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Travel discussion for Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Jost Van Dyke, and beyond!
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My wife and I are planning our first "just us" vacation in six years. The last time it was just the two of us (sans various and sundry family members) was 6 years ago when we went to St. John. After doing some shopping, it looks like another VI vacation is more budget friendly than a cruise or even a week at nearby Florida. Still, I need to do some research, and I'm hoping you folks can assist.
We're planning Tortola for the first week of June 2014
The plan is to rent a villa via vrbo.com and stay on the beach. Prices are really good, and locations look fantastic.
Removing cost of villa, airfare, and ferry service, how much you reckon to add for a week including half meals in, half casual out, vehicle rental, boat rental (at least one day of island hopping), additional "must do/see"?
Just spent a few days in Tortola. Some tips:
Jeep rental from Denzil Cline. You will need a Jeep, hills make St John look flat. They will pick you up at airport of ferry terminal.
Bananaqeets: wonderful food and nice staff, best sunset view on island.
Myetts,Can Garden Bay: lovely beach, good food and wonderful staff.
AVOID SEBASTIANS ON THE BEACH: rude staff and food is precooked and microwaved.
Smugglers Cove Beach: lovely wide sand beach with trees and chairs. Local guys grilles meat, fish, shrimp to sell, he has good food and is very friendly.
We've had several great vacations in the BVIs during the last week of May and first week of June, and have stayed on Tortola 3 times. Here is some info from our vacations that may be helpful to you.
We budget $200-250/day for food and drinks. When we eat at small, local places, its much less than $250. When we eat at the resorts, or high end places, its closer to $250. Of course, this is highly dependent upon how many drinks you have in a day at a restaurant or bar, and if you order appetizers, salad and dessert. When we stay in a villa, we tend to eat breakfast in. Sometimes we get food from the grocery store and pack a lunch. Or if we eat a big restaurant meal at lunch, then we have a light dinner at the villa.
Jeep rental is a big expense for the trip ($50-70/day), but worth it since we like to go to different places on the island. The first time we went to Tortola, we rented a small 4-cyl Suzuki. IMO, it was too under-powered for some of the steep island roads. We slowly chugged up some of those hills. The next year, we rented a Jeep with a more power and had no problem.
Definitely second the recommendation of Bananakeet for sunset and dinner. Incredible view down the coastline and out to the sea. Good food both times we went.
Smugglers Cove is a beautiful beach. I saw a post on another forum that sometimes the vendors are not at Smugglers Cove serving food and drink, and sometimes they are there. Sounds like you might not be able to count on it.
We really enjoy going to Brewers Bay - beautiful beach and fantastic snorkeling. Most of the time, there have been only a few people on the beach. (I've heard it can be crowded when a cruise ship is in port.) There is a very small beach bar/cafe with a limited menu (Nicoles). We've had hamburgers and drinks there a few times. Very convenient when he is open.
We've never rented a boat, but we've been out several times on Aristocat for their day sail/snorkeling trip. We love their trips with the 3 snorkeling stops and they serve a fresh and abundant lunch. For $120/person plus tip, its a very nice day.
Happy trip planning!
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