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With four major islands and over 50 smaller (mostly uninhabited) islands, The British Virgin Islands are a treasure trove of places to sightsee, snorkel, and sail. With so many options, it can be difficult for travelers to pinpoint the best places that the islands have to offer.

Whether you are on a BVI yacht charter or a bareboat charter, here are some of the most spectacular spots to drop anchor.

The Baths and Devil’s Bay – Virgin Gorda

Perhaps the most visited location in the British Virgin Islands, The Baths are an undeniably breathtaking sight to behold.

Enormous grey boulders soar majestically from the clear blue waters, creating a labyrinth of caves and secluded grottoes that visitors can wade or swim through.

After making your way through the maze of water and rocks (carefully – things can get slippery!), you will find yourself on the sands of pristine Devil’s Bay, heralded by many as the most beautiful beach in the British Virgin Islands. Visitors can snorkel, swim, and sunbathe, and mooring buoys are available right outside of the bay.

Best Sailing Destinations in the British Virgin Islands

Jost Van Dyke

Jost Van Dyke is the smallest of the BVI’s inhabited islands but packs a punch in the “laidback” department. It’s the preferred day trip destination for locals living in the Virgin Islands, and has long been a darling destination for BVI charters.

Once on the island, you can take in beautiful hikes across uninhabited wilderness, or rent a jeep to go exploring. You can swim, snorkel,  or learn about organic bush medicine from the locals.

Also known as the “barefoot island”, Jost Van Dyke is the home of the Painkiller – a potent drink that packs a punch of its own. Yachters will delight in the world famous yacht party at Foxy’s on New Year’s Eve.

Cane Garden Bay and Brewer’s Bay – Tortola

Known as the “Jewel of the BVI”, Cane Garden Bay is best known for its sugar cane, and the resulting rum made from its extract.

A visit to Callwood’s Rum Distillery is a must, as it is the oldest continuously working rum distillery on the islands. Callwood’s prides themselves on only using boiled sugar cane juice and not molasses, which they claim can prevent hangovers.

Brewer’s Bay is adjacent to Cane Garden Bay but is only accessible by land, so anchoring in CGB and walking or taking a taxi is your best bet to visit this pristine paradise. The clear shallow waters make Brewer’s Bay better suited for snorkeling than scuba diving. Just be sure to bring your own gear.

Cane Garden Bay

Cane Garden Bay

RMS Rhone – Salt Island

The RMS Rhone is the most popular wreck dive in the BVI. It offers stunning views of the ocean as well as visits from sea turtles and octopus, many of which pop up unexpectedly (in your face!) at random points during the dive.

Sailing the British Virgin Islands doesn’t have to be strictly water-based. Plenty of these idyllic islands boast restaurants, bars, music, and snorkeling that top anywhere else in the world. Land ho!

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Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; a website dedicated to opening your eyes to the wild & natural world.

Committed to bringing you the best in adventure travel from all around the globe, there is no mountain too high, and no fete too extreme! They haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on their list.

Follow their journey on Facebook, TwitterYouTube, Pinterest and Instagram.

Photo credits: The Baths The Baths at Virgin Gorda by Curtis Simmons. Cane Garden Bay by Jean-Marc Astesana. Sunset at Cane Garden bay by superde1uxe. 

    20 Comments

  1. What lovely places to visit. Am particularly liking the idea of stopping by the Callwood’s Rum Distillery, I always like to see how local products are made as well as tasting them!

    • Absolutely – the BVI’s are incredible! Yes, highly recommend Callwood’s Rum Distillery – if you’re a fan of local tastings you’ll love it here :) Happy travels!

  2. Taking a charter through BVI would be off the chart (pun intended). Seriously though,I went sailing two weeks ago and, even though we didn’t didn’t leave the bay, it was a great experience. I am actually encouraging my daughter to get a job there during summer break so I can get some sailing classes. She did put in her resume so fingers crossed.

    • Haha love the pun :D! Totally agree with you – any kind of sailing can be a fun adventure – just getting out on the water is a new experience and something that you can make a great day out of.

      Wow, summer break in the BVI would be incredible! Will keep our fingers crossed for her too :) And then you’ve got an excuse to visit too :D

  3. I would love to go to on a sailing boat on the British Virgin Islands. What an amazing experience! These pictures look stunning!

    • Hope you have the chance to soon!

  4. What a great destination and sailing venue, sounds like it would make a perfect holiday. Cane Garden Bay and its distillery are definitely worth a visit.

    • Absolutely – probably some of the best sailing in the world … easily! Hope you have the chance to sail through soon!

  5. Loved the devils bay. The boulders make for a good view.

    • Don’t they! Probably one of the most picturesque beaches in the BVI :)

  6. The Pain Killer sounds pretty interesting. Brewers bay looks stunning, a beautiful piece of beach, so pristine to look at.The RMS Rhone seems pretty intriguing too and a promising site for a dive.

    • Sounds like you would love a tour of the BVI … definitely so much to do! Let me know what you think of the Painkiller when you get to Jost Van Dyke :D

  7. What an experience these must be! I would want to drop anchor at all the places.

    • Hope you have the chance to sail through soon!

  8. I love rum and would love to visit Callwood’s Rum Distillery. The fact that the Caribbean is so well known for its rum is awesome. Love this post. I hope you keep on loving your travels.

    • If you’re a fan of rum then Callwood’s Rum Distillery is definitely the place to be! So glad you enjoyed the post Mike! Hope you have the chance to travel soon :)

  9. British Virgin Islands are on my bucket list, but I do get awfully seasick. I’d love to overcome that though and visit some of these places. I’ve heard so much about The Baths, those big grey rocks are so beautiful and rugged, I’ve never really come across anything else like it. Amazing pics!

    • I hope you have the chance to visit soon Samantha :) I’ve found that Dramamine really helps with motion / sea sickness, and use their new non drowsy drug when I’m on the open water. Really helps!

  10. BVI is the most popular destination in the Caribbean. Meg, thanks for useful information.

    • Absolutely, one of our favorites :) You’re welcome Alex, glad you enjoyed the post!

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