Within Walking Distance
Situated on Tortola’s south shore, the once-sleepy village and British colonial capital of Road Town is now a bustling yacht-chartering center. Wickham’s Cay marina has the largest fleet of bareboat sailing charters in the world. Tortola is famous among yachtsmen the world over for its beautiful secluded beaches and snorkeling coves, including deserted Norman’s Isle. With your Carnival cruise to Tortola, it’s easy to outfit yourself for a spirited day sail from Virgin Islands Sailaway, to the hidden beaches of Salt Island or Peter Island. Certified Two Tank Wreck & Reef Dive can take you underwater to the HMS Rhone, a shipwreck from 1867 covered in living coral. The Botanic Gardens, right in the middle Road Town, is an explosion of tropical color, with a promenade of royal palms and green lawns spilling over with mountain orchids, water lilies, and flowering vines.
Beyond the Port Area
On Tortola, British Virgin Islands, the natural landscape is the main attraction. Most visitors head to Sage Mountain National Park, its peak rising to 1,716 ft., the highest point in the BVIs and U.S. Virgin Islands. Established in 1964, this park protects remnants of Tortola’s original forests. You’ll find a lush forest of mango, papaya, breadfruit, coconut, mountain guava, and guava berry trees, many labeled for identification. Before going, stop at the tourist office at Wickham’s Cay, near the pier, and pick up a brochure with a map and an outline of the park’s trails. Dolphin Swim Adventure can help you make a date to swim and interact with dolphins at another Tortola attraction, Dolphin Discovery.
Beaches in Tortola
The most famous beach may be Jost Van Dyke, named for the famous pirate. Enjoy the white sand beaches with the Jost Van Dyke Beach Escape with Lunch excursion. Visit the beautiful beaches at Cane Garden Bay on the island’s northwest coast. Surfers like Apple Bay, also on the northwest side. At the extreme west end of the island, Smuggler’s Cove is a wide crescent of white sand wrapped around calm, sky-blue water.
Shopping in Tortola
Shopping on Tortola is a minor activity compared to other Caribbean ports. Because only British goods are imported without duty, they are the best buys, especially English china. You’ll also find West Indian art, terra-cotta pottery, wicker and rattan home furnishings, Mexican glassware, dhurrie rugs, baskets, and ceramics. Most stores are on Main and Upper Main streets in Road Town. The North Shore & Pusser’s Landing excursion includes shopping at the Pusser’s Company Store, which has a selection of classic travel and adventure clothing, along with Pusser’s famous rum, which was been served aboard British Navy ships for over 300 years.