The shore of the beaches with giant rocks in Tortola, British Virgin Island

Cruise to Tortola, British Virgin Islands

The largest of the British Virgin Islands, Tortola is known for its shimmering beaches, oleander and hibiscus-covered mountainsides, and quaint towns tucked along coves— all of which are bouncing back after an active hurricane season in 2017. This early home to Blackbeard and Captain Kidd maintains its salty pirate legacy and rum-making traditions today. And adventure is a constant, whether you choose to wander the international capital city of Road Town or charter a boat in the sailing capital of the world. Get lost in melodic Bamboula drumming when you cruise to the Virgin Islands. Or hop on a ferry to discover the neighboring islands of Virgin Gorda, Anegada or Jost Van Dyke.
National Language English
Currency Accepted U.S. Dollar (USD)

Things To Do in Tortola

Girl snorkeling underwater through the rocks in Tortola, British Virgin Island

Tortola, British Virgin Island Snorkeling Underwater

Nature Isle

Nature Isle

Venture to Anegada, the BVI’s only coral island, to explore its secluded beaches, wildlife, and underwater coral gardens. Snorkel past swimming stingrays and tropical fish. Marvel at ancient Arawak conch mounds. Glimpse native flowers and rare rock iguanas. Or bask in the calm and undisturbed seaside scenery.

An aerial view of islands and mountains in Tortola, British Virgin Island

Tortola, British Virgin Island Aerial View Island

Island Hopper

Island Hopper

Take a ferry or water taxi ride across calm Caribbean waters to any one of the nearby islands. Explore the tucked-away alcoves of Virgin Gorda. Go shopping in the duty-free mecca of St. Thomas. Or relish the rugged scenery and intriguing folklore of Jost Van Dyke, the BVI’s smallest island.

tortola british virgin islands take the helm sailboats ocean view

tortola british virgin islands take the helm sailboats ocean view

Take The Helm

Cast away on a sailboat, catamaran, bareboat or yacht in the charter-boat capital of the Caribbean. Your Virgin Island cruise might take you to hidden coves and pristine cays— or cross Drake Channel past the sea caves of Norman Island, believed to be the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel Treasure Island.

Plate of grilled lobster in Tortola, British Virgin Island

Tortola, British Virgin Island Lobster Food Cuisine

Local Cuisine

Tortola is known for a delicious blend of Caribbean, West Indian and British-inspired flavors. Try local delicacies like fresh Anegada lobster, conch fritters and Johnnycakes (cornmeal flatbread). Eat shepherd’s pie or fish and chips— and don’t miss rotis (Indian-style turnovers filled with curried goat). “Fish and fungi” is the official dish of the BVI, while the rum-based Painkiller from Pusser’s is world-famous.

Bracelets found shopping in Tortola, British Virgin Island

Tortola, British Virgin Island Shopping Bracelets


For authentic Tortolan souvenirs, pick up Caribbean spices, jams, or gemstones, especially black coral and jasper. Stop in Serendipity Bookshop for works by West Indian and BVI authors. Pusser’s Company Store, with locations in both Road Town and the West End, sells nautical accessories, artwork and their super-popular rum.

Insider's Tips
Insider's Tips
1 Casual clothing— no swimsuits or shirtless attire— is appropriate to wear in town.
2 Smoking in public places, including bars, restaurants, nightclubs, airports, offices and sports facilities, is banned in the BVI.

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