British Virgin Islands Travel Tips
Keep in Mind...
- It's all about the Benjamins This might be the British Virgin Islands, but the currency is U.S. dollars. And you'll need a lot of those dollars to spare.
- Island hopping is a must One British Virgin Island is almost never enough. If you're coming all this way, you might as well splurge on a few daytrips around the Caribbean.
- The best stuff is away from the ferry dock It'll take some initiative, but you can find the best restaurants and beaches off the beaten track. Make a must-do list of hidden treasures and give it to your cab driver -- most of them will be happy to take you there.
The British Virgin Islands, or BVI for short, are some of the most exclusive and least developed islands of the Caribbean, but this only adds to their appeal. The resorts, villas, restaurants and other tourist attractions on this paradisiacal tax haven are known to emphasize spare luxury over sprawling expansion, and they attract travelers with deep pockets and a love for sailing and seclusion. Many travelers who visit come by ferry boat from another Caribbean isle, especially as some find opulent exile too hard to enjoy for longer than a day or two. And some say it's more ideal to split your time between here, the nearby U.S. Virgin Islands and Anguilla to the east.
Others find more than enough to keep them exclusively anchored by these 60 islands and cays. On Tortola you'll find mountainous cliffs and bone white beaches, characterized by changing tides and calm easterly winds. A brief sail away, sleepy Jost Van Dyke offers delicious Caribbean food and drink, one of the region's best New Year's Eve parties, as well as a few outdoor excursions like diving and fishing. On Virgin Gorda you'll find The Baths, perhaps the most picturesque shore in the British Virgin Islands, and with good reason: It offers unique grottoes amidst gigantic granite boulders (just be mindful of the daytripping crowds). For supreme seclusion, try Anegada; its slow pace, flat terrain and sparkling sand lies almost overlooked in Caribbean Sea.
How To Save Money in British Virgin Islands
- Make it a daytrip Staying among the U.S. Virgin Islands is probably cheaper; staying on Puerto Rico most definitely is. The cost to take a small plane or ferry roundtrip from one of those islands is significantly less than planning an entire itinerary in the British isles.
- Avoid the duty-free Like much of the Caribbean, these islands boast duty-free deals on electronics, jewelry, liquor and perfume. But the selection is not as vast as shopping capitals like St. Thomas, USVI and St. Martin-St. Maarten.
- Carpool Keep in mind that taxis will charge you per destination, not per person. Find some travel buddies at your hotel who are willing to take a few island tours and excursions with you and then split the cab bill.
British Virgin Islands Culture & Customs
Virgin Islanders dress casually but conservatively. Wearing a bathing suit -- or even sandals -- anywhere besides the beach marks you as a tourist. Most nightclubs are willing to accept you in boat shoes and a nice pair of shorts, according to Concierge.com, but don't be surprised to find the residents in slightly better attire.
British Virgin Islands Dining
West Indian cuisine relies heavily on seafood. So it's no surprise that conch -- a Caribbean shellfish -- is one of the BVIs' most prized delicacies. You'll find conch served in the higher end establishments along Tortola or Virgin Gorda, but also available in the casual beach bars on any big or small British Virgin Island.
Plan Your Trip to British Virgin Islands
- Top Things to Do in British Virgin Islands
- Best Hotels in British Virgin Islands
- Map of British Virgin Islands
- British Virgin Islands Photos