STX to the Baths (Virgin Gorda)
Good Day All,
I am planning a short trip to Virgin Gorda from St Croix to spend a day or maybe a weekend at the Baths. I am interested in suggestions on traveling to VG from STX. It seems that going first to STT is almost a must; however, when getting a return price quote (STX to STT and return) from Seaborne for 2 people is already $354.00. Then when you factor in the ferry ride from STT to VG and return, it adds up and takes a lot of time for travel as well. Initially, I was planning a day trip, but I fear that the day will be too long with the travel included to really enjoy the Baths. For those of you who have made the trip from STX, any suggestions are most welcomed. FYI, this trip is for two young and energetic travellers looking for a quiet time together in a great location that offers some exploration. Giving thanks in advance for your suggestions.
I once went from my house on STX to the North Sound in Virgin Gorda in 6 hours, by seaplane from STX to STT, ferry from STT to Roadtown, ferry from Roadtown to Spanishtown, and taxi from Spanishtown to North Sound. You might make it to The Baths in just 5 hours since it's close to Spanishtown! It's not worth going and returning in the same day. Even one overnight is probably not worth it. Consider taking a day trip to The Baths with a charter company from STT, if the plane schedule allows it.
Spend a week to make it worthwhile as it takes quite a bit of time getting there and back, even from STT.
There are not as many frequent ferries to VG and sometimes they do not run so be prepared.
You haven't allowed time in your schedule to clear customs and immigration. You will have to clear customs and immigration when you arrive in the BVI at the nearest port of entry.
On your return from the BVI you will either have to clear customs and US immigration on St Johns if you are stopping at STT or if you are coming directly back to STX then on STX.
Only possibility for a day trip is to take a fast motor boat from STX to the BVI. If the seas aren't very rough then you should be able to make the crossing in 1 - 1.5 hours. No commercial motor boat charters that I am aware of on STX. You also will want a good captain as more than likely your return will be after dark and the approach into any of the harbors on STX is tricky enough during daylight.
I have repeatedly flown over for day trips to Virgin Gorda from STX over the years. The best way to go is to get a group of 7-9 friends to go and charter a plane. Call up Bohlke, Mike Foster, Captain Al, or any of the other guys with smaller planes. Fly over early in the morning, catch a taxi to the Baths, explore all day, taxi tour the island, eat a good meal and fly back before sunset. If you fill a plane you can usually fly for $100-$130 per person round trip, throw in taxi fare and the day only cost about $150 in all. Less people and the cost goes up, but it is a great way to go for the day, and way cheaper and less hassle than going the STT route. If your schedule is flexible you can ask them to notify you in case they are flying and have seats open, but usually it is easy to find a few other willing participants to go for the day.
Try it- it's great!
Agree this is a must do trip! Have done it several times in 2012 with friends/family visiting. We usually take our boat motor boat and in good seas 2 1/2 - 3 hrs like Jim Dandy states, but also agree withSTXBob, seaplane and ferry times sound right.
We called last month for seaplane and taxi rates and schedules and got the same numbers as you did "jonboy" and that isn't much different than fuel in a motor boat at 4.75 gal making a 33 nm trip 🙁
We just did a quick last minute trip with family on our boat. Left STX Sunday morning straight to Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbor and headed back for home/STX at 2:00 pm Monday.
When we have traveled we were told by customs, if you are in BVI's 3 days or less, you can check in and check out at the same, when you check in.
We have taken a snorkel charter trip out of St Thomas, day trip. Don't forget passports, but they handle the customs clearing for you usually.Charter company was located right at the same area as the seaplane dock in STT. Some charters might also include snorkeling the Indians and the Caves... 2 more must do's IMHO in BVI waters :).
AND on another trip, we did an overnight on Virgin Gorda. Don't forget your passports 🙂 Day one is travel to Virgin Gorda, rent a car, they will meet you at the Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbor. Since you will arriving at the Yacht Harbor by ferry anyway, no hassles there.
You can walk from the Marina/Yacht Harbor to checkin and clear customs. Once cleared and checkin in, pick up rental car. Always checkin and clear customs first 😉
There is a grocery store right there at Marina/yacht Harbor,larger than Schooner Bay as a reference, along with 5-6 restaurants, tourist gift shops, dive shop, electronics store etc.
We usually do a land tour the first day, maps available with the rental car agency and easy to drive yourself around the little island. A couple must see sunset stops at restaurants/bars with views of island(s) chain.
Stop at The Rock for dinner 🙂 such a cool place.
You can do 1/2 or better land tour of the island first day and then in the morning head to the other end of island to The Baths.
Open air taxi buses available if you don't want to rent a car. We rented a 7 passenger Ford SUV for 69.00 for 24 hr rental so car prices might be cheap enough.
There were rooms available with 1 day notice (when we called at the end of January) at Leverick Bay Marina and Resort. You can look them up online. They quoted $149.00 a night 2 people and offered a locals discount off of that. I didn't think that was too bad by BVI rates in high at the last minute. We were able to have our group all fit and stayed on the boat so can't say on the rooms, but the resort has a dive shop, grocery store, Schooner bay size, Pussers store, 2 restaurants, pool, and beach toys and rentals- small boats. The rental unit arrangement, when we drove through to shop and grab a bite to eat, looked similar arrangement to Chenay Bay arrangement, so I would ask, I couldn't tell if they had any hotel type rooms connected to the resort building.
Sorry about the rambling, hope that helps 🙂
We have been to the baths on Virgin Gorda three times. Once we spent a week on VG at Little Dix, another time we took the ferry from Tortola and finally on a 70' sailboat charter. We were disappointed almost every time. It is overcrowded and over hyped. The best time was when one early morning we walked down the stairs before the hoard of boaters arrived. It is a unique geologic place, but it is over used and over traveled. We had our most memorable fun at other places in the British Virgin Islands.
When on the sailboat charter we snorkeled near Jost at a place called "monkey island??". It was one of my most wonderful days in the water. What I am saying, is that the Baths is sort of neat, but is overused to the point that it is no longer a fun place to be...unless you love crowds, boats and being run over by dingys.
Monkey Point, Guana Island... Fabulous snorkeling!