Tortola, the capital of the British Virgin Islands, was named by Christopher Columbus meaning “land of the turtle dove”. Tortola offers beautiful white sand beaches, world class diving and snorkeling, the world famous “Baths”, opportunities to swim with dolphins, and breath taking views from the mountains. The island is also the yacht charter capital of the world.
Getting around Tortola can be a bit of a challenge if you have never driven on the left hand side of the road. The roads are very narrow, windy, and steep. There are plenty of taxi’s and many offering tours of the island. There are many shops and local restaurants near the port. Although a British territory, the American Dollar is the currency used on the island.
Tortola has many great beaches to choose from. Josiah’s Bay is the local favorite for those who want to surf. Cane Garden Bay, the hub of Tortola’s beach scene, is a lively beach with plenty of water activities to choose from including power boats, kayaks, and paddle boats. Brewster’s Bay offers some of the best snorkeling on the island. If you are looking for a secluded beach off the beaten path, then look no further than Smuggler’s Cove. The calm water offers a relaxing peace with a reef 100 feet from shore that has some great snorkeling. It is ranked the #1 attraction in Tortola by Trip Advisor.
Tortola offers many attractions. Fort Recovery is the oldest surviving structure in the B.V.I. The O’neal Botanic Gardens offer 4 acres of tropical plants, a small rainforest and over 60 species of palm trees. Sage Mountain National Park lets you explore the beauty of the islands and mountains. Dolphin Discovery offers the opportunity to swim with Dolphins.
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The most popular attraction is The Baths located in Virgin Gorda. Your cruiseline should offer an excursion to the Baths. Since visiting The Baths requires a ferry to another island, you should go with a tour group and not try and visit on your own.
If you visit Tortola on one of your cruises, please let us know if you see any chickens.