Things to do in Tortola - Activities And Tours
Due to hurricane Irma that struck on September 6, 2017, information about this area may be subject to change, as we gather more data.
Here is a selection of fun things to do in Tortola, the largest island of British Virgin Islands, in the Caribbean. Make your tropical Island dreams a reality here! Soak up the sun relaxing on a pristine white sandy beach, visit a National Park filled with massive granite boulders and admire the stunning ocean views. Kids will love swimming with the dolphins and the whole family can ride on ATV's into the mountains inn Tortola.
Lovers of water sports can sail, surf, dive, kayak and boogey board, in other words take part in some of the best Tortola activities. Hikers can take a fascinating walk up Sage Mountain. There is an abundance of marine life and animal life to charm nature lovers. To create memories that will last a lifetime, dress up like a pirate and have a fantasy trip on a real sized replica pirate ship! Here are some of the most fun Tortola attractions and points of interest.
- Tortola Resorts
- Virgin Gorda
- Virgin Gorda Resorts
- Jost Van Dyke
Pirate Cruise in Tortola
Setting sail on a pirate ship is a fabulous family thing to do in Tortola. Have a blast dressing up in pirate costumes and living out your fantasies on the Caribbean Seas during this tour in Tortola. Wield your cutlass, make your enemy walk the plank, hang him from the yardarm and then all celebrate with a glass of rum punch!
This amazing trip takes place on a replica 18th century tall ship called the Liana’s Ransom. Your guide will thrill you with tales of the famous pirates who braved these waters more than 300 years ago, how they fought, robbed, killed and died.
Enjoy a great lunch with beers for the adults and soft drinks for the kids. Then dive overboard for some snorkeling with the marine life and swimming in the clear blue waters. The trip ends at Norman Island, the exotic location that provided inspiration for the iconic novel, Treasure Island. On the journey back, one lucky person is selected to fire the 24-pounder black powder cannon, it may be you!
Visit Jost Van Dyke Island In British Virgin Islands from Tortola
Taking time out on one of the most beautiful beaches in the world is another amazing thing to do in Tortola. Spend a day in paradise and return feeling fully rejuvenated with a calm soul, body and mind after completing one of the best Tortola activities.
The top things to do at Jost Van Dyke Island that you can do during your vacation at Tortola are a helicopter tour, Swim And Snorkeling tour, or an ATV ride.
You will travel by ferry from Tortola and disembark at the Jost Van Dyke cruise ship dock. You then have a choice of travelling by sea on a private boat or across land in a taxi to the stunning beach at White Bay. Sunbathe, swim or snorkel. Try your hand at fishing or diving. The setting is a picture-postcard perfect with endless white sandy beaches, crystal clear turquoise waters and boats sailing by. The backdrop is the lush green covered hilly landscape of a tropical island. Make sure you have your camera! This small island of only three square miles is the smallest of the group that make up the British Virgin Islands. Don't miss out on visiting Jost Van Dyke when looking for exciting things to do in Tortola on vacation!
The Baths - Tour To Virgin Gorda From Tortola
A day trip to the nearby Virgin Gorda, particularly it's top attraction - the Baths, filled with granite boulders, is a unique thing to do in Tortola. These massive boulders were formed by molten granite rock and some of them are as large as 40 feet diameter. Interspersed in between the rocks are white sandy beaches and hidden rock pools with an abundance of marine life.
Explore, swim, snorkel and sunbathe. If you want to see more, take a slow hike along the beach from the Baths Beach to Devil's Bay. Along the way there are hand rails made from rope and special steps to help you cross over the massive granite formations.
This visit is a guided tour with a knowledgeable local guide. The tour will pick you up at your hotel on the Island and head off to the dramatic Virgin Gorda region. The tour will also return you back at the end of the day. Drinking water is provided and first aid facilities are available. Don't forget to bring your own sunscreen and towels on one of the most exciting things to do in Tortola!
ATV Rides in Tortola
Driving around in an ATV may not be on your list of things to do in Tortola, but the family will love this experience. The ATV's, All Terrain Vehicles, are designed to travel on rugged ground, allowing you to explore areas that are off the beaten track. There a number of tours to choose from. They will pick you up at your hotel, set off for the port and take you by sailing boat to Jost Van Dyke, one of the four main islands.
Enjoy the stunning scenery as you sail across these beautiful waters. When you arrive, your local guide will give you a quick safety lesson. Then get strapped into your 200cc Rally ATV and set off. You will ride up the mountains into the lush tropical regions where you will enjoy panoramic views over the Islands. Then head down to beach and drive along the never ending sandy expanses, seeing views that are not accessible by normal motor vehicles. These tours in Tortola include all equipment, drinks, pick up and drop off at your local Island hotel.
Smuggler's Cove in Tortola
Smuggler's Cove in Lower Belmont Bay, is a fabulous secluded beach and a trip there is one of the things to do in Tortola. You can visit it on a tour that combines both snorkeling and rum tasting, who can resist?
The tour leaves from the ferry dock and winds its way on land along the northern side of the Island. Enjoy the stunning views of the Caribbean Sea and the Islands as you travel along the famous Ridge Road. Soon you will see the ancient brick and stone structure which is the Callwood Rum Distillery, one of only a few distilleries in the British Virgin Islands. Learn about the making of rum and do some rum tasting.Then head off to the beautiful Smuggler's Cove. The setting of the beach fringed with huge swaying palm trees is perfect! Relax on the sandy shore, swim or take a walk. Snorkel or dive to discover the fabulous underwater tropical marine life. The rocky areas are great for exploring and fishing too.
Cane Garden Bay in Tortola
If water sports is on your list of things to do in Tortola then you need to get to Cane Garden Bay to see this amazing Tortola point of interest. This naturally protected bay offers the ideal setting for surfing, jet skiing, boating, boogey boarding and swimming. It features tranquil blue waters and a stunning view of the surrounding lush green tropical mountains.
The bay area is also hip and happening with loads of restaurants, pubs, clubs, vibey music and beautiful people. Plan to be here all day and then well into the night! A visit to Quito’s Gazebo is a must, where the owner Quito Rymer, will entertain you with a fabulous dance routine. Romantics are discovering this venue and travel here from around the globe to tie the knot at the waters edge and then celebrate at the famous Myett’s Restaurant and Reception Hall.
Sage Mountain in Tortola
When you have had enough of the water, hiking up a mountain is the next best thing to do in Tortola. Head for the Sage Mountain National Park and take a slow guided tour to see the views from the highest point on the British Virgin Islands. You don't have to be super fit as the trip caters for all levels of fitness.
This National Park is a protected area and is home to many local species of birds that will thrill bird watchers. Your local guide will update you as you find them. You may be lucky enough to spot the Island's national bird, a lovely turtle dove. When you want to relax, sit down and admire the panoramic views over the ocean and land, you can see as far as Puerto Rico on a clear day. Like most tours, you will be collected and dropped off at your hotel and entrance fees are included.
Visit Anegada Island from Tortola
When making a list of things to do in Tortola, don't forget Anegada Island. This tiny piece of land is only 2.5 miles wide and 10 miles long and is locally known as the Drowned Land as it lies a mere 28 feet above sea level.
The area features interesting salt ponds that can be explored. Nature lovers will be thrilled to discover the beautiful Caribbean Flamingo. The island is a scientific destination for botanists and zoologists where they study the marine life. It also offers fabulous picture-postcard sights of donkeys and cattle grazing in the green fields.
Visit the Anchorage which is located between Setting Point and Pomato Point. It is a popular venue for yachting and sailing enthusiasts and the views of boats moored in the water is lovely. Settle down at a local restaurant by the water and watch the sunset while sipping a cocktail or a famous Island Rum.
Snorkeling in Tortola
Snorkeling is one of the most exciting things to do in Tortola and one of the most fun Tortola activities. If you have never tried it, now is the time! Join a tour where you will set off from the ferry dock with a guide. Sail out on the clear blue waters and admire the stunning views. When the boat stops you will be fitted with the equipment and given a lesson. Then jump into the water and explore the magnificent marine life. Beautifully colored corals, sponges and fish live amongst the reefs in these tropical waters. This is a great day outing for the whole family and is fun and safe. When you come out of the the water, relax on the beautiful beach, soak up the sun and enjoy a cool drink.
If you are over 18, join a snorkeling trip that combines a visit to the Callwood Rum Distillery. Here you will learn how the iconic drink is made and have the opportunity to sample some on site!
Surf lessons in Tortola
Ever considered learning how to surf? This is a fabulous thing to do in Tortola, it has some of the best waves and surfing conditions on the planet. Josiah's Bay is a surfer's paradise and the place to meet your friendly instructor. You will start on dry land where you will learn the basics of surfing and understanding the conditions of the sea and waves. Then it is into the water for a 2 hour session. Learn how to paddle, stand up and control the board. When you feel confident, try to catch a small wave! You will soon get the hang of it. An hour of free time after your lesson allows you to try out your new-found skills.
When you are done, relax on the beach and chat with like-minded people while you watch the locals and professionals to see how it is done! Then head off to Josiah's Bay Beach and Snack Bar for a well earned meal and a drink.
British Virgin Islands Cruise Port
The Cruise Port is the main attraction and offers many exciting things to do in Tortola. Start off by strolling around the harbor and admiring the multi-milllion luxury yachts and sail boats bobbing in the water. Rent a Charter Boat and sail out into the bay, relax with a cocktail and admire the amazing scenery.
When you get back, explore the shops in the Road Town, the city that nestles next to the harbor. There are world class shops, restaurants and pubs. The local craft market offers a great selection of hand made goods, do some bargaining and buy a batik or trinket to take home.
Leaving from the Cruise Port are ferries that will take you to surrounding Islands and small boats that offer snorkeling, scuba diving and fishing tours. Taxis are also available at a low cost to take you to see the sights around the island and you are sure to be entertained by the friendly driver!
Bomba's Surfside Shack - Bar And Nightclub
Settling down for a snack and a drink is a relaxing thing to do in Tortola and Bomba's Surfside Shack is the place to do it! For adults only though! The famous Bomba built the shack from bits and pieces of wood, metal, trash and other odds and ends that he found washed up on the beach. The result – a fabulous and fun, colorful unusual venue with a great local ambiance. Inside you will find an array of ladies panties and bras dangling from the roof, so be prepared.
This is the place to party with friends every night and especially when the moon is full! The iconic Full Moon Party tops them all. Have fun reading the interesting boards and wild graffiti scattered both inside and outside the joint. Anything goes! Then settle down with a classic Island Rum and enjoy the soothing tones of reggae rhythms filling the tropical night. A perfect way to end the day.
Photo by Huw Pritchard
Dolphin Swim in Tortola
Swimming with dolphins is a dream that many people have on their list of things to do in Tortola. Now you can make this a reality with a choice of tours that will leave you with lifetime memories. The programs are designed to suit all ages and all levels of fitness. Knowing how to swim is not necessary as some adventures allow you to stand in water that is only waist deep. If you are a good swimmer, you can swim out into the depths.
The dolphins are lovable, kissable and cuddly! They perform tricks and also interact with humans. They are homed in their natural environment with the highest levels of care and concern for their well being. For some extra fun, go on a belly-ride or swim with a whole school of dolphins. These intelligent and adorable creatures are sure to capture your heart. Ask about the Tortola Dolphin Discovery Swim and the Tortola Dolphin Royal Swim and be in the midst of these great Tortola activities.
Sunny Caribbee Spice Shop & Art Gallery
Just when you think you have seen it all, here is another fascinating thing to do in Tortola. The Sunny Caribbee Spice Shop & Art Gallery is a sensation that will delight your all your senses. This iconic venue has been operating for over 30 years and offers everything Caribbean from spices to fragrances, flavors, home remedies and local hand made crafts.
Art lovers will be thrilled to see a collection of local art on display and tea and coffee lovers can choose from a wide selection of local varieties. If you enjoy something spicy, buy curry powder, their classic Jerk Spice or the special Mojo Magic Spice to take home, you will bring back Island memories every time you cook!
There are two branches of the store, one is located in Main Street, Road Town and the other is found at Soper's Hole Marina, Frenchman's Cay.
J.R. O'Neal Botanic Gardens
Address: Botanic Rd, Road Town, British Virgin Islands
Nature lovers will find a small piece of heaven in our next amazing thing to do in Tortola. The J.R. O'Neal Botanic Gardens are located in Road Town near to the High School. Four acres of magnificent gardens are on display and you will need to spend a few hours exploring. See the section devoted solely to prickly cacti and succulents.
There are hothouses for evergreen ferns and rare orchids. Be amazed at the gardens of medicinal herbs and learn about the plants and trees that are indigenous to this region. Walk through the small rain forest and then relax on a bench next to the tranquil and picturesque lily pond. Make sure you get a picture of your group underneath the massive Banyan Tree. The staff in the office will guide you and tell you how to best explore this beautiful venue. The gardens are a perfect way to escape the noise and find some peaceful things to do in Tortola.
Photo by Roger W
Long Bay Beach in Tortola
If idyllic beaches enchant you, you will never run out of things to do in Tortola. These fascinating Tortola acitivities will leave you speechless. Head off to Long Bay Beach at the Long Bay Beach Club Resort, which is quiet and secluded. It offers stunning white sand and tranquil blue water. Sunbathe, swim and relax. There are a few quaint restaurants and bars where you can get some local refreshments. Watch the pelicans and look for shells in the rocky areas by the water. The Long Bay Beach Club located here is a laid back venue, perfect for a day outing, away from the crowds and noise.
The Long Bay Beach Club is a great venue for families looking for all-encompassing things to do in Tortola. Exuding a Colonial ambiance, the old building resembles a plantation house with a restaurant set in an 18th century sugar mill. Stop there for lunch or stay over for a couple of days.