Tortola, British Virgin Islands
The British Virgin Islands, about 60 (mostly uninhabited) islands and cays, are one of the Caribbean's most popular destinations. Tortola, a major yachting center, is the largest island of the group. Tortola and Virgin Gorda (1/2 the size of Tortola) are the two major islands that comprise this collection of some 60 islands. Tortola is a rocky island dominated by a mountain range. Cacti, mango trees, frangipani and wild tamarind dominate the hillsides. Mangroves and palm trees are found around the shores.
Tortola is linked by a bridge to Beef Island, site of the international airport. Road Town, on the south coast of Tortola, is the capital of the British Virgin Islands. It has a colorful market and delightful West Indian-style houses. Other attractions on the island are the Sage Mountain National Park and the J R O’Neal Botanic Gardens. Many of the best beaches are on the northern part of the island, with names such as Smugglers’ Cove, Long Bay and Brewer’s Bay. Cane Garden Bay is host to a number of bars and nightspots. There is an excellent view of the island and its coast from Sage Mountain, 550m above sea level.
Things to See & Do
* Main Street, Road Town
* Cane Garden Bay beach
* Snorkeling at Brewers Bay
* Hiking in Sage Mountain National Park
* Sage Mountain
Cruise Season – Jan - Dec
Currency – $US (USD)
Language – English
Land Area – 35 sq km’s
Population – 21,000 (BVI’s)
Electricity – 2 perpendicular flat pins USA style or with a round pin below
Time – GMT minus four hours
International Country Telephone Code – + 1 284 49
Port Location – Ships dock and anchor in Tortola. The pier can only hold 2 ships, however, so if more are in port, it will require tendering. Both pier and tender drop-off are located directly in Road Town, the capital of Tortola. Many daysail boats and dive companies as well as bareboat and crewed charters offer service to outer islands
Transport Links – Access to the island is via the international airport at Beef Island or in St. Thomas, USVI with direct flights to the US mainland. There is a regular ferry service between the USVI and Tortola. Ferry service to the outer-islands is convenient and economical, but outer-island air service is limited.
Buses, taxis and rental cars are available in Tortola.