The Virgin Islands, or the British Virgin Islands, is a self-governing overseas territory of the United Kingdom in the Caribbean. It is located east of Puerto Rico and, as it makes up parts of the Virgin Islands archipelago, east of the US Virgin Islands. The territory's official name is still simply the Virgin Islands, but the prefix 'British' is often added to distinguish it from the Virgin Islands of the United States.
The main islands of the British Virgin Islands are Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada, and Jost Van Dykes. The rest of the territory is made up of over 50 smaller islands and cays. About 15 of the islands overall are inhabited. The largest island, Tortola, contains the capital Road Town. It also contains about 23,500 people of the islands' total population of 28,000.
What to see & do
The Baths National Park - The Baths are a beach area situated on the island of Virgin Gorda, established as a British Virgin Islands National Park in 1990. The protected area covers seven acres, peppered with massive granite boulders, white sand beaches, and rock pools. Tourists come to enjoy swimming in turquoise waters or go snorkelling. The Baths National Park is one of the Virgin Islands' most popular tourist attractions.
Gorda Peak National Park - Also in Virgin Gorda is Gorda Peak National Park, a 260-acre Caribbean dry forest established as a protected area in 1974. The park contains the highest point on Virgin Gorda, Gorda Peak, located on the northwestern ridge. It reaches a height of 1,370 ft. The national park contains a high variety of vegetation types, which depends on the elevation. Gorda Peak is home to several rare plants and various wildlife, including the smallest lizard in the world, the endemic Virgin Gorda gecko. There are two well-marked trails that lead to the summit of Gorda Peak, and an observation tower where visitors can marvel at the panoramic views of the surrounding area.
Rhone National Maritime Park & RMS Rhone Shipwreck - RMS Rhone Marine Park is the first and sole Marine National Park in the British Virgin Islands, and is perhaps the world's only national park created due to a shipwreck. It is the most popular dive site in the British Virgin Island, with examples of fringing reef habitat and sea grass beds, not to mention the wreck of a Royal Mail Steamer that sunk during a hurricane in 1867. Much of the wreck remains intact, and is one of the most popular wreck dives in the world.
How to get around
A unique way of getting around is by renting sailboats or motorboats from any major harbour. As for getting around within the islands, the larger islands have car rental agencies. Taxis are also available but are pretty pricey. The fares are fixed by law and cannot be negotiated. The smaller islands have goat paths and foot trails as the main mode of transportation.
How to get there
The primary airport serving the British Virgin Islands are is Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport, formerly Beef Island Airport. It is located on Beef Island, a small island connected to Tortola by the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge. The airport cannot handle large aircraft, so most international flights into the Virgin Islands entail changing planes in Puerto Rico, San Juan, Antigua, or Saint Martin. The airport has connections to these airports provided by the airlines Air Sunshine, British Virgin Islands Airways, Cape Air, LIAT, Seaborne Airlines, and Winair. Charter airlines services are available from almost anywhere in the Caribbean to British Virgin Islands.