Things To Do On Tortola

Top 7 Things to Do on Tortola, British Virgin Islands

Visit Shark Bay National Park

Nestled on the northern shore of Tortola between Brewers Bay on the west and Rough Point on the east, Shark Bay National Park extends from the ridge of Anderson Point to the bay at the base of the Mount Healthy ghut. The rocky beach at Shark Bay is molded by the pounding north Atlantic swells, buffered offshore by a limestone pavement and coral reef. Popular with fishermen, the bay also attracts seabirds such as Brown Boobies, Brown Pelicans, Roseate Terns, Laughing Gullas, and the Magnificent Frigate Bird.

Atop the ridge is a huge cavernous boulder known locally as The Bat Cave, as bats are reported to have nested there in the past. Views from the cave reveal a sheer drop to the sea and the vast Atlantic beyond. Orchids and palms cling perilously to the rocky slopes along the trail, whilst the trade winds blow steadily from offshore.Visitors to this park will enjoy a short nature walk, fabulous views and a lookout.

Day Hike at Sage Mountain National Park

Explore the islands natural beauty and take your Caribbean vacation to new heights on the cool slopes of Sage Mountain National Park, where traces of a primeval rain forest can still be seen at higher elevations. A tropical forest located at 1716 feet, the park has lush foliage including giant elephant ears, luxuriant ferns, graveled pathways and picnic areas. On the mountain ridge that runs thorough the island, observe local Caribbean life with its gentle rhythms, farms, settlements, and churches.This is a great spot for a day hike or bird watching.

Swim & Snorkel at Smugglers Cove

Secluded, sheltered and serene, Smuggler’s Cove is a hard-to-reach gem at the western-most end of Tortola. Here you’ll discover pristine white sands, tranquil atmosphere, amazing views, and warm, clear waters perfect for swimming. Adventurous snorkeling is also a plus, as there are many sea turtles in the area!  While there are no facilities, a friendly vendor sets up his beach bar daily. Smugglers Cove is accessible only by an unpaved road, or private yacht charter.

Shop and Dine at Soper’s Hole Marina

The charming Soper’s Hole Marina and shopping center can be found at neighboring Frenchman’s Cay, which is linked to Tortola by a small bridge. This sheltered harbour is a yachting center  and one of the islands’ ferry terminals is located here as well as several restaurants.

Explore the J.R. O’Neal Botanical Gardens

Road Town is home to the beautiful J.R. O’Neal Botanic Gardens which features close to three acres of indigenous and exotic tropical plants,  an orchid pavilion, and aviary.  This tranquil  national park, offers peaceful walks through pergolas and pathways covered with colorful vines, as well as a miniature rain forest and a fern house.

Shopping and Lunch at Trellis Bay

On your way to or from the Terrence B. Lettsome International Airport on Beef Island (just a short bridge span away from Tortola on its eastern tip), you will want to stop at  the sailboat-filled Trellis Bay. This unique cultural village with craft shops, art galleries, and restaurants is the perfect location for your introduction to the BVI, or a nice place to stop for a bite to eat and to pick up that last minute souvenir before heading home.  This quaint beachfront area is the ferry pickup for those venturing to other islands and is always filled with colorful locals to pass the time with.

Visit the Virgin Islands Folk Museum in Road Town

Road Town is the islands capital and just behind Waterfront Drive is Main Street. This is great place to peep into the BVI’s architectural past, which still has many historic buildings and churches, charming cafes, and curio shops as well as the Virgin Islands Folk Museum. This historical museum is located on Main Street in a traditional West Indian wooden house. It contains artifacts from the Amerindian and plantation periods and the wreck of the RMS Rhone. A small shop sells books, maps and crafts.

If you’ve still got the itch to explore Tortola’s culture and history, you will want to check out the islands centuries-old ruins such as the Dungeon, Fort George, Fort Recovery, the Mount Healthy Windmill, and Callwood’s Rum Distillery (which is still in operation).