Wednesday, July 27, 2011


ANEGADA – remote, virtually deserted, 11-mile island surrounded by beach; take private boat over.

Chikuzen – remote and not often visited; 246' former refrigeration vessel.

Chimney – arches and canyons, along with narrow slot just wide enough to swim through; bring dive light.

Guana – private island; 800-544-8262;; 15 rooms in 7 whitewashed stone buildings from 1930s; interiors are utterly simple and lack modern conveniences like air-conditioning and television; ask for Fallen Jerusalem room (for breezes), Eleuthera (big with wraparound views), or North Beach Cottage (on Atlantic side); 20 hiking trails; rates as low as $850.

Bars & Nightclubs
Foxy’s Taboo Bar & Restaurant – Great Harbor;; world's 3rd largest New Year's party.
One Love Bar – White Bay;
Soggy Dollar Bar – White Bay;
Sydney’s Peace & Love Bar – Belle Vue; “self-service” bar.

Playground – cero, crevalle jack, pompano, tarpon, and other predator fish
Twin Towers – named for dramatic pair leaning monoliths; great spot to see Caribbean reef sharks, sleeping nurse sharks, and patrolling barracuda.

White Bay Villas – White Bay;

Sights & Sites
Bubbly Pool – Great Harbor; kind of “natural jacuzzi.”
Sandy Cay – beautiful day trip.

Bars & Nightclubs
Willie Thornton Floating Bar & Restaurant – off Bight; 011-284-496-8603;

Santa Monica Rock – schooling fish circumnavigate this pinnacle that rises to within 20' of surface.

TORTOLA (includes Peter, Salt & Scrub Islands)
Bars & Nightclubs
Bomba’s Surfside Shack – Cappoons Bay (Cane Garden Bay); 011-284-495-4148; true “shack”; try Bomba Punch and/or “herbal tea,” which may or may not contain mushrooms.

Cane Garden Bay – pretty beaches and snorkeling.
Smuggler’s Cove – pretty beaches and snorkeling.

Alice in Wonderland – Ginger Island.
Angelfish Reef – for intermediate divers; green sea turtles an dog snapper.
Ginger Steps – Ginger Island (east); 80' reef; huge ledge series, cascading down from shallows to 100'; good visibility; beautiful sea fans and tube sponges; damselfish, small grunts, and squirrelfish; sand between drop-offs so brilliantly white that whole site seems to glow; down deeper, grunt and pale snapper schools congregate in hollows between corals.
Painted Walls – off Peter Island; beginners site; swim-through canyons draped with orange, purple-green, white, and yellow encrusting sponges; also lobster and stingray.
HMS Rhone –; sunk in hurricane in 1876; excellent dive; coated in orange cup corals.
Spyglass Wall – ideal for beginners; green morays, Southern stingrays, and sea fans.
Wreck Alley – off Cooper Island; advanced dive; find Mary L., Beata, and Pat wrecks; also eagle rays and eels.

Cooper Island Beach Club – Manchioneel Bay (Road Town); 011-284-495-9084 or 800-542-4624;; eco-friendly resort, accommodating maximum 8 guests.
Peter Island Resort – Road Town (Peter Island); 011-616-458-6767 or 800-346-4451;; extraordinary paradise south of Tortola Island; A-frame cottages and villas (ask for Falcon’s Nest Villa); spa; access to 1800-acre preserve.
Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina – 877-890-7444;; 26 ocean-view rooms and 26 1- and 2-room suites with full kitchens; 2 restaurants, 3 bars; full diving facilities.

Bomba’s Surfside Shack – Cappoons Bay (Cane Garden Bay); 011-284-495-4148; true “shack.”
Myett's Garden & Grille – Cane Garden Bay; 011-284-495-9649;; for grilled lobster and steak dinners.
Quito’s Gazebo – Cane Garden Bay; 011-284-495-4837;; beachside snacks with live music in evening.
Pussers – Waterfront Drive (Road Town, at Main Street); 011-284-494-3897;; great pizza.

Asante Art Studio – Crafts Alive Village (Road Town); 011-284-543-0563; Joseph Hodge's studio; primitive Caribbean-scene paintings.
HiHo – Wickhams Cay II (Road Town); 011-284-494-0337;; surf shop; also shop at Trellis Bay (Beef Island).
Pussers Company Store – Waterfront Drive (Road Town, at Main Street); 011-284-494-2467;; nautical souvenirs.
Sunny Caribbee’s – 119 Main Street (Road Town); 011-284-494-2178;; Caribbean condiments, crafts, and teas.

Sights & Sites
Callwood Distillery – Cane Garden Bay (former Arundel Estate); Arundel rum makers; 011-284-495-9383; eastern Caribbean’s oldest distillery; very small.
Norman Island – day trip from Tortola; has low budget hotels and restaurants; island on which Robert Louis Stevenson based Treasure Island; make sure to visit the Willy T. Thornton floating restaurant, famous locale, and/or Pirates Bar.
Sage Mountain National Park – Ridge Road (Sage Mountain); 011-284-494-3904; at 1.7K'; BVI’s highest peak; from parking area, trail leads in loop not only to peak itself (and extraordinary views) but also to small rain forest (sometimes mist-shrouded); mahogany trees, white cedars, mountain guavas, elephant-ear vines, mamey trees, and giant bullet woods; birds such as mountain doves and thrushes.

VIRGIN GORDA (includes Dog Islands)
Bars & Nightclubs
Bitter End Yacht Club – 011-284 494-2746;; try Lemon Crash (sugar syrup, lime juice, lemon wedges, and rum).

Chikuzen – 246' refrigeration vessel originally built in Shimizu, Japan; only place for marine life to congregate: schooling barracuda; horse-eye jacks and snapper; stingrays; eagle rays; African pompano; Atlantic spadefish; nurse and reef sharks along with resident 600 lb Goliath Grouper.
Chimney – west of Great Dog; also called “Fish Bowl.”
Flintstones – off West Dog Island; sheer-walled boulders shelter slipper lobster, gold-spotted eel, and snapper, which, in turn, attract larger prey.
Great Dog Island – airplane fuselage.
Visibles – Cockroach Island; open-water pinnacle; dive best for advanced divers; attracts turtles and sharks.

Biras Creek Resort – North Sound; 248-364-2421 or 877-883-0756;; 31 suites with double height ceilings and teak furniture; superb food.
Bitter End Yacht Club – 011-284 494-2746 or 800-872-2392;; busy hotel and marina for nautically inclined; use of everything from small sailboats to kayaks to Windsurfers included in price; busy social scene, with guests gathering to swap tales at hotel’s bars; reach only by free private ferry; hiking trail behind hotel leads to Biras Creek.
Little Dix Bay – 011-284-495-5555 or 888-767-3966;; hexagonal cottages, some on stilts; excellent food.

Bitter End Yacht Club – 011-284 494-2746;; great place for hangover breakfasts.
Fischer’s Cove Beach Hotel – Valley (Spanish Town); 011-284-495-5252;; good for breakfasts (coconut bread French toast).
Rock Cafe – Valley (Spanish Town); 011-284-495-5482;; not related to Hard Rock Cafe; gets name from location amid boulders; well-prepared dishes, such as freshly caught red snapper comes in tangy marinade and chicken piccata; affordable wine list (Italy to California); live entertainment, usually local band, nightly.
Sugar Mill – at Little Dix Bay; 011-284-495-5555 or 888-767-3966;

Pusser's Company Store – Leverick Bay; 284-495-7371;; rum.

Sights & Sites
Anegada – island guarded by horseshoe reef; 18 miles long; among world’s largest coral reefs; harbors 100s wrecks.
The Baths – Lee Road; giant volcanic boulders; island’s most famous landmarks; great snorkeling; most photographed location.
Dogs Islands – daytrip for snorkeling.
Gorda Peak National Park – North Sound Road; 284-852-3650;

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