What should we NOT miss in the BVIs?
So, my boyfriend and I have been on island (STT) for just about a year now. To celebrate the occasion, we plan to take a three day trip to Tortola and Virgin Gorda. I know, but island hopping was among the many reasons we moved here, so, to us this is an appropriate way to celebrate! We hope to catch this month's full moon party Tuesday night. Anything we absolutely must not miss? We are going for a full day to see The Baths. General plan is day one, wander around on foot on Tortola. Second day, Virgin Gorda, then back to Tortola and (we hope!) join the full moon party. Day three, rent a car. We love hiking and beaching and eating and drinking! Any advise would be appreciated.
When I first moved here, I absolutely had to do the Bomba Shack party. Stayed at Sebastian's, which is a nice spot within crawling distance. They sometimes have locals rates for rooms.
Are you going to stay overnight on Virgin Gorda? Lots of fun there, too! Rent a car and see the old copper mine, Leverick Bay, Little Dix, etc.
On Tortola, highly recommend Frenchman's Cay Hotel restaurant- can't remember the name right now, but excellent! Brewer's Bay, Cane Garden Bay and Smuggler's Cove on the north side are nice beaches. The Botanical Garden in Road Town is fun.
We use to spend a lot time in the BVI with several trips to Virgin Gorda. The BATHS are very overrated. They are a unique geologic formation, but they have become overrun with tourists (not as bad as cruise ship crowds yet). We have approached them by boat and down the trail and even15 years ago they were becoming overcrowded, they are now much worse. Go early in the day if you must.. I would suggest taking a look and then getting away from the littering throngs by finding a different quieter spot. If you are on a boat there are some wonderful small "sandy" islands between Jost and Tortola.
The Bomba Shack on Tortola and Foxy's on Jost remind me of my 'hippie days' in San Francisco but have been overrun unless you enjoy too many people. Smugglers Cove use to be a great beach, haven't been back in years.
The Baths are awesome, go.
Hit the east end of Tortola, The Bittet End. It's fun, and the donkey is silly.
Salt Island. Go buy a pound if the very salt they send to the Queen of England. The fishing on the way there is amazing if you can swing that.
Jost Van Dyke, but on the back half. You'll get the story of the feud, and murder, that took place between the two restaurants.
Sebastians & the Bomba shack...but be ready for an interesting evening...
Diving The Dogs. Cool, very cool. Tons of jellyfish, it's an experience!
VIsnorkeler: The Baths is one of those places you should see for yourself. No, it isn't like it was in the way-back days, but what is? It is like Bomba's party. You go, you try the tea, you mark it off the list!:P
saucey: I am pretty sure the donkey is gone from The Last Resort- that was what you were talking about, right? The little spot in the middle of Trellis Bay by the Tortola airport? The Bitter End is on Virgin Gorda and no donkeys there.;)
Great! Thanks for all the advise. And we have already booked a room at Sebastian's all three nights. No boat, just ferries the whole time. I won't be skipping The Baths nor the Bomba Shack party. I want to experience both, even if we decide to never do them again.
Any fun shopping, the fun kind, I mean, not watches or perfume or jewelry or whatever, I do live on STT. I mean, some local art or chintzy cheesy touristy stuff. Or, even better, sundresses and bathing suits.
If you are staying at Sebastian's the whole time, you might consider saving the Baths for another trip. You are going to spend a lot of time and money getting over there. There is plenty to do and see on Tortola. And have you been to Jost? It is much closer and would be a fun full day.
Don't listen to the naysayers: that Baths are a must. Go.
As for the rest of Virgin Gorda, the North Sound is where it's at. Spanish town is a dump with not much going on and is not recommended.
Honestly, I feel Tortola is a bit overrated (the water in the marina by the Bat Cave LITERALLY smells like shit, I kid you not). There are some nice spits, though. Cane Garden Bay is gorgeous and is a must see. Soper's Hole has some nice shops and bars, but it really more of a spot for boaties. Bomba Shack's Full Moon Party is famous and a must see. Just be prepared to be around a bunch of people tripping on mushrooms, because at midnight the Bomba Shack brings out mushroom tea for EVERYONE. Just try it, you'll feel like one of the group.
Trellis Bay on Beef Island is much more interesting and laid back than Tortolla, IMO. Beef Island sits right next to Tortola and they are connected by bridge, so you can easily do both. Also, Trellis Bay is home to The Last Resort, which is a sweet place for a fancy dinner. Lastly, Trellis Bay has it's own Full Moon Party. Not quite as famous as the one at the Bomba Shack, but still sweet.
Norman Island is awesome. The Caves are a great snorkeling spot and Willy T's is a must see. You will need a boat to see these spots, though.
Also, don't forget about The Indians. They're very close to Norman Island and are, in my opinion, the very best snorkeling spots in the ENTIRE Virgin Islands. They are only accessible by boat, though.
We had a lovely time. We stayed at Sebastians, did Bomba Shack (somehow I didn't think it was really going to be a SHACK!) and the tea. It was a pretty mellow night, started drizzling after midnight and that drove all the potentially crazy people away, though I did notice that there was a police officer handy at all times. We wandered around Road Town, rented a car and visited Cane Garden Bay and hiked Sage Mountain. We went to The Baths for one whole day -- wow!! We must have picked the right day because I doubt we saw ten people at one time the entire day. It was lovely and I am certain we will be visiting again. I know we didn't see the whole thing. Kerry is pretty seriously into photography and can't wait to return to take even MORE pictures. Thanks for all your advise! Thought you'd like to know how the vacation went. Much more to do in the BVIs, can't wait for our next visit.