I recently had the privilege and honor to take a visit the beautiful caribbean destination of the British Virgin Islands. The flight from Puerto Rico to Tortola is just under 30 minutes and during that short time, you can see some of the most magnificent views of the island and the ocean. During my journey I had the opportunity to dine at a local restaurant for breakfast in Road Town. This is one of the major areas of BVI frequented by the tourists and the area where ferries and water taxis are based.
After dining at the local establishment, I set out to find my obligatory shot glass and just take a look around the area. I found a nice shop owner who gave a me a $2 discount on the shot glass and also gave me some good pointers for navigating the area. After chatting with the local for a minute, I made my way over to the ferry terminal where I booked a roundtrip ticket to the island of Virgin Gorda, home to the world famous Bathes. What an experience!
The total travel time to Virgin Gorda takes approximately 40 minutes by ferry and is a pretty smooth ride. Once you dock, there are taxis waiting to take you to the park housing The Bathes. The entrance fee for visitors is only $3 and, after paying the entrance fee, you take a 10 minute walk to what can only be described as the most breathtaking views known to man. The first area is typically the spot where most people set up camp and hunker down, but if you actually venture into the Caves and take another 5 or 10 minute walk, there is a more secluded beach area which is where I headed.
Having trekked through shallow water in the Caves, climbed a few ladders and used a rope to traverse some rather large rocks, I arrived at the spot that would be my little slice of heaven for a few hours. There were only three other people on the beach at the time I arrived which made it the perfect spot to relax away from all of the tourists. I enjoyed bathing in the sun and enjoying my life. Every 45 minutes or so I would take a dip in the ocean and let the salt water just roll off my body before returning to my spot on the beach to soak up the sun again.
I spent only 4 hours at The Bathes before returning back to the dock in order to catch the 3:30p.m. ferry back to Road Town. The ferry boarded around 3:15p.m. and left promptly at 3:30p.m. Having spent a few hours lazing in the sun, I was quick to fall asleep on the ferry as the waves just sang me the sweetest lullaby. Again, the ride only took 40 minutes and I made it back just in time to find a local cab to return back to Tortola. I would definitely return again to BVI just to relax at The Bathes again.
A few tips for first time visitors. The one-way tax rate from the airport to Road Town is $28. Quite steep. However, the local tax rate is only $5. Of course the representative at the tour desk will not volunteer that information. If you decide to visit The Bathes, you actually do not have to go to Road Town to catch the ferry, there is actually a service at the airport that will transfer you to a nearby dock and transport you to The Bathes from that location. I am not sure how long the ride takes from that location or the cost of the trip, but it is another option, especially if you are trying to stretch dollars.