Living in Strange Times

We were all delighted to see the back of 2020 and welcome in 2021 with the vaccine being administered and light at the end of the very long and dark tunnel we have been living in for the past 10 months.

Travel abroad is once again a possibility and there is no better place on earth than the beautiful BVI.  Right at this moment, we Brits are unable to travel to the BVI due to this new and very contagious strain of COVID-19 and also due to most of the UK being placed into Tier 4.  We can however, plan for later in the year and of course for 2022.  It’s not too early and it’s important to have something in our diaries to look forward to, and to plan for, otherwise we are in danger of going stir crazy!

Here are a few suggestions of places to go in the BVI for the well deserved break we all crave right now.

The Sugar Mill Hotel on Tortola – a beautiful boutique hotel situated right next to the ocean offering fabulous food and the options of bed and breakfast or all inclusive.

Or….if you fancy a villa for you and your friends or family – Sunset House on Tortola is a fabulous choice.  This 5 bedroom villa with pool overlooks Long Bay beach and comes complete with chef and housekeeper (not live in).  It’s a short drive from Road Town, the capital of the British Virgin Islands and the views are spectacular.

On Virgin Gorda which is a short trip on the ferry from Tortola, there is also a choice of villas or hotels and one of these is none other than Rosewood Little Dix Bay – a 5 star luxury resort hotel offering butler service and a variety of things to do.  The beach at Rosewood Little Dix Bay is just stunning and it is perfectly located for exploring Virgin Gorda.

If a villa is what you would prefer Beachcomber at Mahoe Bay is your dream come true.  Set in beautiful tropical gardens, Beachcomber is quiet, peaceful but only a few minutes drive from fabulous restaurants and bars on Virgin Gorda.  Wouldn’t you just like to be here…..

The most northern island in the BVI is Anegada.  Easily reached by either ferry or a short scenic flight that takes less than 15 minutes.  Anegada is like the Robinson Crusoe island that you may have read about as a child.  Again, you can choose from villa accommodation – the Big Bamboo Cottages are right next to a stunning white sand beach and offer either one or two bedrooms.  If you like living in t-shirts, shorts and swim suits your whole holiday, then this is for you.

If you prefer hotel accommodation on Anegada either the Anegada Reef Hotel or Anegada Beach Club would be perfect choices.  They are at different sides of the island so you could spend a few nights at both.  This could be your view from your Palapa Retreat at Anegada Beach Club.

If sailing is what you like to do, you can either spend your entire holiday on a yacht or a combination of shore and sail – it’s up to you.  Just tell me what you would like to do and I will provide you with the holiday of your dreams.  You can choose from monohulls, catamarans, power boats or, if you want to leave the hard work to someone else and share a yacht, BVI Holidays offers By-The-Cabin charters.  There is something for everyone at BVI Holidays.

Pull yourself out of these doldrums that 2020 created and call BVI Holidays to start planning your 2021 or 2022 holiday.  We would love to hear from you.

Happy New Year!

 

What is there to do in the BVI?

Answer – lots!  Although the BVI has wonderful, stunning, amazing beaches in abundance, not everyone wants to lie on the beach all day.

There are so many things to do in the BVI and although a lot of them are on the water, not all are.  You can soar high above Tortola and enjoy the spectacular views with the Original Virgin Canopy Company.  This is similar to zip-lining but safer and quieter and you can actually enjoy the views!

The J.R. O’Neal Botanic Gardens in Road Town, the capital of the British Virgin Islands is a must.  The gardens are a cool and peaceful refuge located in the centre of Road Town. The four-acre gardens include a lush array of indigenous and exotic tropical plants. A pergola walk, lily pond, waterfall, tropical bird houses, and miniature rain forests are just a few of the garden’s attractions. The gardens are considered by many to be among the finest in the Caribbean.  The avenue of royal palms which leads to the fountain makes a captivating entrance for visitors, whilst paths disappear into corners of the garden lined with colourful blossoms draped over shady pergolas.  The Botanic Gardens truly are a cooling and relaxing green oasis.

No trip to Tortola would be complete without a visit to the Callwood Rum Distillery at Cane Garden Bay, a sugarcane plantation and distillery whose history of rum-making dates back some 400 years.  The boiler is smouldering, the smell of sugarcane alchemy pungent in the air and just steps across the road from the beach.  There’s a reason, after all, why they call it Cane Garden Bay.  Here, in an old stone building in Tortola, is one of the most precious corners of the history of rum in the Caribbean, a fundament of the British Virgin Islands’ cultural heritage.  They make 25 gallons of rum per day, using the pure cane juice they grow right there on the plantation in the British Virgin Islands.

The Callwood Rum Distillery just might be the oldest working rum distillery in the Caribbean.

How about booking a lovely day out on the water with Celtic Power Boats.  What Captain Patrick doesn’t know about getting around the BVI on the water, isn’t worth knowing!  You will be in for a real treat and Captain Patrick will take you to places that even some of the locals don’t know exist!  He might even introduce you to some new friends….like this little chap for instance…

 

The diving in the BVI is second to none with literally hundreds of amazing and wondrous dive sites.  You can go wreck diving or reef diving and there are dives for all levels of divers.

Alice in Wonderland

Situated just outside of Ginger Island, this site is ideal for intermediate divers.

The coral sightings are incredible and the main reason why this dive site stands out from the crowd.  Alice in Wonderland is an amazing dive.

Wreck Alley

Located just off of Cooper Island, this site certainly lives up to its name. The name Wreck Alley, came to be after four separate wrecks occurred there, the most recent being in 2009.  All four of these wrecked ships can be explored during your Wreck Alley dive, and don’t be surprised if you spot a large garden eel and green moray eel population down there. This dive is also a unique opportunity to see what a sunken ship looks like when broken in half.

Another popular pastime in the BVI is fishing – Fly Fishing, Deep Sea Fishing, Bone Fishing.  Experienced guides are available to show you where all the best spots are and there are so many to choose from around the BVI.

In addition to all of this, you can go sailing, kiteboarding, flyboarding, windsurfing, kayaking, stand up paddleboarding,play tennis and much more too.  The BVI really is a one stop destination for almost everyone.  I say “almost” because if you are into casinos, nightclubs and fast-food chain places, then the BVI is not for you!

Consider the British Virgin Islands for your next holiday.  Call BVI Holidays for suggestions – we are always happy to assist.  These could be yours……

Protocols for the Reopening of the British Virgin Islands

The BVI is due to reopen its borders to visitors on 1st December 2020.  What a great day this will be!

The British Overseas Territory has handled the Covid-19 situation extremely responsibly from the word go.  As soon as it became apparent that the Coronavirus was turning into a pandemic, the BVI Government banned all cruise ships from calling into Tortola and Virgin Gorda, cancelled all of the sailing regattas and closed the borders, not only to visitors but to BVI residents also.  This resulted in a lot of the BV islanders being stranded abroad and not being allowed home.  Such was the severity of the government’s actions.  This was back in March and prior to our own lockdown.

This seemingly drastic action however, worked and as a result, they had very few cases of Covid-19 and sadly 1 death.  BVI residents were allowed to return home in June 2020.

The happy news is that the BVI recently announced that they were reopening to visitors from 1st December 2020.  Visitors will be required to have proof of a negative Covid test within either 3 or 5 days of arrival.  3 if you have travelled from a high risk country or 5 days if you have not.

Visitors will be tested on arrival into the BVI and be required to quarantine for 4 days either at their chosen accommodation or aboard their yacht.  On the 4th day, they will be given another test and if this proves negative, they will then be free to travel freely around the BVI.  They will be given a tracking bracelet to wear and will also have to download the tracking App.  Everyone over the age of 5 years will be subject to these protocols.  They cannot be too careful.

The total cost for all of the above is $175.00 per person payble upon arrival.

Some may say they are being too strict but I don’t think so.  They cannot be too careful or take any chances.  The BVI Government’s main concern is for the safety of the islanders and the safety of their visitors.

Flights are available for December and accommodation is also available but…..booking fast since this great news was made public a few weeks ago.

My advice would be to book for 2021 and have a wonderful holiday to look forward to in the paradise that can only be the British Virgin Islands!

Whether you like to sail, have a quiet relaxing holiday at a boutique hotel or a combination of lazy and adventure – you will find it all in the beautiful BVI.

Call BVI Holidays to book your next holiday to the beautiful BVI.

 

Your Questions About the BVI Answered

I am asked many questions about the beautiful British Virgin Islands.  Things like – is it easy to swim off the beaches?  Is the snorkelling good?  How many islands are there?  Do I need a visa?  How do I get there?  etc. etc..

I have travelled to the BVI over the years too many times to count, but it has to be upwards of 50 so I pretty much know the answer to most questions and if I don’t, I know who to go to to find out.

Let me try to answer a few of the questions you may have about the British Virgin Islands.

Yes – it is easy to swim straight off the beaches.  The water is warm and the snorkelling is excellent all over the BVI.  There are many sailing excursions and organised snorkelling trips you can go on too and experience amazing snorkelling spots – the Indians, the caves at Norman Island, Fallen Jerusalem and many others.

Do I need a visa to go to the BVI?  If you are a British passport holder then no you do not.  All you need is your 10 year passport with at least 6 months validity.

How do I get to the BVI?  The quickest and easiest route is from Gatwick to Antigua then onwards with inter-Caribbean Airways to Tortola.  If you want to arrive even quicker, a private charter flight from Antigua to Tortola can easily be arranged.

What is the best time of year to visit the BVI?  Generally speaking the BVI enjoys a wonderful climate most of the year and it’s always warm – around 28-30 degrees.  My favourite time to go is May or June – the weather is beautiful – you may experience a few short sharp tropical showers which the locals call liquid sunshine (!) but this is the reason that the islands are so lush, green and beautiful.  It is also low season so the hotels and villas offer extremely reasonable rates and some even offer free nights.

This is the view from one of the Palapa Retreats at the Anegada Beach Club on Anegada.  Heavenly isn’t it.  From the 1st of December when the BVI reopens to visitors, YOU could be relaxing on that deck.

There are around 60 islands in the BVI but only around 12 with accommodation on.  It is so easy to get around the BVI as they have excellent ferry companies with regular departures. If you are staying on Tortola, it is easy to jump on the ferry to Virgin Gorda or Anegada and spend the day.  You can also have a two or three centre holiday depending on how long you wish to spend in the BVI.

If you are on a yacht, you will be able to visit almost all of the islands in a week.  Navigation is easy and you are always in sight of land.  If you hire a motor yacht, you can have breakfast on Tortola, lunch at Cooper Island or Virgin Gorda and dinner on Anegada.  The scenery in the BVI is stunning to say the least and the best way to see the islands is from the water.  There are plenty of beach bars and restaurants accessible from the water that provide dinghy docks for visiting yachties.

I hope I have answered at least some of your questions about the beautiful British Virgin Islands.  You are of course always welcome to call for more information or to book your holiday to the BVI.

 

BVI Reopens on 1st December 2020

I bring you more good news today. The beautiful BVI is completely Covid free – it’s probably the safest place on the planet to visit and starting 1st December…..you can!

I am pleased to report that bookings are increasing for December and throughout next year and people are once again looking forward to visiting the warm shores of the British Virgin Islands.

Sebastian’s on the Beach on Tortola has been completely refurbished and the rooms are lovely. Between November and March the surf is up and you can relax on the beach with a cold beer or wine and watch the surfers riding the waves.

 

Quito’s Luxury Inn, also on Tortola, offers fabulous rooms with stunning views. The beach that Quito’s overlooks is Cane Garden Bay – the sand is soft and the water is warm.  The beer is cold and the rum plentiful.

You could of course jump on the ferry and head over to Virgin Gorda to enjoy the luxury of Rosewood Little Dix Bay. Here, you will be spoiled rotten with 5 star butler service, beautiful rooms and excellent cuisine.

One of the best ways to see the BVI is of course from the water. BVI Holidays offers monohulls, catamarans, by-the-cabin charters and motor yachts. Combine a week’s sailing (or longer) with time ashore. If you can’t sail, we can arrange a skipper or a fully crewed yacht which is all inclusive….you do not have to lift a finger! Nice!

 

Wherever you decide to go in the beautiful BVI, you can rest assured your safety is of paramount importance and you will be looked after.

You are most welcome to call for advice or assistance in arranging your next holiday to the beautiful British Virgin Islands.

 

 

The Beautiful BVI is Reopening

The news last week that the British Virgin Islands will be reopening to visitors on the 1st of December was music to my ears and for a lot of other people as well.

The BVI Government reacted very quickly to the news that the Coronavirus was rapidly becoming a pandemic and banned all cruise ships and sailing regattas in February of this year from entering the territory and followed this in March by closing the borders to everyone.  This resulted in a lot of BV Islanders being stranded abroad but the Government had to take drastic action to protect their islands and the community.

They will be one of the last Caribbean destinations to reopen and this is because they are not taking any chances with your safety or that of their residents.  Of course businesses have suffered as they have here in the UK and around the world.  Everyone is excitedly preparing for the reopening and bookings are flooding in which is great news.  Some people are still nervous about flying anywhere but we have to make the effort, bite the bullet and board that big silver bird once again to far flung destinations.  We all need a holiday and even more so now as some of us didn’t manage to get away at all this year.

Think about booking your holiday to the BVI for 2021 or even 2022 and at least have something in your diary to look forward to.  Many of the hotels in the BVI are holding their current rates for 2021 and some for 2022.

Guana Island is special and like no other place on earth….just look at that view…..

All meals and wine with lunch and dinner are included at Guana and lots of other extras too.  Prices start at £2345.00 per person for 7 nights.  It’s excellent value for money.

The best way to see the BVI is from the water and BVI Holidays offers monohulls, catamarans, by-the-cabin charters and crewed yachts. You can also combine time afloat with time ashore.  Everything in the BVI is so flexible and you are not stuck to “turnaround” days as you are in so many other places.  If you want to arrive on a Wednesday and stay for 5 nights, that’s fine.

You may want to spend a few nights on beautiful Anegada and have a nice villa just for two.  You can do this at Big Bamboo Cottages which are on a beach to die for and right next to a fabulous beach restaurant and bar.

It really doesn’t get much better than this.  5 nights here will cost £680.00 per person.

There are lots of activities to keep you occupied throughout the British Virgin Islands.  If you’re not one for just lying on the beach, you will be spoilt for choice.

You could so easily plan to be here in 2021 – call BVI Holidays – we would love to assist.

 

How Much Does a Holiday in the BVI Cost?

This is something I am asked a lot and just to give you an analogy, it is pretty much the same as asking “how much does a car cost”?  If you called a car sales person and asked that question, the first thing they would ask you is “what type of car are you interested in?”  Same with a holiday to the BVI – at BVI Holidays we would ask “what type of accommodation are you interested in”.  Back to the car questions – “would you like an automatic or manual?”  We at BVI Holidays – “Would you like a villa holiday or do you prefer an hotel?”.  In other words, do you want to stay in an hotel and have everything done for you or would you prefer to have a villa and do your own thing.  Of course, you may prefer to have a sailing holiday and that is different again – “would you like a monohull or a catamaran?  Crewed or bareboat?”

A car salesman may also ask if you would like a Porsche, Aston Martin or perhaps a Daimler or maybe something a little less pricey, like a BMW, Ford or a Vauxhall.  At BVI Holidays we may ask if you would like to book Rosewood Little Dix Bay, Oil Nut Bay or something less expensive like the Sugar Mill Hotel or Sebastian’s on the Beach.

Whatever the conversations or the questions, it all comes down to one thing – how much do you wish to spend on your holiday?  What is your budget?  Only you know what you can afford to spend and there is absolutely no point in a sales person putting a lot of effort and work into presenting you with something that you cannot afford.  Whether it is a car, or a music system for your home, a hot tub for your garden or that all important holiday.  We all need to know how much you are prepared to spend.

At BVI Holidays that is one of the first things we need to know to ensure that we are offering you the perfect holiday that will also suit your pocket.

We also need to know when you wish to travel as prices can vary enormously at certain times of the year.  Let me give you a few examples ….

A Sea View Cottage on Guana Island between 1st June and 31st August will cost £2310.00 per person for 7 nights. This includes all meals, afternoon tea, wine with lunch and dinner and lots of other things too.  The same room between 20th December and 3rd January will cost £6735.00 per person – why?  Because the former period is low season and the latter is peak season.

At the Sugar Mill Hotel on Tortola a Deluxe room between 1st April and 24th December will cost £1015.00 per person for 7 nights including breakfast (they also offer an excellent All Inclusive package) and between 25th December and 31st March, that cost will increase to £1360.00 per person.

Villa Tamar on Virgin Gorda is a fabulous 4 bedroom luxury villa with pool.  7 nights here between 16th April and 14th December will cost £720.00 per person based on 8 people sharing whereas the Lighthouse Villas on Tortola for the same period will cost from £340.00 per person for their lead in studio.  These costs will also increase in high season.

Flights are of course additional.

So you see – there are a lot of factors to consider when asking “How much does a holiday in the BVI cost?”  But, that’s where BVI Holidays can help and we will be delighted to assist.  We love all things BVI, we love talking about the BVI and we would love to have the opportunity to send YOU to the BVI on the most amazing holiday you will ever go on….in our opinion of course!

Call BVI Holidays to arrange your next holiday to….the beautiful BVI of course!

Are There Hotels on the Beach in the BVI?

There are many lovely beachfront hotels, villas and apartments in the beautiful British Virgin Islands and here, I am just giving you a very small selection – there are many more!

Tortola is home to the Sugar Mill Hotel which is a lovely boutique hotel with only 23 rooms.  The Sugar Mill is on the beach at Little Apple Bay on Tortola and offers fabulous food, excellent service and stunning views.  The Sugar Mill offers bed and breakfast and all inclusive options to their guests.

Just along the beach from the Sugar Mill is Sebastian’s on the Beach – stunning location and you can surf here between November and March.  The rooms are beautiful and the staff friendly and helpful. It’s so relaxing sitting on the terrace next to the sand sipping a cocktail and lazily watching the world go by.

Quito’s Luxury Inn on Cane Garden Bay, Tortola is just that – luxurious and affording spectacular views over the bay.  The owner Quito Rymer is a renowned musician and artist and entertains visitors to Quito’s Gazebo on a regular basis.

The Lighthouse Villas, also on Cane Garden Bay is a small collection of reasonably priced apartments and close to the numerous beach bars and restaurants on Cane Garden Bay.  Road Town, the capital of the BVI is less than 15 minutes drive.

Lambert Beach Resort and Spa on Tortola has a truly stunning location at the East end of the island and close to Terrance B. Lettsome airport on Beef Island.  Lovely rooms which are scattered among the tropical gardens and along the beachfront, fabulous restaurant and a large swimming pool.

Virgin Gorda is home to lots of beautiful beachfront properties – Rosewood Little Dix Bay is an amazing 5 star luxury resort hotel with butler service, set in tropical gardens with 3 restaurants serving first class food, fitness centre, six tennis courts and two pickleball courts and the most amazing Spa I have seen anywhere with views to die for.  They have a great kids club too from teenys to teens, offering something for every age.  You will never hear your children utter the words “I’m bored”!

Mango Bay on Virgin Gorda offers studio and villa accommodation which is spacious, comfortable and totally relaxing.  They supply kayaks for their guests’ enjoyment and one has a clear bottom, so you can view the amazing marine life without getting wet!  Mango Bay is in a very private location but only a short drive from bars and restaurants on Virgin Gorda.

Fischer’s Cove Beach Hotel on Virgin Gorda is in a great location next to the Yacht Harbour.  Their restaurant sits out over the beach and the food is wonderful.  If you just want a simple pizza – this is the place to go.  They make all their own pizzas in their pizza oven and provide a takeaway service too.  Fischer’s Cove is currently undergoing a complete refurbishment of all of their rooms and they are beautiful.  I had a tour a few months ago and was very impressed.  I am looking forward to seeing the finished article which should be around November/December 2020.

Oil Nut Bay is a luxurious property at the northern end of Virgin Gorda where the accommodation ranges from Bay Suites and Cliff Suites for two, to six bedroom luxury villas with pool.  The facilities at Oil Nut Bay are first class and their kids club is aptly named “The Nut House”.  My favourite spot at Oil Nut Bay is the Marina Village where there are shops, a library/reading room and their wonderful restaurant – Nova.  Nova serves delicious tapas and other appetising dishes and you can relax in one of their overwater hammocks or cool off in their pool while enjoying a cocktail or two from the pool bar.

Anegada is the most northern of the British Virgin Islands and unlike the rest of the BVI – completely flat.  It’s easy to reach from Tortola or Virgin Gorda either on the ferry or a very short flight.

Anegada Reef Hotel is right next to the ferry dock, you can walk from here to the hotel.  The hotel is waterfront with the most spectacular views and from here you can hire a jeep or scooter to explore the island and access the many fabulous beaches on Anegada.  Here you will sample the best lobster in the BVI.  Freshly caught every day and grilled on the barbecue on the beach every evening.  Their rooms have been completely refurbished and are very comfortable.  Anegada Reef Hotel is within walking distance of several bars and restaurants on Anegada.

The Anegada Beach Club is located at Keel Point on a fabulous white sand beach and offers romantic Palapa Retreat rooms right on the beach.  Tommy Gaunt, the world class kitesurfer has his kitesurfing school at the Anegada Beach Club and offers lessons in kitesurfing and paddleboarding.  When Tommy and his team take to the sky, the shows are breathtakingly spectacular.

Big Bamboo Beach Cottages on Anegada enjoy a fabulous location on Loblolly Beach and offer the traveller an inexpensive and comfortable base for exploring Anegada.  You will live in t-shirt and shorts or swimwear here for your entire stay.

These represent only a small amount of the stunning beachfront hotels, apartments and villas in the beautiful British Virgin Islands.  Call BVI Holidays for more information.  We are happy to assist and just love talking about the beautiful BVI!  Call us now and this could be you!

 

The Affordable BVI

Many people associate the BVI with Necker Island which as we all know, is owned by the entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson.  Of course this is correct, but the big mistake made, is that an awful lot of people also think that the BVI in general is only for the wealthy, the rich and the famous.  They could not be more wrong.  There are literally dozens of very affordable properties throughout the British Virgin Islands on various islands and I would like to share a few of them with you.

These are in no particular order but all quality accommodations at affordable prices.

Guavaberry Spring Bay is a lovely property on Virgin Gorda.  They have one, two and three bedroom cottages elevated on stilts set among gigantic boulders and only a few minutes drive from the famous Baths.  The stunning white sand beach at Spring Bay is a few minutes stroll through the beautiful, tropical gardens.

 

The cost for 7 nights at Guavaberry Spring Bay in a one bedroom apartment starts at £680.00 per person.

The Anegada Beach Club on stunning Anegada where Tommy Gaunt the world famous kitesurfer has a base.  The beach here is literally to die for and the snorkelling along the reef is superb.

5 nights here will cost £555.00 per person based on a king size bedroom overlooking the pool and their “Toes in the Sand” restaurant where the lobster is the best you will ever taste.  The photo above is taken from one of Anegada Beach Club’s romantic Palapa Retreat rooms.

Sundowner at Nail Bay on Virgin Gorda is a wonderfully romantic and completely private one bedroom villa just for two.  The views are stunning and there is a great snorkelling beach right on your doorstep.

The cost for 7 nights at Sundowner starts at £1015.00 per person and with an address of 1 Paradise Lane, Virgin Gorda – what are you waiting for!

The Lighthouse Villas on Tortola is right next to the beautiful beach at Cane Garden Bay and offers self-catering apartments.  You can enjoy the many beach bars and restaurants and small boat sailing, plus lots of other activities.

The lead in price for a studio apartment at the Lighthouse Villas is £340.00 per person for 7 nights or for a one bedroom suite (pictured above) – £530.00 per person for 7 nights.

The Sugar Mill Hotel on Tortola is a beautiful boutique hotel with only 23 rooms.  Located right next to the beach at Little Apple Bay, they offer a selection of rooms either on bed and breakfast or, alternatively, they have one of the best All Inclusive packages I have seen anywhere.

Above are the lovely private sun pods on Sugar Mill’s beach.  The lead in room category at the Sugar Mill is a Deluxe and will cost £935.00 per person for 7 nights on bed and breakfast.

This is a little flavour of what you can have for your own personal budget in the beautiful BVI and there are many more other affordable properties too.  Remember, flights are additional.

Tempted??  Call or email BVI Holidays – YOU could be sitting here sipping a cocktail and marvelling at this stunning view of the beautiful British Virgin Islands…….

What’s not to like……?

 

What Islands Make up the BVI

I am often asked “which islands make up the BVI?”.  The British Virgin Islands is a British Overseas Territory and consists of approximately 60 islands.  The main islands are Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada (which is the most northern of the BVI) and Jost van Dyke.  Lesser islands include Great Tobago, Salt, Peter, Cooper, Norman, Guana, Beef, Great Thatch, Little Thatch, and Marina Cay.

There are some great stories about the islands in the BVI – Salt Island for example has had a population of no more than 3 people since the 1980s.  They have to pay an annual rent to our Queen also their Queen, of a one-pound bag of salt.  This is delivered to the Governor of the BVI.

Salt Island is most notable for the wreck of the Royal Mail packet steamer RMS Rhone which sank in a hurricane on 29 October 1867 after she was driven back on Salt Island while attempting to head to safety at sea. Most of the ship’s crew were lost. Many of the bodies were buried in a mass grave on Salt Island which is a short walk from the main beach and can be easily seen today. A wide circle of stones is laid upon the grave.

The wreck of the Rhone is one of the best SCUBA diving sites in the Caribbean. Some of the underwater scenes in the film “The Deep”were filmed in and around the wreck.

In the 18th century, two Quaker families came to Guana Island as part of what was called the “Quaker Experiment” which lasted for about forty-five years in the BVI. They cultivated sugar cane and built homes. When they were recalled to the United States and England, they left behind two cannons which are still on Guana today.  Archeologists have extensively studied the Quaker ruins and have also unearthed older artifacts that give insight into Guana’s earlier Amerindian history.

Henry and Gloria Jarecki bought Guana in 1975 and began improving accommodations and other facilities with the goal of maintaining the island’s historic style and ambiance.  An interest in conservation led them to establish a long-term restoration program to protect the island’s flora and fauna and bring back once-common species.  Scientists say that Guana has more flora and fauna than any island of its size yet studied in the Caribbean and possibly the world.  The Jarecki family still own Guana to this day.

Cooper Island in the BVI already produce their own water and electricity, so they decided to be even more self-sufficient and make their own beer too!

Through the picture window in the Coffee Box which is their coffee shop, you can see their brewing room with stainless steel kettle, mash tun and whirlpool, plus five 500L fermentation vessels. They have six craft beers on tap – usually a Lager, Pilsner, Amber Ale & Best Bitter as well as their guest beers such as Wheat, Oktoberfest and Stout which feature during the high season. Their Turtle IPA was launched in 2017 and $1 from every IPA sold is donated to BVI Sea Turtle conservation.

Cooper Island also has one of the best rum bars I have ever seen!  The Rum Bar has a collection of over 280 rums, meaning they have the largest selection in the British Virgin Islands. Featured are a range of house-infusions, rare aged rums and classic cocktails made with rums from all over the world.

Try a rum sampler board and their knowledgeable staff will explain about their origins and history while you take in the atmosphere. And don’t forget to ask about their homemade rum infused chocolates too!

The BVI has many interesting and fascinating tales to tell of pirates and treasure and days of yore.  You really do need to go and see for yourself and….don’t forget to look for treasure!

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