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First time to BVI - scheduling?

New Jersey
Level Contributor
25 posts
First time to BVI - scheduling?

Hi...I've read a lot of helpful tips on this forum so far, so thank you all for that!

Planning a trip to BVI possibly for next Feb/March but my dates are flexible. Since we've never been, I thought just staying at Tortola for the week (carving out 2 days to travel) would be good. I would like to take the ferry to see Jost and VG, I'm assuming a day at each?

Do you think it's worthwhile to stay at 2 different places on Tortola to get a different feel? and possibly save a little money on one? or is that just wasting time moving around?

Has anyone split their time this way and where did you stay?

I was checking out Frenchman's on the west side, for the more quiet, relaxing vibe...but am also intrigued by the Cane Garden places. Is it more reasonable just to visit that area for nightlife/restaurants?

I guess I am trying to find a nice balance with relaxing & not totally running around, but trying see different islands and areas of Tortola.

Do you think adding 2-3 days more to trip makes more sense?

Also I realize I am in high season, is there a better time to choose as I am totally flexible?

I was considering a Wednesday thru Wednesday bcz I like to experience weekends somewhere versus travel then, but can really make it any days.

Appreciate any insight.

British Virgin...
Level Contributor
869 posts
10 reviews
1. Re: First time to BVI - scheduling?

You have some good ideas, especially re: traveling on Wed., as that is often the cheapest day to travel. I would not change places on Tortola. First, many rentals have a one-week minimum, or better rates for weekly. Second, the island is not very big, so it's easy to see everything no matter where you stay. Unless driving on the left is a problem for you, I would rent a car. Adding a couple days makes sense, given the time and money it takes to get to the BVI.

So that we can give you better advice, what are your priorities? Cost, travel time, activities, etc. If you want quiet beach time, then I would actually recommend Virgin Gorda, with maybe a couple days on Tortola. As to travel time, are you looking to save money or avoid crowds? Or do you prefer to get out of the worst weather in New Jersey? Do you want total vacation, or would you like a kitchen to prepare some meals? Do you have boating skills?

You will get lots of help here if you let us know what would make for your best vacation.

Level Contributor
7,017 posts
38 reviews
2. Re: First time to BVI - scheduling?

I agree with the above. We tend to travel at the end of April/beg. of May because it is less crowded and the weather is still good. The prices also go down. I think Tortola is a great base particularly for first timers. It is difficult to get to Jost from Virgin Gorda. If you were to add a couple of days on to your trip you could stay on VG for half the trip and maybe go to Anegada for a day trip and stay on Tortola for the second half and do a day trip to Jost. Lots of options.

Rockwall, Texas
Level Contributor
294 posts
1,050 reviews
3. Re: First time to BVI - scheduling?

Oh, the possibilities are endless and I am SO excited for you, New Jersey! My hubby and I have just returned from 5 weeks in the BVIs and I have been traveling there since 1982. Our group of 8 spent a few days at Frenchman's on West End, Tortola and wished we had spent an entire week. We just loved Peter, the manager, & all of the staff. It is a lovely location, the accommodations are top notch and the food in the restaurant was some of the best we had on our BVI trip. I would recommend picking one Resort and staying there as a week will fly by. It is easy to get taxis to Cane Garden Bay for the other activities. Virgin Gorda and Jost Van Dyke would both be great day trips (just NOT on days when one of the cruise ships is docked in Tortola). Have fun planning your trip!

New Jersey
Level Contributor
25 posts
4. Re: First time to BVI - scheduling?

Oh man. Such great advice, & more to think about!

Timing is totally adjustable, but getting out of the winter was the thinking for Feb/Mar. But could def push it to April, just not sure if I want to wait that long! Hah.

I guess thinking about it moving around is kind of something I've done in the past, but for longer durations. I agree, moving within a week is a little much.

I'm trying to imagine the travel days worse than maybe it actually is. Looking at flights it may make sense for us to fly to Miami first & possibly stay there to be able to get an early flight to STT.

And with that I want to make sure there are definite relaxation days, versus trying to see everything.

I am thinking of seeing if 10 days would make more sense for what I wanna do.

Thank you for the advice! More to plan....

Spencerport, New...
Level Contributor
743 posts
37 reviews
5. Re: First time to BVI - scheduling?

We like to do 10 days or more. Travel from NJ should/could get you to STT by 1 pm ish, with the chance to catch a ferry to Tortola within an hour or so. We usually make it to Tortola by 3-4 pm coming in from NY. We loved using Tortola as a base before we settled on Jost as our forever island....

Happy Planning

New Jersey
Level Contributor
25 posts
6. Re: First time to BVI - scheduling?

I am leaning toward Cane Garden Bay for our stay and looking at the cheaper options. I figure most time will be spent on beach and exploring Tortola and other islands. As long as it's decently clean, comfortable, convenient. And having a little kitchen would be helpful bcz we do like to prep sandwiches and things to take with us. Just want something within walking distance to beach. So right now just looking at places around the $200/night range.

The places I am considering:

Mongoose Apartments - however read some concerns about management change there?

Sebastians - this is down the way a bit - but i'm guessing it's not a big deal to drive up the way to dinner/drinks?

SunSet Apartments - haven't seen much said about these, but seems like a good location and like the kitchenette.

I will most likely rent a car so we can check out other beaches. Does it make sense to just rent it for the whole time?

Or is renting for a few days a more reasonable option since there will be days we won't use it?

Besides taking the ferry to other islands, any recommendations for sailing/boating tours? Have to look into this more..

Also, considering a time very close to a full moon, should I make sure we stay for that? Is it reasonable to leave the day after a full moon, or will we need more recovery? ;)

Have flights bookmarked, just need to pick a place and get it booked.

Thanks for the suggestions so far!

Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
4,283 posts
57 reviews
7. Re: First time to BVI - scheduling?

So let me see if I understand...you have 7 nights total for your stay or 6 nights?

I prefer VG to Tortola for beaches and snorkeling. Such a short trip I wouldn't spend time visiting many other islands.

New Jersey
Level Contributor
25 posts
8. Re: First time to BVI - scheduling?

Oh no, now I'm at 9 or 10 nights depending on a few factors. I just mean one day at VG & one at Jost. I originally started by wanting to stay on Jost, but decided on Tortola as a base for first trip. It's more just an idea to check out the other places a bit, have lunch & a few drinks .. nothing crazy. I take a few vacas a year & depending how far I'm flying never stay more than 2 weeks. It's good for me. Personal preferences.

Level Contributor
7,017 posts
38 reviews
9. Re: First time to BVI - scheduling?

Look at Myetts and Cane Garden Bay Cottages. Both would work for you. If you want more bare bones, look at Rhymers and the Elm. I am not sure what is happening with Mongoose. I think Sandra is gone so don't know what is going on there. I do not see any reviews since March. We tend to go to CGB and hang out for a day or two without a car since there are enough restaurants and a store there. There is a car rental place called Del's and we just get a car from him for the days we need it. We have had great experience with him. YOu can also take a water taxi to Jost direct from CGB. You will definitely want a car for a lot of the trip to see Tortola and to drive to the ferries b/c the taxis are expensive. Sounds like a great trip!

New Paltz, New York
Level Contributor
1,026 posts
14 reviews
10. Re: First time to BVI - scheduling?

Look at Lighthouse Villas in Cane Garden Bay too. They don't get much free press on here and I am not too sure why. Prices were really reasonable, views were amazing, beds comfy and it had a kitchen. You are not feet in the sand but it is literally a stones throw from it, just across the road. We actually liked being a tiny bit removed from the music as we needed to sleep after our busy days. Just a suggestion...Staying in CGB and Tortola in general is a good plan for your first trip.

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