BVI Travel Advice
British Virgin Islanders are friendly and welcoming, and as in many small communities, life on Virgin Gorda is more tranquil and simpler. A Virgin Gorda vacation is the perfect way to re-connect and rejuvenate. It’s not hard to find your way around or get local knowledge – on this little island, everybody knows everything. Greet the smiling Virgin Gorda folks with a “Good Morning” or “Good Afternoon” and have an interesting conversation.
Visa and Mastercard are widely accepted in most hotels, shops and larger restaurants, American Express is accepted in some establishments. Some smaller establishments do not accept credit cards.
US currency is the main currency used in the BVI and our villa.
Dress code on the island is casual (shorts & t-shirts) and only the most exclusive restaurants require elegant clothing. The wearing of swimsuits is considered offensive if worn around town or in residential areas. Please cover up!
A valid driving license is required by all those seeking to drive in the British Virgin Islands. Driving is on the left-hand side of the road throughout the islands. Minimum age for hiring a rental car is 25 years.
Police, Fire or Ambulance – dial 999.
VISAR (Virgin Islands Search & Rescue) – dial 999 or ch 16.
Nurse Iris O’Neal Clinic, Virgin Gorda
Phone : 284-852-7700
Peebles Hospital, Lower Main Street, Road Town, Tortola.
24-hr Accident & Emergency Department. Ambulance services with surgical, laboratory and x-ray facilities available.
Apex Medical Centre (Virgin Gorda) 284-495-6557
The British Virgin Islands are located in the Caribbean Sea – Latitude 18.25 degrees north and Longitude 64.36 degrees west – approximately 90 miles east of Puerto Rico.
For information on requirements for getting married in the British Virgin Islands, contact the Registrar’s Office, Road Town. Phone: 284-468-3701
A valid passport is required to enter the British Virgin Islands with proof of a return or onward ticket. Visitors from some countries may require a visa – if in doubt please check with your nearest BVI Tourist Board
Visitors and residents pay a departure tax when exiting the BVI.
In the British Virgin Islands there is a 7% Hotel Accommodation Tax payable by guests who stay for six months or less in hotels, apartments, houses, cottages, villas and similar accommodations.
There is no sales tax in the British Virgin Islands.
25,383 (2011 est)
Atlantic Standard Time (AST): 4 hours behind GMT and 1 hour ahead of EST during daylight savings.
The electrical current is 110 volt, 60 cycles.
The international dialing code for the British Virgin Islands is +1-284 followed by a 7-digit number. Phone calls using credit card is available as well as the purchase of phone cards.
Please note that smoking in public spaces is banned according to a law passed by the Legislative Council. This includes bars, restaurants, nightclubs, airports, offices and arenas, and within 50 feet of any public area. Keep this in mind as you enjoy your stay in the British Virgin Islands!
History of Virgin Gorda
Author Dr. Joan Massel Soncini in her book Virgin Gorda: An Intimate Portrait states that in circa 300 A.D. ”Archaeologists believe that South American Indians, the Arawak Indians, Virgin Gorda’s first inhabitants, arrive at North Sound.” The book also mentions that during the 12th through the 16th century, the Carib and Ciboney Indians lived on Virgin Gorda.
According to British Virgin Islands history, Christopher Columbus was the first European visitor. It is said that when Columbus sailed to Virgin Gorda, the shape of the island reminded him of a fat virgin laying on her side. The Spanish translation for fat virgin is Virgin Gorda. Hence forth, the island received its name.
Virgin Gorda is the easternmost island of the British Virgin Islands. It is ten miles long and less than one mile long. It is divided in to three distinct parts. The Valley is the southern part of the island and it is rocky and flat. The central part of the island is very hill and lush. The northern part of the island is known as North Sound. The large granite boulders are not found in the northern or central parts of Virgin Gorda.