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Which island BVI

Old Mar 24th, 2008, 02:26 PM
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BJ
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Which island BVI

I want to plan a trip to the BVI for next Jan 09, but know nothing about the individual islands to choose one.

We love privacy, need good scuba/snorkeling sites and love to hike if possible. We do NOT want or need much nightlife.

Anyone know which island is for us?

(P.S. We love St. John but want to try a new place.)

Thanks,
BJ
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Old Mar 24th, 2008, 03:11 PM
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There are a some fairly isolated up-scale resorts -- Biras Creek, Guana Island, Peter Island -- that are quite nice. And then there are places on Tortola and Virgin Gorda that you can use as bases to expore on your own in a rental car, or boat excursions to other islands.

We stayed on Tortola (Long Bay Beach Resort), and did day trips to two other islands -- Virgin Gorda by scheduled ferry (and got a rental car there too) and Norman Island on a charter sailing/snorkeling trip. There are all sorts of comparable trips out of the harbor of Road Town, Tortola... lots of options for scuba.

If I were going to rent a villa, however, I'd probably choose Virgin Gorda. There are plenty of opportunities for scuba trips from there as well.

If you stayed at Caneel on St. John, you'll do just fine with Little Dix on Virgin Gorda.
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Old Mar 24th, 2008, 04:43 PM
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http://b-v-i.com/

Have a look at this web site. It gives a really good overview of The BVI's to help you choose an island. If you scroll to the bottom of the page, there is a list of all of The BVI's to choose from and then some.
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Old Mar 24th, 2008, 05:52 PM
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How many nights do you want to vacation? What's an approximate price range per night for accommodation? Would you consider renting a villa or do you need a hotel/resort? Do you want to mainly explore one, or do you want to use one island as a home base from which to explore all of them?

Since you've traveled to the Caribbean before, I assume you realize that January is high season and thus very expensive. The previous poster suggested some very fine places to stay, but at upwards of $1000/night, they very well might not be in your price range. If the upscale places are in your price range, you would certainly find all that you seek in a single destination. Of those places that don't have great snorkeling on site, you can get dropped off daily at snorkeling sites around the island.

Tortola is a very good all-around island, and if you want to explore all of the BVI, it's the best choice for a home base. From there you can ferry to Jost, Virgin Gorda, & Anegada as well as take daysails to Norman, Peter, and Cooper Islands. For a traditional resort, the Long Bay Beach Resort is about the only thing going on the island right now. It definitely gets mixed reviews, but it's on an undeniably gorgeous beach (Arguably the prettiest on the island) and it's in a good location. On Tortola I can personally recommend the Sugar Mill Hotel, a small and charming inn not far from Long Bay. Tortola has the most action of the BVI, but it's not like it's a hotbed of nightlife. There are some very nice restaurants and some great beach bars and every thing in between. It has nice beaches and good snorkeling and its interior is fairly lush and quite hilly. Lovely views abound, no matter where you drive.

Jost Van Dyke is all about limin'. It's extremely laid back and it has lots of fans on this board who have daytripped there as well as stayed there. I have not yet been there, so I will leave the rhapsodies as well as the more pertinent details to those folks. However, my husband has stayed at Sandcastle, a villa style accommodation, and can recommend it. I don't believe that Jost is known for its good snorkeling.

Virgin Gorda is my favorite of the BVI that I've visited. Fewer crowds, better snorkeling, and nicer beaches than Tortola. Also, better roads and easier driving. It's also much smaller, so it's very easy to get around no matter where on the island you stay. If you can afford the high end resorts here, by all means go for it. Otherwise check out the villas at Mango Bay, at Mahoe Bay, and the Guavaberry Spring Bay cottages. They all offer a reasonable value for what they are, even during high season. Plus, Virgin Gorda has a natural phenomenon found only one other place on earth--the boulder formations at the Baths and most of the southern end of the island. It's amazing to swim and wander through those grottoes. The interior is a bit scrubby, but still with plenty of hills to offer lovely views. The hiking here doesn't have as much to offer as on Tortola, but you can hike up to Gorda Peak, a fairly easy walk.

Anegada, the other main BVI, is at the opposite end of the spectrum from the others. It's a coral island rather than volcanic, so it's completely flat and ALL about the beaches. Since I've not yet been here, either, I'll let other folks chime in with their input.
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Old Mar 24th, 2008, 06:37 PM
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BJ
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Thanks for the help.

I guess I should have been more specific with budget. No, I don't have $1000 a day budget for an upscale resort. Probably more like $200. We prefer to rent a home or villa as we like to prepare some of our own meals.

We usually stay about two weeks but do like to keep active during the day. Is there enough to do for 2 weeks, besides water activities?

Thanks,
BJ


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Old Mar 25th, 2008, 07:06 AM
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Virgin Gorda would probably fit your needs best. Snorkeling is good there, they have a wide range of villas to choose from, nightlife when you want it, and you can day trip to Tortola. There's also some hiking. While Jost and Anegada are my personal favorites, if you want to 'do' more than just 'be', you'd probably prefer Tortola or VG. It's pretty quiet on Jost and VERY quiet on Anegada, but I could easily spend two weeks walking the beach and reading books, which is about the extent of activity on those islands.
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Old Mar 25th, 2008, 07:17 AM
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Tortola would probably be best for your budget. You can take day trips to the Virgin Gorda and Jost Van Dyke. If budget permits, I would also suggest going on a day sailing charter (I belive they are around $90/pp/ day) - this way you will see a few more smaller islands and visit some really great snorkeling spots.

Katja from www.BoatCaribbean.com
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Old Mar 25th, 2008, 09:43 AM
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Your nightly accommodation budget will be tight for January, but take a look at www.guavaberryspringbay.com on Virgin Gorda. Their rates are actually $220/night, but the location can't be beat, they're a really good value, and they also have a kitchenette so you can prepare light meals to save a little money on your meals. There's a commissary on site for doing some shopping, and my favorite beach on the island is right there--Spring Bay. They provide umbrellas and chairs on the beach for their guests.

It's harder to daytrip from Virgin Gorda than it is Tortola, but I think you'll find better value for your accommodations there.
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Old Mar 29th, 2008, 08:00 AM
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Most of the BVI's have been reduced to poor snorkeling with a few fair spots i.e. Baths, Oil Nut Bay, Jost Van Dyke,and we liked several spots around Norman Island. But none will compare to St, John especially theareas around Caneel Bay.
We enjoyed Peter Island but that is in the same price range as Caneeel with fair to good snorkeling, better food and equal landscaping to Caneel just smaller but also less guests. We find the food at Peter Island better than Caneel but some weeks a few too many buffers at PI.
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Old Mar 30th, 2008, 07:06 AM
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I agree with Tortola as your base, all islands are available by water taxi (JVD), ferry (VG from Beef Island or from Road Town), or charter. Many good restaurants to choose from and good small "hotel" choices - Mongoose, for one.
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Old Mar 30th, 2008, 08:49 AM
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Sorry, I missed your budget objectives. I to would go with Tortola. Though it is not the prettiest island, areas around Beef Island are lovely. It is the jumping off point for day trips as said to many other islands. I might suggest that you avoid taking a 35ft. power boat that accommodates 15+ guests. It is too crowded and the trip is half the fun. It might cost $15-$20/person more for a boat taking less people boat we think it is worth it.The only trip where a large boat is practical is on a trip to Virgin Gorda becacause of the distance you don't want to spend 75% of the day just going and returning.
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Old Apr 3rd, 2008, 09:48 AM
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I would agree with Tortola. We just stayed at a place called Serendipity House which is just a mile's walk from Josiah Beach. The price was great, the amenities just fit our lifestyle and it is remote enough for peace - except for the apparently blind roosters who can break into "song" at any time of the night. This is just a 10 min drive from the airport and the restaurants at the East End. I would also recommend Tamarind Club [a little more upscale] which is on the same property.....food was fantastic!!!!
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Old Apr 3rd, 2008, 10:51 AM
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Try the baybiew vaction apts at baybiewbvi.com. If she does not have room she will put you in touch with some of the independent apts/condos/villas on the island.
many have great rates. I rent through her every year for 5 or 6 weeks.
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Old Apr 3rd, 2008, 11:43 AM
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Try Agape Cottages at Cane Garden Bay..the beach gets crowded during the day but the cottages are high on a hill with great views. There is good snorkeling is you go to far right; also enjoyed snorkeling at the next beach Brewers Bay (actually a quiet place to spend the day when Cane Garden gets busy)
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Old May 14th, 2008, 05:31 PM
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We stayed on Virgin Gorda. It is not very developed. We found just the right mix of places to eat and very conveniet snorkeling. We have plenty of underwater and above water pix at
http://www.dave-lori-home.com/virgin...ish_virgin.htm
We visited Anegada that was a little too underdeveloped. Basically a long flat sandbar. Virgin Gorda has hills for hiking, the coppermine to explore and beach diving. The public beach next to the baths offers free shore snorkeling that is very nice. Little Dix is for the upscale crowd. The resort we stayed at was just right. Mango Bay resort. Very friendly and right on the beach. It is bordered by nice villas that are rented out. You will need a car to get around we were able to get a great deal with our hotel and car rolled together.
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Old May 19th, 2008, 10:30 AM
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BJ:

If you are still seeking advice I must say do look into Virgin Gorda. My wife and I just returned (see my posting on my trip report).

Here are the pictures from the trip:

http://community.webshots.com/user/foodiechan

As for accomodations, Guvaberry has some good choices and they are not expensive.

If you liked St. John you will love VG. Tortola would be similar to that of St. Thomas, which is much more developed.

I hope this helps!

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Old Jun 26th, 2008, 07:37 PM
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Virgin Gorda, check out the villa Mikaya....pretty well priced!
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