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Books, Apps, or Web sites

Travel discussion for Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Jost Van Dyke, and beyond!

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Books, Apps, or Web sites

Postby Joppa » Mon Oct 19, 2015 10:24 am

We are planning on spending 3 days on Tortola in January during our St.John trip. I'm having a hard time finding a lot of info on Tortola. Are there any good books, apps, or web sites out there? Anything the equivalent of Feet FIns and 4 wheel drive would be great. Thanks!
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Re: Books, Apps, or Web sites

Postby ski2play » Mon Oct 19, 2015 12:15 pm

If you find something, please let me know. We were spoiled by the amount of knowledge available about St John and expected we could find just as much about the BVI. This is not the case.

http://www.angelinacat.com/SALES.htm

We have purchased books from Frank at the above site. Great quality and so easy to deal with.

We have stayed on Tortola many times as we worked to purchase a villa on Jost. What questions do you have about Tortola?
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Re: Books, Apps, or Web sites

Postby watergirl » Mon Oct 19, 2015 1:02 pm

Same here. Stayed in Tortola many times. Even got married there.
What do you want to know? Where in Tortola are you staying?
Might try: www.b-v-i.com/ or www.bviwelcome.com/

As far as I know there's nothing the equivalent of books you mentioned.
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Re: Books, Apps, or Web sites

Postby Joppa » Mon Oct 19, 2015 11:47 pm

I guess I was hoping for a great resource like what is available for St.John to learn more about the Tortola. I'm not even sure what questions I have, I just wanted to learn as much about Tortola as possible before our trip to better take advantage of the time we have there. Are there any "Don't Miss" type beaches or attractions on Tortola? Where is the best snorkel? Any places to avoid? Are there any customs I should be aware of, such as the Good morning, day, evening greetings on St.John?
We are staying at a new place called Ke Villas in Carrot Bay.
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Re: Books, Apps, or Web sites

Postby watergirl » Tue Oct 20, 2015 10:20 am

Ok, here we go. I'll try to answer your questions. Culturally BVI's are very similar to USVI's and as such being polite and respectful goes a long way. It is always good to remember it's their island and we're only visitors.
Tortola is has steeper hills and crazier roads than STJ, (if you can believe that) but I would recommend rent a vehicle as many of the beaches would be difficult to get to otherwise. And there are no good road maps of Tortola (at least none that I've ever found) so prepare to get lost.
Also Tortola is more built up so you won't see the expanse of wilderness that you see on St. John. Like STJ most of the beaches are on the North Shore but not as easy to get to.
Where to go: depends on what you like to do. My favorite beaches for snorkeling and hanging out are 1.Smuggles Cove- an adventure to get to but well worth it. Great snorkeling, never crowded. No amenities so make sure you bring plenty of water etc.
2. Brewer's Bay, used to have a broken down campsite which has been removed. Good snorkeling has a nice little beach bar.
3. Josiah Bay: my husband's favorite cuz it has what passes for waves. Snorkeling not so good but very secluded.

Hikes: If you like to hike you should not miss Mt. Sage National Park - the highest point on the island. The trails are easier than STJ. and the view at the observation deck to die for. It's so high up that it's actually almost cold at times! Small park you could walk to whole thing in an afternoon.
Also a relatively new park is Shark Bay very close to Brewers Bay (you could see both in one day) It has an interesting walk up a ridge to a cave from which the views are again spectacular.
Nightlife: Others may disagree but in my mind the only place to go for night life is Cane Garden Bay. It is a lovely beach, but definitely a party beach studded with small inn and clubs. If your going on a weekend you should not miss BBQ night at ELMS Beach Bar. Or Sat. night at Quito's listening to Quito and the Edge.
Quito is an amazing musician and song writer, but only known locally which I always thought was a shame. He has the talent to be an international star.
I would not bother with Road Town if your only there 3 days. It's a city: has some interesting sights but nothing you don't find in almost any city in the world.
OK I could go on but I won't. Hope this was helpful.
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Re: Books, Apps, or Web sites

Postby ski2play » Tue Oct 20, 2015 11:04 am

Great Info watergirl!

We tried to get to Shark Bay last trip but were not able to find the entrance. We went back to Brewer's and talked with the folks at the little beach bar who said we were on the correct road, we just needed to go father than we did. Darn.

We love the cocktails and sunsets, so a few place to not miss them would be Bananakeet (on Windy Hill), Sugar Mill (I believe they have just opened up their lunch spot (Islander???) for evening cocktails and apps), and CGB.

Planning is half the fun of any trip we take.
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Re: Books, Apps, or Web sites

Postby Joppa » Tue Oct 20, 2015 7:32 pm

Thanks for the info and web sites. I hadn't found one of them yet and it seems to be a good source of info. Have you ever been to Marina Cay? Or Great Camanoe? It sounds like we could rent a Kayak on Marina Cay and explore that area.
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Re: Books, Apps, or Web sites

Postby ski2play » Wed Oct 21, 2015 7:48 am

http://www.limin-times.com/index.php is another source for up to date info. I like to check them out as we get closer to arrival as they list live music information. :lol:
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Re: Books, Apps, or Web sites

Postby watergirl » Wed Oct 21, 2015 9:39 am

Thanks for the info and web sites. I hadn't found one of them yet and it seems to be a good source of info. Have you ever been to Marina Cay? Or Great Camanoe? It sounds like we could rent a Kayak on Marina Cay and explore that area.

Sorry never been to either. I know there's a ferry that goes to Marina Cay but don't know how you'd get to Great Camanoe with a private charter.
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Re: Books, Apps, or Web sites

Postby AquaGirl » Thu Nov 12, 2015 11:46 am

We've had several trips to Tortola before going to other BVIs and have enjoyed it. I second Watergirl's recommendations for Smugglers Cove and Brewer's Bay. We've had excellent snorkeling at Brewer's Bay and enjoyed the little beach bar (which isn't always open).

Also second the recommendation for eating at Bananakeet. It has one of the most spectacular views in the islands. Its up high and cantilevered over a cliff, so you are looking down the coast and out to sea. Get there for sunset if you can. A side note - the owner of Bananakeet passed away very recently, so you should call to confirm they are open when you are there.

Be sure to check the cruise ship schedule before going to Cane Garden Bay during the day. It gets crazy crowded when a ship is in.

If you want to go on a day sail, I can recommend Aristocrat. They do a very safe and fun trip to several snorkeling spots and serve a nice lunch (fresh, not fancy). Its a huge Catamaran and very comfortable boat. Each spot had great snorkeling and our favorite is The Indians. Its literally like swimming in an aquarium teeming with all different kinds of fish and sea life.

Happy trip planning!
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