Located in the north-eastern Caribbean, The British Virgin Islands (often called just BVI) are a series of islands which make up part of the Virgin Islands archipelago. This British Overseas Territory includes four main islands, along with 50 smaller islands. The main islands, Virgin Gorda, Anegada, Tortola, and Jost Van Dyke, are in most cases the places of interest for vacationers. Each of the four main islands of BVI is attractive for different reasons, with its own unique “vibe,” and their close proximity to each other and other territories like the U.S. Virgin Islands makes “island-hopping” possible and common. BVI is known for being less-developed and more “secluded” than some other places in the Caribean, but this just adds to their charm: visiting one of these islands is sort of like taking a time machine back to before the explosion of the tourist industry.

The largest of all the islands is Tortola. Tortola is the most heavily-populated (a little over 20,000 inhabitants) and includes the capital, Road Town. Like all the islands of BVI, this island is home to many luxurious and beautiful beaches such as Elizabeth Beach or Smuggler’s Cove, idyllic settings for a day of relaxing in the gorgeous Caribean sun. If you’re interested in surfing, try Apple Beach.

The British Virgin Islands are every diver’s dream, dotted with flourishing reefs, an abundance of aquatic life as well as some of the some of the ship-wreck dives in the world; most head for the famed Norman Island Caves or Rhone wreck.

Off the southern shore you will find Alice Wonderland, a coral garden that’s every bit as enticing and colorful as its name sounds. Sloping upwards from 24-12 meters deep (you can moor over it directly), push through the surface-surge and you enter an awe-inspiring escape of star and pillar coral heads, home to green and purple sea fans and soft gorgonians that dance in the currents. Spotted morays, large grouper, African and Jewish pompano are common, as is the reclusive long-snout butterfly fish.

Besides the four main islands, it’s always possible to explore some of the less-popular, smaller islands of BVI. Whichever islands you visit, you’re guaranteed to have a great time sojourning in the British Virgin Islands. The temperate, trade winds climate, amazing beaches, the opportunity for exploration, and quaint nature of BVI make it a real jewel and any vacationer’s dream!

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