Skip to content

Inescapable paradise; Tortola, British Virgin Islands

  • by

What’s not to love with a paradise whose people start every conversation with warm greetings? Hitchhiking is even possible with a pointy finger, welcome to the splendid tourist destination of Tortola, the capital island of the British Virgin Islands. Remember to say the appropriate greetings of the day every time you ask for directions or if you want to hop on for a free ride. As such, for the well-off travelers, just rent a charter boat to see more of the islands where you can simply anchor on one of the breathtaking islets and lagoons and do some splendid snorkeling. For those on budget, there are plenty of cheaper boat rides that can take to you to the nearby islands that are equally breathtaking.


Once you get to the mainland, safaris are the typical mode of transportation; they’re just modified pickup trucks resembling an open jeep. There are not so much to see in the mainland except some notable original wooden houses taking away about 5 seconds of your interest. Nonetheless, you will find plenty of shops with fantastic souvenir items to bring home. Don’t forget to visit the Main Street to see interesting art galleries and the Cockroach Hall standing on a huge rock.

If you hike farther inland, you will discover the infamous ruins called The Dungeon; a Spanish fort built in the 1700s. There is also the African Church of St Phillips in memory of the black slaves freed by the Royal Navy and left on Tortola. Surprisingly, this is the very first free black church in the Americas.

Another remarkable hike is the trail leading to the summit of Mount Sage; once on top, you will be rewarded with cool atmosphere. Take note that you must be fit to take on this trail since some areas are very rough and not good for leisurely walking.


Another fascinating trail is the one that leads right to the popular Bat Cave. This can be trek right off the Brewers Bay and you’ll cut your way through dramatic horseshoe hillsides. You better take a guide because the trails are practically mazes so for the uninitiated, you could be going in circles without even realizing it. The Bat Cave is simply fascinating and spelunking has never been this fun.

For a rather unique relaxing activity, head to the Salt Island via a short boat ride. This is practically where the royal salt is coming from. There is an eerie graveyard atop a hill from those of the Rhone wreck in 1867. This site offers a breathtaking vantage point overlooking the whole of Tortola albeit with an eerie twist. You will also find a stunning yet dangerous rocky blowhole featuring a natural whirlpool.

There are also fascinating beaches on the northern side of the island particularly the famous Brewer’s Bay and Cane Garden Bay. During calmer weather, you can have fascinating snorkeling on its shores or you can simply bask in the sun over dark gold sands. For your romantic plans, head to the less crowded beaches such as the Long Bay on Beef Island; the waters here are pristine and the sands are remarkably white however, there are no amenities.

You can even surf at the Apple Bay which is also sporting fascinating and unique nightlife such as the island’s full moon parties.