Road Town Transportation

Making your way to Road Town means deciding if you'll travel in the air or on the sea

Photo credit: © Paula Funnell

Road Town, the capital of the British Virgin Islands, is located on the south coast of the island of Tortola. It serves as the largest city in the island chain, where cruise ships dock, yachters moor, and tourism flourishes. There are more options available when it comes to getting to Road Town than most other towns in the country, and once you arrive, your options for getting around are just as plentiful.

Getting There

Tourists spending their vacation in Road Town on Tortola have several options with regards to how they'll reach the town including flying, taking a ferry, cruising, and sailing. A number of factors will influence which direction you take in making your final decision, including cost, efficiency, and personal preference.

Getting Around

Determining how you'll spend your vacation will make choosing your mode of transportation for getting around Road Town easier. If a lot of sightseeing is in the cards for you, a rental car will save you money, while those who plan to stick close to their accommodations, only venturing out occasionally, may only need to hail a cab once in awhile. Free spirits may forgo both and put their trust in the bus system.

Air Travel

The nearest airport to Road Town is the Terrence B. Lettsome International Airport on Beef Island, which connects to Road Town's home island via the Queen Elizabeth Bridge. This airport has a runway large enough to accommodate small planes that fly regionally, so what tourists who are traveling from South America, Asia, and Europe will find is that they will have to make a connecting flight at either the Princess Juliana International Airport in Sint Maarten or the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport on Puerto Rico. There are several airlines that travel from both of these airports into Beef Island. From the United States, another possibility lies in flying to the nearby U.S. Virgin Island of St. Thomas and landing at the Cyril E King Airport and then connecting with the the BVI.

For more information that will help you to plan your flight path, click here and read about Air Travel to Road Town.


Road Town is home to the most popular of two official ports of entry on Tortola, and it is also where yachters will find a jetty with a significant amount of berthing space.  Clearing in is a process not out of the oridinary, but you'll need to be prepared for local regulations.  Click here to learn more. 


Road Town is often included on cruise itineraries of the Eastern Caribbean, even those that are not specific to the Virgin Islands. The cruise ship terminal is located on the far right of Road Harbour, jutting out into the sea with the capability of welcoming two cruise ships at a time. Once a ship docks here, cruisers are able to deboard and hit Main Street where they can get in some shopping, dine at local restaurants, or head over to any of the many small beaches that surround Road Town.

Rental Cars

Tourists renting a car in Road Town have plenty of options, including both local and international chains. This keeps prices competitive, which is great for travelers, who can expect to pay between $50 and $80(USD) a day for a rental.

Due to the rugged terrain outside of Road Town, most rental car agencies offer jeeps and trucks more than a simple car. Even so, if you plan to do a lot of touring of secluded spots around the island, make sure you confirm that you will be getting a vehicle with four wheel drive and good suspension. Learn more about renting a car in Road Town here.


At just $5(USD) per person, hailing a cab to take you around Road Town is a pretty inexpensive option, however, when you ask for a ride outside of town, things can add up pretty quickly. For tourists who prefer to let someone more familiar with the area do the driving, it is worth the extra expense. The good thing about taxis in Road Town is that prices are regulated by the government, rather than metered and only monitored by the driver himself. This is done not only so tourists can't be taken advantage of, but also so they can plan ahead and ensure they have the proper amount of money with them before they travel.

Click here to discover more about taxi transport in Road Town, and even view current rate charts.


While there is no public bus system on Tortola, there are several operations roaming around that are similar. Open air trucks called “safaris” and full passenger vans make the rounds in Road Town, and will sometimes offer transport across the island, however, they run on no discernible schedule, and cannot necessarily be relied upon to get you where you need to go on time. If you're up for an adventure and have nowhere to be at any specific time, these “buses” might work for you. Otherwise, you're better off sticking to a cab or rental car.


While the ferry system in the British Virgin Islands are not as extensive as one would first expect for a collection on islands, there are still a few option that maritime tourists will be able to enjoy during there visit to Road Town. These generally including routes that take you to other virgin islands, including to St. Thomas on the US side. To see the other available routes, and the companies that offer them, click here.

There are plenty of transportation options for you to choose from when you consider a vacation in Road Town, and many different things that can influence your final decision. In the end, making sure to utilize the method of transport that you feel most comfortable in will make your trip to Road Town that much more relaxed and hassle free.


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