Smugglers Cove-Tortola

Old Feb 3rd, 2005, 02:57 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 31
Smugglers Cove-Tortola

We are looking for a good beach in Tortola and this seems to fit the bill. Can you rent snorkeling equipment at this beach? Also, are chairs and/or umberellas available for rent? We heard that sometimes the taxi drivers only want to take you to Cane Garden Bay, is this true?
tterryj50 is offline  
Old Feb 3rd, 2005, 04:15 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,658
There is nothing at this beach but a lady who sells drinks out of a cooler and makes rum punch and rents out a few chairs - but she only has four or five so plan to arrive early.

The charm and beauty of the place is its isolation and lack of people or facilities.

The taxi drivers will not take you there. You have to rent a car or walk from your villa/hotel if it's close enough - it's a long walk.
Diana is offline  
Old Feb 3rd, 2005, 05:09 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,664
Diana's right - I believe the road goes as far as the Long Bay Resort, then you must walk or drive your own vehicle on the sand path. We enjoyed snorkeling there, saw a seahorse!
joan is offline  
Old Feb 3rd, 2005, 09:51 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 13
Since I was there about a week ago, I can report that Matt runs a great bar/restaurant there, and makes a mean Thai chicken salad, and great drinks. He has restrooms. There is also a man selling drinks under an umbrella. I didn't see any chairs or snorkel equipment for rent, but I wasn't looking. It is one of the most beautiful beaches you will encounter. It is about a 10 minute slow, bumpy ride from Long Bay, or a longer walk, but doable.
Kingajh is offline  
Old Feb 3rd, 2005, 11:01 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 295
The beach at Long Bay is beautiful but I didn't see many people swimming there. We enjoyed its beauty by lounging there and reading books! It's a bit rocky in the water but if you went the whole length, I'm sure some parts are better than others for swimming. My idea of getting in the ocean is just up to my knees so I'm not a good judge. Cane Bay is much calmer, but more crowded.
beth48 is offline  
Old Feb 3rd, 2005, 11:16 AM
  #6  
cdt
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 741
When we were there, Smuggler's was calmer than Cane Garden Bay, with clearer water and excellent swimming.

We drove to Smuggler's in a rented vehicle (small 4WD) - didn't think the road was any big deal. But we're accustomed to dirt roads. I didn't realize taxis won't go there.

cdt is offline  
Old Feb 5th, 2005, 07:33 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 80
I think it's DiveBVI that has a little shop at Long Bay Beach Resort (between Main Bldg and the pool) and they rent snorkel gear by the day. I'm certain they rent to anyone but beware the massive late fee!

You'll drive right by it on the way to Smuggler's. Gotta be the most convenient solution. Pick it up on your way in...drop it off on your way out.
dtstahl is offline  
Old Feb 5th, 2005, 09:50 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,946
When we went to Smugglers Cove (walked there from Long Bay Resort) - in about 1990 - there was a large dog that would come up to people, carrying a ball in his mouth. He would expect you to throw it, and if you threw it for him once, he never gave up on you after that. He kept bringing it back to you and would expect you to play with him for hours. Anyone else remember him? I'm sure he has long since gone over the "Rainbow Bridge" but he was even mentioned in guidebooks.
orangetravelcat is offline  
Old Feb 5th, 2005, 10:30 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 619
Orangetravelcat; didn't I just visit you on the Swiss watches in Nassau posting. Yes, I remember the dog well, as well as the old white Lincoln Continental which the old man with the white beard used to drive Queen Elizabeth around in when she visited the island. I wonder if the old cigar box and honor's system is still in effect. I remember putting money in the cigar box, squeezing past a wet and dripping 6 foot shark in the doorway leading to the back room refrigerator, and getting my food stuffs. The snorkeling was great off Smuggler's, but I won't bore you with the names of dozens of reef fish and Caribbean squid and eels I tallied that day, right off shore. The walk down to Smuggler's Cove was beautiful with flaming orange/red flora along the way. Is the old man with the long, white beard still running the place? Robert
Robert is offline  
Old Feb 5th, 2005, 11:06 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,946
Hi, Robert - yes, we just discussed swiss watches in Nassau. We haven't been back to Tortola since around 1990. Definitely want to get back there but so many islands, so little time!
orangetravelcat is offline  
Old Feb 5th, 2005, 12:11 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,658
Hi Robert!

No, that gentleman died a few years ago - 3 or 4 - I remember reading about it.

I also remember seeing the car and hearing about how the Queen came down to the island for the dedication of the bridge over to Beef Island, and he drove her in the parade in that car.

(Sorry I missed the dog!)
Diana is offline  
Old Feb 6th, 2005, 06:43 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 292
He was Uncle Bob, I heard he pasted away. Does anyone rememeber that his wife would bring down hot dogs from the house.
mels is offline  
Old Feb 6th, 2005, 01:06 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 619
I never saw the old man's wife. In fact, I remember behind the shelter that housed some picnic tables and the Queen's white limo, a stairways in the hillside. He used to trek down the stone steps amongst the coconut palms walk around a rotted-out wooden yacht laying on its side, to deliver hot dogs. He said his wife was sick. I talked to him once, and I believe he was in the hotel business before, but didn't like it. So, there he was at Smuggler's Cove. The dog was cool. Yes, it fetched lots of stuff I threw, but when I wanted to relax and fell asleep on the beach, he'd be standing over me, gently wagging his tail, with furrowed brow as if concentrating on my sleep attempts, waiting for me to wake up and throw some more objects for him. Robert
Robert is offline  
Old Feb 7th, 2005, 10:52 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 80
Alas, "Uncle Bob" Denniston passed on in June, 2002. His honor bar continues but the property (11 acres, 1400+ ft frontage on the beach) is for sale @ $6mil.

Hold your breath for low-impact development. The opportunity for one more visit to an unspoiled Smuggler's Cove may be at hand.
dtstahl is offline  
Old Feb 7th, 2005, 11:05 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 619
dtstahl; We'll have to hold our breaths. I've witnessed incredible ruination of reef systems by large land developers. The norther section of Great Guana Cay, complete with estuaries and mangroves, along with the northern section of Bimini, will see the bulldozer. Many of the world record tuna, sailfish, shark, and other sport fish caught in the Bahama Bank off Bimini were mere fry, protected by the acres of mangrove forest which are being dredged out for boat marinas. I pity the next generation travelers who go to Bimini, Grand Guana Cay, and now Smuggler's Cove, only to find a simplified, not diverse, ecosystem with no estuaries or mangrove marshes left. I beginning to wonder how much these developers have paid to Bahamian politicians. Robert
Robert is offline  
Old Feb 8th, 2005, 06:15 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 292
It's not gone yet !
mels is offline  
Old Feb 20th, 2005, 07:02 PM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 43
Can you please tell me more about the drive to Smugglers Cove? We are planning to rent a car. Do we need to rent a 4 WD to drive to this beach? Is the road very bumpy to the point it will make you sick or is it just like driving on a gravel road? Is it hilly or flat? Is it scary at all?

Thank you.
pattye111 is offline  
Old Feb 22nd, 2005, 07:42 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 80
The road to Smuggler's is flat but very rutted with large (not too deep) puddles. It will slosh you around a good deal but there's no danger involved.
dtstahl is offline  
Old Feb 23rd, 2005, 03:17 AM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 43
Thank you for the reply. My husband and I have rented a car/jeep on St. Martin, St. Thomas, Barbados, and San Juan. All of these islands were fine to drive to us. I've posted this message on other boards and I'm getting responses back from people telling me it is very dangerous to drive in Tortola.
Is it that much worse in Tortola than these other places I've mentioned? They are talking about the hairpin turns, the steep hills with no siderails, no road signs etc...

I want to have an enjoyable day and not be stressed out.

Need advice.

Thanks
pattye111 is offline  
Old Feb 23rd, 2005, 07:54 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 13
Hi: Re: Driving. I was just there and had a little Daihatsu SUV rented from Denzil Clyne's for the week. I thought driving was a challenge, but not that bad. The steering wheel is on the left so if you are used to that, it is easier to gauge the edge of the road on the left. Driving was easier here than on St. Lucia. I have been to Barbados and St. Thomas, but have not driven there. The hills and switchbacks are fun, and the views are fantastic! You can find your way pretty much, and the residents are very helpful. There is one main road around the Island. Smuggler's Cove is worth the drive and it is not that bad, just bouncy. You will not regret driving in Tortola.
Kingajh is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

FODOR'S VIDEO