The British Virgin Islands provides some of the Caribbean’s best beaches, luxurious experiences and world-class service. Visitors can rent a luxury virgin gorda waterfront villa or stay at the all-inclusive resorts while spending their time relaxing and soaking up the sun. If this is your first time, check out these do’s and don’ts for first-time visitors to the British Virgin Islands.
Do Rent a Car
The best way to explore the British Virgin Islands is by car. Depending on which island you stay on, it’s possible to visit beaches, find spectacular views, hidden coves as well as many other attractive spots. If you rent a car as soon as you arrive, you’ll have the chance to visit and tour at your own pace.
Don’t Rely on Taxis
Unless you’re oozing with money and time, it’s not a good idea to rely on taxis to take you around the island. Because of its relatively small size, there aren’t that many roaming the street compared to other destinations around the world. And instead of being able to flag one down by the side of the road, it’s more likely you’ll need to order one. And when they do come, you can expect high fares.
Do Stay on Virgin Gorda
Out of 40 plus islands in the British Virgin Islands archipelago, the most popular place to take a vacation is on Virgin Gorda. The island is tiny at just eight square kilometres and packs a lot into its small size in terms of beaches, activities and experiences. Be sure to head to Spanish Town, the island’s capital for high-end restaurants and late night bars. And be sure to check out the Old Copper Mine, caves and grottoes too.
Don’t Expect a Cheap Getaway
Look at any brochure or photo of the British Virgin Islands and the first thing that tourists find striking is the stunning beauty of their landscapes. Long pristine coastlines share plots with small harbours filled with yachts and luxurious liners.And then combine this witha thriving local culture. But all of this comes at a price. When you factor in the flights, cost of accommodation and taking part in daily activities, the amountquickly adds up into the thousands. But at the same time, most visitors are more than happy to pay for their exclusivity and the chance tovisit one of the Caribbean’s most beautiful destinations.
Do Rent a Bicycle
Not sure if you want to rent a car in the British Virgin Islands? Consider getting a bicycle instead. Approximately 15 out of the 40 or so islands are inhabitedwithhigh-quality roads. Rather than getting a vehicle, renting a bikeon the island can be a great way of exploring. And not only will the two wheels give you flexibility but it’s also good exercise and reduces your carbon footprint.
Don’t Forget to Bring a Waterproof
While the islands tend to have a relatively stable climate, tropical downpours do happen at some times of the year. And this rain can catch tourists off guard if they’re not careful. You don’t want to be snapping photographs only to find all your electronics are soaked. The same is true when you’re using the boats to travel from one island to the next. It’s quite easy to get wet from the waves as the speedboats skip across the sea. So, get a good waterproof bag before going on your holiday.
Do Go Island Hopping
Even if you intend to sit on the beach and relax for the entire duration of your vacation, you should still try to find the time to explore more of the islands. Most people stay on Virgin Gorda, which is packed full of beaches, attractions and places to snap photographs. But you should also consider checking out some of the other famous spots including Marina Cay, Anegada and Peter Island.
Don’t Try to Visit the Nearby US Virgin Islands
It can be tempting to try to combine a trip to both the British and US Virgin Islands. But it’s probably not a good idea. Despite several boats passing between the two on a daily basis, most tourists will face challenges when it comes to visas and permits. Different systems govern both islands,and you might need to have a valid visa for the United States before you’re allowed to enter. The staff on the boats don’t always check paperwork before allowing you to board either. If you do want to visit the US Virgin Islands, you should probably do it on a separate trip.
Do Show the Caribbean Politeness
Anyone who has visited the Caribbean in the past knows how crucial it is to be polite and show respect towards the locals. Head out around breakfast,and you’ll be greeted with big hellos and good mornings from islanders. You should reciprocate this politeness and always be friendly and greet the people who you interact with.
Don’t Worry About the Crime
Compared to the other islands in the Caribbean, the British Virgin Islands are among the safest. You should still exercise reasonable caution when you’re out and about, but it’s not at the same level as other destinations like Jamaica or Trinidad. In fact, if you do face any problems, it will be most likely from other tourists.
Having a Great Holiday
It doesn’t matter what type of vacation you’re planningto have in the British Virgin Islands, always havea good idea about the things you should and shouldn’t do. Remember to take advantage of the environment, rent a car and to be polite and cheerful towards the locals.