Tortola is the largest of the British Virgin Islands (BVI), which also
includes Virgin Gorda, Anegada and Jost Van Dyke. It was taken over from the Dutch by the British.
The islands are located
east of the US Virgin Islands (St Thomas & St John) at the transition
where the Caribbean Islands turn to the south. On a day trip from St
Thomas to St John, you are just about as close to Tortola as you are to St
Thomas. Tortola is only about 60 miles east of Puerto Rico and this
island is 12 miles east/west and 3 miles
capital and cruise port is Road Town and the island of Tortola has a permanent
population of less than 20,000. The Virigin Islands were first
settled by the Arawak and then the Caribs. Christopher Columbus
sailed to these islands in 1493. In the 1500s the English, Dutch, French, Spanish and Danish
all attempted to control the area and it became a notorious haven for
pirates. Britain has goverened the British Virgin Islands since
Road Town Harbor
You can easily arrange tours of the island of Tortola from registered cab drivers at the port.
Going rates are $25 for a 2 – 3 hour tour of the island. This compares favorably with rates for excursions with cruise ships.
Typical tourist transportation
Attractions in Tortola:
Things to see and do:
Cane Garden Bay – a small town on the north shore of the island with a popular white sand beach and nearby shopping
Fort Hill and Great Mountain – for views of the island, the sea and
the Virgin Islands
Pusser’s Landing – on the western side of the island, this small village has West Indian architecture
Beaches – Smuggler’s Cove, Brewer’s Bay Beach, Cane Garden, Jost Van Dyke Island, Norman Island, Great Harbor at Peter’s Island
The “Baths” at Virgin Gorda – cross the Sir Francis Drake Channel to the third largest island in the British Virgin Islands and view volcanic formations.
Virgin Gorda is not on the cruise ship circuit, so there is far less
tourism, as most visitors arrive on small yachts.
Dolphin Discovery Lagoon – at Prospect Reef Port
Rhone National Marine Park - RMS Rhome wreck for deepwater diving