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The gorgeous beaches of the BVI - Updated!

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This thread is being updated to account for some minor changes and be more accurate -

 

The beaches of the BVI are indeed beautiful, and this thread is meant to provide brief descriptions and comparisons of the beaches for those new to the islands, and allow others to add their experiences and feedback. For those wanting a gorgeous beach with some amenities and no crowd there is not one beach that fits that criteria anywhere, of course. But there are several excellent options to choose from in the BVI, and all BVI beaches are free and open to the public.

 

Tortola -

Cane Garden Bay (CGB) on the north shore of Tortola is the primary beach destination for day visitors because there are several beach bars to choose from and it is easily accessible by safari taxi. As of this writing the taxi fare is still $8pp each way for 3 or more ppl (or with a group safari taxi), $12pp for 2 ppl, and $24 for one person. You would typically just hop one of the safari taxis or other taxis and go as a group for the $8pp fare unless you want a private driver. CGB is a nice beach in a larger bay that is generally calm but can also be quite rough with sea swells (as is the case with most beaches). CGB is home to several beach bars/restaurants including Myett's, Stanley's famous Welcome Bar(now cousin Tony's), the Elms, Rymers, Big Banana, and Quito's to name a few. Quito Rymer is a popular reggae/island recording artist who plays at his bar Thurs & Fri evenings, not to be missed if you have the opportunity to spend the night. All of these spots have good bar food and drinks and Myett's and others rent lounges and umbrellas. Our pick for THE cheeseburger in Paradise (or fish tacos) is Tony’s, and Myett’s is also great.

 

CGB becomes the most crowded bay in the BVI when cruise ships are docked in Tortola, and if you like a busier or more active vibe CGB is your best choice. Good beer, drink and food choices, as well as some watersports rentals and a water taxi to Jost may be possible. There is also taxi service available if you decide CGB is not for you and you want to go to a quieter beach (see below). Here is a link to a webcam when available –

http://www.resortcams.com/webcams/cane-garden-bay/

 

Brewers Bay is just to the north of CGB and is a very nice beach with great snorkeling. Nicole's beach bar serves drinks and food and rents chairs. Brewers is a bit more rustic but really beautiful. In terms of the number of people you can expect to see there, it is much less busy than CGB, but can become busy with ships in port. Taxi fare is the same as CGB.

 

Josiah's Bay lies to the north of Brewer's and is a nice beach with rougher water, very popular with surfers and you can take lessons from

http://www.surfschoolbvi.com/

https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g147354-d6105508-r198572995-Surf_School_BVI-Tortola_British_Virgin_Islands.html

Taxi fare is the same as CGB and Brewers Bay.

 

Smuggler's Cove is south of CGB and is one of the most beautiful and natural Tortola beaches. Typically calm waves and great snorkeling off the beach and gorgeous views of Jost and Sandy Cay. There may or may not be a vendor selling drinks and food so you’d want to check with your driver, or if renting a Jeep stop and grab a lunch and cooler of drinks on the way there. Smuggler's is a little harder to drive to because of an unpaved and bumpy road for the last mile or so and the fare is a little higher than CGB or Brewer's. There was a porta potty but that was not present one visit so not sure when there will be one there. The price of a beautiful, secluded beach in paradise! So it gets less of the crowds and attracts more locals and that's the beauty of Smuggler's. . You'll need the taxi driver to return to pick you up here. Taxi fare is $12pp each way for 3, $16pp for 2, and $32 for one.

 

You will pass Long Bay (West End) on the way to Smuggler's and that is a long, beautiful stretch of beach you'll see on picture postcards. Great spot to walk, picnic, or enjoy watching the pelicans dive. Home of the Long Bay Beach Club which once offered day passes but now just rents loungers for $5 each. There is a restaurant and bar and also restrooms available for day visitors. Entry into the water is quite rocky on the west end of the bay but sandier on the east end. Taxi fare is $12pp each way for 3, $14pp for 2, and $27 for one.

 

Long Bay (Beef Island) is a very nice beach near the airport, very natural with no facilities or amenities and popular with locals.

 

Trellis Bay near Long Bay Beef is a popular mooring bay with a nice pottery shop, De Loose Mongoose bar and great fish sandwiches at Cyber Café. The beach isn't as nice as the others mentioned. However you can take a complimentary ferry over to little Marina Cay where there is a nice small beach and a restaurant/bar. Nice day if you’ve already visited the other areas of Tortola.

 

A great option for Tortola is an island tour. Drivers at the dock offer different tours at very reasonable rates (2 hrs at $15 – 20pp, 3 hrs with a 1 hr beach stop at $25pp, for example). Tortola is a gorgeous island to tour and there are amazing panoramic views for photo ops.

 

Jost Van Dyke -

White Bay on Jost Van Dyke (JVD) is a nice, white sand beach with several beach bars. There's often a busier vibe during the day because a flotilla of cats and motor boats stop there throughout the day to enjoy the vibe. Since it can be a busy vibe along the beach White Bay is not recommended as a destination for those wanting to enjoy nature and a quiet, relaxing beach. But it can also be quieter, just depends on the day. It is a great spot to enjoy drinks at the Soggy $, Ivan's Stress Free Bar, or be entertained by the magic and card tricks of Seddy (Foxy's son) at his One Love Bar. And you can find good music in the afternoon and evening from Rubin Chinnery at Ivan's on Thursdays.

Soggy $ webcam –

http://www.soggydollar.com/webcam

 

Great Harbor is over the hill and home to Foxy's and other places. Foxy's is a fun place to enjoy, the owner (Foxy Callwood) plays guitar and entertains with his stories. This is a very popular spot for New Year’s Eve as well. Great Harbor does not have the nice beach like White Bay but is a good spot for mooring and is where the West End, Tortola and USVI ferries dock. If you choose to visit Jost via the Horizons ferry out of Soper’s Hole, Tortola you will taxi to West End, Tortola (taxi is $12/14/27), ferry to the dock in GH for $25pp round trip, and taxi over to White Bay for ~$5pp.

http://newhorizonferry.com/

 

Virgin Gorda – Valley area

There are also nice beaches on Virgin Gorda like Savannah and Spring Bay with great snorkeling spots. And of course the famous Baths are very unique and worth a visit for those who have yet to experience them. Everything is within a short drive from the ferry terminal in the Valley which makes it easy to see this part of VG. The easiest way there is on your own, just walk to the ferry to the left of the cruise ship dock and take the 30 min ferry to Virgin Gorda, the cost is $30pp round trip. You will find many taxis available for the short ride to the top of the Baths, then you will walk down a trail to get to the beach and the boulders. Devil’s Bay is a very nice beach there.

 

The drivers will recommend a time to be back at the top for your return to Road Town. If you are lucky enough to be in port for a longer day you can work with a driver and get dropped at different beaches as you wish, and possibly hit the Baths when not quite so crowded. Taxi fares can be googled and are reasonable. You can also rent a car if you have enough time for that, the North Sound is a beautiful area to tour.

 

If time allows you can have lunch at the Top of the Baths restaurant, or even taxi to the Mineshaft Café to enjoy the panoramic view and their signature drink the Cave In - "It's all in the Juice, mon!". Also a little shopping is available in Spanishtown a short walk from the ferry dock. Speedy’s also offers packages that include the taxi to the Top of the Baths (same price as buying on your own), and another that includes lunch and a drink at the Baths & Turtle restaurant in Spanishtown. With many of the shorter port times today I’d recommend getting back to the ferry a little early. The ferries are very dependable, but everyone else will also want to spend as much time as possible seeing the Baths and the island and will take the latest ferry back.

 

Anegada -

The beaches of Anegada are also gorgeous, this is a flat island as compared to the others and is a bit far away for a cruise ship stop but worth a visit if you return for a longer stay.

 

So the islands of the BVI offer several options for beach-goers, just depends on the experience you want to have. For a more active vibe hit CGB or White Bay, JVD, for snorkeling try Brewers Bay, and for a more secluded beach Smuggler’s Cove, Josiah's or Long Bay, (Beef Island).

 

There are also some excellent day sail operators that take you to Virgin Gorda and the Baths, to the Indians and Norman Island for snorkeling, and to White Bay, Jost and Sandy Spit for beach time. These include Aristocat Charters, Kuralu, and Patouche. And Mitch offers a personalized, private day on his powerboat through his Ocean Magic Mitch site.

 

And be sure to treat the beaches and other areas with respect and pick up after yourselves, the folks who live there will be very appreciative. The people of Tortola are wonderful and a treat to meet. The beaches will also be as pristine as you remember them when you return to spend more time in the beautiful BVI!

 

Enjoy your time in our favorite islands, and be sure to post your favorite experiences here too!

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Thank you so much for your summary. Exactly what I was looking for. I keep seeing the term "rustic" as it pertains to the bathrooms at Brewers...what exactly does that mean?

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Thanks for this list blue_water!

 

I have bookmarked it and am looking at the webcam for Cane Garden Bay this morning on this cold, dreary day in NY. Wishing I was there now!

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This is awesome blue water! Thank you so much for taking the time to create this!

 

Also looking to hear what rustic means at Brewers.

 

Thanks!

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Thanks for this Blue Water. Your information is always reliably correct and helpful! :)

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Thank you so much for your summary. Exactly what I was looking for. I keep seeing the term "rustic" as it pertains to the bathrooms at Brewers...what exactly does that mean?

 

The bathroom functions but is just a toilet ... there's a place to wash your hands outside. It's not gross ... just a bit on the older side.

Brewers is a wonderful (the way the Caribbean use to be) place to go! (y)

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You are so welcome! Tortola is a beautiful island and the people are wonderful as well! ;)

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Brewers? Yeah...no. :-) Rustic..haha. Not so nice...last time we were there it was so rough we got knocked down and dragged under. Not so fun with a 7 year old. We're looking for another beach for August. Thanks for the info to help us decide.

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There are others who feel very differently about Brewers and rightly so. You just apparently had a bad day for the beach, and were expecting more facilities. Brewers is a more rustic, or undeveloped beach and that's the attraction for many.

Try CGB next visit, there are multiple beach restaurants like Myett's which rents lounges and umbrellas.

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We were at Brewer's bay in 2010 it has been one of my favorite places that I have ever been. It was calm the day we were there, no waves at all and the softest sand. Rustic.....Yes! they don't want you do flush any paper down the toilets. Yes we did see cows and the pelicans were there fishing all the time we were there. Do I want to go back.....you bet. We are booked for March 2018 and going back.

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The best way (other than the Rebel Yell through the ship) is a 25 - 30 min taxi to West End ferry, New Horizons 20 min ferry to Great Harbor, 5 min taxi or 20 min walk over the steep hill to White Bay. Total cost $62pp (for 3 or more) - $89 (for 1 person) depending on the number of ppl.

 

[EDIT] I've read they also have a ferry pick-up in Road Town near the ship but I assume that's pricier. You can check their site for more info -

http://newhorizonferry.com/

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Thanks so much for this. We will be making our first visit to Tortola and are trying to decide where to beach!

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Since you are in port from 7 - 3 on March 7 a beach on Tortola is a good option. You're the only ship scheduled for Road Town (not sure about Soper's Hole but that would be a much smaller ship anyway). But with a large ship like the Escape, if you want to experience a nice beach with fewer fellow passengers Brewers would be a good choice and easy to get to and back from by taxi.

Just depends on the vibe you're looking for...CGB offers more bars and also the Callwood rum distillery...

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Thanks Blu Water! Thanks to your post I have Ocean Magic Mitch booked for 11/4/18 to take a group of us to soggy dollar and sandy spit and wherever else we want to go. It is $800+$100 dollar fuel charge for 8 people. It comes out cheaper than the cruiseline excursion and we get 3 more hours. Can't wait. Thanks again!

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Since you are in port from 7 - 3 on March 7 a beach on Tortola is a good option. You're the only ship scheduled for Road Town (not sure about Soper's Hole but that would be a much smaller ship anyway). But with a large ship like the Escape, if you want to experience a nice beach with fewer fellow passengers Brewers would be a good choice and easy to get to and back from by taxi.

Just depends on the vibe you're looking for...CGB offers more bars and also the Callwood rum distillery...

 

Thanks! We have 2 teenage boys with us and want somewhere that's not going to be CRAZY but decent facilities (ahem bar) too. Recommendations? We are looking at CGB right now.

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As far as "crazy" or busy with cruise ship passengers -

CGB has several restaurants/bars and will be the busiest by far.

Brewers has 1 beach bar and will be quieter, more of a Caribbean feel as Lulu says.

Long Bay has 1 restaurant/bar and will be quieter yet.

Marina Cay has a restaurant/bar and will be the quietest.

If you're looking for a livelier vibe than Brewers with more beach bar options but ok for families I'd look at Myett's in CGB.

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Any idea how much a taxi ride cost to Long Bay on Tortola?

 

I was on Google Maps and saw Josiah's Bay, this looks perfect

Edited by Laszlo

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Any idea how much a taxi ride cost to Long Bay on Tortola?

 

I was on Google Maps and saw Josiah's Bay, this looks perfect

 

Taxi prices are regulated and published in the attached link. For Long Bay (West End) the taxi fare is $27 for 1 person, $14pp for 2, and $12pp for 3 or more. Josiah's is the same as CGB and Brewers - $24/$12/$8

http://www.bvivacation.com/transportation/tortola-taxi-fares-rates.php#.WZcxHVWGPcs

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hi blue_water, I was wondering if you could assist with a question? I'll be in Tortola with NCL Epic in November. We have a full day there and I needed my Soggy Dollar fix so I booked Rebel Yell through the cruise line. We will return early afternoon. I'm wondering what else I can do to "kill time" before having to be back on the ship?

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hi blue_water, I was wondering if you could assist with a question? I'll be in Tortola with NCL Epic in November. We have a full day there and I needed my Soggy Dollar fix so I booked Rebel Yell through the cruise line. We will return early afternoon. I'm wondering what else I can do to "kill time" before having to be back on the ship?

 

Depending on your time available you could take a 2-hour island tour (or 3-hour with a stop in CGB), or just hit the shops near port and lunch at Pusser's Pub...

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Blue Water,

 

What would you recommend for a 14 month old? We are a big group (over 10 adults) and our little grandson! First time in Tortola! I was really hoping to get to the Soggy $, as the Painkiller is my drink! LOL

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