is lands 2020

Fahie Hill Murals

Tortola. The settlers were given the land where they would live freely after being pronounced free people on the vessel that brought them to the Islands in the 1800s. The structure is the oldest church built by Africans in the Americas. Fahie Hill Murals This is a glimpse into the talented artistry which exists in the BVI. Many of the murals, painted by local artists like Reuben Vanterpool and Cedric Turnbull, depict scenes from the Virgin Islands’ recent past. These include images of locals farming, making cassava bread and the Virgin Islands’ own Heritage Dancers, a group of culture bearers who keep the art form alive. Cane Garden Bay Whilst lots of visitors come here to swim or boat, you should also make time to explore the heritage sites like Callwood

Freeman Rogers

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Did You Know?

Murals painted by local artists depict scenes from the Virgin Islands’ past.

Rum Distillery, where you can taste cane rum just as it was made over 400 years ago. Quito’s Gazebo is another famous attraction, a favourite eatery and nighttime spot for visitors and locals.


1780 Lower Estate Sugar Works Museum History buffs should love the 1780 Lower Estate Sugar Works Museum for its plentiful historical artefacts from the plantation era in the Virgin Islands. Every month, the estate also hosts art exhibitions, so if the timing is right, you can also enjoy the BVI’s cultural past and present at once. Sunday Morning Well On August 1, 1834, the Proclamation for the Emancipation of slavery was read in the area near the Sunday Morning Well on Tortola. The well is now a heritage site and the location of the annual Emancipation Service held to commemorate the August Festival Emancipation celebrations. The Stickett Located in Long Look, the landmark serves as a reminder to the descendants of the Africans who were given the fertile land there to build their homes and farms. These days, The Stickett is a popular gathering spot for island residents. Mount Healthy Sugar Mill A reminder of the Virgin Islands’ sugar plantation era, the Sugar Mill ruin on Mount Healthy is the only intact structure of its kind in the islands. The mill is located on the north side of Tortola. The site not only entices those seeking to learn more about the past but is also a popular location for photographers,

Freeman Rogers

The Emancipation Festival is also a showcase of cultural events split between Road Town, East End and Carrot Bay, each location hosting its own festival ‘village.’”

Emancipation

FESTIVAL by April Tia Glasgow

Virgin Islands history is

are also recognised holidays. The

comparatively similar to that of its

Emancipation Festival’s main activi-

Caribbean neighbours. A need for

ties are held on the island of Tortola

cheap labour and a fertile envi-

from June to August.

ronment resulted in the enslave-

The Emancipation Festival is also

ment of Africans throughout the

a showcase of cultural events split

region since the 1600s.

between Road Town, East End and

This part of Virgin Islands his-

Carrot Bay, each location hosting

tory is recognised during the

its own festival “village.” Each vil-

Emancipation Festival, known

lage highlights both international

locally as the August Festival.

and local entertainment and Virgin

This festival commemorates the

Islands savoury delicacies like peas

reading of the proclamation for

soup with pigtail, fungi and fish,

the emancipation of slavery in the

and corn pork.

Virgin Islands. The proclamation

Other festival highlights include

that was read on August 1, 1834,

the Miss BVI Pageant, Prince and

at the Sunday Morning Well, now

Princess Show, horse races, J’ouvert

a historical and cultural attraction,

— a large-scale musical “march”

declared the freedom of enslaved

held at sunrise — and the August

Africans throughout the Islands.

Monday parade. The parade fea-

To this day, the annual August

tures bands and a host of troupes

Monday parade is appropri-

who take to the streets of Road

ately held on the first Monday in

Town to put on a show in full cel-

August, a territorial holiday. The

ebration of freedom with colourful

following Tuesday and Wednesday

costumes and choreography.


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HISTORY & CULTURE

The

Write

STUFF by April Tia Glasgow

The BVI boasts a wide variety of literary talent. The Virgin Islands is

Along the Road, Pass It

Dr. Richard Georges

known for its immaculate

On! A Treasury of Virgin

Dr. Richard Georges

anthology Virgin Verses,

beaches, idyllic views and

Island Tales, Struggles and

spent much of his youth

August Mondays and

beautiful people — and

Triumphs and children’s

in Trinidad but currently

Festivals and Virgin Islands:

it’s this picturesque des-

books Danielle’s Trunk and

lives and works in the BVI.

An Alphabetical Heritage.

tination that has nurtured

Arianna Likes to Read.

Dr. Georges, educator and

very talented literary art-

Teacher Jennie was award-

performer, is the author of

Angela Burnett Penn

ists. Some of their writ-

ed an MBE — Member of

the poetry collections Make

Because this issue of Visit

ings capture the Virgin

the Most Excellent Order

Us All Islands, Giant and

the British Virgin Islands

Islands of yesterday or

of the British Empire — by

Epiphaneia. He is the recipi-

features BVI’s resilient

act as a record of cur-

Queen Elizabeth II for her

ent of the 2016 Marvin E.

spirit and recovery since

rent events, via narrative,

contributions to education

Williams Literary Prize from

the devastation caused

poetry and nonfiction.

and culture in the BVI.

The Caribbean Writer and

by Hurricanes Irma and

has been shortlisted for

Maria, it would be remiss

why not take one of these

Dr. Patricia Turnbull

The Wasafiri New Writing

not to mention new author

authors to the beach with

Born in St. Lucia, this edu-

Prize, The Small Axe

Angela Burnett Penn. This

you or embark on a liter-

cator and author made the

Literary Prize, The Hollick

daughter of the soil and

ary adventure wherever

Virgin Islands her home

Arvon Prize for Caribbean

environmental manager

you are in the world, as

for more than 40 years.

Literature, the OCM Bocas

gathered the stories of 25

a number of these titles

Dr. Turnbull is the author

Caribbean Poetry Prize and

Hurricane Irma survivors

are available for purchase

of the poetry anthology

the Forward Prize for Best

for her book, The Irma

online.

Rugged Vessels, crea-

First Collection.

Diaries. Not only was her

tive nonfiction Can These

book published with the

Mrs. Jennie Wheatley, MBE

Stones Talk? and chil-

Dr. Quincy Lettsome

intent of sensitising peo-

dren’s narrative poetry, Ti

Dr. Quincy Lettsome’s

ple to the damage caused

In the BVI, we call her

Koko and Kush Kush. Her

writings showcase his in-

but also to highlight the

Teacher Jennie. This

poetry is also featured

depth knowledge of Virgin

impact of climate change

Virgin Islands educator

in The Caribbean Writer,

Islands history and love for

on the islands. This was

and culture bearer has

International Dimensions

the natural environment.

also a charitable effort

a teaching career span-

of Black Women's Writing,

Dr. Lettsome is a historian,

with 50 percent of pro-

ning 50 years. She has

St. Lucian Poetry and Art

entrepreneur, long-serving

ceeds being donated to

published nine books,

and Where I See the Sun:

educator and author of BVI

the Virgin Islands Climate

including Boysie and The

Contemporary Poetry in

historical texts and several

Change Trust Fund and to

Genips and Other Stories,

the Virgin Islands.

poetry anthologies. He

storm survivors.

V i s i t t he Bri t i sh Virgin Is lands 2020

Left to right: Where I See The Sun, House of Nehesi Publishers, 2017; The Irma Diaries, courtesy of Angela Burnett Penn, www.TheIrmaDiaries.com; Ti Koko and Kush Kush, House of Nehesi Publishers, 2019.

Whilst you’re in the BVI,

wrote the three-part poetry


The BVI Tourist Board

Conch Shell Mound

Did You Know? Even if you just go to take a quick selfie to post on Instagram, Conch Shell Mound is worth it.

probably because of the Old World feel, lush hillside and panoramic views atop Mount Healthy.

Main Street If you want to see the Virgin Islands’ vernacular architecture, take a stroll down Main Street. Almost all the wooden buildings are painted with vibrant colours and have stone foundations, designed that way because of the storm surge (most of Road Town is reclaimed land). A lot of the stone used were ballasts brought to the Islands via merchant ships sailing to the BVI to pick up goods like sugar and cane rum.

O

THER ISLANDS The Baths, Virgin Gorda Big boulders on a beach don’t sound exciting, but you have to see them to appreciate their magnificence. The huge boulders lining Virgin Gorda’s south shore form trails and caves for both a unique beach adventure with friends or a serene solo hike. Copper Mine, Virgin Gorda Now a national park, the Copper Mine

Copper Mine

reveals another story about the BVI’s past and resources. Operations began in the 1800s but were abandoned after the fall of copper prices. Go there to see the stone walls of the engine house or the breathtaking views of Virgin Gorda’s northern shore.

for more political representation by BVI residents. This demonstration ended up being successful: In 1950, the Legislative Council was restored, and general elections were held. These days, Faulkner’s former home in Anegada is a museum that honours his efforts.

The Salt Pond, Salt Island The island is aptly named after the salt collected there. Whilst there’s not as much salt as there used to be, late March to early April is the best time to reap the salt. Salt Island is a peaceful isle with no hotels, restaurants or watersports, so visitors enjoy hiking, swimming and quiet time.

Conch Shell Mound, Anegada Even if you just go to take a quick selfie to post on Instagram, Conch Shell Mound is worth it. Here, huge mounds of conch shells — some of which have been around since the 1600s — pile up to form mini-islands on the eastern end of Anegada. Local fishermen maintain the mounds by taking what’s left of their daily catch there. After visiting the mounds, check out the rest of the island, which is also known for its pink flamingos and pristine beaches.

Theodolph Faulkner Museum, Anegada Faulkner was one of three Virgin Islanders who led a historic march in 1949 that called

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CALENDAR OF EVENTS

Trellis Bay Full Moon V i s i t t he Bri t i sh Virgin Is lands 2020

The BVI Tourist Board

EVENTS AND FESTIVALS


2019

JUNE Full Moon Party BVI Humane Society Dog Show

NOVEMBER

Wreck Week diving event

Taste of Tortola (Nov 9) 50th Anniversary Event (Nov 9) Full Moon (Nov 12) Cooper Island Rum Festival (Nov 16) Nanny Cay Round Tortola Race (Nov 16) Jost Pork & More Festival (Nov 17)

Freeman Rogers

BVI Gourmet Soiree (Nov 7)

2020

Ogier Deliotte BVI Half Marathon

JANUARY

Taste of Virgin Gorda (Nov 23)

Grenada Sailing Week (Jan 26)

Anegada Lobster Festival (Nov 30)

InterCaribbean Painkiller Cup SUP race

BVI Food Fête Bar Crawls

FEBRUARY

Tortola Crawl

Full Moon Party

Full Moon Party

VISAR’s Swim the Sound in Virgin Gorda

J U LY Territory Day (July 1) Full Moon Party Summer Sizzle fashion show Puerto Rico’s Christmas in July in Virgin Gorda

AUGUST Festival Monday (Aug 3) Festival Tuesday (Aug 4) Festival Wednesday (Aug 5) August Monday Horse Races at Ellis Thomas Downs Full Moon Party

On the Rocks Bar Crawl

BVI Humane Society Gaming Night at Nanny Cay

Lobster Crawl

Anegada Kite and Paddle Festival

BVI Steelman Triathlon at Beef Island

MARCH Full Moon Party

37th Annual Interline Regatta (Oct 8-17)

BVI Charter Yacht Show at Nanny Cay

BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival (Mar 30-Apr 5)

Foxy’s Halloween Party and Cat Fight regatta

Guy Fawkes Bonfire Night

Virgin Gorda Easter Festival

Willy T Virgin’s Cup

Christmas Tree Lighting at Sir Olva Georges Plaza

Spanish Town Fisherman’s

DECEMBER

Full Moon Party

Gustav Wilmerding Memorial Challenge (Dec 7)

Tortola Torture Ultra Marathon

Full Moon (Dec 12)

Necker Cup Pro Am Tennis Tournament

BVI charter (Dec 26)

M AY

New Year’s Eve Party at Trellis Bay

Full Moon Party

OCTOBER

APRIL

Full Moon Party BVI Dinghy Championships hosted by The Royal BVI Yacht Club

Christmas in Spanish Town

Foxy’s Wooden Boat Regatta on Jost Van Dyke

Christmas on De Castro Street

Leverick Bay Poker Run

Freeman Rogers

New Year’s Eve Party at Jost Van Dyke

SEPTEMBER

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ON THE WATER

BY T O D D VA N S I C K L E

SUPREME SANDS Two years after Hurricane Irma roared through the Territory, the British Virgin Islands’ beaches are a dazzling display of Mother Nature’s resilience.


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Cane Garden Bay


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ON THE WATER

Here are some of the best beaches that shouldn’t be missed. If you can’t make it to all of them, start planning your next trip back.

T

ortola All beaches on Tortola are accessible by car. Rent a vehicle in Road Town and head to Ridge Road, which runs along the spine of Tortola. Take it easy and enjoy the views but watch out for potholes. Crowd Favourite Cane Garden Bay is one of the most popular beaches amongst visitors. It offers the most amenities, including bathrooms, stores and restaurants; and it’s one of the closest beaches to Road Town, making it an easy destination for cruise ship passengers. Because of this proximity, Cane Garden Bay can be crowded when cruise ships are in port. Arrive early in the morning to beat the rush or catch a sunset and enjoy some nightlife and dancing at Quito’s Gazebo or ELMs.

Long Bay

Did You Know?

Check for the colour-coded flags flying at select beaches that indicate the conditions. Most beaches do not have lifeguards on duty. To receive daily updates and conditions, email the lifeguard supervisor at surflifebvi@ gmail.com.

D

V i s i t t he Bri t i sh Virgin Is lands 2020

espite heavy damage to shorelines throughout the archipelago, BVI beaches still find themselves atop “best beaches” lists compiled by travel writers from around the world. The blue waters and sandy shores remain one of the main attractions that draw thousands of visitors to the BVI each year. When your toes are buried in the warm sand and the waves are lapping at the shore, it’s easy to forget the devastation that occurred here a short time ago. There is a beach worth visiting on almost every island. Getting to some is easier than others, but all are worth experiencing if you have the time. Whether you are looking for peace and tranquillity or daytime debauchery, there’s a beach for any occasion.

Catch a Wave Josiah’s Bay is popular amongst residents and surfers. It is located on the East End of Tortola near Beef Island and offers a small beach bar serving snacks, a few shelters where you can take sanctuary from the sun and a covered porch with picnic tables. You won’t find many charter boats anchoring here, making views of the bay delightfully pristine. Forgot your surfboard? No problem. You can rent one or take a lesson at the surf school located there. Don’t be surprised to see a cow or other livestock meandering along the shore. Lime with Locals On the west side of Tortola is Smuggler’s Cove, a top choice for locals. Here, you won’t find charter boats or many cruise ship visitors. Occasionally, there is a vendor or two selling drinks and snacks. Smuggler’s Cove offers a laid-back vibe and is perfect for swimming with its calm, clear waters. In 1989, the beach was an ideal location to film Ernest Hemingway’s Pulitzer Prize–winning story, The Old


Sandy Spit

Man and the Sea. Take a sandy stroll and dip your toes in the water as you gaze at the iconic peak that bookends the western shore. This beach is just past Long Bay beach, which is also worth a stop, though the water can be choppy and the entry is rocky in places. Surfer’s Paradise Apple Bay is a rocky beach that’s not well suited for swimming, but what it lacks in swimmability it makes up for with some epic wave action. This beach was the onetime home of Bomba’s Surfside Shack, where hallucinogenic mushroom tea and full moon parties put this locale on the map starting in the late 1970s. The eclectic shack looked to have been pieced together using random flotsam, which only added to its charm. On most nights, Bomba’s was a quiet venue where a handful of locals and

expats got together over a few libations, but by the light of the full moon, partygoers spilt out into the street, carousing and laughing the night away. Sadly, this iconic destination was destroyed by Hurricane Irma; and though it’s unknown whether Bomba’s will return, the legendary waves continue to roll in at Apple Bay. Beach it with Flamingos On the East End of Tortola, you’ll encounter Beef Island. There are two Long Bays in the BVI, and the one on Beef Island is close to the airport with an expansive crescent-moon shape. The salt pond at the entrance is a source of beauty thanks to the flamingos that sometimes frequent the area, and also the source of a sulphur-type odour, which, while off-putting, indicates a healthy salt pond. The smell rarely carries over to the gorgeous beach, however. Note

when swimming here that the bottom drops off rather quickly compared to other beaches in the BVI.

V

irgin Gorda Beautiful Giants If there is one beach that should not be missed, it is Devil’s Bay at The Baths National Park on the southwestern tip of Virgin Gorda. Getting to this beach is an experience in its own right thanks to the cavernous trail that winds through the huge boulders lining the shore. Plan your trip around cruise ship visitors, because it can become very crowded in the narrow passages when visitors are flocking here. Bring your snorkel gear to enjoy some great marine life along the boulders that cascade into the sea. There are no facilities at Devil’s Bay; however, there are restrooms at the top and bottom

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ON THE WATER

Smuggler’s Cove offers a laidback vibe and is perfect for swimming with its calm, clear waters.” of the trail along with showers and lockers. Additionally, there is a beach bar at the bottom of the trail. Stunning Seclusion Spring Bay is also a national park and is often overlooked because day-trippers only have enough time to see The Baths. However, this beach offers all the same features as The Baths with less of a hike through the boulders. There is a protected cove that is perfect for swimming and snorkelling for timid seagoers. There are also picnic tables and a grill, but note that all events here must first have permission from the National Parks Trust.

J

ost Van Dyke Party Central White Bay is a popular destination for boaters from the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Boaters raft up in flotillas and rock out to their music whilst downing delicious, rum-infused Painkillers from the Soggy Dollar Bar. This beach definitely has a party vibe going on, but the beauty of the waters and the silky white sands don’t go unnoticed. A trip to Jost Van Dyke is not complete without a visit to Foxy’s. This eclectic restaurant and bar is located just steps away from Great Harbour. If you are lucky you will catch Feliciano “Foxy” Callwood, the owner, singing a song and playing the guitar. Bring a flag or something to leave at this hodgepodge of a bar. The beach isn’t known for swimming, but its sandy shores are too good to pass up on a hot day. Great

V i s i t t he Bri t i sh Virgin Is lands 2020

Smuggler’s Cove

Harbour can be busy at times with moored yachts, especially during New Year’s Eve when this shoreline plays host to one of the hottest parties in the world. The Cutest Cays The only way to get to Sandy Spit and Sandy Cay — pronounced “key” by locals and those in the know — is by boat. Both are located off Jost Van Dyke and are very near to one another, so if you can make it to one, you should definitely visit the other. Each offers great swimming and beach lounging. Sandy Spit is a mere speck of sand that is forever shifting at the will of ocean currents. The water surrounding it is a deep blue hue and crystal clear, a postcard-perfect destination. Sandy Cay is

a national park and has a hiking trail that circles the island through a small forest to a rocky bluff that features great views of Tortola. The hike is moderate and only takes about 30 minutes.

A

negada A Sublime Snorkel The waters at Loblolly Beach are a shimmering aquamarine with the multiple reefs lending a strongly contrasting deep turquoise hue. At times, it is not uncommon to be the only one on this beach. The snorkelling here is some of the best the BVI has to offer. When you take a break, have a lobster lunch at The Big Bamboo and wash it down with a Bushwacker, a local drink that somehow manages to taste like a chocolate


Josiahs Bay

milkshake despite being made almost entirely of alcohol. The best way to get here is to take a taxi or rent a vehicle at Setting Point, where the ferry dock is located. Keep your eyes open for flamingos as you travel past the salt ponds. Worth the Trip As if the four main British Virgin Islands don’t have enough to offer, there are also numerous smaller islands and cays in the area, each with its own charm. The following three islands are accessible by boat and well worth the short journey. Peter Island Arrive early in the morning to Deadman’s Beach, accessible only by boat, and you’ll enjoy the beautiful marine wildlife in peace and quiet. Construction is happening here, as the Peter Island Resort is being rebuilt following Hurricane Irma; but this picturesque stretch of sand is still worth a visit. The island is privately owned, meaning those who come to this beach can’t go beyond the high water mark, so stick to the sand and keep an eye out for turtles. Cooper Island If you find yourself at Manchioneel Bay at Cooper Island, you can expect fantastic snorkelling. Don’t be surprised to see a turtle or stingray in the seagrass. The beach is also home to Cooper Island Beach Club, an eco-resort featuring a boutique, a solarpowered microbrewery, bar, restaurant and

Great Harbour

guest rooms. If you are not staying at the resort, getting a mooring ball here can be challenging. Norman Island Norman Island is located at the southern tip of the BVI archipelago, and the only way to get there is by boat. It is said that Norman was a source of inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel Treasure Island. The only pirates that can be found there today are at Pirates Bight Bar, Restaurant and Gift Shop and the infamous Willy T floating bar and restaurant. The bay is calm, tranquil, pristine and perfect for a float; but it does get busy with yachts as the sun gets high in the sky.

Fun Fact The Caribbean has many wellknown beaches, but few are as beautiful as those found in the BVI. White Bay Beach in Jost Van Dyke, for instance, made Forbes magazine’s Best Caribbean Beaches for 2019 list.

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ON THE WATER

BY T O D D VA N S I C K L E

©Jim Raycroft/MarineMax

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WAVES OF FUN

T

he British Virgin Islands is a watersports mecca. Whether you swim, sail, snorkel or surf, there are many options to choose from when exploring and enjoying the numerous secluded bays and pristine waters throughout the Territory. Day Trips Dive BVI offers several snorkelling and day trips to various spots around the BVI, including Cooper Island Beach Club, the Willy T, The Baths and Jost Van Dyke. All trips depart from Virgin Gorda at 9 a.m. or Scrub Island at 9:30 a.m. and include onboard refreshments, national park and cruising fees and snorkel equipment.

V i s i t t he Bri t i sh Virgin Is lands 2020

“Whilst visiting the BVI, you’re not at a loss for active ways to fill your day,” says Dive BVI Managing Director Casey McNutt. “We specialise in seeing what the BVI has to offer below the surface. Sure, our private charters — Virgin Gorda Explorer excursion and Island Hopper — allow guests to take in the beauty of these islands, but it’s only half the story. From sandy bottoms where stingrays, peacock flounders and crustaceans play hide-and-seek to the seagrasses our turtles feed on to the rocky shoreline outcrops where majestic tarpon feed to our colourful soft and hard coral reefs that sway with the beat of the waves, our snorkelling will blow you away.” Blue Water Divers, located at Nanny Cay, also rents snorkelling gear and has a very knowledgeable staff that can provide useful information and tips for oceangoing excursions.

“Our wonderful team has a zest for life and love what they do, so be sure to hit them up with any questions you have about the sea life you encounter, the reefs and wrecks you dive and the islands you want to explore,” says Blue Water Divers co-owner Keith Royle. Aristocat Charters also offers snorkelling and day trips to Norman Island, The Indians, Jost Van Dyke and Cooper and Peter islands. The trips include two or three stops for snorkelling, unlimited cold drinks and a buffet lunch. Launching points for these excursions are Nanny Cay, West End or Road Town. Pelican Charters, meanwhile, offers half-day and full-day charters on a luxury private yacht. Paddle Along One of the fastest-growing activities in the BVI is stand-up paddleboarding, or SUP. It is the closest a person can get to the water


Glide quietly along the surface of the water while observing the marine life below.” without getting wet — that is, if you can stay on the board. Paddleboarding allows you to glide quietly along the surface of the water whilst observing the marine life below. If you’re feeling competitive, there are a handful of events held each year, including the Painkiller Cup — a 14-mile team race from Trellis Bay, Beef Island, to White Bay, Jost Van Dyke — or a 3-mile solo race from Sandy Spit to White Bay. BVISUPCO has a lot of rental gear and some of the best performance equipment for paddleboarding. Additionally, they rent kayaks, kiting and fishing gear, windsurfing boards and rigs, surfboards, floating mats and noodles. “If a group of visitors comes down to rent a sailboat, they can really enjoy the BVI from a unique perspective; and at the same time they can do some pretty exhilarating downwind open-water paddles and also get into nooks and crannies you would not see on the boat or even in a dinghy,” says Chris Ghiorse, co-owner of BVISUPCO. The company provides short- and long-term rentals, and they’ll deliver the equipment to your charter boat at no charge. For unique guided tours and adventures, check out GroundSea Adventures BVI, which leads kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, hiking and surfing excursions. Alex Dick-Read is the owner, and he’ll show you some of the BVI’s secret coves tucked away in secluded mangrove forests. Dick-Read is also the co-owner of Surf School BVI at Josiah’s Bay, where you can rent a board and learn to catch a wave. Take to the Skies Kitesurf BVI is a newer company that offers kiteboarding rentals and lessons to people as young as 7 years old. The

Brewer’s Bay Beach company’s owner is Eloy Derze, a certified instructor through the International Kiteboarding Organization. He is also a skipper and promises to help you chase the wind to remote sandbars away from crowded beaches. The conditions have to be just right for kiteboarding. Some of the more popular places to take up this high-flying activity are Sandy Spit, Sandy Cay, Nanny Cay, Anegada and North Sound in Virgin Gorda. Kitesurf BVI also provides wakeboarding trips and equipment. Tommy Gaunt Kitesurfing is based at the Anegada Beach Club, just steps away from the sea. The company offers rentals and lessons for all skill levels. Additionally, they have package deals that include accommodations at the Anegada Beach Club. Reel 'em In Try your hand at catching dinner on a

deep-sea fishing trip with Ocean Surfari near Soper’s Hole on Tortola’s West End. The company offers several packages from a half-day charter to a full-day trip. Each fisherman is required to purchase a fishing licence for $45. To obtain a licence, you’ll need to submit a photocopy or scanned copy of your passport or driver’s licence to Ocean Surfari by email or in person prior to the trip. BVI fishing licences are valid for 30 days and are vessel specific. Ocean Surfari will provide all the equipment, and they’ll take you to legendary fishing spots like the North Drop, where you could hook a tuna, marlin, mahi-mahi or wahoo. Keep all the fish you wish — you just have to catch them first. No matter what water activity you choose whilst visiting the BVI, you are guaranteed to take home a lifetime worth of memories above and below the stunning turquoise water.

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ON THE WATER

MustDo

DIVE SITES

by Casey McNutt, Dive BVI

The BVI is truly a hidden gem in the eastern Caribbean. Once you enter the clear, warm water to see the magic below, you’ll be transported into a diverse and unique ocean realm. Depths around the BVI waters vary from the shallow rocks at the worldfamous Baths on Virgin Gorda to the sandy bottom where majestic wrecks lay waiting to be explored.  Certified divers will discover that the BVI is a playground where each site delivers a completely different experience. New divers can access gorgeous reefs on nearly every island, and seasoned divers are pleased to explore nooks and crannies of artificial wrecks and national treasures. Here are a few standouts. Located off Salt Island, the RMS Rhone sank during a hurricane in 1867. The BVI’s world-class dive centres offer guided tours with departures from main marinas and rendezvous pickups from anchorages for yacht charters. Whilst visiting, don’t miss a dive and snorkel at The Indians and nearby Norman Island’s The Caves and explore below the

RMS Rhone

surface at the Dog Islands, whose uninhabited, jagged shores make for incredible vistas and wildlife. The Indians alone is really worth a trip. On the Territory’s boundary, you’ll see a line of jagged rocks pointing into the sunshine. These are The Indians. Some think the name is from the shape of native headdresses, and others from the childhood song counted on your fingers. If you’re cruising the BVI, this is a great stop for both snorkelling and diving. Its shallow waters are fish filled, and the sand trails deep below make for incredible diving. Keep an eye out for the swirling baitfish in the “fishbowl” and the silvery tarpon chasing them down. This site can have some stronger currents and, if navigated correctly, can be used to enhance the dive; but it is recommended to dive this site with a company or a knowledgeable guide to get the most out of it.   If you’re enthralled with the mysteries of the deep and the intriguing history behind shipwrecks, you’ll have to get to Wreck Alley, located between Cooper Island and Salt Island. Here,

V i s i t t he Bri t i sh Virgin Is lands 2020

in roughly 80 to 100 feet of water, you’ll find five ghosts nestled in the sand. All sunk artificially, these mammoths each have a story to tell. Around them you’ll find acres of garden eels, stingrays hovering over cleaning stations and the occasional jack or shark cruising the reef line in search of dinner. Speaking of ghost ships, the Chikuzen is truly a unicorn dive site. This refrigeration ship was set ablaze in St. Martin by its owners, who were looking for a good way to get rid of the decrepit ship as a hurricane approached that island. The Chikuzen floated all the way to the BVI only to sink whilst local yacht and dive operators were attempting to tow it away from Marina Cay. Sitting in the middle of the sea between the Dog Islands and Anegada, she’s wide open to any travelling pelagic who is looking for structure to explore. You truly never know what you’re going to see when you dive this wreck. Due to its location, the conditions for diving here are rarely perfect, and it’s recom-

mended you explore it with any one of the BVI’s professional operations to see it safely. Chikuzen’s marine life is as crazy amazing as is its story.  The Territory boasts some experienced dive and snorkel operators who will help you make the most of your trip. Dive BVI offers scheduled dives from Scrub Island Resort and Virgin Gorda along with the resort course for visitors who want to try scuba for the first time. They also offer weekly Island Hopper tours to the surrounding islands for some snorkelling, sightseeing and barhopping. For a more active and adventurous visitor, the Virgin Gorda Explorer excursion tours The Baths and the island’s beauty from overlook to beach to overlook.  Blue Water Divers, conveniently headquartered in Tortola’s Nanny Cay and Soper’s Hole Marina, will take you to a wide range of sites, from reefs and rock formations ideal for beginners to more challenging dives like the wreck of the RMS Rhone at Salt Island. Blue Water Divers keeps their groups small, so everyone is able to experience each site fully.


Explore the BVI above and below

British Virgin Islands

More than 40 years in the British Virgin Islands, Dive BVI has issued over 10,000 certifications. Our instructors are ready to help you achieve your dive certification, whether you are in a full course with us or just needing to complete the Open Water dive requirements.

Call/WhatsApp: +1-284-541-9818 info@divebvi.com | divebvi.com

Rendezvous Diving, Equipment Rentals, Air Fills, Private Charters, Scuba Instruction, Day Trips & Retail

Blue Water Divers British Virgin Islands

· Rendezvous Diving · PADI, SSI, Universal Certification · Discover Scuba Program · Rentals · Airfills · 3 custom dive boats · Full service dive shop

Nanny Cay, Tortola BVI

bluewaterdiversbvi.com | info@bluewaterdiversbvi.com Phone: 284-494-2847 | WhatsApp/Skype: 284-340-4311

Two Locations: Scrub Island Marina & Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbour Marina

Join us for a beautiful day of sailing, snorkeling, and paddleboarding the British Virgin Islands!

tel: 284-499-1249 web: aristocatcharters.com email: aristocatcharters@gmail.com 50 foot sailing catamaran. Lunch and unlimited drinks included. Multiple itineraries. Shared or Private. Departing from Nanny Cay, Soper’s Hole, or Road Town. Space is limited, book online now!

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ON THE WATER

BY R U T H R O S S , C H A R T E R YA C H T S O C I E T Y O F T H E B V I

The BVI Tourist Board

SAILING CAPITAL

OF THE WORLD With around 60 unique islands and cays stretching across 40 miles from west to east and surrounded by some of the most beautiful waters in the Caribbean, what better way to enjoy your time in the British Virgin Islands than on a boat? Every room is an “ocean view,” and every day can bring new adventures. V i s i t t he Bri t i sh Virgin Is lands 2020


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ON THE WATER

©Jim Raycroft/MarineMax

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Did You Know?

Careless anchoring can cause untold damage to fragile reefs, so private companies and the BVI National Parks Trust have placed moorings in many areas to try to mitigate some of that damage.

T

o crew or not to crew — that is the question. A BVI sailing vacation can take many forms, but before you start planning, you need to decide a few things. Sail or power? Monohull or catamaran? Crewed charter or bareboat? Each has its unique merits.

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rewed Charters A crewed charter vacation appeals to those that want luxury without any responsibility of a bareboat rental. Your highly experienced crew — including captain, chef and sometimes a deckhand — will design a sailing trip especially suited to your needs and desires. It is a bespoke trip where they take care of provisioning, cleaning, day-to-day running of the vessel, entertainment, watersports, finding safe

V i s i t t he Bri t i sh Virgin Is lands 2020

anchorages and acting as tour guides, not to mention serving you three gourmet meals every day, with appropriate drinks whenever you like. No one can control the weather, but your professional crew will help you get the best out of your trip taking current weather conditions into account. Their local knowledge will help you get to the best bars and restaurants or find the quietest anchorages and nicest dive and snorkel sites — whatever you prefer. A crewed charter boat will have a water maker, so you won’t need to dock to fill your tanks every day, and a generator for air conditioning in your cabin at night. Or, if you prefer, you can keep your hatches open and enjoy the Caribbean night air. If the pampering of a fully crewed vacation appeals to you, contact a charter broker — a specialised type of travel agent — who can best match your needs and budget to one of the many beautiful BVI crewed charter yachts.

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areboat Adventures If you want your own adventure and are able and qualified to rent your own boat, then bareboating may be the answer for you. Bareboats also come in a range of sizes, and, as with crewed yachts, you will have a choice of monohulls, catamarans, power and sail. With approximately 15 bareboat rental companies in the BVI, there is something for everyone. Of course, with the independence of having your own adventure comes the responsibility of sailing/driving and anchoring or mooring someone else’s beautiful vessel. The bareboat companies ensure that your vacation will be as safe and enjoyable as possible by giving a thorough safety and chart briefing before the trip starts. They will advise you on how to handle your specific vessel, the systems, where best to go and where to avoid, how to contact them in case of difficulty and generally how to make the most of your time aboard. Optional extras for bareboats are provisioning packages, water toys that are not standard inventory, rendezvous diving or dive equipment rental and airport transfers. Many bareboat companies also offer the optional services of a captain and/or a cook for all or part of your trip.


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omething for Everyone With the number of islands and cays in the BVI, there is an anchorage to suit almost everyone. Do you want to dive and/or snorkel? The Indians, The Dogs and the world-famous wreck of the RMS Rhone off Salt Island need to go on your itinerary. How about beautiful beaches with a bar scene? Cane Garden Bay, White Bay on Jost Van Dyke, Cooper Island and Cow Wreck Beach on Anegada should tick that box. Looking for a nice safe and sheltered bay with plenty of moorings for when you don’t want to anchor? Head towards The Bight on Norman Island, Great Harbour on Peter Island, North Sound on Virgin Gorda or Anegada. Do you want to see a dramatic beach area completely covered with giant boulders, which form sheltered pools at the water’s edge? If so, you must go to The Baths on Virgin Gorda. Full moon parties are hosted in Trellis Bay, at Foxy’s on Jost Van Dyke and at Paradise Club in Cane Garden Bay every month, allowing visitors to experience a different kind of nightlife complete with moko jumbies who sometimes perform at bars and resorts. Leverick Bay Resort & Marina on Virgin Gorda, Pirates Bight on Norman Island, Cooper Island Beach Club and Anegada Beach Club are good familyfriendly areas that offer nice beaches and casual eateries for families with kids. For a more romantic evening, you can dine in splendid surroundings at Brandywine Estate Restaurant or The Dove on Tortola,

Anthony Blake

With the number of islands and cays in the BVI, there is an anchorage to suit almost everyone.”

CocoMaya on Virgin Gorda or have a luxurious lobster dinner at Wonky Dog on Anegada and dance the night away afterwards. If you want to explore the underwater world and your boat does not have dive equipment, several dive operators would be delighted to rendezvous with you. If fishing is your thing, hire a fishing guide to see what you can catch — bonefish in the flats, big game in the deep blue sea or something in between.

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reparation Is Key As “The Charter Capital of the World,” the BVI is extremely well set up to welcome marine tourism. The large grocery stores on Tortola, which include RiteWay, One Mart, Bobby’s and Supa Valu, offer delivery to most marinas and charter bases. Tortola also has two large wine and spirits suppliers — TICO and Caribbean Cellars — both of which offer a delivery service. There are bakeries, speciality stores, high-end meat and fish suppliers, laundries, florists, engineers, sailmakers and chandlers, all of whom are well versed in the needs of the charter industry. With a growing movement towards buying local where possible, there are farmers markets selling local vegetables, fruit and meat; and some local farms will deliver to boats outside of market times. The other islands with a year-round population also offer a selection of grocery stores and bakeries for mid-charter top-ups along with water and fuel tank refills. Ice delivery and

Family fun on the water

trash collection are available on land and by some on-theToxins in sunwater delivery screens damage coral and other businesses. marine life, so Pack light for please be conyour sailing trip, scious of what but please bear you are putting in mind that on your skin, as islanders are a it will eventumodest people, ally wash into so be respectful the sea. Mineralof that whilst based sunashore. You screens are a far should cover up safer alternative. your swimsuit with shorts and a T-shirt before going into any shop or place of business. Flip-flops or other footwear are also required. Most bars and restaurants are casual, but again, a certain amount of covering up is necessary and shows appreciation for the local culture. So, what are you waiting for? Grab your passport because your adventure in paradise awaits. Warm waters, balmy breezes, lush landscapes and beautiful beaches are all here to be discovered. Just be warned: Once you’ve taken a sailing vacation in the BVI, nothing else will ever quite live up to it. For more information on crewed charters in the BVI, visit bvicrewedyachts.com to find a list of accredited charter yacht brokers.

Did You Know?

47


ON THE WATER

Voyage Charters

48

The Next Big

Thing by Andrea Milam

If you sailed around the Virgin Islands in the early 1990s, you were probably on a monohull, with catamaran sightings a rarity. Nearly 30 years later, catamarans dominate Sir Francis Drake Channel, and the next big thing is on the horizon and poised to take over the industry. In 2019, Voyage Charters welcomed a new vessel to their BVI fleet. Not only did this catamaran add to the charter company’s offerings, but it is set to completely

revolutionise the charter industry. A hallmark of BVI boating vacations has always been stopping in various ports to pick up ice, fill the water tanks and refuel. The 2019 arrival of the new Voyage 480, Electrified, eliminated the need for this sort of provisioning and allows guests to enjoy the cool comfort of air conditioning and a luxuriously hot shower without the noise of a generator. As the name might suggest, Electrified is an electric-powered charter

V i s i t t he Bri t i sh Virgin Is lands 2020

yacht — the first of its kind in the BVI. Electrified offers the kind of luxury you want from a vacation on the water with the added bonus of feeling good about your choice. It eases the burden of a sailing vacation on the environment, using so little fuel that Voyage Charters doesn’t even include a fuel fee in the price. Renewable power generation and a high-efficiency standby generator mean the boat can be heating water, making ice, chilling food in the fridge and lit up from stem to stern without worrying about how much fuel you’re using. Propeller-generated energy and 16 solar panels take care of the bulk of energy needs, whilst a nearly silent generator fills in the gaps. A week aboard Electrified brings

an already peaceful experience to new depths of tranquillity and relaxation. If Electrified’s busy charter schedule is any indication, Voyage’s three new Voyage 590s are sure to up the ante for environmentally conscious travellers. Set to arrive in the Territory in early 2020, the Voyage 590s will be ready to book the following month. Like their predecessor, the Voyage 590 catamarans will be powered by solar and hydro regeneration, bringing a previously unmatched level of quietude to a BVI charter vacation. Let the winds guide you with a powerful rig and sail plan for exhilarating sailing and easy handling, or in moments of stillness, the twin electric drive motors will propel you forward nearly silently. The Voyage 590s are a great vacation option for


Voyage Charters

family or friends, as six equally sized queen en suite cabins offer plenty of room for everyone. A sumptuously appointed salon and forward-facing galley open onto the foredeck cockpit. Wide, flush side decks make it easy to get around the boat, and an aft watersports platform provides direct ocean access. With close to 30 years in the business, Voyage Charters has pushed the boundaries with its take on the future of BVI chartering. No element of luxury or performance has been compromised to bring the new game-changing vessels to completion. They’re cleaner and greener but just as much fun.

VOYAGE charters British Virgin Islands

Experience a boutique, family operated charter company known for excellent customer service and a fleet of stylish, performance catamarans. VOYAGE now also offers the only electric charter yachts in the Caribbean.

www.VOYAGEcharters.com

VOYAGE reservations: +1 (888) 869 2436 +1 (443) 569 7007 info@VOYAGEcharters.com

Your Vacation. Your Yacht. Your VOYAGE. 49


50

EXPLORING

The Baths National Park


BY J A N E B A K E W E L L

ISLAND HOPPING The resilience of nature in the BVI is truly amazing. Springing back from the blustering unwelcome visitors of 2017, verdant green once again clothes the hills of the four major islands. Lured by the everclear blue waters, the first visitors back after Hurricane Irma were the sailors. Their only requirements were a boat, some sails and maybe a rum punch under a makeshift driftwood and palm thatch bar. Islanders were happy to comply.

51


EXPLORING

A T

s you set out to explore Nature’s Little Secrets, be sure to include a few of these essential experiences on your itinerary.

ortola: The Big Island Tortola is where the adventure begins. This is where most eager visitors enjoy their first taste of BVI hospitality, culture and delicious local food in and around the Islands’ hotels, guesthouses and eclectic eateries. Road Town is the seat of government and financial institutions, but interwoven in this business sector are a highend shopping centre, craft shops, bustling marinas and fascinating historical sites. Shoppers will want to explore the Crafts Alive Village in the centre of town, where local crafts, art and breezy island wear are on colourful display. The Tortola Pier Park houses a consortium of shops featuring big brand names that boast even bigger bargains on jewellery, watches and designer line clothing along with shops offering highquality locally produced goods. History buffs will not want to miss Old Government House Museum and Lower Estate Sugar Works, both containing fascinating historical artefacts. A rental car and a map to the beaches of the north shore await those who want to venture out on their own and capture shots of some spectacular views. Popular beaches include the palm-lined Cane Garden Bay or the more remote Smuggler’s Cove. A must-see on the West End of the island is the Callwood Rum Distillery, an authentic historical site still producing Arundel Cane Rum and offering tours and tastings. Hikers will not want to miss a trip to Sage Mountain National Park. Ascending to just over 1,700 feet, two main trails wind through semi-tropical forests and reward with a panoramic view of Sir Francis Drake Channel. Extreme sports enthusiasts may opt for an exciting scenic zipline experience with Original Virgin Canopy Tours.

V i s i t t he Bri t i sh Virgin Is lands 2020

The BVI Tourist Board

52

Crafts Alive Village

Don’t forget to visit Trellis Bay on the East End Crafts Alive of Tortola, known Village in the as Beef Island. centre of Road Aragorn’s Art Town features Studio is a local local crafts, art gem where you’ll and island wear. find sculptures, pottery and handmade jewellery. Aragorn also hosts the monthly full moon parties, with local bands and the famous moko jumbie stilt walkers, lit up by the blazing fire sculptures at the edge of the sea. Day charters can be arranged from

Did You Know?

Tortola

Tortola to snorkel, dive or just enjoy cruising the other smaller islands, each with its own unique flavour. Pull up to the Willy T, a now-iconic floating pirate ship–style restaurant moored off Norman Island, where the party atmosphere is the buzz of social media.


Just for

KIDS by Andrea Milam

From breathtaking natural wonders to an enchanting undersea world, the British Virgin Islands offers some of the most captivating encounters to delight your little ones, leaving your family with beautiful memories to last a lifetime.   A Natural Stunner A collection of “Nature’s Little Secrets,” this northern Caribbean archipelago is home to one of the most beautiful natural settings in the world — The Baths on Virgin Gorda. This stunning section of shoreline offers the island’s trademark silky white sands and luminescent turquoise waters with an added feature that makes for an extraordinary sight. Smooth granite boulders, some as big as cars or larger, are artfully arranged by the hands of Mother Nature into natural passageways and grottos that can be climbed through and explored. Spending a day immersing yourself in this remarkable geological wonder is a must-do for any family vacation.   20 Feet Below Encourage your children to explore even further with a

snuba excursion. This offers a more in-depth experience than snorkelling without the learning curve that’s involved with scuba diving. After just a 15-minute safety briefing, you can plunge up to 20 feet below whilst you breathe through an easy-touse regulator that’s attached to your air supply floating at the surface. Unleash Your Inner Mermaid Perhaps your children are so enamoured with the Islands’ sea life they’d like to become a sea creature themselves. Make their dreams come true with Mermaid BVI, a program offered by Dive BVI that allows you and your kids to don high-quality FinFun Mermaid Tails. Pose on the shoreline as the waves lap gently at your tail and you flap your fin. This experience inspires wonderment and laughter, and the beautiful photos of your mermaid encounter will bring smiles for years to come.  Boat Days Are the Best Days A day at sea is a must when visiting the BVI. Get out and explore with Aristocat Charters, offering day sails out of Tortola.

Journey to Norman Island and world-class snorkelling at The Indians, Cooper Island and Peter Island, Jost Van Dyke, or The Baths on Virgin Gorda. Aristocat’s 45-foot sailing catamaran, Sugar Rush, offers a stable ride and plenty of shade and seating. With a buffet lunch onboard and an open bar for Mom and Dad, a day at sea with Aristocat Charters will be one of the most joyous experiences of your family vacation. An Insider’s Anegada Anegada, with its far-flung location, sparse population and incredible natural beauty, is a destination well worth exploring. Kelly’s Land and Sea Tours delivers a custom, informative day guided by a kind and adventurous individual who knows all the secret snorkel spots. Kelly will help you track down the Island’s famed flock of flamingos, and he’ll take you to Conch Island, a man-made mound of millions of discarded conch shells just off Anegada’s eastern shore. 

See Shells If Conch Island captures your fancy, check out the North Shore Shell Museum in Tortola. Run by Egbert Donovan, who uses donations collected at the museum to help fund various causes on the island and welcomes local children to help share the Island’s history with visitors, you can feel good about a visit to this Carrot Bay destination. Sate Their Sweet Tooth Finally, if your kids have a sweet tooth to satisfy, head to the candy-coloured home of Yum Yums Candy Store & Ice Cream Parlour in Virgin Gorda. With Belgian chocolates and truffles, lollipops, gummy bears, rock candy, foot-long liquorice sticks and locally made candies and preserves, your children will be wowed by this shop’s collection. Ice cream is the perfect way to cool off on a hot Caribbean day; try Yum Yums’ scoop of the day, made fresh on premises, with scrumptious local flavours like soursop. 

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EXPLORING

Virgin Gorda

Savannah Bay

A fun yet challenging path leads over smooth boulders with rays of sunlight piercing through.”

V

irgin Gorda: A Natural Beauty Many of the Territory’s islands have colourful names with meaningful connections to history. It is said that when Christopher Columbus saw the curvature of Virgin Gorda from the sea, it brought to mind the image of a reclining full-figured woman. Thus, the “Fat Virgin” is known as Virgin Gorda. Although known for its pristine beaches and high-end resorts, some of which are under renovation at this time, there is still much to see and do on this paradise playground. The Baths on the southwestern tip V i s i t t he Bri t i sh Virgin Is lands 2020

of the island is considered one of the BVI’s most popular national parks, with some even lauding these giant boulder formations on the beach as one of the natural wonders of the world. A short taxi ride from the ferry dock at Spanish Town will take you to the top of The Baths, where a brief hike down the steps will bring you to Spring Bay, a beautiful beach with a few kiosk vendors. A fun yet challenging path assisted by rope rails and wood ladders leads over smooth boulders with rays of sunlight piercing through, creating an almost mystical experience. Devil’s Bay on the other side is a half-moon cove with ideal swimming and snorkelling. Known as a romantic spot, many proposals have occurred right at this idyllic location. A rental car will get you to more remote beaches such as Savannah Bay. Not far away on the opposite coast is the historical Copper Mine, which was mined by the British for ore. Abandoned in 1862, it now stands as a stunning stone backdrop on a point overlooking the ocean. Partial ruins of the original smoke stack and engine

house remain, creating a great landscape for photos. Leverick Bay Resort & Marina are as far as you can get on Virgin Gorda by car. The restaurant at Leverick Bay features both laid-back casual and fine-dining experiences with event nights coming alive to the rhythms of local bands. Boats can be rented from the marina to explore the North Sound. An experience not to be missed is the nature tour with Gumption of See It Clear Tours. Captain Gumption, a local and true conservationist, offers his specialised nature tour to Sir Richard Branson’s Necker Island, home to endangered species of birds, monkeys and even giant tortoises. Feeding the lemurs and seeing flocks of flamingos and even rock iguanas up close is a thrill for the whole family. How to Get There Sensation Ferries offers five departures daily from Road Town Ferry Terminal on their flagship cruiser, Dream Star, to Spanish Town; and Speedy’s offers six departures Monday through Thursday, seven departures on Friday, and five departures on Saturday and Sunday. Water taxis can also be chartered for custom destinations. Schedules and advance bookings can be found at sensationferries.com or speedysbvi.com. Road Town Fast Ferry has a large and reliable ferry service that runs daily from Road Town Ferry Dock to Spanish Town, Virgin Gorda. Tickets can be purchased at the dock office, and schedules and information can be found at roadtownfastferry.com


On-board Refreshments Friendly Service

Come and explore paradise with us! Tortola Tortola to to Virgin Virgin Gorda Gorda Journey Journey Time: Time: 25 25 Minutes Minutes Monday Monday to to Friday Friday 6:30am 6:30am // 8:30am 8:30am // 11:45am 11:45am // 4:15pm 4:15pm // 5:30pm 5:30pm Fridays Fridays Only Only 8:00pm 8:00pm

Virgin Virgin Gorda Gorda to to Tortola Tortola Journey Journey Time: Time: 25 25 Minutes Minutes Monday Monday to to Friday Friday 7:30am 7:30am // 9:30am 9:30am // 1:45pm 1:45pm // 4:45pm 4:45pm // 6:00pm 6:00pm Fridays Fridays Only Only 9:00pm 9:00pm

Saturdays Saturdays

Saturdays Saturdays

6:45am 6:45am // 8:30am 8:30am // 11:45am 11:45am // 1:00pm 1:00pm // 4:15pm 4:15pm // 6:15pm 6:15pm

7:30am 7:30am // 9:30am 9:30am // 12:15pm 12:15pm // 2:45pm 2:45pm // 5:45pm 5:45pm // 7:00pm 7:00pm

Sundays Sundays and and Holidays Holidays

Sundays Sundays and and Holidays Holidays

8:30am 8:30am // 11:45am 11:45am // 1:00pm 1:00pm // 5:30pm 5:30pm

9:30am 9:30am // 12:15pm 12:15pm // 2:45pm 2:45pm // 6:00pm 6:00pm

Road Town Ferry Terminal Water Front Drive Road Town, Tortola Road Town +1-284-345-3043 Virgin Gorda +1-284-345-3027 Main Office +1-284-340-2723 Email sales@sensationferries.com FIND US ON


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EXPLORING

White Bay

By day, her pristine palmfringed White Bay is where day trippers flock to soak up the sun and some rum.“

J

ost Van Dyke: Yachting Paradise This island somehow manages to be a sleepy, laid-back destination and a partier’s paradise all in one. By day, her pristine palm-fringed White Bay is where day trippers flock to soak up the sun and some rum, most frequently enjoyed in the form of a Painkiller. This deceptively potent

V i s i t t he Bri t i sh Virgin Is lands 2020

pineapple orange coconut concoction topped with freshly grated nutmeg may have you retreating to a beachfront hammock for a little afternoon snooze. Once the sun sets, glamour and glitz can break out in a moment, especially on New Year’s Eve. The iconic troubadour Foxy is the life of the party as he holds musical court in jeans and a T-shirt, strumming to humorous tunes about politics and life to the joy of all. Foxy’s Tamarind Bar is the main point of attraction in Great Harbour, where the ferry lands. Aside from tasty conch fritters, rotis or a burger from the restaurant, you may want to try Foxy’s Firewater, a light vanilla-flavoured rum brewed locally. Next door for shoppers is the Foxhole Boutique run by Tessa, Foxy’s Aussie-born wife of 40 years. Here you can find a wonderful selection of Foxy-branded gear, gift items and

beachwear. For the adventurous, Foxy’s Tamarind grab a taxi Bar is the from Great main point of Harbour to attraction in Diamond Point. Great Harbour, You will wind where the ferry up and over a lands. hill, to a spot only insiders are privy to — nature’s amazing Bubbly Pool. You can get directions, and possibly a libation or two, at another Foxy franchise — Foxy’s Taboo Restaurant. Foxy’s daughter manages this beachside restaurant with burgers, fries and local specials. Just a short hike leads to rock formations that create an outdoor soaking pool with fresh, exciting wave action that creates an effervescence as it washes through the boulders.

Did You Know?


Jost Van Dyke

Charters can also be arranged from Great Harbour to explore the nearby Sandy and Green Cays, uninhabited tiny islands surrounded by excellent snorkelling sites with colourful reef fish. How to Get There New Horizon Ferry Service runs five times daily from Tortola’s West End temporary terminal to Great Harbour. Tickets are purchased onboard, and ferry schedules are posted at newhorizonferry.com.

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EXPLORING

Anegada

A

Anegada Reef Hotel

Anegada Reef Hotel

V i s i t t he Bri t i sh Virgin Is lands 2020

negada: The Coral Island Unlike the other volcanic formed islands, this unique allcoral atoll stretches 10 miles in length, two-and-a-half miles in width, but only a mere 28 feet in height, earning it the name “Drowned Land.� Located 13 miles from Tortola, a ferry ride takes an hour with just two scheduled departures a day, so plan on this excursion to be a full-day outing. The long Horseshoe Reef that extends from Virgin Gorda protects this island and also contributes to its unique turquoise waters. Landing at Setting Point puts you about midway in the island, and both coasts are well worth exploring. Modes of transportation include Jeep rentals, taxi vans, motorcycles and even bicycles for the hardy. Loblolly Bay is known for its spectacular beach and offshore snorkelling reefs. Be sure to have your snorkel gear with you, as exploring the reef fish is an experience not to be missed. Mouthwatering freshly caught lobster is served in the covered open-air Big Bamboo Restaurant. The Anegada lobster is a spiny, clawless, Caribbean lobster with most of the meat centred in the tail. The lobster is usually halved then baked or foil wrapped and grilled. Heading back across the island toward the northwest shore, a bridge spans a section of salt ponds, which form a coastal wetland at the centre of the island. If your timing is right, the resident pink flamingos may give you a special flash of colour sighting.


The BVI Tourist Board

Anegada Beach Club

Did You Know?

Cow Wreck Beach, named quite literally for a cargo ship carrying cows that wrecked here, is a must-visit on Located 13 miles this side of the island. The Cow Wreck from Tortola, Beach Bar serves tasty local dishes. a ferry ride to Once refreshed, be sure to take in the Anegada takes beauty of the beach with a stroll in an hour with just the sand. For the sports enthusiast, two scheduled head to the Anegada Beach Club, departures where trained experts give lessons and a day. safety tips on the thrilling sport of kite surfing before you head offshore into a sea of colourful kites dancing through the waves. Anegada is also known as a fly fisherman’s paradise. Reservations can be made through the Anegada Reef Hotel for a full- or half-day charter on a small flat bottom boat with a captain to take you casting for the elusive bonefish that populate these waters. How To Get There Road Town Fast Ferry offers comfortable, air-conditioned rides from Road Town Harbour on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The other days of the week are picked up by their smaller vessel, the Anegada Express, which departs from Trellis Bay on the east side of Tortola.

Enjoy the comfort of a high speed catamaran

Counter #4 The only non-stop service to connect Road Town, Tortola BVI and St. Thomas, USVI Road Town, Tortola to Charlotte, Amalie, St. Thomas

Road Town, Tortola to Anegada (via Virgin Gorda)

Monday - Friday • Departs: RT 7am, 10am, 2:30pm • Departs: ST.T 8:30am, 12 noon, 4:15pm

Monday, Wednesday & Friday • Departs: RT 6:45am, 3:30pm • Departs: VG 7:10am • Departs: AN 8:30am, 5pm

Saturday • Departs: RT 7am, 10am, 12 noon, 2:30pm • Departs: ST.T 8:30am, 12 noon, 2:30pm Sunday • Departs: RT 9am, 12 noon, 2:30pm • Departs: ST.T 12 noon, 4:30pm

Counter closes 15 minutes before departure

Tortola (284) 494-2323 or (284) 340-3976 (after hours) St. Thomas (340) 777-2800 or (340) 715-2800 @QuitosGazebo roadtownfastferry.com • Caribbean Maritime Excursion, Inc.

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EXPLORING

British Virgin Islands Tortola 1

Carrie’s Comfort Inn

2

Emile’s Suites

3

Fort Burt Hotel

4

Fort Recovery Beachfront Villas & Suites Heritage Inn

6

Hummingbird House B&B

7

Lambert Beach Resort (Turtle Bay)

8

Lighthouse Villas

9

Maria’s By the Sea

10

Myett’s Garden Inn

11

Nanny Cay Hotel

12

Quito’s Luxury Inn

13

Rhymer’s Beach Hotel

14

Sebastian’s on the Beach

15

Stanley’s Welcome Villas

16

Sugar Mill Hotel

17

The Moorings Mariner Inn Hotel

18

Treasure Isle Hotel

19

Village Cay Hotel and Marina

1

Huntu Ghu L E Diamond J.R. O’Nea Botanic Gard

Long Bay

16

Smuggler’s Belmont Cove Pond

Soper’s Hole Little Thatch

Freshwater West End Pond

West End Ferry Terminal

Hodge

Cart Path

Queen Eliza Park

Chalwell

Shannon

Mt, Fertile

Little Carrot Bay Apple Bay 14

Meyers

Sage Mountain National Park Pockwood Pond Coxheath

Nibbs

Duffs Bottom

Pleasant Valley

Sea Cow’s Bay

Nanny Ca 11

Fort Recovery

S

Hotels & Resorts

Ferry Docks Roads

V i s i t t he Bri t i sh Virgin Is lands 2020

2

3

Miles

Ferry Routes

h

Beaches

Big

National Parks

1

a

Ch

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12

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4

Frenchman’s Cay

Road Ferry

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10 12 13

Great Carrot Bay

Dawson

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8

Cane Garden Bay 5

Great Thatch Island

. Virg

Anderson

Martin 15

West End–Jost Van Dyke

–U.S st End

Little Bay Mount Healthy Spooner National Park T

Brewer’s Bay

5

lands

Lormer Bay

Shark Shark Bay Bay National Park


r

Guana Island

Tower Point

Tom Point Bigalow Beach

White Bay

Lee Bay Great Camanoe

Monkey Point

d Town Terminal

d

Fat Hog’s Bay

Kingstown Fish Bay

Paraquita Whelk Bay Point

Trellis Bay

Well Bay

Beef Island

Buck Hodge’s Island Creek

To rto la –A ne ga da in

rg Vi

n–

w To

or G

Anegada

da

ds

n Islan

l ne an

3

.S. Virig

ay

Jean Hill

oa R

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9

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Fisher Slaney

Tortola Pier Park

2

Nottingham

Free Bottom

17

19

Little Dix Bay

Long Look

Long Bay

Beef Isla nd–Virgin Gorda

l

6 Pasea Road Town

Shepherd Josiah’s Bay Hill Old Parham East Plantation Plantation Town End

anne

abeth II k

Lower Hope Upper Hope

Johnson Ghut

Lloyds

d Ch Islan

al dens

18

Cooten Bay

7

a egad d–An n a l s I Beef

Low Bay

Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport

Beef

ums ut Lower Estate

Josiah’s Bay

Long Trench

Fahie Hill

Little Camanoe

Little Bay Lambert Bay

Rouges Copper Trunk Bay Bay Bay

Turnbull Hill

s m

Tortola

Muskmelon Bay

To/From Beef Island To/From Tortola

Ferry Routes and Ports of Entry Ferry Routes

To/From Anegada

Ports of Entry

nd Isla an orm y–N err ht F

Great Tobago

Guana Island Jost Van Dyke

Great Camanoe Scrub Island

Tortola

Dog Islands

Necker Island

Virgin Gorda

Fallen Jerusalem Round Rock

To/From U.S. Virgin Islands

Little Thatch

Frenchman’s Cay

Ginger Island Cooper Island Salt Island Peter Island

Norman Island

(Not to scale)

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EXPLORING

Virgin Gorda

Moskito Island

11 Prickly Pear Island National Park Leverick Bay

Bakers Bay

Nail Bay

Saba Rock Bitter End

5

Nail Bay Sugar Mill Ruins

Eustatia Island

Robins Bay

2

Mahoe Bay

Joe Bay

Gorda Peak National Park

7

South Sound Little Bay

Pond Bay Savannah Bay

Little Dix Bay 9 St. Thomas Bay Virgin Gord a–Beef Isla nd own T d a o R – rda ds Virgin Go Islan irgin .S. V

–U

orda

in G Virg

3

Little Fort National Park

The Baths

1

Coppermine National Park

Virgin Gorda

Bitter End Yacht Club

3

Fischer’s Cove Hotel

4

Gordian Terrace

5

Leverick Bay Resort & Marina

6

M&M Apartment Suites

7

Mango Bay Resort

8

Oil Nut Bay

9

Rosewood Little

10

Virgin Gorda Village Hotel

Outer Islands

Hotels & Resorts

13 Necker Island

13

Beaches

Guana Island

Ferry Docks

17 Scrub Island

Eustatia Island Saba Rock Virgin Gorda

12 16

Tortola

Roads

11 15

Ferry Routes

Cooper Island

Peter Island

1

2

Dix Bay

National Parks

0

Bayview Vacation Apartments

Devil’s Bay National Park

Devil’s Bay

12

Virgin Gorda

Virgin Gorda Airport

Spring Bay National Park

Spring Bay

Upper Bens Bay

Lower Bens Bay

6

Spanish Town

Valley Trunk Bay

Upper Soldier Bay

10 Handsome Bay

1

Deep Bay

Brechers Bay

4 Tetor Bay

8

2

Miles

V i s i t t he Bri t i sh Virgin Is lands 2020

(Not to scale)

Outer Islands 11

Cooper Island

12

Eustatia Island

13

Guana Island

14

Necker Island

15

Peter Island Resort

16

Saba Rock Resort

17

Scrub Island Resort,

Beach Club

Spa & Marina


Jost Van Dyke

Jost Van Dyke

Little Jost Van Dyke

Long Bay

Belle Vue Great Harbour

White Bay

1

Little Harbour

1

Jost Van Dyke White Bay Villas

0

1

Ruffling Point

Sandy Spit

Sandy Cay

Jost Van Dyke–West End

2

3

Diamond Cay National Park

Green Cay

Miles

Cow Wreck Bay

1

Bones Bight

Windlass Bight

Anegada

Loblolly Bay

West End Capt. Auguste George Airport 4

Pomato Point

The Settlement

2 Settling Point

Anegada

Anegada Anegada–Tortola

0

1

2

Miles

1

Anegada Beach Club

2

Anegada Reef Hotel

3

Ann’s Guest Houses

4

Neptune’s Treasure Hotel

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ADVENTURES ON LAND

BY C L I V E P E T R O V I C

LANDLUBBERS

UNITE Whilst the sea is the major attraction in the British Virgin Islands, there is plenty to see and do on land for the more terrestrially inclined. V i s i t t he Bri t i sh Virgin Is lands 2020


Mt. Healthy National Park

65


ADVENTURES ON LAND

The BVI Tourist Board

66

Sage Mountain National Park

E

xploring on Foot There’s something rejuvenating about visiting the BVI, spending time outdoors and enjoying the natural environment. One of the most popular ways to breathe in the clean, fresh air is by hiking, whether trekking arduous mountain trails or just strolling along a country lane enjoying the view. There are marked trails in the national parks and road maps of the inhabited islands designed especially for visitors, so

V i s i t t he Bri t i sh Virgin Is lands 2020

be sure to pick up a copy of the British Virgin Islands Hiking Guide and choose the walk that best suits your fitness level and interest. The guide features trails and tales that are sure to make your hike memorable. All inhabited islands have excellent hiking trails with spectacular views and plenty of photo opportunities. Sage Mountain National Park on Tortola and Gorda Peak National Park on Virgin Gorda offer well-marked trails, good interpretive signage and spectacular island views. To escape from civilisation, try walking the roads on Jost Van Dyke or Anegada. You’ll find yourself away from the crowds and experience a slice of island life the way it used to be. Travelling by foot is the best way to meet locals and enjoy the hospitality for which the islands are known. Country folk are always friendly and helpful to visitors — and you just might make a new friend and gain a unique perspective on island history and culture. A stroll through town provides a perfect blend of nature, culture, traditional architecture and modern conveniences. There is almost always an interesting event taking place, so keep your camera handy and enjoy the many ways to experience island life.

B

y Two Wheels or by Four Cycling is popular in the BVI, and there are regular races and tours on the larger islands. Bicycles are


INSIDER TIP:

When walking the trails or along the roads, be sure to wear plenty of sunscreen and sun protection. Hats and sunglasses are recommended. Wear comfortable shoes and prepare for occasional showers. No matter where you walk, there will be Instagram photo ops galore.

available for rent for those who want to stick to main roads and cover more distance. Many hotels and guesthouses also offer bicycles for their guests to use. Given the steep terrain on Tortola and Virgin Gorda, bike riding should be restricted to coastal flat areas unless you are an experienced cyclist and fit. For those who enjoy cycling but would like to ease the effort a bit, there are electric bikes available at Tortola Pier Park. Pedego BVI rents electric bicycles as an easier way to explore Road Town and surrounding areas. For safety and comfort, you should stick to flat roads near the coast. Scooter rentals are available in several locations and offer a good way to explore the islands without undue physical exertion. Be sure to wear a helmet and keep to the left. A more comfortable and perhaps more traditional way to get around is car transport. Taxi tours are popular because you won’t get lost and the drivers are great tour guides with vast local knowledge, including where to stop for the best refreshing drinks. For visitors who prefer to do their own thing, car rentals are a good way to explore the island on your own schedule. There is a lot to see and do in the BVI, so renting a car can be a big help, whether it’s for sightseeing, going out for dinner or just getting from point A to point B. A good selection of vehicles may be rented from Hertz, Dollar or Thrifty.

L

and-Based Attractions For the more adventurous, ziplining is available at The Original Virgin Canopy Tour on Tortola. There are seven different lines to zip you through the treetops, offering a bird’s-eye view of the

Sage Mountain National Park

island. Experienced staff help ensure your comfort, sometimes helping to ease the anxiety of those new to such an adventure. Group tours are popular and can be scheduled ahead of time. Though temporarily suspended following the 2017 hurricanes, horseback riding may once again be arranged through Countryside Adventures at Diamond Estate Farm on Tortola. Instruction, pony rides for children and private excursions can be organised for families and groups. The farm also has animals that are always a big hit with the kids.

B

looming Beauty For a dose of history infused with flowers and birds, a stroll through the streets of Road Town is a rewarding experience. The J.R. O’Neal Botanic Gardens is a quiet sanctuary in the middle of town and a great place to meet locals who will gladly share their knowledge of nature and island history. It’s a good place to get acquainted with the island flora before venturing out on your own. The gardens are still under repair from the hurricanes, but they’re definitely worth a visit.

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ECOTOURISM

BY C L I V E P E T R O V I C

The BVI Tourist Board

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NURTURING NATURE The British Virgin Islands has been blessed by Mother Nature with picture-perfect scenery and an array of natural wonders.

T

he BVI’s tagline, “Nature’s Little Secrets,” represents the essence of the island experience. The BVI does not boast casinos, megaresorts with high-rise hotels or giant shopping centres. It has always been about the escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. The lure has been the tranquillity of a quiet bay, a secluded beach or a cosy little

V i s i t t he Bri t i sh Virgin Is lands 2020

bar offering spectacular sunsets. It has always been about nature. Visitors to the Territory have enjoyed contact with the environment and natureoriented activities long before ecotourism became popular, and interacting with nature remains the primary attraction of the BVI. Whether hiking on land or sailing the sea, activities related to the environment continue to draw visitors and enrich their stay.

C

heck Out the Cays Many islands, especially the more isolated ones, offer excursions that take advantage of unique locations and habitats. They mix both land and underwater adventures that often highlight conservation research and commitment to preserving the natural wonders. Often, such adventures are

connected with hotels and resorts on quiet, remote islands. Guana Island offers a small hotel and resort for a limited number of visitors who seek solitude and an escape from the hectic modern life. The entire island is a wildlife sanctuary with trails to remote corners where only birds and flowers are visible. It offers seclusion at its best. Wildlife ecotours can be scheduled on Sir Richard Branson’s Necker Island. Wildlife guide Gumption can show you the flamingos, scarlet ibis, lemurs, endangered rock iguanas and much more. Walking trails for the more fit pass through coastal scrublands full of rare cacti and nesting seabirds during spring and summer. Best known for its world-famous wetlands, Anegada is a nature lover’s paradise. Home to the elusive endangered rock iguanas, the island is as far off the


C

onservation-Minded Expeditions Kayaking is a great way to explore shallow coastal habitats without disturbing the wildlife. Kayak tours can be arranged on most inhabited islands. GroundSea Adventures specialises in nature tours to the remote mangrove wetlands on Beef Island. Catering to groups of 12 or fewer, experienced guides will lead you to the shallows and introduce you to marine creatures you have only read about. In addition to showing you the native wildlife, your guides will explain the importance of protecting vulnerable coastal environments, a message that’s an important part of every tour. For a real conservation experience, join scientists from the Association of Reef Keepers on their sea turtle tagging project. To help fund this vital research, a limited number of guests can participate in the efforts to save these magnificent marine animals. Cruising the shallow waters, guests help capture the turtles that are then measured, tagged and released. The research helps gather data to better manage turtle populations and hopefully prevent their demise. There are few experiences anywhere that offer visitors the chance to participate in scientific research aimed at saving endangered species. Holding a rare sea turtle whilst scientists measure and tag them is an adventure that will not be forgotten.

Geoffrey Brooks

A. Kane

beaten track as you could imagine. Tours can be organised to see the flamingo flocks and other wildlife in the ponds. Boat tours to the offshore conch mounds offer views of the extensive coastal mangrove forests full of pelicans, egrets and frigate birds.

Saving the SLOOPS by Clive Petrovic

Saving the maritime history of the BVI has been the

yachts, the five sloops are all that

consuming passion of Geoffrey

time history of the BVI.

Brooks for the past two decades.

remain of the rich traditional mariThe Virgin Islands Sloop

He taught Caribbean history at

Restoration Project is housed at

the local community college for

and supported by the Nanny Cay

16 years, and now as the project

Resort and Marina. Repair and

manager of the Virgin Islands

rebuilding take place in the open,

Sloop Foundation, Brooks guides

or under a tent, where anyone can

his team of student apprentices

stop and view the work. A small

through all the stages of sloop

shelter houses displays that explain

restoration. Hailing from North

the work under way and the histor-

Carolina, he has been interested

ical significance. In time, the goal

in traditional island vessels for

is to return these vessels to the

nearly 20 years.

proud tradition they once enjoyed

Whilst Brooks has always been

sailing the seas, instructing stu-

interested in sloop preservation,

dents and providing visitors with a

his work took on a new urgency

historical maritime experience.

following the 2017 hurricanes. All

With this in mind, Brooks

the existing sloops were sunk,

directs his students and volunteers

destroyed or damaged by the

in the skills of wooden boat repair.

storms. Whilst some boats faded

His dedication, skills and enthu-

into memory, five were rescued

siasm are infectious and shared

from oblivion. Raised from the

with the groups of schoolchildren

depths of the lagoon or salvaged

and adults who visit the site and

from the mass of twisted broken

help work on the boats.


Trèfle Designs

70 SHOPPING


BY A N D R E A M I L A M

TREASURE TROVE In the BVI, shopping isn’t just a simple exchange; it’s a cultural interchange that’s part of experiencing the Islands.

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72

SHOPPING

Tortola Pier Park

Did You Know? Tortola Pier Park is home to more than 70 businesses that were carefully selected to provide the best experiences in shopping, dining and other services.

S

hopping in the British Virgin Islands offers more than just a little retail therapy. It’s an immersive experience that puts you in touch with architecture that ranges in style from Colonial to Caribbean and allows you to interact with the friendly shopkeepers and staff that are happy to help you find the perfect gift or memento. Here’s an insider’s guide to some of the best shopping experiences. Stocking Up on Splendour One of your first shopping stops in the BVI should be for jewellery, and rightfully so, since the Islands are known for combining fantastic selection with favourable pricing. With locations up and down the Caribbean chain and in Mexico and the United States it’s safe to say that Diamonds International’s staying power is a direct result of the store’s quality luxury jewellery, the sourcing of which is still overseen by the Gemological Institute of America graduates who founded the company in St. Thomas more than 30 years ago.

V i s i t t he Bri t i sh Virgin Is lands 2020

Diamonds International’s tanzanite and diamonds are found at the largest mines in the world, allowing the renowned jewellery store to offer high-quality pieces at the best possible value. Conveniently located in the capital of Road Town, Diamonds International’s knowledgeable staff can guide you to the piece of jewellery you’ve been dreaming of. A.H. Riise offers the unique combination of a long and storied history with one of the most modern status symbols — the Rolex timepiece. The company got its start in 1843 when the Danish government — which owned St. Thomas at that time — gave Albert Heinrich Riise a special concession to produce spirits, as well as to serve as the island’s only pharmacist. Over time the company expanded to offer apparel, fragrances and, of course, exquisite Rolex watches. You can buy new flat-out, trade in your timepiece for a new one or acquire a pre-owned Rolex. For its part, House of Luxury in the Tortola Pier Park is a family-owned business where every item on the shelves is carefully considered by husband and wife team Sanjay and Veera Surtani. With nearly three decades of experience in the jewellery industry, Sanjay and Veera have learned to shift their offerings to meet modern demands, so you know you’ll find on-trend watches and jewellery in the boutique’s gleaming display cases. From high-end handbags to silver and yellow and white gold, House of Luxury’s offerings range from budget-friendly to splurge-worthy. Their in-house jeweller makes a popular BVI bangle that will help you remember your time on the island, or you can opt to have your name or initials made into a customised pendant. Get into the Spirit The name of this Tortola Pier Park shop — That’s the Spirit! — hints at the products they sell, but it’s also a nod to the joyful, welcoming staff who greet their customers like long-time friends. The shop carries wines, spirits and local rum; but even those who don’t imbibe will find something they like here as they browse the selection of cigars, perfumery, local artwork, flowers and antique items, amongst other options. This duty-free


Vanterpool Pharmacy a true one-stop shop for your essentials whist visiting the BVI.

shop’s rich wood shelves set a cosy, homey tone; and the sales staff’s unmatched energy will have you wanting to peruse at That’s the Spirit! again and again. A Spot for Staples Perusing the shelves at a local pharmacy offers a unique window on a small slice of the community’s life — and it also solves practical concerns, such as stocking up when you leave your shampoo at home, running out of sunscreen or needing to fill a prescription. So if these day-to-day

needs pop up, be sure to head to Vanterpool Pharmacy, an island institution that’s been serving the community for more than 40 years. This second-generation, familyowned business is centrally located in Road Town and is known for its friendly service and high-quality products. Beyond toiletries and medicines — both over-the-counter and prescription — you’ll find herbal supplements, health and beauty products, toys, household items, greeting cards and more. Above the pharmacy, you can even shop for furniture at Hom Home Essentials, making

One-Stop Shopping Whilst individual shops are a great way to bring home local treasures and soak up the Islands’ vibe, you also may need a bigger array of options. In that case, the Cyril B. Romney Tortola Pier Park is a multifaceted facility infused with cultural elements and designed with the splendour and grandeur one would expect to find in the BVI. Old World Colonial architecture is refined to meet the Islands’ modern-day tempo, whilst muted colours allow the picturesque surrounding harbour to stand proudly on display. This new facility is home to more than 70 businesses that were carefully selected to provide the best experiences in shopping, dining and various convenient services, including health care, banking, hair care, car and bike rentals and telecommunications. The park also features stunning locations to host outdoor entertainment and events. With more than 15 unique restaurants and nearly 30 shopping options, Tortola Pier Park’s family-friendly locale is ideal for everyone to enjoy.

TOBACCO • SPIRITS • ARTWORK • PERFUMERY

DUTY FREE! TORTOLA PIER PARK, ROAD TOWN +1 284-494-1000 • @THATSTHESPIRITVI 73


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SHOPPING

Authentically

BVI by Andrea Milam

Skip stocking up on generic stuff in favour of homegrown island goodies.

Take the time to seek out a locally made reminder of your vacation and you’ll experience a deeper understanding of your chosen destination and a great appreciation of the items you purchase to bring home. The British Virgin Islands is home to many who express themselves in creative ways, and shopping local here is not just fun but important: Every dollar spent in the BVI helps business owners rebound after the devastating 2017 hurricane season.

Artistic Tees Those who truly know and love the BVI can spot an Aragorn T-shirt from a mile away. The artist’s unique lifestyle-printed shirts are made with etchings for a distinct style. Shopping for an Aragorn creation is as entertaining as the artist’s designs — all you have to do is look for Aragorn’s floating shop. Every morning, he loads up an inflatable boat with samples of his wares and floats between Trellis Bay and Marina Cay. Call to him, and he’ll come aboard your ves-

Callwood Rum Distillery

sel and sell you his products on the spot. If you’d prefer a more grounded shopping experience, head to Aragorn’s beachside shop at Trellis Bay, where you’ll find handmade jewellery, carvings, sculptures, dolls and so much more.

Go with Gin Whilst rum is the typical spirit of choice in much of the Caribbean, in BVI you should try some of its prize-winning gin. BVI Gin, made by the Little Bay Distilling Company in small batches in a copper column still, won The Gin Guide’s Best in the Americas 2019 award. You can find it at That’s the Spirit! at the Tortola Pier Park.

The Spirit of History If rum is your preference, head to the other end of the island, to Cane Garden Bay, where a step back in history pairs perfectly with

V i s i t t he Bri t i sh Virgin Is lands 2020

rum samplings at Callwood Rum Distillery. This sugarcane plantation and distillery has been around for an estimated 400 years and is still operated by the Callwood family today. The stonework walls ooze history, and you won’t want to miss their four samples for a dollar deal.

Farms in the heart of Road Town. Try a dish from the ever-changing menu that revolves around the ingredients that can be sourced fresh and locally each day and be sure to pick up some of Lady Sarah’s Farms jams, jellies, syrups, pepper sauces and speciality drinks to bring home with you.

A Crafting Collective

For the Fashionistas

In the main port of Road Town, you’ll find Crafts Alive Village in a lovely waterfront setting. At this sweet little collection of vibrant-hued Caribbean-style shops, you can sip on a locally made smoothie whilst checking out the handmade dolls, seashell Christmas ornaments, dresses, totes, T-shirts and original art, amongst other items.

Made with Local Love If you work up an appetite whilst shopping, be sure to stop at Lady Sarah’s

Picking up a swimsuit, tote, pair of sandals or piece of clothing made by Trèfle is a decision that will not only make you feel good but will make you look outstanding. Started by Kristin Frazer, who was born and raised in Tortola, this fashion-forward line is carried at retailers throughout the BVI and even in the United States and Jamaica. With Trèfle gaining international attention, be sure to pick up a piece from this line and be on the forefront of fashion trends.


d o n’ t j u s t g o t o t h e

P L AC E S yo u love , re p re s e n t t h e m .

AVA I L A B L E AT

SHOP caribbean exclusives + seaside favorites

Tortola Pier Park, Roadtown, Tortola | +1 284 443 3030 sales@houseofluxurybvi.com

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76

DINING & NIGHTLIFE

BY C A R O L M . B A R E U T H E R , R D

DELECTABLE DELIGHTS

The BVI Tourist Board

The BVI offers a wide variety of dining and nightly entertainment, so tempt your taste buds with Caribbean and international cuisine and party after dark with iconic cocktails and lively tunes.


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DINING & NIGHTLIFE

I

magine yourself sitting under

experience a tranquil night

clear skies, enjoying a cool

on the patio or inside the air-

ocean breeze and listening to

conditioned dining room.

the hushed whisper of waves

For an even more magical

nearby. You’re sipping a glass

experience, head upstairs and

of wine or trying a new craft

visit the Dragonfly Lounge,

cocktail like Sesame Aku Aku or

featuring inventive cocktails

Chilli Paloma, all whilst feasting

and snacks. This is a great

on contemporary cuisine creat-

place to “lime,” meet up with

ed with internationally sourced

friends, take a break from

ingredients and local produce.

sightseeing or simply wait for

This is what you’ll find at the

your ferry. At the Dragonfly

Dove Restaurant, nestled in a

Lounge, treat yourself to happy

historic West Indian cottage in

hour — make sure to ask about

Road Town, Tortola.

the cocktail of the week — and

The Dove restaurant offers

V i s i t t he Bri t i sh Virgin Is lands 2020

the Sriracha Battered Fish Bites

experience where you can

or the Charcuterie Platter.

partake in a full meal with their

Make your visit special by spending an evening at the

small plates to accompany an

Dove Restaurant or Dragonfly

array of cocktails made with

Lounge, where the staff is

homegrown herbs and syrups. If

dedicated to ensuring you

wine is your preference, choose

leave with good memories and

from an extensive wine list and

a satisfied palate.

RESERVATIONS: +1 (284) 494 0313

TORTOLA, BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS

seasonal menu or delight in

67 MAIN STREET, ROAD TOWN

WWW.DOVE-RESTAURANT.COM

RESERVATIONS: +1 (284) 494 0313

OPEN MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY

LOCAL CUISINE WITH A MODERN TWIST

their artful bar snacks, such as

an exquisite a la carte dining


LOCATED ON THE BEACH OF VIRGIN GORDA, A SHORT RIDE FROM THE FERRY DOCK

OPEN TUESDAY TO SUNDAY

LOCATED IN FORT POINT, SPANISH TOWN, VIRGIN GORDA SEE WEBSITE FOR DETAILS & OPENING TIMES

WWW.COCOMAYARESTAURANT.COM | 284-495-6344


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DINING & NIGHTLIFE

V i s i t t he Bri t i sh Virgin Is lands 2020


Quito’s Gazebo

100

REAL ESTATE

BY C H R I S S M I T H

Sol y Sombra

Sol y Sombra

If you’re dreaming of living in the Caribbean or are considering investing in paradise, the British Virgin Islands offers plenty of options for a permanent vacation.

101

STAY CONNECTED View the digital edition of this publication online at bviccha.org and download the new Visit the British Virgin Islands app to have the latest information about what to see and do at your fingertips.

T

here’s no one word, phrase or sentence that accurately, or most appetizingly, describes the cuisine of the British Virgin Islands. Instead, there’s a wonderful story that starts many millennia ago when the Islands’ rich volcanic soil nurtured the growth of native fruits and vegetables such as guava and peppers. The ancient Amerindians proved excellent farmers and fishermen, adding cassava, sweet potato and pumpkin along with conch, whelks and lobster to the indigenous diet. Later, European explorers brought salted fish and cornmeal from ships’ stores as well as

produce like mangoes, eggplant and breadfruit from other tropical ports. The magic that transformed these modest foods into mouthwatering fare came via the cooking methods brought by the Islands’ peoples. Perhaps the most significant influence, and one that remains a signature today, is that of the Africans. In fact, the BVI’s popular side of fungi, a dish of polenta-like cornmeal flecked with okra, traces its roots to West African fufu. Today, it is fungi, along with a fresh whole fish, either steamed or pan fried and smothered in a Creole sauce, that is the BVI’s national dish of fish and fungi. More recently, Chinese and East Indian immigrants have taken a turn in stirring this

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DINING & NIGHTLIFE

It’s the ability to take your taste buds on a tour of the world all within this British Territory that makes the cuisine scene in the BVI so special.”

Hendo’s Hideout

melting pot cuisine. Rice, native to China, is a staple of peas and rice. Curries, as well as a flatbread called roti, claim Indian origins. There’s an American vibe here, too. In fact, it was a restaurant in Road Town that proved the inspiration for singer Jimmy Buffett’s Caribbean quintessential tune, “Cheeseburger in Paradise.” Full circle, ingredients and culinary skills combined, it’s the ability to take your taste buds on a tour of the world all within this British Territory that makes the cuisine scene in the BVI so special. Restaurants offer selections inspired by Asia, the United States, Europe, France, India, Italy, Latin America, Spain, the West Indies and more. Beyond this, you’ll find everything from beachfront to mountaintop dining, romantic settings for two to family-friendly eateries with children’s menus, and carnivore to pescatarian and even vegan offerings. No question, the BVI definitely offers a garden of good eating.

T

ORTOLA ROAD TOWN. The Territory’s capital is an epicentre of activity. Find plenty of dining options such as the Dove Restaurant. Crystal and china on white-tablecloth tables illuminated by candles and chandeliers make for an elegant experience in this renovated West Indian cottage located on Main Street. Start upstairs in The Dragonfly Lounge, where fresh herbs and house-made syrups are the base of craft cocktails. Downstairs, the menu spans from a pulled pork bánh mì roll at lunch to harissa-crusted halibut at dinner. Less than a mile away, enjoy the yachting vibe at Village Cay Hotel and Marina’s Dockside Bar & Grill. The open-air, waterfront eatery serves a full English breakfast of eggs, hash browns, bacon, sausage, mushrooms and tomatoes along with burgers, sandwiches and stir-fries for lunch, and steaks, ribs and chops at dinner. Sushi Fridays, Sunday brunch and separate pizza and children’s menus mean there’s something for everyone.

V i s i t t he Bri t i sh Virgin Is lands 2020


O

the kitchen began as

November 2018, earning rave

a young child growing

reviews from the community.

up in Barbados, when he would

Today, the most popular menu

watch his mother, a cottage

item is Omar’s chicken tikka masa-

industry pastry chef, create

la curry with basmati rice, and

delicious desserts. Rather than

his personal favourite is the lamb

follow in her sweet footsteps,

vindaloo with paratha bread and

though, Omar’s passion for

a cup of chai tea. More traditional

spicy food guided his restau-

offerings like burgers and pizza

rant career. He moved to the

are also on the menu.

mar Hurst’s interest in

BVI at 22 and was promoted

Omar says the BVI is one of

to restaurant manager for two

the most beautiful places he’s ever

of the Islands’ most reputable

seen, a true accolade from some-

establishments.

one born in St. Vincent and raised

“Omar’s Fusion is personal

A FUSION OF FLAVOURS

Omar’s Fusion opened in

in Barbados. Soper’s Hole Wharf

to me,” he says. “I can remem-

& Marina, where Omar’s Fusion is

ber the first time I had fish

located, is well worth the visit. “It’s

korma with paratha; I was fas-

a shopping and dining destina-

cinated. The aroma and taste

tion with the best dockage on the

were completely different

island, the clearest water and the

from anything I’ve ever had. It

most scenic view,” he says. “One

was at that pivotal moment I

of the things I enjoy is being on

knew I had to share this expe-

the water in my fishing boat. It’s

rience with my customers.”

my most tranquil ‘me time.’”

LUNCH: 11AM - 4PM DINNER: 6PM - 9:30PM

HAPPY

HOUR 4PM - 6:30PM SOPERS HOLE WEST END, TORTOLA

WWW

284 345 4771 omar@omarscafebvi.com www.omarfusion.com 83


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DINING & NIGHTLIFE

WEST END. In the West End, there’s Soper’s Hole, where you can grab a bite of East meets West cuisine at Omar’s Fusion, located just feet from the water’s edge on Frenchman’s Cay at Soper’s Hole Marina. Sit inside or enjoy the outdoors at red umbrella–topped picnic tables and fork into favourites like tandoori chicken, prawn curry and mango kulfi, the latter being a wonderfully refreshing mango flavoured homemade ice cream. WATERFRONT DINING. The melodic sounds of the sea are never far away from most restaurants in the BVI. D’CoalPot BVI is one place you can dip your toes into the sand and surf or simply enjoy the close-up view of the Atlantic east of Apple Bay. The sea features prominently on the menu. There’s conch fritters, curry-crusted snapper and grilled mojito-marinated tuna. D’CoalPot is best known for its roti, a house-made wrap filled with curried meat, poultry or seafood and served with mango and lime chutney.

D’CoalPot BVI

Village Cay Marina in Tortola provides sailors a picturesque shoreside getaway. Road Town, Tortola Phone: (284) 494-2771 Email: info@villagecaybvi.com Web: villagecaybvi.com

Conveniently berth your vessel at Village Cay BVI and enjoy staying close to your boat. Best Price Guaranteed! Contact us today to book a room.

V i s i t t he Bri t i sh Virgin Is lands 2020


local SPOTLIGHT BANANAKEET CAFÉ: MEAL WITH A VIEW With a bird’s-eye view of several seasurrounded islands and a long-time chef nicknamed “Spice,” there’s no doubt a meal at BananaKeet Café is going to be something special. The open-air restaurant, set 400 feet above sea level on Windy Hill, adjoins the seven 1- and 2-bedroom guest rooms

well as our famous churrasco beef

lamb or chicken, is a favourite for

at Heritage Inn. It’s the perfect spot

topped with chimichurri sauce. Every

Sunday brunch, as are traditional dishes

for a sundowner happy hour, splendid

Wednesday is a pad thai special, and

like eggs Benedict and French toast.

dinner and Sunday brunch.

Fridays feature a lobster grill. For

There’s live music on the

starters, people come here for the

BananaKeet Café menu, too. Reuben

international flavours,” says Owner and

sake-steamed green lip mussels. For

Chinnery and Orin Hodge, both

Manager Desiree Hill. “We’re known

dessert, everyone raves about our

well-known local guitarists and BVI

for our herb-encrusted rack of lamb,

homemade banana bread.”

natives, play on Fridays and Sundays,

“Our menu is full of Caribbean and

served with a fresh mint sauce, as

Roti, a wrap-style bread filled with

respectively.

Bananakeet Cafe Windy Hill Carrot Bay Totorla BVI (284) 494-5842 www.heritageinn.vg Open Daily 4:00 pm - 9:00 pm Happy Hour 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm Dinner reservations highly recommended

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DINING & NIGHTLIFE

HOMEGROWN FLAVOURS

I

t should come as no surprise that in a Caribbean archipelago like the British Virgin Islands, seafood is prevalent on most restaurant menus. Born and raised on Tortola, Chef Kenneth Molyneaux brings his love of fresh seafood to Tropical Fusion’s offerings. “I love working with the freshest ingredients, period,” says Kenneth. “Fresh fish, conch, whelk, lobster, fruits and local herbs and spices. “When it’s in season, my personal favourite is lobster — fresh, mouthwatering, tender and flavourful, prepared right at Tropical Fusion by yours truly.” Kenneth’s passion for his craft recently earned him the title

of Chef of the Year at the 2017 Taste of the Caribbean competition. Winning the award only further inspired Kenneth to continue to hone his skills in the kitchen and build upon a love for cooking that was originally inspired by his mother. “It was always a thrilling experience to have all my senses sparking at the same time — smelling the herbs and spices, seeing the colours of the rainbow, hearing a sizzling pot, feeling the textures of different ingredients, and, of course, tasting the food,” Kenneth says of his early years spending time with his mother in their home kitchen. “But the

key factor was the way food brought family and friends together.” On the menu, you’ll find delicious local specialities like stewed whelks, stewed conch and Creole lobster, all part of Kenneth’s efforts to keep his beloved culture alive. “It’s important for me to keep the BVI’s food culture

Long Bay, Tortola (284) 346-3551, (284) 495-3435 www.tropicalfusionbvi.com tropicalfusionbvi@gmail.com V i s i t t he Bri t i sh Virgin Is lands 2020

alive by showcasing it in my cooking style and by making myself available to teach, train or speak in educational forums when requested,” says the chef. Be sure to sample the local flavour at Tropical Fusion, made with love by a chef who’s proud to share his heritage and served up by friendly staff in a beautiful beachfront setting.

#14 of 162

places to eat in Tortola


You’ll find everything from beachfront to mountain top dining, romantic settings for two to familyfriendly eateries with children’s menus.”

DINNER SERVED FROM 5 PM DAILY, 7 DAYS A WEEK Weekend lunches Saturday - Sunday starting at noon

FOR RESERVATIONS CALL: 284-545-6510

The seaside setting is also superb at the Tropical Fusion Beach Bar & Grill in Long Bay. Owner and award-winning chef Kenneth Molyneaux grew up just behind this mile-long white-sand beach. Molyneaux’s restaurant offers elegant white-tablecloth dining set among this natural beauty and a menu that combines the best of Caribbean and world cuisine. SUNSET VIEWS. If you’re looking for spectacular sunset views, head to Cane Garden Bay on the Island’s north shore. Come early and spend the day at the palm-fringed, eaterylined beach popularised in Jimmy Buffett’s song “Mañana.” He sings: “I hear it gets better, that’s what they say, as soon as we sail on to Cane Garden Bay.” Find the best of Buffett’s genera on the menu at Pusser’s at Myett’s. For starters, there

Tortola's Delicious Seaside Dining Experience Rt 1, Shore Road, Carrot Bay, West End, Tortola, British Virgin Islands, VG1130 e: dcoalpotbvi@gmail.com | dcoalpotbvi.com

Beach chic dining in an ocean front setting with unparalleled views of Cane Garden Cane Garden Bay, British Virgin Islands (284) 495-4837 quitosltd.com @QuitosGazebo

Cane Garden Bay Tortola, BVI VG1110 E: pclrbvi@gmail.com T: 284-494-2541 and 345-2541

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DINING & NIGHTLIFE

Crandall’s Pastry Plus

are painkiller cocktails. After sunset, dig into fresh Anegada lobster or a grilled rib eye steak. Lobster, fresh fish and more also star on the menu at Quito’s Gazebo, down the beach. Namesake of BVI-born singer Quito Rhymer, the best-selling dish is Quito’s signature burger: an 8-ounce beef patty topped with bell peppers, avocados, caramelised onions, arugula and blue cheese all on a brioche bun. Down the beach, experience fantastic Caribbean fish frys with all the fixings on Friday nights at the Paradise Club Lounge, Bar & Restaurant. There’s a daily menu, too, with brunch and mimosas on Sundays, as well as one of the best full moon parties on the Island. HEALTHY, LOCAL EATS. Quench your thirst with island-grown fruits and roots bottled into cold-pressed, raw organic juices at Crandall’s Pastry Plus. Tola Juices, in flavours like sorrel, ginger, limeade and passionfruit, are ready to be enjoyed with the shop’s celebrated West Indian pates. These savoury fried turnovers are stuffed with conch, salt fish, ground beef, chicken or veggies. NIGHTLIFE. Life after dark is all about live music in local bars and restaurants. Quito’s features Quito himself, and Village Cay offers a line-up of regular entertainers. V i s i t t he Bri t i sh Virgin Is lands 2020

Paradise Club Lounge, Bar & Restaurant For something special, head to Aromas Cigar & Martini Bar at the Tortola Pier Park in Road Town. The handsome, airconditioned lounge sits adjacent to the smoking room, where there’s a selection of Cuban cigars. The bar boasts the largest menu of mojitos and martinis on island. Nights come alive with everything from salsa classes on Wednesdays to weekend live entertainment.

Did You Know? You can enjoy delicious Caribbean fish frys on Friday nights at the Paradise Club Lounge, Bar & Restaurant in Cane Garden Bay.


A

romas Cigar & Martini Bar

February 2016, Aromas Cigar &

was borne out of a chance

Martini Bar BVI was born.”

trip to a Florida cigar bar

featuring a cigar smoking lounge,

pened on a very upscale, nice bar

hookah with a wide range of

in a tourist area and upon entering,

flavours, the largest selection of

I realised it was a cigar bar and

liquor on island and an extensive

that’s when the idea hit me,” says

cocktail menu with martinis, moji-

Sean Palmer. “I knew it would be a

tos and other signature frozen

great concept in the BVI, as there

cocktails, Aromas’ high level of

was none of its kind at that time.”

service and speciality offerings

The announcement of Tortola Pier Park’s development was just

make it stand out from the rest. “We aim to offer our clientele a

the inspiration Sean needed. He

unique experience in the BVI and

knew it would be the perfect loca-

ensure that great customer ser-

tion for the BVI’s first cigar bar,

vice is always at the forefront of

so he set to work researching the

anything that we do,” says Sean.

ins and outs of running such a

“I’m very proud that three years

business, an effort that led him to

later, Aromas still remains one of

Aromas Cigar Bar in Jacksonville,

the prime locations in the BVI for

Florida.

visitors and locals alike to unwind,

“They didn’t hesitate to assist

A UNIQUE BVI NIGHTSPOT

The only cigar bar in Tortola

during a family vacation. “I hap-

relax and have a great time,” says

me when I explained what I was

Sean. “Our staff is awesome, and

planning to do in the BVI,” says

I really appreciate their hard work

Sean. “The necessary arrange-

in making Aromas what it is today

ments were put in place for me

in the BVI. It would not be possi-

to use the name and logo, and in

ble without them.”

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V

IRGIN GORDA SPANISH TOWN. Located one-third mile south of the Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbour, the Reef Restaurant at Fischer’s Cove Beach Hotel is where everyone comes for coconut shrimp and Painkiller Punch. Local dishes, from fresh lobster to curried goat, and speciality pizzas are big draws of this beachfront eatery. Every occasion is special here from New Year’s Eve to Easter; Mother’s and Father’s Day; and Thursday seafood nights, Saturday pig roasts and Asian Sunday nights. WATERFRONT DINING. With a name like Mermaids & Pirates, you can’t be far from the ocean. Steps away, in fact, this delightful restaurant serves West Indian favourites like red snapper in Creole sauce and stewed oxtail. For breakfast, try the salt fish and johnnycakes along with bush or cocoa tea. SWEET TOOTH FIX. Yum Yums Candy Store & Ice Cream Parlour, situated at the Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbour, is a sweet treat. Here you’ll find everything from candies to ice cream, which is the perfect way to cool off after a day of sightseeing. Their scoop of the day promotion will keep you coming back.

Mermaids & Pirates Restaurant & Bar

284-345-5318

thelitlemermaid28@hotmail.com RESTAURANT & BAR

Mermaids and Pirates

LEE ROAD, SPANISH TOWN, BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS V i s i t t he Bri t i sh Virgin Is lands 2020

NIGHTLIFE. Local and visiting artistes play at beach bars and restaurants in peak season. Beyond this, holidays like Carnival at Easter and the span between Christmas and New Year’s see broader ranges of entertainment, including steel pans and stilt walkers, both day and night.


local SPOTLIGHT COCOMAYA: A DRINK & DINNER ON THE ROCKS The bold fresh mix of Latin American and Asian flavours are as breathtaking as the surroundings at CocoMaya. Nestled against Virgin Gorda’s iconic granite boulders in Little Fort National Park, the views from this restaurant,

personal favourite and a fun play on a

bar and lounge span to the turquoise

traditional Caribbean flavour.”

waters of the Sir Francis Drake Channel. “We wanted to do something

truffle and Parmesan fries. On the beverage front, the ginger-

The CocoMaya sushi roll, tempura

infused lychee Champagne cocktail is

shrimp and avocado in a deep-fried

a hit, whilst margaritas, tequila-based

different by incorporating fresh local

roll with spicy mayo, is a best-seller.

beverages, an updated and expanded

cuisine into bold international flavours,”

The ramen bowl, built with shredded

wine selection and a wide selection of

says owner Aaron Seddon. “Our jerk

pork, a slow-cooked egg, house-made

Japanese whiskeys are also popular.

chicken wontons, house-made wontons

noodles and a tongarashi/miso ball

CocoMaya’s newest offering is the

with a spicy jerk seasoning sauce, are a

is another crowd pleaser, as are the

boulder beer garden with big screens.

Open 9am-5pm (284) 494-5156

Fisher’s Lane, Tortola

PASTRY PLUS

CrandallsPastry

Candy & Ice Cream Store

Tola Organic Juices

284-342-9751 Yum Yums is located in Speedy’s Village in the Valley, Virgin Gorda Open 7 days a week

CALL US! (284) 494-5156 Fisher's Lane, Tortola

HOURS Monday-Friday: 5am-4pm Saturday: 5am -2 pm | Sunday: Closed

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DINING & NIGHTLIFE

J

OST VAN DYKE The smallest of the major inhabited islands is known for its beach bars. The main settlement of Great Harbour, as well as White Bay, Little Harbour and Diamond Cay, are all bordered by Caribbean-style beach bars serving lively libations along with lobster, fish and steaks. In Great Harbour, Corsairs serves great pizza, burgers and lobster. In White Bay, the Soggy Dollar Bar is famous for its Painkiller; Gertrude’s Beach Bar for its roti and inviting beach chairs; and Seddy’s One Love Bar and Grill for the yacht fenders that hang out front, burger and lobster menu, and card tricks performed at the bar by namesake owner Seddy. Nightlife is all about guitar-strumming calypsonians like Foxy Callwood, monthly full moon parties and the ever-popular annual Old Year’s Night (New Year’s Eve) bash.

Hendo’s Hideout

local SPOTLIGHT HENDO’S HIDEOUT: A TRUE TASTE OF PARADISE There’s something really special about Hendo’s Hideout, a beachfront bar and restaurant on White Bay. “Real” is the operative word. Here, on generationsold family-owned land, native Virgin Islander Ehren “Hendo” Henderson and wife, Liz, have fulfilled their dream of owning a restaurant. What’s more, it’s Hendo himself, along with his

crab cake topped with jerked scallops

a light refreshing cocktail perfect for

friends, who catches much of the fresh

and shrimp and seafood slaw, drizzled

a hot day at the beach. It combines

seafood served on the menu. The BVI

with our signature sauce and topped

citrus vodka, ginger beer and fresh-

vibe certainly doesn’t get any better

with two crispy fried pickles. Some

squeezed lime. A frosty and stronger

— or more authentic — albeit with the

other favourites include our rum and

favourite is the Junglewhacker,

couple’s signature twist, than this.

Coke pulled pork sandwich with sweet

a twist on the classic creamy

potato fries and our three-cheese

Bushwhacker topped with a splash

lobster sandwich.”

of Hennessey. Draft beer is also now

“Our seafood burger is a definite must-try,” says Liz. “This behemoth sandwich consists of a homemade

V i s i t t he Bri t i sh Virgin Is lands 2020

Definitely try the Delirious Donkey,

on tap.


The BVI Tourist Board

A

NEGADA This flat stretch of land surrounded by sea and coral reefs is aptly nicknamed the “Drowned Island.” Spiny lobster and queen conch are famous here. Dig into the delicious local seafood and more at a half-dozen-plus casual bars and restaurants that rim the island. You can dine outside on the beach at the Anegada Reef Hotel, where choices include one-pound or two-pound lobsters grilled to perfection. Conch fritters are a musttry at Neptune’s Treasure, with the sweet meat caught by the owners themselves, as well as the fresh fish served on the seaside restaurant’s menu. Take a taxi over to see the island’s pink flamingos and stop by the Cow Wreck Beach bar for a cold Carib beer or special-blend Cow Killer cocktail. Anegada’s two-day Lobster Festival at the end of November is a foodie’s paradise.

Anegada’s Spiny Lobster

local SPOTLIGHT ANEGADA BEACH CLUB: LOCAL MEETS LUXURY Combine the idyllic rustic beauty of a barely inhabited tropical island with fourstar service. This is the charm of the Anegada Beach Club, where it’s possible to stay, dine or do both. Located near the popular snorkelling destination of Keel Point on the north side of the Island, the property features a luxury tent resort, hotel,

size of our kitchen, which enables

fresh lobster in garlic herb

restaurant and bar.

us to make our own breads and

butter. All lobster served at the

desserts daily.”

Anegada Beach Club is locally

“Our restaurant offers a fusion of international and Caribbean cuisine,”

A signature menu item is the

caught and harvested in the

says Jamie Johnson, general manager.

famous BLLT — a bacon, lettuce

“Supporting local farmers and fishermen is

and tomato sandwich with grilled

an important part of our cuisine. Plus, our

lobster and tasty chipotle sauce.

include the Rum Punch, Painkiller

herb and vegetable garden guarantees the

Other specialities include coconut

and Bushwhacker, the latter of

freshest produce possible delivered to our

cracked conch, grilled old wife

which is served in a chocolate-

tables. We’ve also recently doubled the

(local triggerfish) and, of course,

lined hurricane glass. Cheers!

British Virgin Islands. If you visit the bar, best-sellers

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WHERE TO STAY

BY D AYA N A R I V E R O

ALLURING

Sol y Sombra

ACCOMMODATIONS Lodging options in the BVI are almost as diverse as the Islands’ charms.

V i s i t t he Bri t i sh Virgin Is lands 2020


Sol y Sombra

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WHERE TO STAY

Quito’s Luxury Inn at Cane Garden Bay

E

ven if you don’t plan on spending that much time in your accommodations, where you stay is still a crucial part of your experience. Fortunately, BVI accommodation options offer many different ways to stay. For instance, you can melt into a chaise lounge whilst being pampered at a beachfront resort, fall asleep to the sound of waves lapping ashore just outside your seaside cottage or stay out on the ocean in a deluxe catamaran. All you have to do is match up the accommodation options with the experience that most suits you. Family Fits With 14 hillside guest rooms that can accommodate up to four guests each, Leverick Bay Resort & Marina — located in North Sound, Virgin Gorda — is a top familyfriendly option. The resort also offers a mix of shopping, watersports, dining and entertainment; so each member of the family can enjoy different activities without having to leave the property. The moko jumbie danc-

V i s i t t he Bri t i sh Virgin Is lands 2020

ers are a big hit here, so be sure to bring a camera to this fun-filled event. Also on Virgin Gorda, Rosewood Little Dix Bay will reopen in late 2019 following a multi-million-dollar renovation. This iconic resort is regarded as one of the world’s greatest getaways. Little Dix offers spectacular views and excellent service, and its isolated beaches make for a perfect place to enjoy a relaxing day with the family. The children’s centre offers Caribbean folk art and literature-themed activities for little ones in a miniature Caribbean chattel house and shipwreck. Outdoor activities such as nature walks and treasure hunts are also offered. Virgin Gorda Village is another fine family choice, offering guests one-, two-, three- or four-bedroom options. The spacious four-bedroom, four-bathroom condo sits on the third floor and can accommodate eight guests or more. Perfect for families and large groups, the comfortable yet elegant condos feature oversized patios with outdoor dining and fully equipped kitchens, hotel-wide Wi-Fi, unlimited access to tennis courts and a gym and the option to pamper yourself at the spa.

Virgin Gorda Village is also a five-minute drive to Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbour, where you’ll find shops, restaurants and Dive BVI, the local snorkelling and diving tour operator. Neptune’s Treasure, located on laidback Anegada, provides guests with private cottages that are perfect for families. This newly renovated hotel features beautiful oceanfront rooms as well as an improved Tiki Bar, which is twice as big as the previous version. Active Accommodations If you prefer to pick up the pace whilst in the BVI, The Moorings Mariner Inn Hotel offers on-site activities such as an outdoor swimming pool, watersports and on-site restaurants serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. The Moorings’ full-service marina can help you reach the white sandy beaches at different islands, islets and cays. Here, you can book a fully crewed or bareboat charter and explore the Caribbean Sea. The hotel also offers sailing classes, but if you are an experienced captain, you can set sail on your own, chart your own course and handle your own provisioning. The helpful


How many reasons

do you need to visit paradise?

Here, we offer them all!

Welcome to the marina and resort where a true Caribbean vacation is made to suit you. A treasure of salty heart and a pirate soul inspired by all those who want to live twice. OUR AMENITIES INCLUDE: Virgin Gorda Villa Rentals, Jumbies Beach Bar & The Cove, The Restaurant, Pusser’s Store, The Spa, Power Boat Rentals, BVI Snuba, Michael Beans Show, Moko Jumbies, Chef’s Pantry Supermarket, Blue Rush Watersports, Arawak Store.

www.leverickbay.com • Tel.: 1 (284) 542 4014 • becky@leverickbay.com MARINA • HOTEL • BEACH RESORT

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WHERE TO STAY

staff will make suggestions based on your level of experience. However, if what you really want is to experience life at sea, try Voyage Charters. Enjoy an unforgettable vacation aboard one of their luxury, all-inclusive catamarans and their professional crew will be at your service during your entire trip. They will handle everything for you so you can enjoy as many natural attractions as possible. Voyage Charters also offers bareboat options, allowing you to set your own itinerary and feel a sense of accomplishment at the end of your journey. Shoreline Spots Of course, not everyone aspires to be a sea captain. Some just want to stay on terra firma whilst having easy access to the shoreline. In that case, consider Road Town, which is located in the heart of the BVI and offers centrally located hotels from which you can explore the area. With charming gifts shops, cafés and diverse dining options, Road Town offers just about anything a vacationer needs.

Located in the centre of Road Town, Village Cay Hotel and Marina is designed for comfort and convenience. The hotel is well known as a jumping-off point for those looking for somewhere to stay before their sailing adventure. Enjoy a stay at the hotel whilst exploring the many amenities Village Cay Hotel has to offer, like karaoke nights, a pool, a dive centre, a clothing boutique and more. Another option is taking in the sweeping views of the harbour at Maria’s By the Sea, also located in Road Town. Maria’s By the Sea is the perfect location for business or some time off. The hotel offers meeting facilities with excellent services in order to make your business or social event perfect. If you’re looking for some time off, the hotel is walking distance to shopping, museums, parks and ferry services. The ferry is only a three-minute walk away from the hotel, making trips to Anegada and Virgin Gorda easily accessible. Romantic Retreats If a couples’ getaway is more your goal,

kick things off with a private dinner at one of the five romantic pavilions at Sol y Sombra, a private villa located near The Baths in Virgin Gorda and just a few steps away from Little Trunk Bay. It offers elegant entertainment areas with an acre of tropical gardens that are perfect for a moonlit stroll after a romantic dinner. Sol y Sombra also has a private chef upon request, and a private theatre. Comprised of stand-alone villas with private patios and lounges, Virgin Gorda’s Oil Nut Bay is a lavish property that’s ideal for couples. This luxurious resort is spread across 300 acres on the eastern tip of the island. It offers property ownership, as well as rentals. Accessible only by boat or helicopter, it’s the perfect secluded getaway for you and your significant other. Chill Choices Of course, you may have a much simpler goal whilst visiting the BVI: limin’ or mellowing out. Any number of lodging options allow for more serene stays, starting with Anegada Reef Hotel. Here you can wind

Beach chic dining in an ocean front setting with unparalleled views of Cane Garden

Book your own private oasis in Cane Garden Bay! V i s i t t he Bri t i sh Virgin Is lands 2020

Quito’s Luxury Inn Cane Garden Bay, Tortola British Virgin Islands

(284) 495-4837 quitosltd.com quitosltd@gmail.com


down the way most of us imagine an island escape: comfy lounge chair, toes in sand, cool drink in hand, gorgeous blue water stretching in front of you as far as you can see. Other options in Anegada include Anegada Beach Club, which offers thatched roof accommodations and luxury amenities, and Neptune’s Treasure, boasting ocean views from right outside your bedroom along with a staff that will treat you like family. Quito’s Luxury Inn on Tortola is a new accommodation option where guests will have plenty of room to relax and soak in the views of Cane Garden Bay. The inn will also have a spa on-site along with a gift shop and an exercise room. Privacy is another key part of the mellowing out matrix, so consider booking a private villa at White Bay Villas, located on Jost Van Dyke. Spectacular ocean views will melt away your concerns. Here your basic worries will be bringing enough sunscreen to safely soak up rays after a dip in nearby White Bay Beach and then deciding which cocktail you’ll order at Soggy Dollar Bar.

Leverick Bay

• Set amidst tropical gardens around a hillside, Virgin Gorda Village Hotel is a charming condominium community with over thirty spacious one, two, three- and four-bedroom condominiums offering nightly guest rentals, short term (up to six months) and long term rentals. • Generously proportioned patios, full kitchen, a/c, television, Internet and access to all our facilities! • Enjoy a cocktail or a meal at The Village Café, an informal, pool side restaurant. • Set on a gently sloping hillside facing the ocean. • A 10-minute walk to the Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbor and Shopping Center, a 3-minute ride to Savannah Bay Beach, 1 mile away from Virgin Gorda Airport and the Ferry Dock Terminal.

virgingordavillage.com 1 284-495-5544 Located in the Valley, Virgin Gorda, BVI virgingordavillage @virgingordavillage @VGvillage

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REAL ESTATE

BY C H R I S S M I T H

Sol y Sombra

Sol y Sombra

If you’re dreaming of living in the Caribbean or are considering investing in paradise, the British Virgin Islands offers plenty of options for a permanent vacation.


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REAL ESTATE

ADVENTURES ON LAND

BY C L I V E P E T R O V I C

LANDLUBBERS

UNITE Whilst the sea is the major attraction in the British Virgin Islands, there is plenty to see and do on land for the more terrestrially inclined. Vi si t t h e B r i t i sh Vi r gi n I sl an d s 2 0 2 0

STAY CONNECTED View the digital edition of this publication online at bviccha.org and download the new Visit the British Virgin Islands app to have the latest information about what to see and do at your fingertips.

A

fter the devastating 2017 hurricane season, the BVI is back and stronger than ever. There are indeed some silver linings to those dark clouds. The best parts of our islands — the stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters and breathtaking vistas — seem somehow refreshed and renewed. Debris has been disposed of, cobwebs have been blown away and our islands are more beautiful than ever. Nature definitely has a way of taking care of its own. If you were thinking of investing in real estate in the BVI prior to 2017 but didn’t, there

V i s i t t he Bri t i sh Virgin Is lands 2020

Sotheby’s

102

couldn’t be a better time than now to take a serious look again. We have turned the corner, and the future is looking bright. Our luxury resorts, such as Scrub Island and Oil Nut Bay, have been repaired and reopened. Rosewood Little Dix Bay, a truly world-class Caribbean resort, has been almost entirely rebuilt and now offers an even higher standard of accommodation in its idyllic beachfront setting. The Bitter End Yacht Club, Peter Island and Biras Creek are being restored and, once reopened, will be brand new and better than ever. Most of the hurricanedamaged homes have now been repaired or sold “as is,” and those not afraid of a major rebuild project snapped up some real bargains. Whilst there may still be one or two deals to be had, we


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REAL ESTATE

Sotheby’s

104

are largely over that phase and the market has settled down again. We also have a new government, one After you’ve that welcomes outselected the side investment from property those that share our that’s right love of our islands for you, an and wish to be part of application is made and contribute to our to the BVI small community in a Government. positive way. If compromise is not an option and you want to buy land and build your dream home in the Islands, you will be delighted to hear that construction prices, having increased rapidly with high demand in the immediate aftermath of the storms, have normalised to a certain extent. On the north shore of Tortola, there are some beautiful lots available above the spectacular beach at Trunk Bay. Around July each year, huge leatherback turtles return to nest on this wonderfully untouched sandy treasure. There’s a V i s i t t he Bri t i sh Virgin Is lands 2020

Sotheby’s

Did You Know?

great and growing community within the estate — a mixture of professional families who live and work in the BVI and love this idyllic spot with its convenience of being just a few minutes’ drive from the heart of Road Town and “snowbirds” who put their homes into the very successful vacation rental program when they are not in residence. If your dream doesn’t involve sawing, hammering and nails, and you would pre-

fer the convenience of a waterfront condo or villa finished to the highest of standards with all the modern conveniences and services of a luxury Caribbean resort, then Scrub Island, a Marriott Signature property, might be just the ticket. It’s conveniently located close to the airport on Beef Island, so it’s simple to get to. Its central location means it’s easy to jump in a boat to visit Cooper Island, Norman Island, Virgin Gorda and Jost Van Dyke. Its affiliation


Sotheby’s

There are options if you want to buy land and build your dream home in the islands.” with Marriott means the highest of standards, unheard-of occupancy rates driven by the Marriott marketing machine and a wonderful hotel team to maintain and service your home. If your budget is less than $1 million and rental income return is important to you, take a very close look at the two-bedroom Marina Village condos at Scrub Island. If your budget is a little higher, then the ultra-exclusive Oil Nut Bay on the far eastern tip of Virgin Gorda should be on your radar. The 300-acre estate offers beachfront and large estate lots and full architec-

tural and construction services to help you achieve your dream of a home in paradise. The new Marina Village, opened in 2019, offers a hub of activity featuring signature restaurant Nova in addition to a covered lounge and bar, suspended pool, overwater hammocks and daybeds, market, boutique, library and more. If your ideal home includes a dock for your power- or sailboat, then Scrub Island is certainly an option but not your only one. The development of two- and threebedroom townhouses with docks at Nanny Cay Marina was the only project in the Territory to be entirely pre-sold. Having survived the storms really well, their popularity has increased. There is a waiting list to rent them, and with several resales now recorded, they are proving to be more liquid than most properties in the BVI. With a basis in English law and the U.S. dollar as its currency, investing in real estate in the BVI need not just be a decision of the heart but one that also makes financial sense as well. The BVI does not

currently offer citizenship by investment, nor is our real estate market as potentially liquid as other, larger destinations. But the balance is a market that tends to offer more stability and less volatility. If your goal is to buy a home in the Caribbean to reduce stress by relaxing more and worrying less, then we can offer you the perfect home. After you’ve selected the property that’s right for you, an application is made to the BVI Government, typically through a BVI lawyer, for a Non-Belonger Land Holding Licence. That process typically takes about six to nine months. If it takes a little longer, fear not. There’s no hurry, remember? If I’m not mistaken, that’s why you were thinking of buying a home here in the first place.

Chris Smith is the managing broker of Coldwell Banker Real Estate BVI. He can be reached at 284-340-3000 or on the web at coldwellbankerbvi.com.

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USEFUL INFORMATION

VISITORS GUIDE Helpful tips for navigating your way around our islands. ATTIRE Bathing suits and other beachwear are only considered appropriate on the beaches, at the pool or on a boat. Topless bathing and nudity on the beach are frowned upon. In general, day and evening dress is casual. BANKING There are several major banks in the British Virgin Islands: Banco Popular, FirstBank, Scotiabank (British Virgin Islands), FirstCaribbean International Bank. Hours vary, but most are open Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. They all have extended hours on Fridays. Banco Popular opens a teller drive-through window from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays. First Bank is open Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon. BUSINESS HOURS Most businesses open at 9 a.m. and close at 5 p.m. Some stores, including pharmacies, are closed after 1 p.m. on Saturday and all day on Sunday, but a few open if cruise ships are in port. Supermarkets open earlier and close later, and most are open on weekends and holidays. It’s best to call a specific business for its hours of operation. CREDIT CARDS Many BVI establishments accept credit cards, generally MasterCard or Visa; some, but not all, take American Express. You will find several ATM machines on Tortola, including the Road Town Ferry Dock, Cane Garden Bay and at the Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport on Beef Island, as well as in The Valley on Virgin Gorda. There are no banks or ATM machines on Anegada, Jost Van Dyke or Peter Island.

V i s i t t he Bri t i sh Virgin Is lands 2020

Sensation Ferries

CURRENCY The U.S. dollar is the only legal tender in the BVI. Major credit cards are accepted in many, but not all, establishments. DEPARTURE TAX After you have checked in at the airport or at any seaport, look for the departure tax window. Every air travel passenger must pay a $20 departure tax in cash or by Visa or MasterCard (cheques are not accepted). Non-residents leaving by sea pay $20, whilst residents pay $15 and anyone under 5 years old is exempt from the departure tax. DIGITAL RESOURCES You can view the digital edition of Visit the British Virgin Islands on the BVI Chamber of Commerce & Hotel Association (BVICCHA) website, bviccha.org, and don’t forget to download the Visit the British Virgin Islands app. The BVI Tourist Board’s website (bvitourism.com) offers printable online information about each island, useful schedules and more. The BVI Government, BVI Welcome Magazine and two local newspapers, The BVI Beacon and Island Sun, also provide helpful information.

DRINKING WATER Tap water on Tortola and Virgin Gorda is generally desalinated and safe for consumption. Some hotels have their own desalination plants and cisterns. Other islands rely on private supplies from cisterns, but bottled water is available throughout the Islands. DRUGS Recreational drugs are strictly forbidden. Their possession, sale, use or distribution is a criminal offense punishable by law. Conviction can lead to heavy fines and jail time. ELECTRICITY Electricity is supplied by the BVI Electricity Corporation. The standard electrical current is 110 volts on all the islands. EMERGENCIES BVI Health Services Authority is the main general hospital in Road Town, Tortola. On Virgin Gorda, the main medical facility is the Nurse Iris O’Neal Clinic. Ambulance ............................... 999 or 911 999 Fire .................................................................999 Police .............................................................999


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Hospital.............................................. 494-3497 VISAR (Virgin Islands Search & Rescue)..................... 494-435 or 767 (SOS) INTERNET There are several places throughout the Islands that offer internet access. Most have free wireless connections and can be found at the following locations: Lambert Beach Resort, Tortola; Nanny Cay Marina, Tortola; Village Cay Marina, Road Town; Myett’s Garden Inn and Grille, Cane Garden Bay; Foxy’s, Jost Van Dyke; The Watersports Centre, Jost Van Dyke; Anegada Reef Hotel, Anegada. LANGUAGE English is the official language, and communication is fairly easy around the Islands. Spanish is also spoken by many members of the growing immigrant population. V i s i t t he Bri t i sh Virgin Is lands 2020

MONEY TRANSFERS MoneyGram and Western Union provide services to receive and send money worldwide. NATURAL HAZARDS There are no poisonous snakes or other dangerous animals in the BVI. The leaves of the oleander and elephant ears are poisonous. Be careful of the manchioneel tree (or poison apple tree), which grows near beaches. Its leaves, fruit and sap are dangerous to the eyes and poisonous when ingested. Underwater, fire coral can cause a nasty sting and subsequent rash if touched. The spiny black sea urchin is very painful if stepped on or brushed against, and jellyfish and lionfish should be avoided, as both can cause serious injury. NEWS, NEWSPAPERS AND MAGAZINES Several weekly and monthly publications

are available in the BVI and by subscription. The Island Sun and The BVI Beacon keep readers up to date on events and general news occurring locally and regionally; they’re also available online or have a Facebook presence. BVI Welcome Magazine offers information for tourists, and Limin’ Times offers a free detailed Weekly Events Guide that is available at most supermarkets, hotels and other outlets. The BVI Marine Guide is a definitive reference that keeps boaters updated annually. Business BVI, a business and investment magazine, is published annually. Also, BVINews.com, VirginIslandsNewsOnline.com and BVIPlatinum.com are websites that provide daily news updates in the Territory. PETS Pets are allowed into the Territory only after an import permit is obtained


from the Department of Agriculture. For regulations concerning animal importation, contact the Department of Agriculture, Paraquita Bay, Tortola; tel. 468-6123 and fax 468-6102. PHARMACY Several pharmacies offer prescription and over-the-counter services in Road Town. These include Medicure at Omar Hodge Building (with another location on Virgin Gorda); Vanterpool Enterprises on Wickham’s Cay I; B&F Medical Complex on Nibbs Street; and Qwomar Trading, Ltd., Blackburne Road. POST OFFICES The main post office in Road Town (494-3701) near the roundabout has a philatelic counter. There is also a post office on Virgin Gorda. Most hotels and resorts offer daily mail pickups. Virgin Islands’ stamps are worldwide collectors’ items. The BVI Philatelic Society (494-7789) organises an annual stamp exhibition, usually held in the Spring, that attracts a wide range of enthusiasts.

2020 PUBLIC HOLIDAYS January 1 ................................. New Year’s Day March 2 ............ Hamilton Lavity Stoutt Day March 9 ..........................Commonwealth Day April 10 ..........................................Good Friday April 13 .....................................Easter Monday June 1 .......................................... Whit Monday June 13 .................................Queen’s Birthday July 1 ........................................... Territory Day August 3–5 ... August Emancipation Festival October 21 ..............................St. Ursula’s Day December 25 ........................... Christmas Day December 26 ..................................Boxing Day RADIO AND TELEVISION Local radio stations, most of which are available online, include ZBVI (780 AM), ZKING (100.9 FM), ZROD (103.7 FM), ZCCR (94.1 FM) and ZVCR (106.9 FM). Local cable channels include 1, 51, 52 and 55. Public service channels include 12 (WCJX, St. Thomas, USVI) and 25 (BBC World). A few channels broadcast in Spanish, including Channel 4 (Azteca). News and entertainment are also available on cable channels beamed from numerous U.S. cities and satellites.

RELIGION There are Methodist churches throughout the BVI. Other Christian denominations represented include the Anglicans (Episcopalians), Baptists, Roman Catholics, Seventh-day Adventists and various Pentecostal sects. Many churches are located in Road Town, but there are churches throughout the Islands. There is also an Islamic Center in Road Town, and the Hindu faith is also represented. SERVICE ORGANIZATIONS Several service organizations and clubs operate in the BVI. Amongst them are Lions, Interact, Toastmasters, Rotaract and various Rotary Clubs, including the Rotary Club of Tortola, which meets every Thursday at noon at The Moorings’ Mariner Inn. Fellow club members visiting the Territory are always warmly welcomed. Enquire at your front desk for more information on the clubs and their meeting times. To reach the BVI Red Cross, call 494-6349.

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SMOKING Smoking in public places such as restaurants, bars, shopping malls, recreational facilities, offices, public transportation terminals, etc. is illegal, in accordance with the Tobacco Products Control Act of the BVI. It’s also illegal to smoke within 50 feet of these public spaces. A person found smoking tobacco in a public place will be subject to a fine. It’s illegal to sell cigarettes to persons who are under 18 years old. TELECOMMUNICATIONS The area code in the BVI is 284. FLOW (formerly LIME and Cable & Wireless [West Indies], Ltd.) provides digital, national and international telecommunications services and broadband internet access. Full IDD (international direct dialling), facsimile and data services, including IDAS (international database access) and private leased circuits, are available. Inbound 800 numbers accessible from the United States, Canada and the rest of the

Caribbean are also available. FLOW also offers competitive wireless services, and you can purchase SIM cards, handsets and TopUp credits at locations throughout the BVI. CCT Global Communications, the first provider of wireless communications in the BVI, offers 4G wireless broadband internet service throughout the Islands and offers CDMA and GSM roaming services, with more than 140 roaming partners worldwide. CCT SIM cards are available from authorised resellers throughout the BVI. Digicel also offers a range of wireless services and landline services throughout the BVI. Digicel SIM cards and TopUp credits are available at locations throughout the BVI. TIPPING A 7 percent tax is usually added to your hotel bill, as well as a 10 percent hotel service charge. Additional tipping is optional. It’s customary to include a 15 percent tip when dining out. Most restaurants automatically include this on the bill as a service charge. TRANSPORTATION Air: Regional airlines connect Beef Island with international hubs (e.g., San Juan, Puerto Rico and Antigua) and other Caribbean Islands. Small planes fly between Beef Island and Virgin Gorda and St. Thomas, USVI. Charter planes are also available to sister islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands from the airport on Beef Island. Land: The British Virgin Islands has more than 150 roads, of which 118 are paved. The two main roads on Tortola are Blackburne Road, which runs along the seashore from the eastern to the western end of the Island, and Ridge Road, which runs centrally over the hills. Both offer spectacular scenic views of the Islands.

All your home health care available on island Sivam Home Health Care Port Purcell, Virgin Gorda 284-345-2886

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Buses: Mini and safari bus outings are usually arranged by the hotels and are also available for other long group trips and scenic sightseeing. There is also a bus that runs from Road Town to East End and costs about $3. The bus turns around before reaching Beef Island.

Car Rentals: Renting a car is both economical and convenient. There are several agencies offering reasonable rates, unlimited mileage, emergency services and additional insurance. If visiting for more than a month, a temporary licence must be obtained from the Department of Motor Vehicles in Pockwood Pond. The cost is $10. Bring your passport and a valid driver’s licence from country of origin. Driving is on the left-hand side of the road. Ferry Services: The main ferry docks on Tortola are in Road Town and at the West End. Boat services operate several times per day between Tortola and several other islands in the BVI (Virgin Gorda and Jost Van Dyke) and the USVI (St. Thomas). There are also ferries from Trellis Bay, Beef Island that provide service to Virgin Gorda, and nearby smaller islands and resorts. Ferry services to Anegada from Road Town are available on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and from Trellis Bay on Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Departure and arrival information can be obtained at the front desk of your hotel. Some ferries charge extra for additional baggage. Check with the ferry operator to see if any fees apply. Taxis: Taxis are available at the airport, hotels, taxi stands and other venues throughout the Islands. Some hotels have a franchised taxi arrangement for guests or will quickly order a taxi from the front desk. Island tour taxis usually provide running commentary on local history and other useful information. New government rates are now in effect. It’s a good idea to check the fare with your driver in advance. WEATHER The Islands benefit from the trade winds that keep humidity low, but temperatures rarely go above 95°F or below 75°F. The wettest months are between September and November, coinciding with the height of hurricane season.


ADVERTISER INDEX ACCOMMODATIONS LEVERICK BAY RESORT & MARINA, p. 97 Virgin Gorda Tel: 542-4014 leverickbay.com Leverick Bay Resort & Marina is a place that offers it all to make your Caribbean vacation suit you, a treasure of salty heart and a pirate soul inspired by those who want to live twice. Amenities include but are not limited to Virgin Gorda villa rentals, powerboat rentals, spa, Chef’s Pantry Supermarket, Blue Rush Water Sports and snuba to name a few. QUITO’S LUXURY INN, p. 98 Cane Garden Inn, Tortola Tel: 495-4837 quitosltd.com Newly refurbished after Irma and Maria in early 2019, all of Quito’s room rates include breakfast at Quito’s Gazebo and a manager’s welcome cocktail party weekly. The inn offers a swimming pool with poolside bar, conference room, spa, exercise room, gift shop and car rental. Free Wi-Fi, beach chairs and umbrellas are also available. SOL Y SOMBRA, p. 13 135 Main Street, Tortola Tel: 494-2446 solysombrabvi.com Steps away from Little Trunk Bay, this classic and timeless British colonial beachfront villa has six suites, each furnished with custom-made teak furniture. A great room, office/library, dining room and fully outfitted kitchen offer spacious and elegant entertainment areas. A 45foot oceanfront infinity pool and lighted tennis court are set within more than an acre of tropical gardens. A private movie theatre, gym and a chef upon request complete the villa’s offerings. VIRGIN GORDA VILLAGE HOTEL, p. 99 North Valley Rd., Virgin Gorda Tel: 495-5544 or 542-5544 virgingordavillage.com Set amidst tropical gardens around a hillside, Virgin Gorda Village Hotel is a charming condominium community with more than 30 spacious one-, two- and three-bedroom condominiums, all with oversized patios, A/C and access to all facilities. Enjoy a cocktail or a meal at The Village Café, an informal, poolside restaurant. A perfect getaway for families, groups and couples, Virgin Gorda Village Hotel is your piece of Nature’s Little Secrets. ACTIVITIES & ATTRACTIONS ARISTOCAT CHARTERS, p. 43 Road Town, Tortola Tel: 340-6990 aristocatcharters.com Touring the British Virgin Islands by sailboat allows you a unique opportunity to enjoy the enchantment and beauty of the Caribbean. Aristocat Charters’ day sails include sailing, snorkelling, swimming and a full day of fun in the sun and sea. There are two convenient locations on Tortola in Nanny Cay and Road Town. BLUE WATER DIVERS, p. 43 Nanny Cay Marina, Tortola

Tel: 494-2847 bluewaterdiversbvi.com Blue Water Divers has an outstanding team of professional dive instructors who will ensure that you enjoy a safe and fun diving experience. They offer a variety of services to help make your diving holiday as easy and enjoyable as possible. Contact Blue Water Divers for scuba and snorkelling equipment rentals, PADI scuba diving certification courses or diving packages, and visit the Nanny Cay location to browse amongst a wide variety of diving merchandise, clothing and souvenirs. BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS TOURIST BOARD, p. 25 P.O. Box 134 DeCastro Street, Road Town, Tortola Tel: 494-3134 bvitourism.com Located in the northeastern Caribbean, the British Virgin Islands is an archipelago of 60 islands and cays dotted on a pallet of clear aquamarine waters. Renowned worldwide for its sailing and watersports, each island beckons visitors to unique experiences that inspire them to write their own Virgin Islands stories. DIVE BVI, p. 43 Tel/WhatsApp: 541-9818 divebvi.com Located at Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbour Marina and Scrub Island Marina, Dive BVI offers rendezvous diving, scuba and snorkelling equipment rentals, air fills, private charters, scuba instruction, day trips and retail selections. Package discounts on diving and rentals are available. PELICAN CHARTERS, p. 15 Tel: 343-3380 pelicanchartersbvi.com Thousands of visitors come to the British Virgin Islands every year, yet few ever experience it from the bow of a luxury private yacht. Get away from the crowds with 360-degree aquamarine vistas, unspoilt beaches beneath your feet and the wind in your hair, all whilst being catered to and travelling at your own pace. Halfday or full-day charters are available. VOYAGE CHARTERS, p. 49 Tel: 888-869-2436 or 443-569-7007 voyagecharters.com Experience a boutique family-operated charter known for excellent customer service and a stylish fleet. Voyage Charters’ new electric-powered vessel will be the first of its kind in the BVI, combining thoroughbred sailing performance and luxury with the latest in eco-friendly electric drives, renewable power generation and a high-efficiency standby generator. NIGHTLIFE AROMAS CIGAR & MARTINI BAR, BVI, p. 89 Tortola Pier Park, Road Town, Tortola Tel: 544-4665 or 346-7718 aromasbvi.com Aromas Cigar & Martini Bar was born out of love of fine wines and good music. It is the most luxurious and distinctive locale on the Islands, created for you to enjoy

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a fine hand-rolled cigar and a spirited adult beverage. Make your selection from the fully stocked bar, choose your favourite cigar and listen to live music from well-known local talent. Sit back and relax in the air-conditioned leather seating lounge and take in the oceanfront view from the Aromas balcony. 

Crandall’s offers up tasty homemade bread, pastries and johnnycakes along with the most delightful patties filled with beef, chicken, turkey, vegetable, conch, shrimp or salt fish. You know the food is fantastic when you see people waiting in line. Crandall’s is open Monday through Saturday for breakfast and lunch.

REAL ESTATE COLDWELL BANKER BVI, p. 105 Nanny Cay Marina, Road Town, Tortola Tel: 495-3000 With offices in Tortola and Virgin Gorda and representation in Anegada, Coldwell Banker BVI has consistently grown year over year. They introduced the Coldwell Banker name to the British Virgin Islands 10 years ago because, historically, most of the interest in buying vacation homes in the BVI came from U.S. buyers. Coldwell Banker is one of the largest real estate groups in the world with over 3,000 offices in 49 countries worldwide.

D’COAL POT RESTAURANT, p. 87 Rt. 1, Shore Road Carrot Bay, West End, Tortola Tel: 545-6510   Come and enjoy an island-style ambience with authentic Caribbean spices for your palate’s delight. Delicious roti, ribs, pork chops, lobster, steak, chicken, pasta and vegetarian dishes. Sides include homemade coleslaw, garlic mashed potatoes and fresh, flavourful cooked-to-perfection vegetables.

SOTHEBY’S INTERNATIONAL REALTY, p. 103 Road Town, Tortola Tel: 494-5700 or 340-5555 bvisir.com or luxuryvillabvi.com Sotheby's International Realty is the leading local real estate services provider in the BVI that can truly provide unrivalled access to qualified people and distinctive properties around the world. BVI Sotheby's International Realty has been serving the property needs of the British Virgin Islands since 1991, and it is this extensive local expertise and knowledge combined with their international reach that sets them apart. RESTAURANTS BANANAKEET CAFÉ, p. 85 Windy Hill Carrot Bay, Road Town, Tortola Tel: 494-5842 heritageinn.vg/restaurant/ The best food and entertainment throughout the over 50 islands that make up the Virgin Islands. Chef Spice creates most of the orders from scratch using fresh ingredients. You’ll be greeted by a host who is knowledgeable of not only the specials but the best drinks and wines to mix with them. This place is in such high demand, they only accept reservations for dinner. Make sure you reserve as soon as possible. COCOMAYA RESTAURANT, p. 79 Spanish Town, Virgin Gorda Tel: 495-6344 cocomayarestaurant.com At CocoMaya, enjoy Asian Latin fusion cuisine served beachfront in an open-air restaurant that faces west to the Sir Francis Drake Channel. Sip on a carefully crafted cocktail at the bar or recline on the comfy beach loungers and watch the sun melt into the ocean after your day at The Baths, just a five-minute drive away. CocoMaya is a must-stop when in the BVI. Beach chic. CRANDALL’S PASTRY PLUS, p. 91 Road Town, Tortola Tel: 494-5156 Located on the outskirts of Road Town,

DOVE RESTAURANT, p. 78 Spanish Town, Virgin Gorda Tel: 494-0313 thedovebvi.com Sip on perfectly blended craft cocktails on the patio under the mango tree. Take in the ocean breeze on the upper deck next to the Dragonfly Lounge at the Dove before moving down to the chandelier-lit dining room for dinner. Dove Restaurant serves contemporary cuisine with a seasonal menu showcasing creatively delicious dishes featuring the finest internationally sourced ingredients alongside fresh, local produce. It’s a must-visit. FISCHER’S COVE BEACH HOTEL & RESTAURANT, p. 90 The Valley, Virgin Gorda Tel: 495-5253 fischercove.com Satisfy that hearty appetite in an open-air restaurant facing the ocean. At lunch they feature conch fritters, curried goat and other island specialities. At dinner, choose from West Indian and continental cuisine that has earned Fischer’s Cove the Golden Award of Famous Restaurants International and the Grand Prix Award for Best Quality and Service. This restaurant features live entertainment and dinner specials twice weekly in season. MERMAIDS & PIRATES RESTAURANT & BAR, p. 90 Lee Road, Spanish Town Tel: 345-5318 This open-air quaint café is serving up Caribbean bites in Spanish Town. Hurricane Irma and Maria couldn’t keep them down. Be sure to come in for a cool drink and some fresh eats. OMAR’S FUSION, p. 83 Soper’s Hole Marina, Frenchman’s Cay  Road Town, Tortola  Tel: 495-8015 omarfusion.com  Omar’s Fusion is a unique, Eastern/Western cuisine that can easily be described as the food lover’s paradise nestled on the beautiful waterfront-dockside at Soper’s Hole Marina & Wharf. With the mission of keeping to the flavours whilst elevating the palate. executive chefs Raj and Das bring a piece of “India” to the Caribbean using their versatility in the kitchen to complement their Western cuisine in surprisingly delicious ways.


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PARADISE CLUB LOUNGE, BAR & RESTAURANT, p. 87 Cane Garden Bay, Tortola Tel: 495-9910 Paradise Club is a lovely restaurant with a great variety of food. The ambience and customer service are stellar, and the attentive staff is ready to help make your choice of food a good one. This venue has a very loyal following, especially amongst the local population, which you can see on any given weekday, when residents recline on lounge chairs whilst sipping wine, eating crackers and taking in the sunset from the beach. THE PUB SEAFOOD & STEAKHOUSE, p. 80 East End, Tortola Tel: 495-1775 At this waterfront spot, tables are arranged along a terrace facing a small marina and the harbour in Road Town. Hamburgers, salads and sandwiches are typical lunch offerings, along with classic British fare such as shepherd’s pie and liver and onions. In the evening you can also choose grilled fish, sautéed conch, sizzling steaks or barbecued ribs. There’s live entertainment Thursday and Friday, and locals gather here nightly for spirited games at the pool table. QUITO’S GAZEBO, p. 87 Cane Garden Bay, Tortola Tel: 495-4837 quitosltd.com Enjoy the music and beach chic dining in Quito Luxury Inn’s beachside restaurant. There’s happy hour music daily, and The Edge plays Fridays at 8:30 p.m. Quito’s food is amazing, and the ambience is second to none. The sunsets are beautiful every night, and you might even spot dolphins in the bay if you’re lucky. RED ROCK RESTAURANT & BAR, p. 82 Penn’s Landing Marina, Tortola Tel: 442-1646 They use freshly caught seafood, organic and hormone-free meat, and locally sourced vegetables. When it comes to their food, they pride themselves on the quality of their ingredients. They serve Caribbean-international cuisine, with fresh seafood dishes, hearty meat entrees, vegetarian options, pasta dishes and daily specials. Diners have plenty of choices and never go hungry at Red Rock Restaurant & Bar! Make sure you try their signature Plantain Gnocchi. TOLA ORGANIC JUICES, p. 91 Fisher’s Lane, Tortola Tel: 494-5156 Come to Tola for the best organic handmade juices on the Island. Grab a bottle of fresh papaya juice, pour it over ice and sip whilst enjoying the fresh, crisp Caribbean salt air. Tag Tola Organic Juices on Facebook and make your friends jealous. TROPICAL FUSION BEACH BAR & GRILL, p. 86 Long Bay, Tortola Tel: 346-3551 or 495-3435 tropicalfusionbvi.com

Tropical Fusion strives to maintain the highest standard of customer service. Their talented chefs provide you with world-class cuisines. With breathtaking seaside views and tantalising food, Tropical Fusion also provides top-quality catering services and is a TripAdvisor favourite. VILLAGE CAY RESTAURANT, p. 84 Wickham’s Cay 1, Road Town, Tortola Tel: 494-2771 villagecaybvi.com Village Cay Marina in Tortola Provides Sailors a Picturesque Shoreside Getaway. After a day of sportfishing, sailing, or simply enjoying the sun and tranquil waters of the Caribbean, Village Cay Hotel & Marina awaits you. Dockside, you’re just steps away from a cool drink at the bar, a fabulous meal at the restaurant, a refreshing dip in the pool, as well as an array of boutiques and provisioning options. Plus, its 23-room hotel is the perfect complement to your exceptional yachting experience. YUM YUMS CANDY & ICE CREAM STORE, p. 91 Speedy’s Village, Virgin Gorda Tel: 340-6990 Yum Yums Candy & Ice Cream Store is the only place in Virgin Gorda where you can find the widest assortment of chocolate, candies and ice cream to satisfy your sweet tooth. It’s more than just a candy store with lollipops, gumballs and childhood favourites like Sugar Daddy. You can also refresh yourself with Edy’s ice cream on a hot summer day. Kids love satisfying their sweet tooth at Yum Yums. SERVICES BVI TOURISM, p. 25 Tel: 852-6020 bvitourism.com Uncover the true spirit of the BVI from sunrise to sunset. Stay on land where endless possibility is just a beach away or out at sea with the wind in your sails. Crystal blue waters and warm sand to sink your toes into help you fully relax and unwind. SIVAM HOME HEALTH CARE, p. 110 Port Purcell, Tortola Tel: 345-2886 Located in the Port Purcell shopping area, Sivam offers wheelchairs, transport chairs and CPAP machines for rent. Other durable medical equipment and home health care products are available for sale. There’s no need to limit your activities in paradise and no need to travel with bulky equipment. VANTERPOOL PHARMACY, p. 19 Wickham’s Cay 1, Road Town Tel: 494-2702 Vanterpool Pharmacy provides service in prescriptions, toiletries, vitamins, household products and a variety of personal needs. Service is fast and friendly at this second-generation family-owned business, conveniently located right in Road Town. The pharmacy is an island institution that’s been serving the community for more than 40 years.

WINAIR, p. 107 Tel: 721-545-4237 fly-winair.sx Windward Islands Airways International N.V. better known as Winair is a government-owned regional airline founded in 1961. Winair has provided safe and efficient air transportation in the Caribbean for more than 55 years. They will take you there with stops in Antigua, Aruba, Bonaire, St. Maarten and many other Caribbean favourites. SHOPPING A.H. RIISE ROLEX BOUTIQUE, Inside front cover, P. 1 Bldg. 3, Tortola Pier Park, Tortola Tel: 340-777-6789 ahriise.com/Rolex.html A.H. Riise Rolex Boutique is the exclusive U.S. and British Virgin Islands’ Official Rolex Retailer. Timeless in their design and beauty, Rolex watches have set a world standard for status and success. A.H. Riise offers one of the Caribbean’s largest selections of Rolex watches. Every Rolex watch sold carries the Rolex International five-year warranty. BLANC DU NIL, p. 18 Bldg. 2, Tortola Pier Park, Tortola Tel: 441-0560 Blanc du Nil is a cute and airy store that offers an array of white-cotton Caribbeanstyle clothes, from skirts, blouses, and dresses for women to shirts and pants for men. Everything is made of Egyptian cotton at very reasonable prices, so make sure to visit this “All-white Clothing Store.” DIAMONDS INTERNATIONAL, p. 9, 11, back cover Merchant Walk, Tortola Pier Park Tel: 541-5807 They say that diamonds are a girl’s best friend. Enjoy duty-free shopping at Diamonds International at Tortola Pier Park, where you’ll find a breathtaking selection of fine jewellery and watches. Diamonds International is the exclusive agent for Cartier and Bvlgari. HOUSE OF LUXURY, p. 2, 3, 4, 5, 75, inside back cover Tortola Pier Park, Road Town, Tortola Tel: 443-3030 Being the third generation of this familyrun lifestyle boutique, Sanjay and his wife, Veera, invite you to the House of Luxury for a shopping experience like no other! To them the equation is simple — when you look good you feel good and that’s exactly what they promise you! With brands such as Chopard, Longines, Mont Blanc, Tissot, Hearts on Fire, and Alex and Ani (just to name a few!), you are guaranteed to find something that you love! After all, everyone deserves life’s little luxuries! THAT’S THE SPIRIT! LTD., p. 73 Bldg. #7, Tortola Pier Park Road Town, Tortola Tel: 494-1000 facebook.com/thatsthespiritvi/ Instagram: @thatsthespiritbvi That’s the Spirit! Ltd. is the premier duty-free retailer of wines and spirits, perfumery, Cuban cigars, original works

of fine art from local and Caribbean artists, artefacts from the pirate era of the region and paleontological artefacts ranging back to as far as more than 100 million years. You’ll find the largest selection of local and Cuban rums and the gold award-winning BVI Gin. Antique prints and maps of the Caribbean are specialities. TORTOLA PIER PARK LTD., p. 6, 7 Wickham’s Cay 1, Road Town, Tortola Tel: 494-TPPL (8775) tortolapier.com Tortola Pier Park houses over 60 businesses replete with shopping, restaurants, various services centres (medical, banking rentals and telecommunication), offices and outdoor entertainment/event areas. The new shopping centre features internationally branded jewellery stores located in between designer boutiques and independent retailers. The shopping village is home to stores selling gifts and souvenirs, footwear, sportswear, men’s and women’s fashion, swimwear, electronics and technology, health and beauty supplies, sunglasses, optical eyewear, food and beverages. TRANSPORTATION HERTZ DOLLAR THRIFTY, p. 109 Road Town, Tortola Tel: 440-3407 With a variety of cars to suit your vacation needs at two convenient locations, the airport and Road Town, let Hertz pick you up and give you the freedom to explore the beautiful British Virgin Islands at your own pace. NATIVE SON, p. 57 Road Town Ferry Terminal, Tortola Tel: 494-5674 or 340-774-8685 nativesonferry.com Native Son has been servicing the Virgin Islands for more than 44 years from port to port, operating departures on a daily basis. This ferry company offers reliable transportation between islands, allowing you to experience many of Nature’s Little Secrets. ROAD TOWN FAST FERRY, p. 59 Ferry Dock Road Town, Tortola Tel: 494-2323 The fastest, most reliable fleet from Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, to Road Town, Tortola. Enjoy the comfort and speed of the Road Town Fast Ferry as they take you from the heart of St. Thomas, Charlotte Amalie, to the heart of Tortola, Road Town. Other ferries bring you to the fringe of Tortola, West End, then require you to take a 15-minute, $15 cab ride into the centre of the island. Road Town Fast Ferry will save you time and money. SENSATION FERRIES, p. 55 Road Town Ferry Terminal, Tortola Tel: 345-3043 or 284-340-2723 Come and explore the beautiful BVI with the friendliest service and an impeccable ship. With service out of Road Town and Virgin Gorda, you can enjoy open-air seating with onboard refreshments serviced by the best staff on the Island.


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