User Rating: 5 / 5

Star ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar Active

The British Virgin Islands are a band of some 60 islands, and one of the most popular places to visit in the Caribbean.

The British Virgin Islands remind me of a good British Mystery from the likes of Agatha Christie. Well, you have to have the who; the what; the where; the how; and the why. Don't believe me? I'll prove it. The Who: There are some sixty islands that make up the British Virgin Islands. Perhaps you might have heard of some of the most famous of them: Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada, and Jost Van Dyke. Some of them are owned by the likes of Sir Richard Branson (he owns Necker Island) and other with enough Euro to get one themselves. Others have really interesting names like Fallen Jerusalem, Scrub Island, and my favorite: Deadman's Chest. Wait--I should have said the British Virgin Islands would be like a good Pirate's tale. The What: I'd say the islands themselves would be the what.

Tortola is famous for its excellent beaches and superb diving sites, but als for its white sandy beaches and the ruins of the St. Philips Church. It's the largest of all the islands--and where you'll find the perfect spot to dock your yacht.

Virgin Gorda's claim to fame is the grottos of The Baths. Created from volcanic activity The Baths are one of the most popular spots on this island. You'll find lots of cottages and villas to stay on this 8 square mile island--and a ferry that'll take you Trellis Bay.

Anegad is known as the Coral Island, and its beaches are a protected area. Tread carefully as you come here to snorkel, birdwatch, or SCUBA with the stingrays. It's a fun island too with kiteboarding and windsurfing.

Jost Van Dyke is the rugged island of the bunch; and easily reached by ferry from Tortola. Try their Painkiller Cocktail, created here on the island; or party hard at one of the Yacht Parties on Halloween.

The Where & The How:

The British Virgin Islands are located just east of Puerto Rico, and very close to the United States Virgin (USVI). With yachts being one mode of transportation to arrive from points all over the Caribbean (but you can only arrive to Virgin Gorda, Tortola, or Jost Van Dyke), and there is ferry service from the USVI. Folks who fly in arrive at the Terrance B. Lettsome Airport on Tortola serviced by airlines from the United States and other points in the Caribbean. Just remember that if you're arriving at all, you better have your passport handy. The only exception are Canadians who can come with a birth certificate and photo ID. Getting around is relatively easy with taxis and car rentals readily available. Get a true island experience by renting a scooter--or take the luxury route by renting a limo to get around.

The When:

This depends on what you're looking for. Wanna get away from the frigid temperatures of New England or the Midwest United States? Then winter is the right time, however it's high season. Come the middle of April it's the British Virgin Islands' Low Season--which lasts right through Hurricane Season (June 1-November 30). Doesn't matter too much--because the temperature is just about the same year round; thanks to the tradewinds that keep the islands at pretty much in the 80s during the day and 70s at night.

The Why:

This is the ultimate reason to come to the British Virgin Islands. In addition to diving (that's the main reason), there's all sorts of other water sports; 28 National Parks, mountains, fine dining, history, festivals (like the Spring Regatta in April. I say the real reason is the private estate on Eustatia Island (yes, one of the 60) set on 30 acres. It'll set you back tens of thousands of dollars for the honor--but oh so worth it if you got it, if not for the infinity pool alone. Can't spend all your time there? No biggie, take in a game of Cricket or snorkel, or join in at one of the Full Moon parties that take place once a month. I think that covers everything--the who, what, where, when, why, and how.

All that's missing is you.