1. Play among the iconic rock formations at The Virgin Gorda Baths

The Baths is a unique geological formation featuring giant granite boulders, some as large as 40 feet in diameter, scattered along the beach and in the water. These boulders create natural pools, caves, and tunnels that visitors can explore. The area is part of the Virgin Gorda National Park and is a popular destination for snorkeling, swimming, and hiking.

The rock formations at the Baths are believed to be the result of volcanic activity and erosion over millions of years. The granite boulders provide a picturesque and unusual setting, making it a must-visit attraction for those exploring the British Virgin Islands.

Among the giant granit boulders at The Baths. A geological wonder, The Baths are a collection of giant granite boulders forming caves, grottoes, and pools along the beach. This is a great place to go snorkel or climb around the beautiful formations.
Spring Bay at Virgin Gorda Island
Spring Bay, BVI
Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands
Virgin Gorda Island is home to The Baths. This is a definite must on your BVI holiday. The iconic boulders and turquoise lagoon make this one of the most picturesque snorkeling sites in the BVI.

2. Explore the thriving reef on the tragic Shipwreck of the RMS Rhone

The wreck of the RMS Rhone is a top dive site in the British Virgin Islands and one of its most visited attractions. The 310-foot twin-masted steamer, which sank during a ferocious hurricane in 1867, killing 123 people, lies in three sections west of Salt Island and has beckoned underwater explorers for decades. Its significance lies in both historical and ecological aspects, making it a unique attraction in the region.

What enhances its allure is the transformation of the ship into an artificial reef over the years. The wreckage now attracts a diverse array of marine life, with coral formations flourishing on its structure. This has turned the dive site into a thriving underwater ecosystem, where various fish species find their habitat.

For those on a yacht charter, the enjoyment of the RMS Rhone begins with anchoring near Salt Island, ensuring compliance with local regulations. Accessing the dive site can easily be done by dinghies, with many charter companies offering guided dives to ensure a safe and informative exploration of the shipwreck.

Two SCUBA Divers on the RMS Rhone wreck

Here is a list of 6 of the BVI's best Shipwreck Dives

  1. RMS Rhone: This iconic shipwreck off Salt Island is one of the world’s premier dive sites. The RMS Rhone, a British mail steamer, sank in 1867 during a hurricane, creating a captivating underwater scene with intact structures and marine life.
  2. Chikuzen: Located off the coast of Virgin Gorda, the Chikuzen is a Japanese refrigerator ship that met its fate in 1981. Now a popular dive site, it offers a unique exploration of a large, well-preserved wreck surrounded by vibrant marine ecosystems.
  3. The Wreck of the Fearless: Found near Norman Island, the Fearless was a luxury yacht that sank in the 1920s. Its remnants provide an intriguing dive experience, with coral-encrusted parts and marine creatures making it their home.
  4. The Inganess Bay: Situated near Cooper Island, the Inganess Bay is a British Navy oil tanker that sank in 1945. Divers can explore its impressive length and witness how marine life has transformed this historical wreck into a thriving underwater habitat.
  5. The Kodiak Queen: This WWII Navy fuel barge, now an artificial reef near Virgin Gorda, was famously transformed into an art installation called “The BVI Art Reef.” It serves as a unique blend of history, art, and marine conservation.
  6. The Beata: Off the coast of Anegada lies the wreck of The Beata, a 19th-century steamer that met its demise in 1918. Divers can explore the scattered remains, including the ship’s boiler and artifacts, while enjoying the abundance of marine life in the area.

3. Go for a Hike and Discover the Great Biodiversity at Sage Mountain

LOCATION: Mount Sage National Park, Tortola Island

As the highest peak in the British Virgin Islands, Sage Mountain rises to an elevation of 1,716 feet. Its central location on Tortola provides a vantage point for breathtaking views of the surrounding islands and seas. It is an ideal stop for yacht charterers seeking exploration beyond the crystal-clear waters.

As part of the Virgin Islands National Park, Sage Mountain features well-maintained hiking trails that wind through dense forests of mahogany trees, ferns, and orchids. Biodiversity is a hallmark of Sage Mountain, with the park serving as a sanctuary for a variety of plant and animal species, including several rare and endemic ones. Birdwatchers can enjoy the opportunity to spot an array of both indigenous and migratory birds amid the natural splendor.

Beyond its natural attributes, Sage Mountain holds cultural significance, providing a window into the history and heritage of the British Virgin Islands. Preservation efforts within the national park highlight the importance of maintaining the delicate balance between nature and human interaction.

Magnificent frigate bird
The Magnificent Frigatebird in the British Virgin Islands is a striking seabird with glossy black plumage, long wings, and a notable red throat pouch in males. They showcase exceptional flying skills, soaring effortlessly over the ocean. These birds primarily feed on fish and squid, snatching prey from the water's surface. Breeding colonies can be found on BVI islands, where males attract females with inflated throat pouch displays. Though not globally threatened, local populations may face challenges from habitat loss and human disturbances.
Views from Tortola Island, BVI
View of tropical shoreline of Tortola in British Virgin Island

4. Enjoy an early morning or late afternoon Excursion to see the Wild Flamingos at Flamingo Pond

LOCATION: Northern Anegada Island

Flamingo Pond is absolutely a must-visit for anyone visiting the BVI. The shallow salt pond, surrounded by mangroves, hosts a significant population of Caribbean flamingos. These iconic birds, with their vibrant pink plumage and long legs, are drawn to the saline-rich waters of the pond.

To experience the full spectacle, early morning or late afternoon visits are recommended, as the lighting enhances the vivid colors of the flamingos against the backdrop of the pond. Accessing Flamingo Pond from your yacht involves anchoring near Anegada and using dinghies or small boats to navigate the shallower waters leading to the pond.

Responsible viewing is emphasized to preserve the natural habitat and the well-being of the flamingos. Maintaining a respectful distance and adhering to local guidelines ensures a sustainable and enjoyable experience. Flamingo Pond offers a rare opportunity to witness these graceful birds in their natural environment, adding a unique wildlife encounter to the allure of the British Virgin Islands.

The pink color of flamingos is attributed to the pigments in the food they consume, specifically carotenoids found in algae and crustaceans.
Flamingos flying in the BVI
While flamingos are adept swimmers, they are also powerful fliers. Their long wings allow them to cover considerable distances during migration or in search of suitable feeding grounds.

5. Swim into the Legendary Pirate Caves at Norman Island

Snorkelers in a cave at Norman Island

LOCATION: Northern Norman Island near Treasure Point

Norman Island Caves invites yacht charterers to explore a captivating blend of geological marvels and maritime legends in the British Virgin Islands. These coastal caves, etched by the relentless forces of wind and water, unveil a mesmerizing world of grottoes and chambers. The interplay of light and shadows within adds an enchanting aura to the surroundings.

Steeped in pirate lore, Norman Island, home to these caves, is rumored to have hidden treasures within its depths. While the historical accuracy of such tales remains uncertain, the mystique surrounding the caves adds an intriguing layer to the visit.

While there isn’t a particular bay associated with the caves, boats and yacht charters often anchor in nearby bays such as The Bight or Privateer Bay before exploring the caves using dinghies or small boats. Accessing the caves from these anchorages allows for a convenient and scenic journey along the southern shore of Norman Island.

Boats moored at The Caves of Norman Island for snorkelling

6. Grab a mooring and Dive right in for some of the most spectacular snorkeling at the Indians

LOCATION: West of Pelican Island

The Indians is a natural wonder and a must-visit destination for anyone on a yacht charters, offering a blend of natural beauty and snorkeling opportunities. This cluster of rugged islets features striking rock formations shaped by the elements. The main attraction is the submerged boulders, known as “The Caves,” providing a captivating underwater landscape.

Accessible by yacht, anchoring in the vicinity opens the door to an immersive experience. Snorkelers can explore vibrant coral reefs and encounter diverse marine life thriving in the crystal-clear waters.

The Indians, British Virgin Islands

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