BVI til We Die
One of the things we love most about traveling to the Caribbean is that each island is unique and different in its culture despite the geographical closeness to each other. The British Virgin Islands is a volcanic archipelago comprised of four main islands and several smaller ones. The BVI has been a bucket list destination for AniGraham Travels for a long time and we were so happy to make Tortola our home away from home for a week in 2022.
When deciding on where within the BVI to vacation, there are several options to choose from depending on what you are looking for. We chose Tortola as it has the widest array of tastes and interests, including Sage Mountain National Park and the capital of Road Town. Like all trips, we started off with a travel day. Due to location of Tortola, several methods of transportation are required. While one can fly directly to Tortola, the flights are more expensive and often result in a longer lay over in Puerto Rico. We elected to fly into St. Thomas USVI and then take a ferry to Tortola, where we rented a car. Since the BVI is an overseas territory of Great Britain, you drive on the opposite side of the road which takes a little getting used to.
Once we arrived in West End Tortola and made it through customs, we were off to our Airbnb! We chose a beautiful villa around the corner from Brewer's Bay on the northern side of the island which felt very remote. Our Airbnb was situated on the side of a cliff overlooking Jost Van Dyke Island with a beautiful infinity pool and wrap around porch. It was definitely paradise, and we could have spent our whole vacation in that pool but I crave the beach. Tortola is home to some of the best beaches in the BVI. Due to us visiting at the end of hurricane season, we had most beaches almost completely to ourselves. Brewers Bay was great as it was only a 5-minute drive from our Airbnb. Our other favorite beaches included Cane Garden Bay and Little Bay. Little Bay was my personal favorite, and we had the whole beach to ourselves all day. Please note that a vehicle that sits higher up is necessary on the access road to Little Bay.
No trip to any island in the Caribbean is complete without a catamaran day! We decided to splurge on a private catamaran day trip with Adventure Charter BVI and enjoy the day sailing on the Belline II. While private charters are more expensive then shared ones, there is are a lot of benefits, including having the boat to yourself and being able to set the itinerary. We chose to sail to Norman Island, which is located on the southern tip of the British Virgin Islands archipelago and inspired Robert Louis Stevenson's novel Treasure Island. We enjoyed cave swimming, snorkeling with colorful tropical fish and drinks at Pirates Bight, which is only accessible by boat. If a private day charter is in your budget, we highly recommend!
In terms of food on the island, Tortola has a lot of great options! If you are lucky enough to be there during conch or lobster season, you will enjoy some of the best seafood of your life! We were lucky enough to visit during lobster season and I think I ate my weight in the delicious crustaceans. For a lowkey, relaxed feel, we enjoyed Bamboushay Restaurant and Lounge. They offer an excellent drink menu, amazing pizza, and to die for coconut shrimp. Red Rock Restaurant and Bar is another island staple, and we enjoyed the lobster and lamb ribs. We recommend calling them to double check if they are open as their online hours are not always accurate. For our final dinner on the island, we chose Brandywine Estate and a reservation is highly recommended! For appetizers, we split the tuna tartare and the fidel gastro egg rolls, which had an unforgettable presentation. Regarding dinner, we chose the sharable paella, which was piled high with sausage, chicken, squid, fresh fish, clams, mussels, crawfish, prawns and topped with a whole lobster! It was our favorite meal while on the island and would be our first stop on a return trip.
The British Virgin Islands has a little bit of something for everyone. Which each new trip to the BVI, you can pick a different island to go to, making it feel like a new adventure every time. I know it won't be long before AniGraham Travels ventures back down to the Caribbean. In the meantime, happy traveling!