Shopping in the BVI

Shopping on the British Virgin Islands can save you big bucks on brand name goods

With many bargains to find and deals to be made, many tourists head to the U.S. Virgin Islands dreaming of the money they'll save picking up brand name goods for their home, and cute handmade knick-knacks for their friends back home.

Thanks to duty free, tax-free shopping on the British Virgin Islands, you can get a lot of great deals on products that you'd typically have to drop a pretty penny on back home. Fine art, jewelry, electronics, linens, china, and perfumes are all items that tourists typically stock up on. Edible goods made locally are favored as well, from jams and jellies to spices, rubs, and hot sauces. Don't forget that spirits can be purchased duty free here as well. If you're looking for a souvenir for a friend, or something special to commemorate your time on the islands, look for a gift handmade locally. Batik, carved dolls and figurines, shell jewelry, and woven bags, baskets, and furniture are all great options.

Specialty Shops

Right along the Tortola Cruise Port is where the jewelry shops and boutiques featuring clothing and crafts are located. One of the most popular spots, located right on the water, is Crafts Alive Village. This village is a series of pastel colored wooden houses in which locals sell hand crafted wares. You might find straw hats, wooden dolls, woven baskets, pottery, and more.

Pottery is popular throughout the British isles, and there are a number of places to get it. On Tortola, check out a few shops near Nanny Cay and Trellis Bay. There are a lot of pottery shops on Anegada as well.

If jewelry is what you're after, Virgin Gorda is known for its high-end, high-quality jewelry shops, but you can also find a few shops on Main Street in Road Town.

One of the more popular speciality shops in the area is Blue Water Divers. This store is located in Nanny Cay, the BVI. With several locations throughout the British Virgin Islands and as many custom dive boats, this dive center is one of the best trusted services around for both PADI certification training and daily dive excursions. In fact, for several years in a row now they have been voted as the "Best Dive Shop." For customers who want to call ahead, do so at (284) 494-2847.

Another option is Blue Water Divers, which is found 4.4 mi. (7.2 km) away from Blue Water Divers. Voted the best dive operator in the British Virgin Islands, they are a full service dive center that participates in hands on training for those interested in learning how to scuba dive in addition to offering daily dive trips. If you want to call ahead of time, do so at (284) 495-1200.

Coki Beach Dive Club: Voted the "Best Dive Operators in Beach and Boat Diving in the Virgin Islands" by the Daily News readers, Coki Dive Center focuses its attention on beach dives, boat dives, and training new and previously certified divers. If you are looking to call ahead of time, you can do so at (340) 775-4220.

Take a moment to read the chart below to learn more.

Specialty Shops Around the BVI
Name Type Phone Location Island
Blossom's Florist Florist (284) 494-3906 Downtown Road Town Tortola
Blue Water Divers Dive Shop (284) 494-2847 1.9 mi. South West of Downtown Road Town Tortola
Blue Water Divers Dive Shop (284) 495-1200 2.9 mi. North-Northeast of Central Coral Bay Frenchman's Cay
Coki Beach Dive Club Dive Shop (340) 775-4220 1.2 mi. East-Northeast of Central Anna's Retreat St. Thomas
Diamonds International Jewelry Store (800) 444-4025 1.3 mi. East of Central Anna's Retreat St. Thomas
Dive BVI Scrub Island Dive Shop (284) 340-0829 Central the BVI Scrub Island
Dive BVI Yacht Harbour Dive Shop (248) 495-5513 Spanish Town, Southeastern part of the BVI Virgin Gorda
Jost Van Dyke Scuba Dive Shop (284) 495-0271 Jost Van Dyke Jost Van Dyke
Sunchaser Scuba Dive Shop (284) 344-2766 1.1 mi. West of Central North Sound Virgin Gorda
Thee Artistic Gallery Art Gallery (284) 495-5104 Virgin Gorda Virgin Gorda
Tortola Surf Camp Surfing Gear Store (866) 421-9283 Tortola Tortola
We Be Divin Dive Shop (284) 494-4320 Downtown Road Town Tortola

Clothing and Apparel

Looking for clothing? Perhaps you would enjoy Kenny Tees -- which is located in downtown Road Town. When you just aren't finding the right souvenir t-shirt for you, stop into Kenny Tees. Here, they can embroider or print whatever image, design, or slogan you want on any of your clothing items and even some other souvenir items for a low price. If you are looking for something specific and want to call before booking a room, do so at (284) 494-6527.

Another shop to consider is Pusser's Landing Store -- which is found six miles (ten kilometers) to the west-southwest of Kenny Tees. The clothing at Pusser's is centered around the Caribbean lifestyle; colorful button down and polo shirts, Bermuda shorts, and clean slacks. In addition to the main clothing line though, they also sell hats and small souvenirs like mugs and magnets. If you have questions, call them at (284) 494-2467.

A third clothing shop to consider is Pusser's Road Town Company Store. The Pusser's Company store's center around the sailing and Caribbean lifestyle, and all their products tend to relate one way or another to this. From pastel color shirts and Bermuda Shorts, and to sailing jackets, the items are both comfortable and stylish. If you would like to call before you go, do so at (284) 494-2467.

Several apparel shops in the BVI are shown in the following table.

Clothing and Apparel In the BVI
Name Type Phone Location Island
Bolo's Department Store Department Store (284) 494-2867 Downtown Road Town Tortola
Caribbean Department Store Department Store (284) 494-3627 Downtown Road Town Tortola
Island Department Store Department Store (284) 494-3677 The British Virgin Islands None
J & C Department Store Department Store (284) 494-3121 Downtown Road Town Tortola
Jeans N Things General Clothing Store (284) 495-7488 Virgin Gorda Virgin Gorda
Kenny Tees T-Shirt Shop (284) 494-6527 Downtown Road Town Tortola
Mr Nice Guy Boutique Men's Clothing Store (284) 494-4451 Virgin Gorda Virgin Gorda
People's Shoe Store Shoe Store (284) 494-6863 Downtown Road Town Tortola
Pusser's Landing Store Boutique (284) 494-2467 2.8 mi. North-Northeast of Central Coral Bay Frenchman's Cay
Pusser's Leverick Bay Boutique (284) 494-2467 0.6 mi. North of Central Santu Patia Virgin Gorda
Pusser's Marina Cay Store Boutique (284) 494-2467 3.2 mi. East-Northeast of Central Parham Town Marina Cay
Pusser's Road Town Company Store Boutique (284) 494-2467 Downtown Road Town Tortola
Said Departmentt Store Department Store (284) 494-2686 Downtown Road Town Tortola
Serendipity Boutique & Gift Shop Boutique (284) 494-5865 Downtown Road Town Tortola

Food and Grocery

Want to check out some local food offerings? Tico Wine & Spirit Merchants is situated in downtown Road Town. Tico's is open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. If you want to call before making reservations, do so at (284) 494-2211.

A second possibility is Rite Way, which is located less than a mile away from Tico Wine & Spirit Merchants. Stock up on all of your grocery needs as well as health and beauty, child care products, and alcohol with one of the island's leading supermarkets. They also offer provisioning. To talk to them, call (284) 494-2997.

Rosy's Supermarket: Rosy's is an air conditioned supermarket that sells meats, dairy, produce, dry, frozen, and cold stock as well as liquors, baby supplies, cleaning, and health care needs. They also offer provisioning, and party supplies. Call them at (284) 495-6765.

Review this table to learn more.

Food and Grocery Stores In the BVI
Name Type Phone Location Island
Bobby's Supermarket Grocery Store (284) 495-2140 Downtown Road Town Tortola
Christine's Bakery Bakery (284) 495-9281 Jost Van Dyke Jost Van Dyke
La Baguette Bakery & Pastry Shop Bakery (284) 494-5717 Downtown Road Town Tortola
Nature's Way Ltd / Nature's Nectar Organic / Health Food Store (284) 494-6393 Downtown Road Town Tortola
OneMart Superstore Grocery Store (284) 494-4649 0.7 mi. Northeast of Downtown Road Town Tortola
Rite Way Grocery Store (284) 494-2997 0.6 mi. Northeast of Downtown Road Town Tortola
Rosy's Supermarket Grocery Store (284) 495-6765 Virgin Gorda Virgin Gorda
Supa Valu Grocery Store (284) 494-3600 0.3 mi. Northwest of Downtown Road Town Tortola
Tico Wine & Spirit Merchants Beer, Wine, and Liquor Store (284) 494-2211 Downtown Road Town Tortola

Duties, Taxes, and Tips

The official currency on the British Virgin Islands is the U.S. Dollar, which makes purchasing an item in cash that much easier for American visitors. Although outside of the U.S. Customs Zone, tourists are allowed to return home with $1,600(USD) in duty-free goods, a number that is almost double the amount you can spent elsewhere in the Caribbean.

Shopping hours on these isles will differ by location, but in general you can expect to find shopping gets done between 9:00 a.m. And 5:00 p.m., with some shops staying open later on Friday and Saturday nights, but closing early on Sunday if they are open at all. These times all go out the window when cruise ships are docked. Because shop keepers tend to make the most sales on these days, they will often stay open as late as necessary.

It is also key that you know how to handle haggling in the British Virgin Islands. While shop personnel on other Caribbean Islands like Jamaica are known for bargaining and making deals with customers, it is practically unheard of to do it here. Still, you might encounter a shop keeper willing to slash prices in a pinch.

Thanks to high duty-free limits, it is almost a crime to return home from your trip to the British Virgin Islands empty handed. Make sure to leave room in your suitcase, because with prices like the ones you'll find here, you're sure to find goods to fill the space.


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