Topics include Dining Scene, For Foreign Visitors & more!
There are 16 inhabited islands and about over fifty other smaller islands and cays. The British Virgin Islands are called "Nature's Little Secrets" for good reason.
There are limited inter-island ferries connecting the main 3 islands (Tortola, Virgin Gorda, and Jost Van Dyke) and to the USVI (St Thomas and St Croix). If you wish to go to one of the smaller islands, or simply want to explore by yourself, sailboats, yachts and motorboats can all be rented. Most of the companies are based on Tortola – Island Time Powerboat Rentals, Jolly Mon Boat Rentals, Sunshine Power Boat Rental, Palm Yacht Charters, Bareboat BVI and Patouche Charters are just a few of the places that do rentals. Prices range anywhere from less than $100 to over $5000 a day, depending on type of boat.
A few boat rental places do guided sightseeing tours as well. Boat rental services that include several platforms—Zizoo, CYOA, and Rebalances, to name a few—connect you with verified boat charters in the Isles. On this site, prices range from €400 to upwards of €1000.
Getting around by yacht charter is what most do. The BVI is one of the principal places to sail in the world, and this is chiefly because it has perfect sheltered waters and wind. You can also go on ‘day-trip’ excursions where you can either explore the islands or head off to the town. The latter is host to a number of boutique stores, and cafés and restaurants.
You can snorkel among the caves of Treasure Point, fish among the flats of Anegada, or dive in to witness classic wrecks like the Rhone.
Freshly-caught seafood and freshly-prepared drinks are also served along the coast out in Tortola. You also have the option of hiring a crewed yacht.
Although pricey, another good way to get between islands and get in some sightseeing as well, is to take an aerial tour. Fly BVI, Clair Aero, Caribbean Wings and Island Helicopters all offer chartered flights between islands. The majority have their base on Beef Island at the airport.
Renting a 4WD vehicle is a great way to see Tortola or Virgin Gorda with rental operators in abundance. Rental on Jost Van Dyke and Anegada is more limited, but available. Driving is always on the left in the BVIs but if you are from a country that drives on the right, it's not as hard to adjust as you may think. Always honk your horn at a blind corner to avoid a head-on collision. Finally, beware the oversized speed bumps which are strategically placed on the main roads to keep the speeding in check. Scooters can be found but are considered by most to be suicidal, given the terrain and local drivers. Cyclists would be subject to the same limitations.
Taxis are readily available with a phone call on Tortola, Virgin Gorda or Jost Van Dyke. Also, they are always waiting for the arriving ferries. Arrangements can be easily made for a drop-off/pick-up if you want to see a particular site or for a whole island tour if you wish.
Overall, for islands that lack public transportation systems, its pretty easy to get around in the BVI.