Tortola, "land of turtle
doves' is the largest of the British Virgin Islands overlooking Sir
Francis Drake Channel and situated about 60 miles east of Puerto Rico.
Road Town is the capital of Tortola and where most of the 20,000 residents
of the B.V.I live. The island is mountainous; Sage Mountain reaches
a height of 1,780 feet.
Town, located on the southern shore, is the busy capital of
the B.V.I. Road Town's scenic setting and sheltered yacht-filled harbor
allow the laid-back BVI lifestyle evolved over the last 400 years by
English, Dutch, French, and Spanish adventurers, followed by plantation
owners and 20th century settlers. Here are the shops, banks, hospital
and Government House.
relaxed, friendly and diversified community tempts travellers with every
sort of regional and international cuisine found in
a choice of cheerful pastel painted restaurants, former forts, and sugar
mills. Palate-pleasing menus feature West Indian specialties of fresh
lobster, conch, turtle, spicy goat, and curries of every description.
An authentic English pub serves Pusser's Rum, traditional drink of the
British Navy for 300 years, as well as a popular fruit flavoured local
concoction known as the "Painkiller."
Savvy shoppers can usually find bargains in perfume, jewellery,
wine, and Wedge wood china in the homey-style stores dotting Road Town's
Main Street and Soper's Hole, West End. However, the shops are best
known for their unique local products. Look for one-of-a-kind antiques,
silk-screened fabrics, intricate ship models, and watercolours by Tortolan
on the Island of Tortola
O'Neal Botanic Gardens is a cool and
peaceful refuge located in the center of Road Town. The beautiful four-acre
garden includes a lush array of indigenous and exotic tropical plants.
It offers a peaceful walk past pergolas covered with colorful vines,
and along pathways that wind through a miniature rain forest and fern
house. There are many types of cacti and 62 varieties of palms. Various
interesting species of birds have made the gardens their home. Between
the beauty of the flora, various birds and the slow moving red legged
tortoise, we recommend you allow yourself ample time to appreciate the
full beauty of the gardens.
2: The V.I. Folk Museum located on
Main Street in Road Town, the museum is housed in a traditional West
Indian building, and has many artifacts on display from the islands'
Tiano, plantation, and slavery eras. There are also pieces from the
wreck of the RMS Rhone.
3: Queen Elizabeth Park
A small community park bordering the western side of Road Harbour in
Mountain National Park is located 1716 ft. above sea level
and at 92 acres this site of wonder is the B.V.I highest peak. At the
upper elevations, traces of a primeval rain forest can still be seen.
The second highest point is found at Sky World. Visitors are afforded
breathtaking views of Tortola and surrounding islands.
13: Cane Garden Bay is dotted with many
bars, hotels and guest houses and gets lively on weekends. During peak
season the week nights host various bands and events. Many of the island's
annual beach parties happen here. It is also home to famous musician
Quito Rymer. Rymer sings and plays to packed audiences out of his own
venue, Quito's Bar & Grill. Nearby and housed in a stone plantation
building, the 200-year-old Callwood Rum distillery can be found. It's off the beaten path, but worth the visit. The rum
is made much the same way that it was centuries ago and is sold on the
Hole is a popular anchorage and is located on the West End
of Tortola. The main ferry terminal is here, as are several restaurants
and the Caribbean-style Soper's Hole Marina and shopping wharf.
12: Mount Healthy Windmill is located
near the beautiful beach of Brewer's Bay. The site
and windmill frame is one of the few preserved archetype of plantation
period construction. Through a grant established in 1983 from the National
Parks Trust, this historic ruin has been superbly restored.