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BVI Overview

Comprised of 60 islands and cays, dotted around 59 square miles, in the Caribbean, about 80 kilo meters 960 miles east of Puerto Rico, north of the Leeward Islands, and adjacent to the U.S. Virgin Islands; principal islands are Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada and Jost Van Dyke. Among the most frequently visited of the BVI's handful of inhabited islands are Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Beef Island, Anegada, Jost Van Dyke, Peter, Mosquito, and Guana Islands.

The British Virgin Islands are among the world's most prestine areas. Of the 60 British islands, 16 are inhabited. The population of all the islands is around 17,000. Tortola is the largest island with an area of 21 square miles. The other larger islands are Anegada -15 square miles, Virgin Gorda - 8 square miles, Jost Van Dyke - 3 square miles. Smaller islands include Great Tobago, Peter, Cooper, Norman, Guana, Beef, Great Thatch and Marina Cay.

Scuba diving is popular around sunken reefs and wrecks. Among wreck dives, RMS Rhone is reckoned to be the best in the Western hemisphere. Once the pride of the Royal Mail Steam Packet Company, the Rhone hit Salt Island in a storm in 1867 and sank. It is now an official marine park.

Snorkelers should visit the four caves at Norman Island, said to be the setting for Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island. Windsurfers benefit from steady winds and calm water.

Throughout the islands, beaches are splendid and the beach bars exceptional. Gourmet cuisine can be found, along with background music from steel pans and guitars. But don’t expect early-hours entertainment – except at summer festival time, when parades and parties rule Tortola. The beaches of The British Virgin Islands are peppered throughout the entire archipelago of 60 islands and cays. Some we have discovered and others are just waiting to be. Not only do they possess such natural beauty and character not seen elsewhere in the world, but also allow you to be a part of a captivating marriage of the Caribbean Sea and the northern Atlantic Ocean.

Tortola, the largest island and the primary center of Caribbean yachting...Virgin Gorda, an isle of natural wonders and home to The Baths...Picturesque Jost Van Dyke - The Caribbean as it used to be...Isolated Anegada, a coral atoll with miles of deserted Caribbean beaches.


Most people fly into the US Virgin Island of St. Thomas, which has a large international airport. The trip is thereafter with taxi to the harbor in the capital called Charlotte Amailie (approx. 3 miles). There are excellent large fast-ferry connections to Road Town in Tortula (BVI) and the trip takes about 45-50 minutes and costs approx. $25 per person.
















Foods Worth Trying

BVI has all the regular food that is found in the US and Europe, but also a great variety of local food that often costs less (i.e. roti) and has much more flavors. Here is a list of some of the foods worth trying when in the BVIs:

Roti: A flavourful East Indian flat bread filled with a meat or vegetables.

Paté: Not to be mistaken with liver pâté, this West Indian dish is a baked/grilled style pita bread filled with spiced meat, seafood or vegetables.

Fungi: No way related to the mushroom, this delight is made from cornmeal and okra and is usually served with seafood dishes. Very similar to Italian polenta.

Whelks: A seasonal seafood delicacy that is quite similar to escargot.

Conch: Another seasonal seafood delicacy - try it in fritters, paté, soup, salad, or as a main entrée.

Anegada Lobster: The ultimate in BVI seafood delicacy - reputed to be the best in the Caribbean.

Fresh local fruits: Most of which are seasonal like soursop, papaya, mango, pineapple, guava, sugar apple, passion fruit and tamarind.

(Content source: http://www.cruiselinefans.com/tortola/8230-british-virgin-islands-overview-tortola.html)