Free Things To Do in British Virgin Islands
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The center of activity in the BVI is on Tortola and the center of activity on Tortola is Cane Garden Bay. You'll spend the day at this northwestern beach swimming in the turquoise water, renting a boat or kayak, snorkeling around the beach's western edge and enjoying the great food. And when the sun goes down, Cane Garden Bay turns up. Happy hours are aplenty and live music wafts from local hotels with thrumming bars like Quito's Gazebo, Elm and Myett's – plus, chances are you'll be dancing.
Recent travelers can't say enough about Cane Garden Bay. They're especially amazed at how quickly the area bounced back after Hurricane Irma, noting a collection of operating restaurants and bars, and the opportunity to rent Jet Skis. However, some say the chilled out atmosphere of the beach changes when the cruise crowds roll in. Either try to avoid visiting when a cruise ship is in port (check the BVI Ports Authority website for details) or plan to arrive early in the day to stake out a prime spot on the sand.
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Its name suggests stealth, and it's true that Smuggler's Cove is the ideal shore for a clandestine beach rendezvous than it is a raucous beach with amenities galore. You'll find these sands on Tortola's western coast to be less crowded than other beaches in the BVIs, with a relaxing atmosphere and little but the horizon to enjoy. In fact, there is only one beach bar/snack stand nearby, Nigel's, which is beloved by many a traveler.
Travelers report good snorkeling conditions here, with plenty of colorful fish swimming around and coral to see. Beachgoers loved the quiet atmosphere of the cove was and the calm blue water.
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Just north of Cane Garden Bay on Tortola's northwest side is Brewers Bay, purported to be one of the best snorkeling beaches of the British Virgin Islands. The extensive reef is great for snorkeling, plus the beach is a less crowded beach option than the nearby Cane Garden Bay for those who are solely interesting in sunning and swimming. Still, some travelers noted that the nearby amenities left a little to be desired in the way of cleanliness.
Recent visitors liked the laid-back feel of this beach and snorkelers said the crystal clear water made it easy to see the colorful fish collecting around the coral reefs in the sea. Travelers also said it's a great spot to bring a book and relax on a lounge chair or go for a swim in the warm water.
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On southern Jost Van Dyke, White Bay is one of the best beaches to relax with a drink in hand. Convenient to Great Harbour, nearly all the island's bars and several beachside cottages and villas, White Bay is almost always buzzing with activity. Many independent yachts and boats dock out in the water and passengers swim or dinghy to shore. The actual beach part of the area offers plenty of room for travelers to lay down their towels or set up their chairs to sunbathe, whereas the bars are a more rowdy party scene. Local joints like Soggy Dollar or One Love Bar and Grill have reasonably priced burgers and bar fare, but you can also get especially potent drinks. Ask for a painkiller, a coconut, pineapple and orange juice concoction drowning in dark rum and topped off with a little nutmeg: Rumor has, this drink got its start on Jost Van Dyke.
Recent visitors described the sand as some of the softest they've ever felt and the beach as one of most beautiful they've seen. Travelers say there's definitely a party vibe once more people arrive for the day and some warn it may not be the best spot to bring children. White Bay is free to access and most travelers arrive by boat or catamaran. If you aren't arriving via a private or shared tour, you can reach the Jost Van Dyke via a series of ferries and taxis from the ferry port.
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