Useful information on
Tortola

Welcome

Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport,
82F
28C
50 in
127 cm
Jost Van Dyke
Rhone Park

General info

<div align="center">Tortola General Information-Tortola Villa Rentals<br /></div><br />Tortola At A Glance<br />Tortola is a gem…mountainous with sweeping, dramatic and tranquil views of nearby islands…unspoiled white sand beaches…quiet evenings in good restaurants and local nightlife in small pubs…unparalleled sailing, diving and other water sports…snorkeling with dolphins…easy day trips to nearby islands…quiet and civilized…a pleasure to explore… <br /><br />Tortola is located 50 miles east of Puerto Rico within the 60+ islands known as the British Virgin Islands. It is the largest of the BVI and is the center of government and commerce. Road Town, the capital of the British Virgin Islands, offers visitors shops, bars and restaurants. <br /><br />Tortola, like Virgin Gorda, is primarily a beach and water sport destination. IT offers many wonderful private villas with private swimming pools that are nestled on the mountainsides high above the sea. An excellent choice for the more independent travelers as full staff is generally not included-although cooks are available for hire. Most of our villas on Tortola are located hillside providing extremely private settings overlooking dramatic ribbons of islets and cays and white sands beyond. <br /><br />As with Virgin Gorda, Tortola is an excellent choice for those seeking quiet beaches and sailing as well as peace and quiet…Visitors with more on their agenda than those simple but idyllic pleasures will be disappointed as the island lacks golf, major nightlife and any major shopping. <br /><br />Tortola excels at offering a quiet and stress free atmosphere…Indeed; it does not take long after arrival to feel the stress melt away as visitors attune to the slower pace of life and relaxed friendliness. <br /><br />Tortola is known for its glistening white sand beaches and small, protected coves. One of our personal favorites is Smugglers Cove located on the West End (the road is unpaved but passable) and offers exceptional snorkeling. Along the north shore of the island, there is a string of superb beaches which include Long Bay (a magnificent mile long stretch of sand), Apple Bay for surfing (and home of the famous Bomba Shack), Cane Garden Bay which is a magnificent palm lined sandy beach and has a great local bar and water sports as well, Brewer’s Bay with good snorkeling, Josiah’s’ Bay as well as Elizabeth Beach. <br /><br />Both Smuggler’s Cove and Cane Garden Bay beaches offer reefs that touch the edge of their shores and extending outward several hundred yards, making them exceptional snorkeling spots for t <br /><br />Visitors to Tortola during the full moon are known to frequent the famous “Bomba’s Surfside Shack” at Apple Bay. Bomba’s is one of the most famous beach bars in the entire Caribbean and offers casual but sometimes wild/over the top fun. <br /><br />Sailing is the most popular activity in the British Virgin Islands and day sails to neighboring islands are easily arranged and there is a vast array of boats and trips to choose from. Snorkeling in the clear and calm waters is popular as well. <br /><br />The island offers a good selection of fine restaurants as well as a plethora of casual eateries. <br /><br />Visitors return to Tortola for savoring exceptional down-island views and passing sailboats, sea breezes, glorious beaches and quiet seclusion. <br /><br />Activities: <br />Swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, sailing, tennis, horseback riding. <br /><br />Airlines: <br /><br />Air Sunshine <br />American Eagle <br />Cape Air <br />Caribbean Star: 284.494.2347 <br />LIAT <br /><br />NY to Tortola: 4 hours <br />Miami to Tortola: 3 hours <br /><br />Airport Transfers: <br />Arrival at the Beef Island International Airport will generally be from San Juan, Puerto Rico or St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands. Our clients will be met at the airport and escorted to the villa on a complementary basis. A rental vehicle is necessary as there is no reliable cab service and the vehicles may be rented near the airport or depending upon the villa often times delivered to the villa for guest’s arrival. <br /><br />ATMS: <br />Several are located in Road Town at Banco Popular on Main St. next to the customs office in Road Town and at Chase Manhattan Bank. <br /><br />Area Code: 284 <br /><br />Baby-Equipment Rentals: <br />Car seats, cribs, high chairs, playpens, strollers, cots and bed rails are all available for rental for additional fees. <br /><br />Banks: <br />Banks on Tortola are open from 8 AM –3 PM Mon.-Thursday and from 8 AM-5 PM on Fridays. <br /><br />Beaches: <br />Tortola is known for its spectacular beaches. The island is rimmed with soft powdery beaches surrounding the translucent turquoise sea. <br /><br />North Shore: <br />The majority of the villas that we represent are located within a short walk or drive of the island’s famous North Shore beaches to include Smuggler’s Cove, Long Bay, Apple Bay, Cane Garden Bay, Brewers Bay, Josiah’s Bay and Elizabeth beaches. <br /><br />Boating: <br />Day sails as well as powerboat rentals are widely available in the British Virgin Islands. <br /><br />Budgeting/Costs To Rent A Villa on Tortola: <br />In addition to the weekly rental rate for a villa on Tortola, the additional costs involved include but are not limited to the following: <br /><br />Air Transportation <br />Car Rentals <br />Groceries &amp; beverages <br />Tip for the staff <br /><br />Cancellations: <br />Cancellation penalties are incurred and will vary depending upon the specific villa chosen. Upon confirmation with our company, a written cancellation policy will be issued along with the written invoice for the booking. Generally, cancellations on Tortola are subject to a 20% penalty on the gross weekly rental rate up until 45 days prior to arrival with no refunds within 45 days. <br /><br />Again, this may vary and is subject to change-clients will be provided with a written cancellation policy that applies to their particular villa upon booking. <br /><br />Capital: Road Town <br /><br /><br />Car Rentals: <br />We highly recommend that clients rent a vehicle for their stay on Tortola and recommend that clients secure a 4WD vehicle due to the poor/non-existent road conditions. We would be happy to arrange client’s vehicle rentals. <br /><br />Car rental rates are approximately as follows based on weekly rentals and subject to the 5% government tax. <br /><br />High Season (Rates from Dec 16-April 15)  <br />Type of Car   Per Day Rental Rate   7 Day Rental Rate  <br />2dr, Manual Suzuki Sidekick Jeep<br />4WD, AC, 4 pax.  $50/per day  $300/per week <br />2dr, Automatic Suzuki Sidekick<br />AC, 4 pax.  $55/per day  $330/per week <br />4dr. Suzuki Sidekick Jeep<br />Manual or Automatic, 4WD, AC, 5pax  $65/per day  $390/per week <br />4dr. Suzuki Grand Vitara Jeep<br />Manual or Automatic, 4WD, AC, 5pax  $65/per day  $390/per week <br />4dr. Toyota RAV4 Jeep<br />Automatic, 4WD, AC, 5pax  $65/per day  $390/per week <br />4dr. Mitsubishi Montero<br />Automatic, 4x4, AC, 7pax  $75/per day  $450/per week <br />3dr. Chevy Aerostar Van <br />Automatic, 4x4, AC, 8pax  $75/per day  $450/per week <br /><br /><br />Low Season (Rates from April 16-December 15)  <br />Type of Car   Per Day Rental Rate   7 Day Rental Rate  <br />2dr, Manual Suzuki Sidekick Jeep<br />4WD, AC, 4 pax.  $40/per day  $240/per week <br />2dr, Automatic Suzuki Sidekick<br />AC, 4 pax.  $48/per day  $288/per week <br />4dr. Suzuki Sidekick Jeep<br />Manual or Automatic, 4WD, AC, 5pax  $58/per day  $348/per week <br />4dr. Suzuki Grand Vitara Jeep<br />Manual or Automatic, 4WD, AC, 5pax  $58/per day  $348/per week <br />4dr. Toyota RAV4 Jeep<br />Automatic, 4WD, AC, 5pax  $58/per day  $348/per week <br />4dr. Mitsubishi Montero<br />Automatic, 4x4, AC, 7pax  $70/per day  $420/per week <br />3dr. Chevy Aerostar Van <br />Automatic, 4x4, AC, 8pax  $70/per day  $420/per week <br /><br /><br />Conditions of hire: <br />All clients must be over 21 years of age but less than 75 years old and must have held a valid driver’s license for at least two years. It is compulsory to have a BVI driving permit and our representatives are authorized to issue them at a cost of US $10.00 per permit. <br /><br />Children’s car seats are available for rental upon request. <br /><br />The above rates, optional CDW insurance, gas and children’s car seats are all subject to a 5% government tax. All rates are subject to change without notice. <br /><br />Check-in/Check-out times: <br />Check-in time is generally after 3:00 PM and checkout time is 12:00 noon. <br /><br />Chef Service: <br />When not included, cook service may be arranged for additional fees. <br />We have several excellent chefs who are available to guests for just a single fabulous dinner or several meals per day.<br /><br />Climate: <br />Warm &amp; sunny with temperatures between 75 F and 90 F year round. During the winter, the nights are slightly cooler and so it might be a good idea to bring a cotton sweater. <br /><br />Communications: <br />The villas all are equipped with telephones and guests will be advised of the particular phone number of the property prior to departure. You may now make a credit card call from the BVI&#39;s by dialing 111 from any phone and following the recorded instructions on completing your call. <br /><br />Mobile Phone Rentals: <br />You may rent a Boat phone via CCT (phone: 284.494.3825) at $10/day-a credit card would be required for necessary security deposit. <br /><br />Currency: <br />The currency of the B.V.I. is the U.S. dollar. <br />Major credit cards and traveler’s checks are widely accepted as well. Please note that there is a 10 Cent stamp duty on all checks and traveler’s checks. <br /><br />Deep-Sea Fishing: <br />Vast arrays of big game fish live in the oceans surrounding Tortola. <br />Several different companies on the island offer guided Tortola fishing excursions with a focus on big game fish like bluefish, shark and wahoo. <br /><br />Departure Tax: <br />$10.00 per person by air, $5.00 per person by sea/ferry. <br /><br />Deposits: <br />A 50% deposit is required to confirm a reservation. <br />Reservations made within 60 days prior to arrival during the winter season and 45 days prior to arrival during the summer/low season must be paid in full. <br /><br />Diving: <br />The British Virgin Islands have over a dozen land-based dive operators. <br />Some of the best reef and famous wreck diving in the Caribbean is close at hand. Full scale PADI and NAUI certification lessons are available as well as resort courses at the entry level. <br /><br />Baskin’ in the Sun: Offers a full service with equipment rental and sales. <br />Phone: 800.233.7938 <br />Fax: 284.494.4303 <br />E-mail: baskindive@aol.com <br />Internet: www.dive-baskin.com <br /><br />Driving: <br />Driving is on the left, British style. A valid foreign or U.S. driver’s license is valid for 90 days but a $10 temporary BVI license must be purchased. <br /><br />Dress: <br />Due to the islands conservative British heritage, there is a dress code of conservative clothing. Light cotton dresses and light jackets and ties for formal wear and typical tropical wear during the day. <br /><br />Documents for arrival onto Tortola: <br />Every person entering should be in possession of a valid passport and a valid return ticket. A visitor who is a citizen of the United States of America or Canada traveling direct from these countries may be admitted without a passport for a period not exceeding three (3) months. However, that person will be required to produce proof of nationality, by means of an original birth certificate or citizenship papers, and photo identification. <br /><br />Electricity: <br />110 volts/50 cycles-same as in the U.S. <br />No adapters necessary for visitors from North America but European visitors will require one. <br /><br />Ferry Service: <br />The British and Virgin Islands are serviced by inter-island ferry service. Please note, however, that it does not work for guests to fly to St. Thomas and then plan on ferrying over to Tortola as it proves to be quite cumbersome with luggage and attempting to catch flights. The schedules vary according to the day of the week and may be affected by sea conditions, so it’s critical to verify the time of departure. <br /><br />North Sound Express: <br />Operates between Virgin Gorda and Tortola (Road Town) and, also, from Road Town and the West End to downtown St. Thomas.<br />Phone: 284.495.2271 <br /><br />Smith’s Ferry Service: <br />Phone: 284.495.4495 <br /><br />Speedy’s Fantasy/Speedy’s Delight: <br />Operates between Virgin Gorda and Tortola (Road Town).<br />Phone: 284.495.5240 or 5235 <br /><br /><br />Private Water Taxi Service: <br />Operates custom charters between or within the British and US Virgin Islands. <br />Phone: 340.775.6501 <br />Website: www.watertaxi-vi.com between Beef Island and the North Sound on Virgin Gorda. <br /> <br /><br />General Information-Government &amp; Standard Of Living: <br />Christopher Columbus discovered the British Virgin Islands and named the entire group of islands Las Once Mil Virgenes, after St. Ursula and her legendary 11,000 martyred companions. <br /><br />In later years, the Spaniards passed through the waters seeking gold and later the pirates who found the islands’ hidden coves and treacherous reefs and ideal base from which to prey on passing ships filled with treasures. Later the British established a plantation economy and developed sugar. <br /><br />Today there are only around 14,000 inhabitants on Tortola and visitors will find the people quite friendly. The overall feeling on the island, however, remains one of blissfully casual and uncomplicated <br /><br />The British Virgin Islands, including Tortola, enjoys a stable government with both the United Party and the Virgin Islands Party dedicated to a democratic government. The British Virgin Islands are a Dependent Territory (formerly referred to as a colony) of Britain with self-governing status. The government gives firm respect to the beaches and protection of the environment. <br /><br />Golf: <br />The British Virgin Islands to include Tortola do not offer golf of any kind. <br /><br />Grocery Shopping: <br />Visitors will find the supermarkets in Tortola are well stocked and offering a staggering array of exotic and distinguished specialty foods for the good life. <br /><br />Hiking: <br />A variety of hiking opportunities exist on Tortola to include exploring a primeval rain forest in the Sage Mountain National Park, which contains the British Virgin Islands highest point at 1,780 feet. The park is located just west of Road Town and has three trails. <br /><br />History: <br />Columbus discovered the British Virgin Islands on his second voyage to the New World, in 1493. He named the area “Las Once Mil Virgines” after the 11,000 followers of St. Ursula. Virgin Gorda was so named by Columbus because he felt the island resembled a reclining woman with a protruding belly when viewed from the sea. <br /><br />The Spaniards officially laid claim to the territory in 1555…For almost a full century; however, the islands were considered too small and unimportant for Spanish settlement so they remained largely uninhabited during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. <br /><br />Pirates terrorized the Caribbean shipping lanes with the blessing of one European country or another and the Spanish Armada was finally defeated. Many of the islands were names after various pirates, such as Thatch Island, which is named after Edward Thatch (or Teach-also commonly known as Blackbeard). <br /><br />The islands were claimed by England in 1628 but the Dutch were the first true settlers arriving in Tortola in 1648. In 1666, British planters took over control of the islands from the original Dutch settlers and they attained the status of a British Colony and remained part of the Leeward Islands from 1872-1956 when the British Virgin Islands became a separately administered entity. In 1967, a new constitution provided for a ministerial system of government and the islands remain under British control today. <br /><br />Horseback Riding: <br /><br />Shadow Stables:<br />Located on the Ridge Road, offers horseback riding tours of Tortola. <br />Phone: 284.494.2262. <br /><br />Internet: <br />There are Internet cafes in Road Town, Nanny Cay, Sopers Hole (West End) &amp; Trellis Bay (Beef Island)-they all have PC’s or visitors may use their own laptop. <br /><br />Sopers Hole: <br />Phone: 284.495.4137 <br /><br />Coconut Telegraph: Nanny Cay <br />Phone: 284.494.2512 <br /><br />Cyber Café: Trellis Bay <br />Phone: 284.495.2447. <br /><br />Cyber Corner: Road Town <br />Phone: 284.494.2974 <br /><br />* Guests with their own laptop, but no Internet connection at the villa may obtain temporary Internet hook-up Cable &amp; Wireless at 284.494.4444.<br /><br />Language: <br />The official language is English spoken although islands residents often speak it with a West Indian lilt. <br /><br />Laundry: <br />The villa’s laundry facilities are NOT generally available to villa guests to use at many of the Tortola villas due to water shortages and restrictions. Personal laundry may be done by the villa’s maid during her maid service (this depends on the villa and some housekeepers will charge $10-$20 per load for wash, dry and fold) or by dropping it off at a Laundromat for a wash, dry and fold service or going to the local do it yourself laundromat. <br /><br />Local Hazards: <br />Black Sea Urchins <br />Manchineel Trees-beware of the little green apples that fall from this tree, as they are poisonous to eat and toxic to touch. Do not even seek shelter under one of these trees during a rain, as you will get blisters. <br /><br />Location: <br />The British Virgin Islands are grouped around the Sir Francis Drake Channel, which is renowned as one of the finest sailing waters in the world. The British Virgin Islands are located some 60 miles east of Puerto Rico and form part of a chain (archipelago) of Caribbean Islands created millions of years ago. <br /><br />Marriage &amp; Weddings: <br />Getting married on Tortola involves being in the British Virgin Islands for three days before applying for a marriage license, which must be done in Road Town on Tortola. <br /><br />For the requirements, please check with the Register’s Office at 284.494.3701 ext. 5001 or 284. 494.3492. <br /><br />We are, also, happy to provide our clients with the names and phone numbers of personal wedding consultants and planners. <br /><br />Nightlife: <br />Nightlife is fairly limited on Tortola and consists mostly of a local reggae or calypso bands at local bars and resorts. <br /><br />Pre-stocking: <br />While the villas on Tortola generally do not include staffs (cooks), for visitors that will be arriving late in the day or evening, we recommend that they have the villa pre-stocked with some arrival beverages and snacks. Please Fax or e-mail us your list well in advance. The charge for this service varies depending upon the groceries and supplies purchased etc. <br /><br />Population: 14,000 <br /><br />Restaurants: <br /><br />Brandywine Bay: <br />Hillside location overlooking the Sir Francis Drake Channel. The chef/owner has won international praise for his Tuscan style cooking. Reservations are recommended and open Monday-Saturday but closed August through October.<br />Phone: 284.495.2301. <br /><br />Callaloo at the Reef: <br />An elegant waterfront restaurant at Prospect Reef specializes in Caribbean gourmet cuisine. Reservations are recommend and open daily.  <br />Phone: 284.494.3311. <br /><br />Jolly Roger: <br />Located near the West End, a breezy spot offering International and West Indian specialties as well as burgers, pizza etc. <br />284.495.4559. <br /><br />Pussers Landing: <br />A popular, casual restaurant located in Road Town as well at Sopers Hole on the West End. Pub style dining-good burgers, sandwiches etc. Open daily.<br />Phone: 284.494.3897. <br /><br />The Long Bay Beach Resort: <br />A gourmet garden restaurant features an international menu as well as daily fresh fish. <br />The resort’s more casual Beach Café serves great breakfasts, lunches and more casual dinners. <br />Phone: 284.495.4252 <br /><br />The Sugar Mill: <br />Hillside and located on the ground of a 360 degree old former plantation in Apple Bay. Former Bon Appetit columnists Jefferson and Jinx Morgan own the restaurant. Reservations are required-dinner nightly.<br />Phone: 284.495.4355. <br /><br />Skyworld: <br />Located at the top of a mountain, do be sure to arrive early to savor the breathtaking sunset views. <br />Phone: 284.495.4355. <br /><br />Security Deposits: <br />The majority of the villas do require a security deposit to be paid along with payment for the actual villa. <br /><br />Sights: <br /><br />J.R. O’Neal Botanic Gardens: <br />A beautiful four-acre garden offering a lush array of tropical plants. <br /><br />Government House: <br />Once the Governor’s residence, this stately 20th century building houses a small museum. <br /><br />Fort Recovery: <br />The British Virgin Island’s oldest intact structure. Built by the Dutch in the 1660’s, it features a turreted gun emplacement. <br /><br />Josiah’s Bay Plantation: <br />A former rum distillery, it is now an art gallery. <br /><br />Mount Healthy National Park: <br />Features the remains of an old stone windmill that once part of an 18th century sugar plantations. <br /><br />North Shore Shell Museum: <br />Offers shells, shell crafts and other examples of local crafts/culture for display and sale. <br /><br />Sage Mountain National Park: <br />At 1,780 feet Sage Mountain is the British Virgin Island’s highest point. The park is laid out with graveled paths. <br /><br />Shopping: <br />The British Virgin Islands are not known as a shopping mecca. Most of the shops on Tortola are located in or around Road Town’s Main Street and at the Wickham’s Cay shopping area, near the marina. Soper’s Hole on the West End offers an ever-growing group of boutiques offering art and jewelry. <br /><br />Caribbean Fine Arts Ltd: <br />Located on Main Street in Road Town, a small shop that offers a wide range of Caribbean art, including original watercolors as well signed prints. <br /><br />Courtyard Gallery: <br />Located on Main Street in Road Town offers delicate crushed coral sculptures created on the premises depicting fish, birds and flowers. <br /><br />Island Treasures: <br />Located at Soper’s Hole Marina, it offers watercolors, paintings, pottery, prints and books on the Caribbean. <br /><br />Sunny Caribbee Art Gallery: <br />On Main Street in Road Town, it offers one of the larges displays of paintings in the Caribbean as well as a selection of island spices and sauces. <br /><br />Sports: <br />Hiking, Horseback Riding, Sports Fishing, Diving, Parasailing, Sailing, Surfing, Tennis, Kayaking and Windsurfing are all available on the island. <br /><br />Staff: <br />The majority of the villas on Tortola do not include in their rental rates the services of a full staff (cook etc.). A few villas, however, do have cooks included.<br /><br />Tipping of the staff: <br />It is appropriate to tip the villa’s housekeeper for excellent service and a job well done. WE recommend $2-$4 per guest/per day. <br /><br />Snorkeling &amp; Diving: <br />Tortola offers exceptional close in snorkeling directly off it’s spectacular white sand beaches where snorkelers will see plenty of brilliantly colored parrotfish as well as lots of other marine life. <br /><br />The diving is well known among scuba divers for the areas colorful coral formations, abundant marine life and wreck diving. Indeed, the nearly translucent waters make for wonderful visibility and the rock formations provide plenty of nooks and crannies to explore. <br /><br />The most popular dive site is the RMS Rhone, a 310-foot royal mail steamer that sank in 1867. Featured in the movie, “The Deep”, the ship’s four parts rest at depths from 15-75 feet. Another favorite dive site are the four caves located at Norman Island, the setting for Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island. <br /><br />Tennis: <br />The majority of the large hotels to include the Long Bay Resort offer tennis for additional fees. Please note that guests of the Long Bay villas enjoy complementary tennis. <br /><br />Time Zone: <br />Tortola falls in the Atlantic Time zone, which is one hour ahead of US Standard time. The island does not observe daylight savings time. <br /><br />Topography: <br />Mountainous with the highest point, Mt. Sage, at 1,780 ft. <br /><br />Tourist Board Contact Information: <br />USA/New York Office: 800.221.9831. <br />USA/Los Angeles Office: 800.221.9831 <br /><br />Water: <br />The water on the island is pure and safe to drink from the tap.

Restaurants

<div align="center">Tortola Restaurants<br /></div><br />Tortola is the most sizable of the British Virgin Islands and as such, offers a wide variety of Tortola restaurants to choose from. From upscale establishments with white linens to Tortola restaurants that resemble beach bars, every cuisine and taste is represented. Most Tortola restaurants are seafood oriented (as most Caribbean cuisine is). The local waters provide much table fodder for Tortola restaurants, though the more daring of chefs mixes and mingles with imported delicacies just as often. This blend of local and international flare create a truly unique cuisine to enjoy while dining at Tortola restaurants. <br /><br />Tortola Restaurants: <br /><br />Brandywine Bay: <br />Tortola restaurant overlooking the Sir Francis Drake Channel. The chef/owner has won international praise for his Tuscan style cooking. Reservations are recommended and open Monday-Saturday but closed August through October.<br />Phone: 284.495.2301. <br /><br />Callaloo at the Reef: <br />An elegant waterfront Tortola restaurant at Prospect Reef specializes in Caribbean gourmet cuisine. Reservations are recommend and open daily.  <br />Phone: 284.494.3311. <br /><br />Jolly Roger: <br />Located near the West End, a breezy Tortola restaurant offering International and West Indian specialties as well as burgers, pizza etc. <br />284.495.4559. <br /><br />Pussers Landing: <br />A popular, casual Tortola restaurant located in Road Town as well at Sopers Hole on the West End. Pub style dining-good burgers, sandwiches etc. Open daily.<br />Phone: 284.494.3897. <br /><br />The Long Bay Beach Resort: <br />A gourmet garden Tortola restaurant features an international menu as well as daily fresh fish. <br />The resort’s more casual Beach Café serves great breakfasts, lunches and more casual dinners. <br />Phone: 284.495.4252 <br /><br />The Sugar Mill: <br />Hillside and located on the ground of a 360 degree old former plantation in Apple Bay. Former Bon Appetit columnists Jefferson and Jinx Morgan own this Tortola restaurant. Reservations are required-dinner nightly.<br />Phone: 284.495.4355. <br /><br />Myett’s<br />This Tortola restaurant is amazingly hectic, mostly because of great Caribbean food.<br />Reservations: 284.495.9649<br /><br />Skyworld<br />Modern Tortola restaurant serves classy cuisine from a mountain-top location.<br />Reservations: 284.494.3567<br /><br />Virgin Queen<br />A laid back Tortola restaurant, a casual atmosphere located in Road Town. <br />Closed Sundays: 284.494.2310<br /><br />Chef Service: <br />When not included, cook service may be arranged for additional fees. <br />We have several excellent chefs who are available to guests for just a single fabulous dinner or several meals per day. We suggest that guests contact the chefs directly so that they can discuss dates, items, menus, grocery shopping and rates. Each chef requires some kind of advance deposit. <br /><br />Here is a list of recommended chefs on Tortola: <br /><br />Chef Steph (Ms. Stephanie Shaw): Phone: 284.494.8669 or e-mail sshaw@surfbvi.com <br /><br />Donna Arter: Phone: 284.495.1677 or e-mail d_arter88@surfbvi.com <br /><br />Diana Flynn: Phone: 284.495.4348 or e-mail inxs@surfbvi.com or www.di-namiccatering.com Diana is the former chef of the exclusive private island of Little Thatch. <br /><br />Lisa Mead: Phone: 284.499.8356 or Fax 284.495.9348 or e-mail lisajuicyfruit@yahoo.com <br /><br />Shyril Smith: Phone: 284.494.1946 or e-mail caribbeanmain@surfbvi.com <br /><br />**Do note that it is imperative/a requirement that you let Villas Caribe know about any arrangements you have made, so that we can be sure to arrange access to your villa for the cook/chef before your arrival and so that she may pre-stock any groceries or being preparation of any meals planned.

History

<div align="center">Tortola Island History<br /></div><br />Like many other Caribbean Islands, the Arawak and Carib Indians played a large role in Tortola Island history. Modern history of Tortola Island began in 1493, when Columbus discovered the British Virgin Islands on his second voyage to the New World. He named the area “Las Once Mil Virgines” after the 11,000 followers of St. Ursula. Aside from Tortola Island, Virgin Gorda was so named by Columbus because he felt the island resembled a reclining woman with a protruding belly when viewed from the sea. <br /><br />The Spaniards officially laid claim to the territory, including Tortola Island, in 1555…For almost a full century; however, Tortola Island was considered too small and unimportant for Spanish settlement so they remained largely uninhabited during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. <br /><br />Pirates terrorized the Caribbean shipping lanes surrounding Tortola Island with the blessing of one European country or another and the Spanish Armada was finally defeated. Many of the small croppings around Tortola Island were named after various pirates, such as Thatch Island, which is named after Edward Thatch (or Teach-also commonly known as Blackbeard). <br /><br />Tortola Island was claimed by England in 1628 but the Dutch were the first true settlers arriving in Tortola Island in 1648. In 1666, British planters took over control of the islands from the original Dutch settlers and they attained the status of a British Colony and remained part of the Leeward Islands from 1872-1956 when the British Virgin Islands became a separately administered entity. In 1967, a new constitution provided for a ministerial system of government and Tortola Island remains under British control today. Tortola Island is a tropical paradise for all to enjoy!<br />

Golf

<div align="center">Tortola Ferry + Tortola Golf<br /></div><br />There is no golf course on Tortola, though that does not mean that golf enthusiasts should avoid the island. Quick island hopping on the Tortola ferry provides access to a great deal of golf. The 18 hole Mahogany Run Golf Course on St. Thomas is accessible from the Tortola ferry as well as the great course of Puerto Rico, providing 18-hole championship play with clubhouses, restaurant and pro shop.<br /><br />Tortola ferry lines offer scheduled service around the US and British Virgin Islands. Restrictions on flight travel and lack of golf draw many to the Tortola ferry system as a way of reaching many of the activities of the Virgin Islands. The ability to connect to St. Thomas or many other islets make the Tortola ferry a can’t miss experience. The BVI’s flight restriction makes the Tortola ferry the easiest way to travel between, St John, Virgin Gorda, St. Thomas and Tortola. <br /><br />Nubian Princess, Native Son, and North Sound Express are three of the companies operating Tortola Ferry services. Their routes encompass all the necessary travel to the other Virgin Islands, including ferries to Spanish Town and Leverick Bay, Virgin Gorda. <br /><br />North Sound Express: <br />Tortola ferry operates between Virgin Gorda and Tortola (Road Town) and, also, from Road Town and the West End to downtown St. Thomas.<br />Phone: 284.495.2271 <br /><br />Smith’s Tortola Ferry Service: <br />Phone: 284.495.4495 <br /><br />Speedy’s Fantasy/Speedy’s Delight: <br />The Tortola ferry operates between Virgin Gorda and Tortola (Road Town).<br />Phone: 284.495.5240 or 5235 <br /><br />Private Water Taxi Service: <br />Operates custom charters between or within the British and US Virgin Islands. <br />Phone: 340.775.6501 <br />Website: www.watertaxi-vi.com between Beef Island and the North Sound on Virgin Gorda.

Airport

<div align="center">Beef Island, Tortola Airport<br /></div><br />Much of the traffic that enters the British Virgin Islands centers on Beef Island, Tortola. Beef Island International Airport lies on a small peninsula off the east coast of Tortola Island. Though the Airport at Beef Island, Tortola is the hub of the BVIs, there are no direct mainland flights onto the island. Large US carriers are not allowed to land at Beef Island, Tortola nor Virgin Gorda’s Little Dix Airport. Connections must be made on one of the surrounding airports to be able to take a smaller plane into Beef Island, Tortola. San Juan, Puerto Rico and St. Thomas (USVI) offer charter and scheduled service to Beef Island, Tortola Airport. Carriers that fly to the Beef Island, Tortola Airport incluce American Eagle and Air Sunshine. <br /> <br />Ferries are another central feature of Beef Island, Tortola. Service runs from St. Thomas and Virgin Gorda daily, including scheduled service from Charlotte Amolie and Spanish Town.<br /><br />Beef Island, Tortola Airlines: <br /><br />  Air Sunshine <br />  American Eagle <br />  Cape Air <br />  Caribbean Star: 284.494.2347 <br />  LIAT <br /><br /><br />NY to Tortola: 4 hours <br />Miami to Tortola: 3 hours <br /><br />Beef Island, Tortola Airport Transfers: <br /><br />Arrival at the Beef Island International Airport will generally be from San Juan, Puerto Rico or St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands. Our clients will be met at the airport and escorted to the villa on a complementary basis. A rental vehicle is necessary as there is no reliable cab service and the vehicles may be rented near the airport or depending upon the villa often times delivered to the villa for guest’s arrival. <br /><br />Beef Island, Tortola Departure Tax: <br />$10.00 per person by air, $5.00 per person by sea/ferry<br /><br />Documents for arrival onto Beef Island, Tortola: <br />Every person entering should be in possession of a valid passport and a valid return ticket. A visitor who is a citizen of the United States of America or Canada traveling direct from these countries may be admitted without a passport for a period not exceeding three (3) months. However, that person will be required to produce proof of nationality, by means of an original birth certificate or citizenship papers, and photo identification.

Communications

<div align="center">Tortola Vacation Rentals: Communications<br /></div><br />When staying at any of the Tortola vacation rentals by Villas Caribe, guests will enjoy the most modern communications equipment, making it easy to stay connected with loved ones and the outside world. Direct international dialing can be operated from all Tortola vacation rentals. Guests of Tortola vacation rentals may find that credit or phone card charged calls are cheaper than dialing directly international. A US style seven-digit phone system operates local calling from Tortola vacation rental properties, while local groceries and other stores carry phone cards that may be purchased and used from any Tortola vacation rental. <br /><br />Many of the private Tortola vacation rentals have internet capabilities as well. Easy access email makes these Tortola vacation rentals an easy place to do a bit of business or keep in touch with the family. For those guests who cannot leave certain amenities behind, cable or satellite television is available from most Tortola vacation rentals as well. Stay in touch with programs or international news from many Tortola vacation rentals.<br /><br />Area Code: 284<br /><br />Communications: <br />The villas all are equipped with telephones and guests will be advised of the particular phone number of the property prior to departure. You may now make a credit card call from the BVI&#39;s by dialing 111 from any phone and following the recorded instructions on completing your call. <br /><br />Mobile Phone Rentals: <br />You may rent a Boat phone via CCT (phone: 284.494.3825) at $10/day-a credit card would be required for necessary security deposit. <br /><br />Electricity: <br />110 volts/50 cycles-same as in the U.S. <br />No adapters necessary for visitors from North America but European visitors will require one.<br /><br />Internet: <br />There are Internet cafes in Road Town, Nanny Cay, Sopers Hole (West End) &amp; Trellis Bay (Beef Island)-they all have PC’s or visitors may use their own laptop. <br /><br />Sopers Hole: <br />Phone: 284.495.4137 <br /><br />Coconut Telegraph: Nanny Cay <br />Phone: 284.494.2512 <br /><br />Cyber Café: Trellis Bay <br />Phone: 284.495.2447. <br /><br />Cyber Corner: Road Town <br />Phone: 284.494.2974 <br /><br />* Guests with their own laptop, but no Internet connection at the villa may obtain temporary Internet hook-up Cable &amp; Wireless at 284.494.4444.<br /><br />Language: <br />The official language is English spoken although islands residents often speak it with a West Indian lilt.<br />

Nightlife

<div align="center">Tortola Nightlife<br /></div><br />When it comes to Tortola nightlife, many villa guests will find that a good bottle of Island rum and their loved ones are all that matters on this sleepy British Virgin Island. Though there are places to get a drink or meet with a few friends or locals, Tortola is not a hot nightlife destination. Most guests find that after a day in the warm Caribbean sun or under the clear Caribbean Sea, the best thing to do is slip between cool cotton sheets and await the sun’s next turn. Come try your hand at the maddeningly slow pass of Tortola!<br /><br />Dress: <br />Due to the islands conservative British heritage, there is a dress code of conservative clothing. Light cotton dresses and light jackets and ties for formal wear and typical tropical wear during the day.

Car rental

<div align="center">Tortola Car Rentals<br /></div><br />Public transportation is very limited on Tortola Island. Tortola car rentals and taxi offer an efficient way of getting around the island. Tortola car rentals come highly recommended and are an excellent means of transportation on an island that can seem a bit daunting to traverse.  Most Tortola villas are not within walking distance of the beach, so Tortola car rentals are a must for day trips to the sands. Most guests will find their villas on-island to be a short drive from many sites and activities, though the rugged nature of the island makes a Tortola car rental a much easier option than walking around.<br /><br />High Season (Rates from Dec 16-April 15) <br /> <br />Type of Car <br />  Per Day Rental Rate <br />  7 Day Rental Rate <br /> <br />2dr, Manual Suzuki Sidekick Jeep<br />4WD, AC, 4 pax.<br />  $50/per day<br />  $300/per week<br /> <br />2dr, Automatic Suzuki Sidekick<br />AC, 4 pax.<br />  $55/per day<br />  $330/per week<br /> <br />4dr. Suzuki Sidekick Jeep<br />Manual or Automatic, 4WD, AC, 5pax<br />  $65/per day<br />  $390/per week<br /> <br />4dr. Suzuki Grand Vitara Jeep<br />Manual or Automatic, 4WD, AC, 5pax<br />  $65/per day<br />  $390/per week<br /> <br />4dr. Toyota RAV4 Jeep<br />Automatic, 4WD, AC, 5pax<br />  $65/per day<br />  $390/per week<br /> <br />4dr. Mitsubishi Montero<br />Automatic, 4x4, AC, 7pax<br />  $75/per day<br />  $450/per week<br /> <br />3dr. Chevy Aerostar Van <br />Automatic, 4x4, AC, 8pax<br />  $75/per day<br />  $450/per week<br /> <br /><br /> <br /><br />Low Season (Rates from April 16-December 15) <br /> <br />Type of Car <br />  Per Day Rental Rate <br />  7 Day Rental Rate <br /> <br />2dr, Manual Suzuki Sidekick Jeep<br />4WD, AC, 4 pax.<br />  $40/per day<br />  $240/per week<br /> <br />2dr, Automatic Suzuki Sidekick<br />AC, 4 pax.<br />  $48/per day<br />  $288/per week<br /> <br />4dr. Suzuki Sidekick Jeep<br />Manual or Automatic, 4WD, AC, 5pax<br />  $58/per day<br />  $348/per week<br /> <br />4dr. Suzuki Grand Vitara Jeep<br />Manual or Automatic, 4WD, AC, 5pax<br />  $58/per day<br />  $348/per week<br /> <br />4dr. Toyota RAV4 Jeep<br />Automatic, 4WD, AC, 5pax<br />  $58/per day<br />  $348/per week<br /> <br />4dr. Mitsubishi Montero<br />Automatic, 4x4, AC, 7pax<br />  $70/per day<br />  $420/per week<br /> <br />3dr. Chevy Aerostar Van <br />Automatic, 4x4, AC, 8pax<br />  $70/per day<br />  $420/per week<br /> <br /><br />Conditions of hire: <br />All clients must be over 21 years of age but less than 75 years old and must have held a valid driver’s license for at least two years. It is compulsory to have a BVI driving permit and our representatives are authorized to issue them at a cost of US $10.00 per permit. <br /><br />Children’s car seats are available for rental upon request. <br /><br />The above rates, optional CDW insurance, gas and children’s car seats are all subject to a 5% government tax. All rates are subject to change without notice. <br /> <br /><br />Conditions of hire: <br />All clients must be over 21 years of age but less than 75 years old and must have held a valid driver’s license for at least two years. It is compulsory to have a BVI driving permit and our representatives are authorized to issue them at a cost of US $10.00 per permit. <br />Children’s car seats are available for rental upon request. The above rates, optional CDW insurance, gas and children’s car seats are all subject to a 5% government tax. All rates are subject to change without notice.<br /><br />Please note that all island cards are very small and compact. Only a very small amount of luggage will fit into one car if every seat is occupied with a person. if you have more than three persons and considerable luggage, please consider renting a larger vehicle, or two cars. Besides arranging for a taxi at your own expense, we cannot offer luggage or passenger return trips to the ferry or airport on your departure.<br /><br />Driving: <br />Driving is on the left, British style. A valid foreign or U.S. driver’s license is valid for 90 days but a $10 temporary BVI license must be purchased. <br /><br />Ferry Service: <br />The British and Virgin Islands are serviced by inter-island ferry service. Please note, however, that it does not work for guests to fly to St. Thomas and then plan on ferrying over to Tortola as it proves to be quite cumbersome with luggage and attempting to catch flights. The schedules vary according to the day of the week and may be affected by sea conditions, so it’s critical to verify the time of departure. <br /><br />North Sound Express: <br />Operates between Virgin Gorda and Tortola (Road Town) and, also, from Road Town and the West End to downtown St. Thomas.<br />Phone: 284.495.2271 <br /><br />Smith’s Ferry Service: <br />Phone: 284.495.4495 <br /><br />Speedy’s Fantasy/Speedy’s Delight: <br />Operates between Virgin Gorda and Tortola (Road Town).<br />Phone: 284.495.5240 or 5235 <br /><br />Private Water Taxi Service: <br />Operates custom charters between or within the British and US Virgin Islands. <br />Phone: 340.775.6501 <br />Website: www.watertaxi-vi.com between Beef Island and the North Sound on Virgin Gorda.

Weddings

<div align="center">Tortola Weddings<br /></div><br />Tortola weddings offer the quiet relaxation of the British Virgin Islands with simple access to a variety of other accommodations (St. Thomas, Virgin Gorda, St. John) for all guests involved. The Long Bay area offers a series of villas for rent that can coordinate a larger wedding though there are lovely small homes as well that will provide the perfect setting for any Tortola wedding.  <br /><br />Marriage &amp; Weddings: <br />Getting married on Tortola involves being in the British Virgin Islands for three days before applying for a marriage license, which must be done in Road Town on Tortola. <br /><br />For the requirements, please check with the Register’s Office at 284.494.3701 ext. 5001 or 284. 494.3492. <br /><br />We are, also, happy to provide our clients with the names and phone numbers of personal wedding consultants and planners.

Shopping

<div align="center">Tortola Shopping<br /></div><br />Tortola is not known for its shopping. Duty-free shoppers will have to head over to St. Thomas for their fix, as Tortola shopping is better left to finding villas. Though for those who really need to sample the island’s local flare, there are small crafts shops that are worth seeing. Road Town has the majority of Tortola shopping though the West End has a few in’s and out’s to sample.<br /><br />Grocery Shopping: <br />Visitors will find the supermarkets in Tortola are well stocked and offering a staggering array of exotic and distinguished specialty foods for the good life.<br /><br />Pre-stocking: <br />While the villas on Tortola generally do not include staffs (cooks), for visitors that will be arriving late in the day or evening, we recommend that they have the villa pre-stocked with some arrival beverages and snacks. Please Fax or e-mail us your list well in advance. The charge for this service varies depending upon the groceries and supplies purchased etc. <br /><br />Shopping: <br />The British Virgin Islands are not known as a shopping mecca. Most of the shops on Tortola are located in or around Road Town’s Main Street and at the Wickham’s Cay shopping area, near the marina. Soper’s Hole on the West End offers an ever-growing group of boutiques offering art and jewelry. <br /><br />Caribbean Fine Arts Ltd: <br />Located on Main Street in Road Town, a small shop that offers a wide range of Caribbean art, including original watercolors as well signed prints. <br /><br />Courtyard Gallery: <br />Located on Main Street in Road Town offers delicate crushed coral sculptures created on the premises depicting fish, birds and flowers. <br /><br />Island Treasures: <br />Located at Soper’s Hole Marina, it offers watercolors, paintings, pottery, prints and books on the Caribbean. <br /><br />Sunny Caribbee Art Gallery: <br />On Main Street in Road Town, it offers one of the larges displays of paintings in the Caribbean as well as a selection of island spices and sauces. <br /><br />ATMS: <br />Several are located in Road Town at Banco Popular on Main St. next to the customs office in Road Town and at Chase Manhattan Bank. <br /><br />Baby-Equipment Rentals: <br />Car seats, cribs, high chairs, playpens, strollers, cots and bed rails are all available for rental for additional fees. <br /><br />Banks: <br />Banks on Tortola are open from 8 AM –3 PM Mon.-Thursday and from 8 AM-5 PM on Fridays. <br /><br />Budgeting/Costs To Rent A Villa on Tortola: <br />In addition to the weekly rental rate for a villa on Tortola, the additional costs involved include but are not limited to the following: <br /><br />   Air Transportation <br />   Car Rentals <br />   Groceries &amp; beverages <br />   Tip for the staff <br /><br />Currency: <br />The currency of the B.V.I. is the U.S. dollar. <br />Major credit cards and traveler’s checks are widely accepted as well. Please note that there is a 10 Cent stamp duty on all checks and traveler’s checks.

Sights

<div align="center">Tortola BVI Activities<br /></div><br />When visiting Tortola BVI, most villa guests find that the lack of activity is just what they came for. Natural scenery and gorgeous crystal clear waters are the best that Tortola BVI has to offer. Long white sand beaches can seem deserted as Tortola BVI guests looking for crowds may head to Cane Garden Bay. Most of those villa guests who have been to Tortola BVI before know what they are on-island to do, absolutely nothing! Come enjoy the simplicity of life on Tortola BVI.<br /><br />Beaches: <br />Tortola BVI is known for its spectacular beaches. The island is rimmed with soft powdery beaches surrounding the translucent turquoise sea. <br /><br />North Shore: <br />The majority of the villas that we represent are located within a short walk or drive of the island’s famous North Shore beaches to include Smuggler’s Cove, Long Bay, Apple Bay, Cane Garden Bay, Brewers Bay, Josiah’s Bay and Elizabeth beaches. <br /><br />Boating: <br />Day sails as well as powerboat rentals are widely available in Tortola BVI. <br /><br />Hiking: <br />A variety of hiking opportunities exist on Tortola BVI to include exploring a primeval rain forest in the Sage Mountain National Park, which contains the British Virgin Islands highest point at 1,780 feet. The park is located just west of Road Town and has three trails. <br /><br />Horseback Riding: <br /><br />Shadow Stables:<br />Located on the Ridge Road, offers horseback riding tours of Tortola. <br />Phone: 284.494.2262. <br /><br />Tortola BVI Sights: <br /><br />J.R. O’Neal Botanic Gardens: <br />A beautiful four-acre garden offering a lush array of tropical plants. <br /><br />Government House: <br />Once the Governor’s residence, this stately 20th century building houses a small museum. <br /><br />Fort Recovery: <br />The British Virgin Island’s oldest intact structure. Built by the Dutch in the 1660’s, it features a turreted gun emplacement. <br /><br />Josiah’s Bay Plantation: <br />A former rum distillery, it is now an art gallery. <br /><br />Mount Healthy National Park: <br />Features the remains of an old stone windmill that once part of an 18th century sugar plantations. <br /><br />North Shore Shell Museum: <br />Offers shells, shell crafts and other examples of local crafts/culture for display and sale. <br /><br />Sage Mountain National Park: <br />At 1,780 feet Sage Mountain is the British Virgin Island’s highest point. The park is laid out with graveled paths. <br /><br />Sports: <br />Hiking, Horseback Riding, Sports Fishing, Diving, Parasailing, Sailing, Surfing, Tennis, Kayaking and Windsurfing are all available on the island.<br />
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