Brief TortolaBoat Rental Guide
Tortola is the main island of the British Virgin Islands, an overseas territory of the United Kingdom. In it there is Road Town, the capital city of this archipelago. It is one of the favorite destinations in the Caribbean for its good climate with warm and moderate temperatures, and the Caribbean beauty of the beaches and the landscape. Boat rentals in Tortola allow you to move at your leisure from this island to the other islands of the archipelago or even to the United States Virgin Islands. In addition, the Spanish Virgin Islands, belonging to Puerto Rico, are only a few miles away to the west. A paradise of clear waters and white sand that you can know and sail in one or two weeks of total relaxation in the Caribbean.
What to do in Tortola?
Tortola is a Caribbean paradise that invites you to relax and enjoy the sea and the beach. In the southern part of the island you can find the biggest cities like the capital Road Town, enjoy the entertainment and meet the unique culture of this place. On the other hand, the north coast is where are the majority of the beaches are and it is an ideal place to enjoy nature at its best. In addition, Tortola is one of the best places in the Caribbean for practicing scuba diving, due to the underwater ecological diversity and the numerous old ship wrecks.
The geography of the British Virgin Islands invites to know them all. There are very few nautical miles from Tortola to the rest of the islands, and very few to the northernmost islands of the United States Virgin Islands. We recommend you to discover the Caribbean and know the most beautiful corners of the archipelago with boat rentals in Tortola.
Tortola has a lot of beaches and bays in which you anchor despite its relatively small size. Most of them are north of the island. Usually they are fairly quiet because they are surrounded and protected by mountains. The palm trees almost reach the water, the sand is white and the water is clear and beautiful. We suggest some of the best beaches in Tortola but we also recommend you to go to the nearby islands such as Virgin Gorda to enjoy their beaches.
- Brewers Bay
Brewers Bay is a quite popular beach among sailors in Tortola. It has a round shape, being protected between mountains and palm trees and wild vegetation. This makes the waters calm and comfortable to relax.
- Cane Garden Bay
A few meters west of Brewers Bay there is Cane Garden Bay. This is livelier than the previous one, with diverse entertainment. Also, it is a popular place among the sailors that choose boat rentals in Tortola.
- Smuggler’s Cove
This cove is located west of the island of Tortola, near the small island of Great Thatch. The beach is one of the typical Caribbean ones, with white sand, palm trees and clear waters. But east it has a rounded green hill that rises and gives it an original look.
- Joshia’s Bay
Joshia's Bay is one of the most popular beaches in the Virgin Islands for surfing and practicing other water sports. It is northeast of Tortola and features the beautiful landscape of the rest of the spots in the archipelago.
What to eat in Tortola?
The cuisine in Tortola, as in the rest of the Virgin Islands, has received for centuries European, African and American influences. The main characteristics of the gastronomy in this area are the use of native fish and seafood as well as the use of many spices and spicy flavors.
The fungi, corn cake, is widely used to side many dishes such as fried fish, this being a typical combination of Tortola. Fish beef or goat soups are also very common. Strangely enough, the goat meat is very common in the Caribbean islands. Finally, the fruits of the island are also popular and include papaya, passion fruit or guava.
Weather and Navigation in Tortola
- Boating Season
The boating season in Tortola goes from December to April because of the two seasons (the dry and the rainy and hurricanes season) that characterize the Caribbean. The best time to rent a boat in Tortola is between January and March, in the middle of the dry season. But these are also the months when there are more visitors, so booking in advance is necessary. If you are looking for tranquility, the months of December, April and May can be good too. Although there is always the risk that bad weather surprises you close to the hurricane season months.
The temperature in Tortola is quite similar throughout the year. Average temperatures tend to move between 20 and 30 degrees Celsius, and rarely go below of 20 degrees. In the best months for sailing, the average is 25 degrees, and in the rainy season it becomes a little hotter.
Most of the rainfall in Tortola are concentrated between May and November. The less rainy months are January, February and March, coinciding with the best time for sailing. Nevertheless, the Virgin Islands receive less rainfall than other Caribbean countries that are further south.
- Sea Temperature
The sea temperature Tortola is slightly lower than the one in other islands in the southern Caribbean, but it is still very warm. The average sea temperature in the boating season usually is about 26 degrees Celsius, a perfect value for surfing and swimming.
Tortola winds tend to be moderate during the sailing season and their direction vary slightly throughout the year. As of November and during the first months of the boating season, the wind blows from the northeast. In December and January there are slightly stronger winds, about 25 or 30 knots, which are called Christmas Winds. From February the winds are from the east, and towards the rainy season they change to southeast.
How to get in Tortola
- By Plane
The main entrance is east of Tortola. It is the Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport (EIS) on Beef Island. It is a very convenient airport if you have chosen boat rentals in Tortola because it is very close to the main base of boats at this point in the British Virgin Islands.
You cannot get in here directly from Europe or the United States mainland. To reach Tortola by plane you have to do a stopover at a nearby airport as the Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport (SJU) in San Juan, Puerto Rico; the V.C. Bird International Airport (ANU) in Antigua, or the Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM) in Sint Maarten.
- By Boat
You can take a ferry to Tortola from the United States Virgin Islands in the south. It is a good way if you arrive by plane to St. Thomas in the United States archipelago. There are ferries that connect the city of Charlotte Amalie on St. Thomas to Road Town, Tortola’s capital in the British territory.