If you’re looking for a Caribbean island escape that feels like you’ve stepped into another world, Virgin Gorda should be at the top of your list. This small island is located in the British Virgin Islands. It is known for its dramatic coastlines, crystal clear waters, and lush jungles. So what can you expect when you visit Virgin Gorda? Keep reading for our traveler’s guide to everything there is to see and do on this paradise island of Virgin Gorda!
What is Virgin Gorda?
Virgin Gorda is one of the British Virgin Islands and is located in the Caribbean Sea. The island is about 22 square miles and is home to just over three thousand people. The majority of the island’s population is of African descent, and the official language is English.
How to Travel to Virgin Gorda
No traveler’s guide to Virgin Gorda would be complete without telling you how to actually arrive to the island! The easiest (and cheapest!) way to get to Virgin Gorda is by flying into St. Thomas Airport (USVI) and then taking a connecting ferry to the Island. Alternatively, you can fly to Tortola Airport (BVI), but this is typically more expensive since it’s a smaller airport.
From St.Thomas, you can take a ferry to Virgin Gorda from the port at Charlotte Amalie. The ferry takes about 2 hours to get there, but the direct ferry from St. Thomas to Virgin Gorda only runs Tuesdays and Saturdays. On the other days, you can still get to the island. You switch boats in Tortola, or if you fly into Tortola. It is just a 30-minute ferry ride from the Beef Island Airport. There are many established ferry companies on the island, but we recommend going with Speedy’s Virgin Gorda Ferry. Their tickets are affordable and they have nice amenities on their boats.
Once you’re on the island, getting around is pretty easy. You can either rent a car or moped or just take taxis everywhere. We would recommend renting a car or mopeds. This is easier if you’re planning on doing a lot of back and forth. We recommend that so you can explore outside of Virgin Gorda’s main town, Spanish Town. If you are only staying at a resort, getting taxis is the way to go. Be sure to agree on a fare prior to your ride.
Traveler’s Guide to Staying in Virgin Gorda
Virgin Gorda has a wide range of accommodation options, from camping and hostels to luxury resorts. We would recommend staying in Spanish Town if you’re on a budget. There are a few affordable hotels and guesthouses there. The Guavaberry Spring Bay is a beautiful family-owned and operated property that has a variety of vacation homes and villas. Each property is a little different. You can find ones with multiple bedrooms or a kitchen to fit your needs. For something a little nicer, Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbour is home to several upscale resorts. If you are looking to really splurge on a luxury experience, the Rosewood Little Dix Bay is for you. It is Virgin Gorda’s most famous resort and is absolutely beautiful.
No matter where you stay on Virgin Gorda, you’re sure to be treated to stunning views of the island’s lush landscapes and crystal clear waters.
What to Expect in Virgin Gorda
Virgin Gorda is a pretty laid-back island. You can expect to spend your days relaxing on the beach, hiking through the jungle, or snorkeling in the crystal clear waters. There are also a few small towns and villages where you can find restaurants, bars, and shops. The island is pretty hilly, so be prepared for some steep inclines. The views from the top are always worth it!
The weather on Virgin Gorda is pretty consistent throughout the year – expect warm temperatures and plenty of sunshine. The rainy season is from May to November. Even then, rainfall is typically only in the form of brief showers.
Traveler’s Guide to Packing for Virgin Gorda
Virgin Gorda is a pretty casual place, so pack your clothes accordingly. Swimsuits, shorts, and t-shirts are standard beachwear, and you’ll want to bring along some light layers for the evenings. If you’re planning on doing any hiking, be sure to pack closed-toe shoes and insect repellent. And don’t forget your sunscreen! The sun is strong year-round on Virgin Gorda. If you need help, we have our travel prep list to minimize your packing.
Things to Do in Virgin Gorda
There’s no shortage of things to do on Virgin Gorda, but here are a few of the most popular activities:
Visit The Baths
Virgin Gorda is home to The Baths – a must-see attraction on the island. The Baths are a series of huge granite boulders that have been formed by centuries of erosion. They’re located in Virgin Gorda’s National Park and you can swim through the caves and crevices of the rocks. It only took us about 15 minutes of hiking. The hike included a rocky trail and climbing through caves and over boulders to get to the end. Guess what! The view was so worth it! Visiting The Baths is an absolute MUST if you’re in Virgin Gorda. Just look how breathtaking these views are!
Relax at Devil’s Bay
Devil’s Bay is where you will end up after hiking to The Baths in Virgin Gorda National Park. The water is crystal clear and there’s a beautiful sandy beach flanked by huge boulders. It’s the perfect place to spend a day swimming, sunbathing, and snorkeling.
Hike Up Virgin Gorda Peak
If you’re looking for a challenge, Virgin Gorda Peak is the highest point on the island. It offers stunning views of the surrounding area. The hike is about two miles long and fairly strenuous. If you’re up for it, it’s a great way to see the island’s lush jungle landscape. Be sure to bring plenty of water and insect repellent, as there are no shade or restrooms along the way. We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention being an eco-friendly traveler.
Sail around the Virgin Islands
One of the best ways to experience Virgin Gorda is from the water. There are plenty of charter companies that offer day sails or longer excursions around the Virgin Islands. We would highly recommend doing this. You’ll get to see some of the most beautiful scenery in the world while sailing on a beautiful boat.
Snorkel by the Wreck of the Chikuzen
The Chikuzen is a Japanese cargo ship that ran aground on Virgin Gorda in the early 1990s. The shipwreck is now a popular snorkeling spot. It’s easy to see why – the water is crystal clear and you can see the ship, propellers, and portholes, along with all the fish and marine life.
Enjoy Sunset at Saba Rock
The perfect end to a day of exploring is watching the sunset from Saba Rock. Saba Rock is a small island with a restaurant located just off the coast of Virgin Gorda. You can take a short 15-minute boat ride (free) from Virgin Gorda to get there. Then enjoy the beautiful views as the sun sets. The staff is amazing and you can enjoy a great meal overlooking the water and sailboats.
Virgin Gorda is definitely an island that you can spend a week or more on without getting bored. If you’re short on time, one day is enough to see the highlights. We hope this traveler’s guide to Virgin Gorda has you feeling prepared and excited for your trip! We also hope you enjoy your time on this beautiful island as much as we did!
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