Tortola Travel Guide

  • Tortola
    by bowlcoach
  • The infamous Cane Garden Bay
    The infamous Cane Garden Bay
    by pabertra
  • View from my favorite watering hole, Josiah's Bay
    View from my favorite watering hole,...
    by pabertra

Tortola Things to Do

  • Norman Caves

    I was fascinated by the idea of going to Norman Caves, the real life inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island so I was happy when I found a way to visit both Norman Island and Jost Van Dyke on one daytrip. We stopped here in the morning with Patouche Charters, before heading over to Jost Van Dyke. Since our captain was also our crew...

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  • Patouche-catamaran charter

    I contacted Patouche about a month before we were heading to Tortola and asked about a trip to Norman Island and Jost Van Dyke. Captain Joe said that he would go out with just the two of us so I booked with him. Normally you would meet him at his dock, a short taxi ride away but because there were just two of us he came into port and met us there....

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  • Visiting Jost Van Dyke from Tortola

    Jost Van Dyke, another of the British Virgin Islands, is easily reachable from Tortola. This was our 2nd stop on our catamaran cruise with Patouche and our catamaran docked at White Bay. Earlier in the visit, there was another group of people from our cruise ships and a few other boats, as the afternoon wore on more and more boats arrived. The...

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  • Callwood's Cane Garden Bay distillery

    This distillery is allegedly over 400 years old and looks it. The rum, we were told, had a unique quality - you will never, ever get a hangover from it. Sure, right. We paid about $7 for a quart, double the price of a quart of Cruzan in the K Mart on St. Thomas. After an excellent meal at Myett's we retired to the bareboat charter sloop. The next...

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  • The Baths-Spring Bay

    After getting off the Speedy safari taxi, you pay the small entrance fee (I think it was $3-4 per person) and then walk down the pathway to get to Spring Bay. As you are reading about the Baths, people will talk about the difficulty of the walk but it's not to this part that they are talking about as it's an easy 5-10 minute walk on a very clearly...

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  • The Baths-Virgin Gorda

    When I looked at Cruise Critic it appeared that the #1 suggestion for a day in Tortola was leaving Tortola and taking a ferry over to see the Baths on Virgin Gorda, one of the neighboring islands in the British Virgin Islands. It is the most popular tourist destination in the BVI. There are several ways to get here if you arrive by cruise ship, of...

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Tortola Hotels

See all 24 Hotels in Tortola
  • Sugar Mill Hotel

    Apple Bay, Tortola

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Business

    Hotel Class 4 out of 5 stars

  • Surfsong Villa Resort

    Well Bay, Beef Island, VG1120, Caribbean

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Business

  • Scrub Island Resort

    Scrub Island, Caribbean

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Business

    Hotel Class 5 out of 5 stars

Tortola Restaurants

  • Best experience in Tortola

    I went to spend the weekend at Tortola and the single most delicious experience I have is eating in Dove Restaurant. The restaurant is cozy, dim and generally of good ambiance. Everything I had and my family was superb. The only thing that I didn't like was the price, because it is on the pricey side, but it is worth it! Fresh fish covered in...

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  • noisy and bad service

    Nice place, has its own dinghy dock. Great place to watch the sunset EXCEPT all the ferries come in and go out right next to it and its really noisy. Also the tv above the bar is permanently tuned to sport. Then you have the barman cussing with all his loud taxi driver friends sitting around the bar in the dining room. Food is pretty good, but the...

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  • Soper's Hole Hotel and Restaurant

    We had dinner here. The cook (a friend of theirs) ran out of propane. Watched snowboarding on ESPN while we ate. Since we were on a mooring, the 100 foot dinghy dock was of particular interest.Open for business from October 1st to July 31st. Closed annually from August 1st to September 30th.The Jolly Roger Inn is for sale according to their...

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Tortola Nightlife

  • Prepare to drink..

    Very little to this "bar" however, lots of drinks and on the beach. This is the first place we went to and....well, we were pretty done for the day after this one. Made of driftwood and on the beach. Well, most start out with clothes....not much more to say about that.

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  • Cool Place

    Fun time at the Bat Cave and great drinks. We were there when no one else was...it was fun...take pictures in the dance area - which provides a pole for those of you who want to try pole dancing!

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  • Mushroom tea and full moon party

    I can't claim to have ever experienced the full moon party at The Bomba Shack. My tastes tend to be a little more sedate (hmmmm...am I getting old?). Anyway...if this is your cup of tea (sorry, couldn't resist) check out this well known Tortola establishment at full moon. WILD is the word! Full moon at The Bomba Shack. Anything goes!

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Tortola Transportation

  • Ride around Tortola

    During a cruise a stopover in Tortola permits to cross the island.There was no public transport, we started walking and somebody stopped and took us to the next beach.Very friendly population

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  • Speedy's ferry to Virgin Gorda

    Savvy cruisers know that you can usually do excursions for a fraction of the cost of the ship excursions, in this port I think it was about 1/2 the cost. Speedy's is one of the choices for ferries, Princess also uses them so I assumed they were the most reliable, and the one with the best schedule. The ferry terminal is a 10-15 minute walk from...

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  • To Tortola

    We took the ferry from Red Hook, St. Thomas to West End, Tortola with Native Son, Inc. The cost was $30/person one way, and it took about 40 minutes to get there.Once we got to Tortola, we rented a car. Whew...what an adventure!

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Tortola Shopping

  • Not the finest West Indies Rum

    Pussers are a set of restaurants some with stores owned by a company in North Carolina (not Caribbean). The one in Sopers Hole serves good burgers and reasonable pizza and the service though slow is friendly. The one in town serves the worst food on the island and has by far the worst service anywhere. The only other one we tried is East End where...

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  • Buying Gifts

    On our first trip to the Virgin Islands, I bought some nice gifts on Tortola. I like to buy things that are made locally, or at least not in Taiwan (unless I'm in Taiwan).I went into the Sunny Caribbee shop. The first room had various spices and other food type items -- spices, sweets, receipes, herbs, and the like, and also cosmetics and other...

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  • Tortola Hotels

    24 Hotels in Tortola

Tortola Local Customs

  • starship's Profile Photo

    by starship Updated Jan 27, 2007

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    One local custom that seems to be common on many Caribbean islands is the practice of letting livestock roam about freely. I've seen this alot, but every time I see them, I am amused. It would be almost unthinkable to let these animals wander freely in most countries for fear of their being hurt, stolen, killed, etc. But in the islands, the "no worries" attitude must prevail.

    Admittedly, the animals in the accompanying pictures look better than most I've seen in my many trips to the Caribbean, but I tend to believe it is only because the fates have been kind and in no part due to their owners stewardship---or maybe they have no owners! I think these animals looked suprised or just as amused at seeing us and were maybe hoping for a handout.

    In any case, if you're driving please be cautious and drive slowly because you never know when and where you might find animals crossing or near the road. Please be kind!

    Are you my Mother? Goats enjoying a roadside lunch

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Tortola Warnings and Dangers

  • Strong currents

    The currents here vary from day to day, I saw references to trips being cancelled when the currents made it too rough to come over here. If you are coming in by cruise ship, you might have a plan B if they aren't taking people over to the Baths. If you go into Spring Bay and are not a strong swimmer, make sure you keep to where you can touch bottom...

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  • Drive on the Left

    The back roads of Tortola are quite narrow and twisty. And they do drive on the left with LHD cars. There are also people and livestock (first photo) on the road.

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  • Beep! Beep! Look out!

    Maybe it was just our experience, and this isn't typical, but we found the drivers in Tortola to be much more aggressive than on the other islands. The roads were in bad condition, and our rental car left a lot to be desired. As was the case on the other islands, the roads were narrow with sharp curves and dangerous switchbacks. The problems arose...

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Tortola What to Pack

  • Dabs's Profile Photo

    by Dabs Updated Feb 13, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Water shoes were very useful for the walk between Spring and Devil's Bay

    If you have swim shorts with waterproof pockets or one of those money things you can hang around your neck, you might find it useful as there are no lockers at Devil's Bay although you could lock it up at Spring Bay and head back there before leaving.

    Bathing suit

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Sunscreen, there is a little shade but you'll spend most of your time in the sun

    Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Snorkel gear isn't rented there, I didn't even use mine, I don't think it's necessary to lug along

    Miscellaneous: Towel
    Water
    Snacks

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Tortola Off The Beaten Path

  • Anegada Island, the "Drowned Island"

    Anegada, one of the largest British Virgin Islands, is a unique island for several reasons and is worth the effort to reach it if you can. Unlike the other British Virgin Islands which came into existence through volcanic upheaval and are moutainous or hilly, Anegada is virtually flat. It stretches for at least 10 miles but it's highest point is...

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  • Virgin Gorda

    Named "Fat Virgin" or "Virgin Gorda" by Christopher Columbus because of the islands silhouette, the island resembles a large woman lying on her back. Virgin Gorda is the 3rd largest of the British Virgin Islands. A very popular island in the BVI, Virgin Gorda is known for spectacular sights and interesting beaches. Huges boulders and rocks on the...

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  • A great view from atop

    Almost away from the beaten bath anyways. This picture was taken near a roadside bar that had the most magnificent view! Make sure when you're in Tortola to take plenty of pictures as the views are great!

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Tortola Sports & Outdoors

  • Sail Charters

    The biggest sports activities in the Virgin Islands are Scuba and Boating. One of the things Tortola is known for is as the home of one of the largest bareboat charter fleets that there is. [A bareboat is a boat that you charter and sail by yourself.] We did not charter a bareboat (we had a captain and a cook to do that work for us) and we...

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  • Surfers

    When we did the circumnavigation of Tortola, I did see surfers on some of the beaches on the backside of the island. It might have been Cane Garden Bay or Apple Bay. The waves weren't too big - not as big as on Barbados in the Soup Bowl, but I did see them there.Surf Spots Apple Bay, TortolaLocated on the north shore, the surf spot breaks with...

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Tortola Favorites

  • Advantages of skipping the cruise...

    Since we are no longer novice cruisers, we book all of our excursions independent of the ship. The benefits differ from port to port but in the case I found the benefits to be:a) Lower cost, I don't remember the exact cost of the ship's excursion but it was more than Tortola Charters which was $55, we did the trip for $41 ($38 for Speedy's, $3...

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  • Going to Church

    Those who are Christians or to say that they are born again, Jubilee Faith Center is a place where one word from God can change your life forever. Pastored by Frankie Rathanum and his lovely wife Sherril Rathanum.On Sunday there are two sevices in the morning. One at 8:00am and one at 10:30am. on Wednsday night there is a midweek service to refresh...

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  • Odds & Ends

    Some information which may be useful to the day traveler or those planning on a longer stay:The official language of the British Virgin Islands is English although some native islanders do have a "Caribbean" type of accent.The official currency is the U.S. Dollar.The climate is sub-tropical. Pack light-weight, casual clothing!There are anywhere...

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Explore Deeper into Tortola
The Baths-Devil's Bay Trail
Things to Do
The Baths-Devil's Bay
Things to Do
Circumnavigate the Island
Things to Do
Sail Away
Things to Do
Admire the flowers
Things to Do
Visit a smaller British Virgin Island
Things to Do
Mount Healthy Windmill
Things to Do
Rough Point
Things to Do
Smuggler's Cove
Things to Do
Long Bay - Beef Island
Things to Do
Skyworld
Things to Do
Sage Mountain National Park
Things to Do
Fort Recovery
Things to Do
Long Bay
Things to Do
Cane Garden Bay
Things to Do
Carrot Bay
Things to Do
Island tour
Things to Do
Excellent Local Restaurant
Restaurants
Without a Car
Transportation
visit the Bath at Vigin Goadr
Things to Do
Bomba's Surf Shack ~ On the Wild Side
Things to Do
Sky World ~ Panoramic Viewpoint
Things to Do
The Splendid Wall Mural of Fahey Hill
Things to Do
Cane Garden Bay ~ " One Jewel of Tortola"
Things to Do
Reaching Tortola
Transportation
Dolphin Discovery
Things to Do
Wonderful Dinner!
Restaurants
Go on a Snorkeling Tour!
Things to Do
Rent a Boat!
Things to Do
A lasting memory
Things to Do
Enjoy the scenery
Things to Do
Cane Garden Bay
Things to Do
Breathtaking Scenery!
Off The Beaten Path
Cane Garden Beach
Off The Beaten Path
Climb Mount Sage
Off The Beaten Path
Take a ferry to the other BV Isalnds
Things to Do
Driving in Tortola......be prepared!
Warnings and Dangers
Road Town - Capital of Tortola
Things to Do
Colourful Tour Taxis!
Transportation
Actually
Off The Beaten Path
Map of Tortola

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