Island Hopping in the British Virgin Islands
Island hopping in the British Virgin Islands is a fun and fascinating way to explore the surrounding area when staying with us at Oil Nut Bay. Guests and residents alike can enjoy hiking at various locations scattered throughout the archipelago. The national parks comprise an impressive collection of marine- and land spaces showcasing historic sites, tropical forests, salt ponds and bird sanctuaries, coral reefs and numerous shipwrecks.
With twenty eight protected locations scattered throughout the BVI’s, your biggest obstacle will be deciding where to start exploring first.
Begin island hopping in the British Virgin Islands close to home. Oil Nut Bay visitors can enjoy the fabulous views from Gorda Peak National Park. Located in the northwest part of the island overlooking Soldier Bay and North Sound, the highest point on the island peaks at 1,379 feet.
The trail to the top leads through a protected dry forest that is home to the world’s smallest lizard, the Virgin Gorda gecko. A lookout perch at the crest affords a spectacular view of the surrounding ocean and islands. Pack a picnic lunch and relax at the tables located at the east and west trails’ junction.
Island hopping in the British Virgin Islands cannot be considered complete without a trip to the world-famous Baths. The Baths got their name from the unique, massive round granite boulders amongst which pools and caverns formed over 70 million years ago. This boulder-strewn stretch of beach is the most famous landmark in the BVI. Navigate a narrow passageway leading to The Baths’ heart and swim in a stone-canopied pool, which rises and falls with the tide.
Embark on a 15-minute trail hike from the parking lot at the Baths National Park and find yourself on a secluded beach at Devil’s Bay National Park. Located at the south tip of the island, this little slice of paradise can be accessed by climbing over the Baths’ boulders and descending the other side. Devil’s Bay also offers mooring buoys, making it accessible by boat.
A separate trail at the south end of the beach leads to Stoney Bay on the island’s Atlantic side.
Jost Van Dyke
Take a day trip by boat to Jost Van Dyke and explore Diamond Cay. This national park is a nesting area for several birds, including native boobies, terns, and pelicans. Once you have your fill of unique birds, motor over to Sandy Cay and hike the small trail while looking for Leatherback turtles.
Great Camanoe and Dead Chest
This small rocky island is home to the Cam Bay National Park, including a salt pond and dry vegetation inland. The calm anchorage offers a fantastic snorkeling location while hikers can walk along the salt pond trail that divides the island.
Dead Chest Island (also called Dead Man’s Chest Island) has acquired its name after the buccaneers that Blackbeard marooned here with only a bottle of rum and a dagger after they revolted against him. Today, the uninhabited, wild island contains three dive sites that boats can reach from Deadman’s Bay. Explore Dead Chest Island. Who knows what treasures you may find.
Sage Mountain National Park, donated in the 1960s by Laurance Rockefeller, reaches its peak at 1,780 feet, displaying breathtaking views of the islands below. A gravel-covered access trail skirts the edge of Sage Mountain and leads to interconnecting trails. Although this is a 92-acre park, a leisurely two-hour stroll gives hikers a tour of all the highlights.
The J.D. O’Neal Botanic Gardens park offers a look at rare and endangered plants native to the islands. Located on Main Street and built on the old Government Agricultural Station grounds, this historical 4 acres of land is one of the prettiest spots on Tortola. Discover an array of indigenous, exotic tropical plants and flowers. A palm garden, a tropical bird sanctuary, and a bamboo and grass exhibit are here for the naturalist to explore and enjoy. Self-guided strolls will take you past a pond, a small waterfall, the Fern House, the Orchid House, and herb and medicinal gardens.
Finish island hopping in the British Virgin Islands at Oil Nut Bay
All of the BVI national parks are beautiful, preserved areas ready for your exploration. Oil Nut Bay is a fantastic place to begin and finish island hopping in the British Virgin Islands.