Nature Calls: Wildlife in the British Virgin Islands Itinerary, was developed with the assistance of a tourism student of the University of the West Indies’ St. Augustine campus, as part of the Endless Caribbean internship programme.
Everyone deserves a break, and when you have a weekend to go, just go. If you’re working with a tight budget, it means that you must be a bit more careful with how you plan your vacation. The British Virgin Islands is a unique destination that caters to all types of travellers. But for budget travellers who are short on time, there are several island experiences that can quench your thirst for adventure, romance, rest and relaxation or a combination of all three.
About the British Virgin Islands
The British Virgin Islands is one of the best Caribbean destinations for vacations. Although there are approximately sixty islands in the archipelago, there are four main islands which welcome visitors wholeheartedly. These islands are Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Jost Van Dyke and Anegada. Although the islands are best known for their beaches, sailing, island hopping, and recreational activities, they are also popular for their wildlife and eco activities. The islands are home to many different species of land and sea creatures and steps have been taken to protect their habitats.
The traveller that has a deep love for wildlife, animals, and nature, will find this itinerary most beneficial. This is because the British Virgin Islands are home to several species of birds including migratory birds and sea birds; reptiles such as the Anegada rock iguana; and mongooses. This trip is designed to maximise your chances of getting close to nature and wildlife in the British Virgin Islands. It is an opportunity to view the islands’ animals as well as their exquisite natural habitats and architectural influences. Being close to nature is a thrilling, yet humbling experience that can change your life.
- Taking a ferry from Virgin Gorda to Anegada
- Visiting the Anegada Iguana Headstart Facility
- Taking a ferry from Virgin Gorda to Tortola
- Swimming with dolphins at Discovery Tortola
- Spending a day exploring the ins and outs at The Baths
Day 1: Arrive in Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands
Day 2: Travel to Anegada to visit the Anegada Iguana Headstart Facility
Day 3: Travel to Tortola to visit Dolphin Discovery Tortola
Day 4: Swimming and snorkelling at The Baths
Day 5: Depart from British Virgin Islands
All flights to the British Virgin Islands must connect through airports in the nearby islands of Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, Antigua and St. Maarten. As a result, you will have to connect to the islands’ main airport, the Terrence B. Lettsome Airport. If you are visiting other islands, you can travel by charter plane or ferry. When flying to Virgin Gorda, you must search for the VIJ airport code. Alternately, you can connect via ferry services from Tortola and St. Thomas.
Day 1: Checking in at Gordian Terrace
With a stay at Gordian Terrace, you’ll be centrally located in Virgin Gorda, convenient to Leverick Bay Marina and Bitter End Gardens. This condo is within close proximity of Virgin Gorda Peak and Nail Bay Beach. For your stay, the one-bedroom condo is one of the better value options because of the amenities that are included for the price. Accommodation includes a King bed and amenities such as a flat-screen TV with cable channels; kitchen with refrigerator, microwave, and coffee/tea maker; private en-suite bathroom; air conditioning; and daily housekeeping.
When you arrive in Virgin Gorda, you will make your way by taxi to Gordian Terrace. Gordian is an affordable boutique hotel that is close to the Virgin Gorda Peak, the Leverick Bay Marina and Spanish Town. After check-in, you will settle into your one-bedroom condo. Then, at 6:30, you will make your way to Rahda’s Restaurant and Bar for dinner and drinks. This popular local restaurant is a short 10-minute walk from the hotel. It is also known as a lively spot for a fun night out with delicious and affordable food. After dinner, make your way back to the hotel to prepare for the next day and rest.
Day 2: Adventure with Reptiles at the Anegada Iguana Headstart Facility
An early start is important when you are going island hopping via ferry. On your first full day in the islands, you will be travelling to the island of Anegada to visit the Anegada Iguana Headstart Facility. This facility was started by the Parks Trust to raise endangered Anegada rock iguana hatchlings so that they could be safely released into the wild. Young hatchlings were under attack by stray cats, and this negatively affected the iguana population. After your visit, you can spend the rest of the day exploring the island, which is home to Flamingo Pond, a natural reserve for rosegate flamingos and other wild birds. In the evening you will return to Virgin Gorda by ferry.
Day 3: Swimming with Dolphins at Dolphins Discovery Tortola
The highlight of this vacation is seeing wildlife in the British Virgin Islands. So, after breakfast, you will take a ferry to Tortola for a day on the island. The highlight will be Dolphin Discovery Tortola, a natural habitat-based swim with dolphins programme. There you will be able to swim with the mammals and participate in many different activities such as belly ride and foot push. Additionally, you will learn about marine life; how to take care of the environment; and how the dolphins at Dolphin Discovery are taken care of. You can also spend a couple hours exploring Tortola and taking lunch at one of the restaurants. In the evening you will return to Virgin Gorda by ferry. Then, you will have a light snack or dinner and return to Gordian Terrace.
Day 4: A Day of Swimming and Snorkelling at the Baths
The best way to start your day is with a delicious breakfast. You will take a taxi to the Top of the Baths. This is a well-known restaurant that sits above The Baths. There are stunning panoramic views of the coastline, which make for good conversation. The breakfast menu includes favourites such as eggs, sandwiches, pancakes, and toast.
The Baths are one of the BVI’s major tourist attractions and undeniably the 8th wonder of the world. After breakfast, you will spend the day at this 8th wonder of the world and one of the BVI’s major tourist destinations viewing the popular gigantic boulders; and swimming, snorkelling and bathing in the beautiful blue waters. For lunch, you will make your way back to the Top of the Baths. In the afternoon, you will get a taxi back to the Gordian Terrace hotel. Then, in the evening, you will walk to Rahda’s Restaurant and Bar for a night cap.
Day 5: Homeward Bound
Because you have to travel to a nearby island to catch your flight back home, you should check out by 9.00am. Although it’s sad to say your goodbyes to the wildlife in the British Virgin Islands, it’s the right time to make preliminary plans for your next trip to the islands.