Safety Tips in British Virgin Islands

  • See those roads in the distance?
    See those roads in the distance?
    by agapotravel
  • Blind hill
    Blind hill
    by agapotravel
  • Climbing up a hill
    Climbing up a hill
    by agapotravel

Most Viewed Warnings and Dangers in British Virgin Islands

  • grandmaR's Profile Photo
    4 more images

    Don't bring your Spear Gun to the BVI

    by grandmaR Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Although the Virgin Islands area quintessential water sports territory, spear fishing is not permitted in the BVI and the use of SCUBA equipment to capture or remove any marine animal or coral is against the law. Even in the adjacent USVI, there are rules about spear fishing as it is illegal to spear fish for lobsters in all Territorial waters and it is illegal to use or possess spear fishing equipment anywhere within National Park boundaries (most of the National Park is in the vicinity of St. John)

    CIGUATERA which is a serious disease which is carried by many reef fish in the BVI.

    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Diving and Snorkeling
    • Cruise

    Was this review helpful?

  • Alfine5's Profile Photo

    Many Restaurants Close Over the Summer

    by Alfine5 Updated Dec 24, 2010

    Be aware that many of the nicer restaurants on the BVI are closed during the summer as this is their off period. We found this the hard way when we drove around Tortola trying to find some of the higher rated restaurants.

    Was this review helpful?

  • CASH!

    by sabsi Written Dec 9, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Better bring some cash to the BVI. ATMs don't always work on the islands and while most restaurants and shops accept credit cards, taxi drivers, beach bars and even some petrol stations want cash! Also don't forget to keep some money to pay for your departure tax (see Transportation Tip).

    Was this review helpful?

  • 1 more image

    SAFETY!

    by sabsi Written Dec 9, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Do you know a place where people don't lock their houses when they are out? What about a luxurious hotel where you don't get a key to your room? Where cars aren't locked and you never have to worry about the stuff on the beach while you are in the water. Where the police headquarters are closed in the evening?

    Welcome to the BVI. No unemployment. No poor people. No guns. No crime. God, it must be boring being a policeman here ;)

    Was this review helpful?

  • rebekah29's Profile Photo

    Virgin Islands Fishing

    by rebekah29 Written Mar 20, 2008

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I was just there, and I was told by locals that spear fishing and any kind of fishing is illegal in the waters around the islands, as the waters are full of coral and many of the fish are poisonous... Also there is a high metal count in many of the fish due to dumping in deeper water, Mercury is high. If you want to fish, you'll have to go out on a boat (charter) and do some deep sea fishing (about $450 a person ) and You'll be sure to catch a big one!

    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Beaches
    • Water Sports

    Was this review helpful?

  • catalysta's Profile Photo

    Fragile Reefs

    by catalysta Written Dec 19, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    When playing in the water, whether windsurfing or diving or snorkeling or just swimming around, please remember that coral is very fragile and takes decades to grow back. Although some critters can harm you if you touch them (e.g. the very obvious spiney sea urchins), most are harmed more by you touching them.
    It's also highly illegal to take beach souvenirs in the BVI's, so don't expect to bring that lovely conch shell home with you! Adopt the no-footprints-when-you-go attitude, and use your cameras and your memories for souvenirs, so others for many generations can enjoy these perfect islands after you leave.

    Related to:
    • Beaches
    • Water Sports
    • Diving and Snorkeling

    Was this review helpful?

  • Flamelit's Profile Photo

    Pricy Taxis! It ain't cheap getting around.

    by Flamelit Written May 3, 2005

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Taxi's: This island infrastructure is designed for sailers who get around by boat or dinghy. Therefore getting a taxi here is expensive, the BVI is not like many remote island locations where you can sometimes get a deal on transport, every taxi ride is a small fortune. Expect to pay $10 to go 200 yards (up an insanely steep hill), and $40 to go seven miles. This is a tiny price to pay for time in paradise, but just be forwarned- you will need more cash than you think! Walking in the BVI is an option, but the extremely hilly terrain makes this unpleasant with even a few bags or groceries (although the locals do it every day). You can also hitch rides for free as the locals do.

    Was this review helpful?

  • Actually, there are sharks

    by brownbeer Written Jan 5, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    After reading one writer, I feel I must respond. There are dangers in the water. Sharks are around but rarely if ever attack. Sea urchins abound and can cause a nasty infection. My sister-in-law spent two days in the hospital in Roadtown after dislocating her shoulder when a large wave capsized the dinghy. Another friend got stung by fire coral while snorkeling and ended up in the hospital on a respirator for a week. BVI is spectacular, but know the dangers berfore indulging.

    Related to:
    • Sailing and Boating
    • Diving and Snorkeling
    • Beaches

    Was this review helpful?

  • no phone?! what to do?

    by arasnosliw Written Oct 26, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Often you may end up on islands where phones are unavailable. The easiest form of communication is through VHF radio. You can call for help or even radio in dinner reservations.

    Helpful channels:

    Channel 16 for distress and hailing (then switch),
    Channel 68 or 6 for general conversation ship-to-ship,
    Channel 3 for weather,
    Channel 12 for charter company-to-yacht operations,
    Channel 27, 84 for Radio Tortola (4-4116), and
    Channel 25, 85, 87 for Virgin Islands Radio (6-8282)
    Restaurants 16 or 68.

    Was this review helpful?

  • rules of driving

    by arasnosliw Written Oct 26, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Be cautious if you decide to rent a car and drive in the BVI. Things get a little interesting. Although the country drives on the left side of the road (like other British Territories), cars are imported from the US. So steering wheels are on the left side as well. Confused yet?

    Since cars are also purchased in the US, driving distances are marked in miles.

    Also take heed when driving through the steep hills. Locals tend to drive fast through treacherous curves. Roads are narrow and very winding.

    Was this review helpful?

  • prices

    by arasnosliw Written Oct 26, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Seeing as almost everything is imported into the BVI, costs are pretty steep. There are generally few restaurants on each island (all catering to foreigners), allowing them to charge exorbitant prices. Even walking into a local grocery store is a shock.

    Try to pack goods in your suitcase so that you won't have to buy as much here.

    Was this review helpful?

  • sailing to USVI

    by arasnosliw Written Oct 26, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Since most visitors to the BVI are sailing, it is wise to say that you cannot sail to the US Virgin Islands if chartering a boat without proper paperwork. The USVI are so close, sometimes even closer than other BV islands, but you can be fined quite a bit if you don't heed to these rules.

    Was this review helpful?

  • kyoub's Profile Photo

    Locals

    by kyoub Written Aug 2, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    We had a problem with the locals wanting to jump in the back of our jeep.
    One day we stopped at a stop sign and one jumped in. He wanted to show us something,
    he said. He showed us how he could climb a tree and get us a coconut to drink.
    Of course, them he wanted money.

    Related to:
    • Adventure Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Creepy Crawlies

    by pahenry Written May 2, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The first I knew that there were scorpions on Tortola was when my fiance picked up my reef walker shoes and accidentally dropped one and a scorpion fell out! There ARE scorpions, so make sure you shake out your shoes and other clothing before putting them on! Also, I was told that there were big spiders in the rain forest, but wasn't warned that they also like to hang around at the beach and in villas! We had cane spiders bigger than a man's hand as well as a tarantula on our pool deck.

    Was this review helpful?

  • A TIP ABOUT TIPS

    by sabsi Written Dec 9, 2008

    3 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    If you are getting your check in a restaurant you better check if the service charge was already added or not. If not please add your tip. If it was added, however, feel free to not tip at all.

    Was this review helpful?

British Virgin Islands Hotels

Top British Virgin Islands Hotels

Tortola Hotels
98 Reviews - 288 Photos
Virgin Gorda Hotels
91 Reviews - 306 Photos
Norman Island Hotels
3 Reviews - 15 Photos
Road Town Hotels
2 Reviews - 18 Photos
Ginger Island Hotels
See nearby hotels
Sandy Cay Hotels
See nearby hotels
Necker Island Hotels
1 Review
Jost Van Dyke Island Hotels
19 Reviews - 85 Photos
Guana Island Hotels
1 Review - 4 Photos
Frenchmans Cay Hotels
See nearby hotels
Eustatia Island Hotels
See nearby hotels
Cane Garden Bay Hotels
See nearby hotels
Anegada Hotels
3 Reviews - 19 Photos

Instant Answers: British Virgin Islands

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

89 travelers online now

Comments

British Virgin Islands Warnings and Dangers

Reviews and photos of British Virgin Islands warnings and dangers posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for British Virgin Islands sightseeing.
Map of British Virgin Islands