Looking for a sunny, exotic destination and not sure whether to go to the British Virgin Islands (BVI) or the United States Virgin Islands (USVI)? Whichever you choose, the Virgin Islands is the right place to relax alone, with family or friends. In particular, treat yourself to a vacation in the sun, in a unique setting of beautiful landscapes untouched by mass tourism. So, what to choose between BVI and USVI? Find out in this guide.
All about the British Virgin Islands (BVI)
The British Virgin Islands are true wonders to discover during a vacation with family or friends. These little corners of paradise are located between the Dominican Republic and Guadeloupe. As their name indicates, these islands belong to the United Kingdom. The archipelago is made up of about fifty islands, sixteen of which are only inhabited. All this to say that it is difficult to visit in one trip all these jewels of the Caribbean Sea. The connection between these islands is done either by ferries, by boat or by water cab. Here are the three best British Virgin Islands to visit.
Tortola is a must-see entry point for visiting the BVI. The island stands out for its colorful wooden houses surrounded by lush tropical quality vegetation. Treat yourself to a nice walk around the island to enjoy its beautiful landscape and to visit especially the Botanical Garden, the Governor’s House and the Dolphinarium. The latter is a place where you can swim with dolphins.
If you are a great lover of hiking, Mount Sage, which rises to 1,750 meters, awaits you. This one offers you a moment of visit which lasts approximately 1 h 30 during which you will benefit from a splendid point of view on the canopy of the equatorial forest and the coast of the Virgin Islands.
It’s also hard to miss Virgin Gorda during a stay in the British Virgin Islands. The island is located 30 minutes by ferry from Tortola. It seduces tourists with its many attractions, such as The Baths National Park located in its southwestern tip. Take a few hours to stroll along this white sand beach surrounded by huge volcanic granite rocks carved by erosion.
Virgin Gorda is one of the most popular destinations in the BVI. It has so many places to relax and marvel, like its emerald-colored natural pool and small cove opening onto the turquoise sea. For a swim, follow the small path to the beautiful sandy beach of Devil’s Bay.
Jost Van Dyke
Jost Van Dyke is also one of the must-see British Virgin Islands. It stands out for its turquoise waters and its impressive coconut trees decorating its immense immaculate beaches of Sandy Bay or White Bay. The beaches of the island are incredible and worthy of beautiful postcards. At the end of the day, spend a pleasant moment at one of the beach bars where you can taste the products of the sea. These will be accompanied by a delicious rum cocktail and a musical atmosphere with a Caribbean rhythm, a unique and unforgettable moment.
All about the US Virgin Islands (USVI)
The archipelago of the US Virgin Islands is located between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. The three main islands are located 80 km east of Puerto Rico. In addition to St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix, the archipelago consists of about fifty islets, most of which are uninhabited. These islands have been an integral part of the United States territory since 1917. This explains why the architecture, the culture, the gastronomy and even the way of life are almost Americanized. These little corners of paradise attract many vacationers each year because of their beautiful white sand beaches, their small ports and also their breathtaking charming villages.
St. Croix is distinguished by its landscape of coastal plains, rocky peaks, ruins of old sugar mills and pristine forests. During your visit, don’t forget to stop by the island’s two historic towns. The first town, called Christandsted, is located on the north coast. It was founded by the Danes in 1735. The second town is called Frederiksted and is located on the west coast. There you will find many wooden houses.
A few kilometers away from St. Croix is Buck Island, another ideal place for those who love peace and quiet. It is surrounded by an impressive coral reef in the shape of an elk horn.
Many cruise lines and boaters used to stop at St. Thomas Island when they passed through the waters of the USVI. Indeed, this is the most accessible island. It is also the most touristic thanks to the numerous places it contains. While on the island, stroll through the streets of the capital to discover the red-roofed houses and its brick ramparts. Also visit one of the most beautiful harbors in the world, Harlotte Amalie. St. Thomas is also home to the oldest building in the US Virgin Islands.
St. John is only a few miles east of St. Thomas. It is the smallest island of the archipelago. It is characterized by its authentic nature preserved far from mass tourism. The Virgin Islands National Park covers most of its surface and contains a lush flora associated with a rich and diverse fauna. You can, for example, admire iguanas, birds of paradise or wild donkeys.