As the biggest and most highly populated island of the British Virgin Islands, within the Virgin Islands archipelago, Tortola is a destination that gives many travellers wanderlust. But, whilst you’re out there, what are the key things you need to consider?
How to get there
To fly from the UK to Tortola, travellers will typically have to stop at least one or two times before arriving at Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport, making the travel time at least around 22 hours. Layovers will typically be in Antigua, St Maarten, or on the East Coast of the USA such as Miami, Boston, or New York.
Another option for those wanting to see the wider British Virgin Islands and Caribbean is to opt for a cruise. Many cruise lines offer different options that start and end in different places, stopping at a wide range of destinations – for example, the P&O Arvia travels from Barbados to Antigua for a seven night Eastern Caribbean cruise, stopping at Tortola, La Romana, and St Maarten along the way. This can be a good option for keen travellers who want to make the most of their travels whilst they are in the area.
With such travel times, it’s logical that travellers will want to spend their time wisely. So, here are some of the sights and attractions that must be seen in Tortola.
Sage Mountain National Park
As the largest national park in all the British Virgin Islands, Sage Mountain National Park is a must. The park is named after the volcano at the heart of the park – Sage Mountain or Mount Sage – which is the highest peak on Tortola, or indeed all the British Virgin Islands, at 1,716 feet or 523m.
The national park spans 96 acres of land, preserving the forests as part of the island’s larger conservation efforts. The area boasts 12 different hiking trails to take advantage of, from which you can see Jost Van Dyke and the Tobagoes on a clear day.
Tortola is world-renowned for having some of the most untouched beaches in the world. A couple of the best beaches include the volcanic black sand beach of Smuggler’s Cove or the idyllic white sand of Cane Garden Bay or Long Bay. Many of the beaches also have bars that lead onto the beach, so you can sit back and relax with a drink in hand.
Whilst by the ocean, there are also many options a little further out. The sea surrounding Tortola is crystal clear and vibrant turquoise, which gives the opportunity to spot some fascinating marine life in the depths below. Perhaps the best place to go scuba diving on Tortola is Coral Garden, though there are many alternative options dotted around the island.
Explore nearby islands
Another popular activity on Tortola is taking to the seas in a catamaran, which gives you a unique view of the island from the sea itself. Some of the guides who run these tours will also take the opportunity to stop off at other small islands in the vicinity – if not, it is worth taking the time to visit Jost Van Dyke, for a more authentic and quirky vibe, where the beaches are no less breathtaking.
And, there you have it – just a few must see attractions, destinations, and activities to check off your bucket list when in Tortola, British Virgin Islands.