The third largest island in the chain of British Virgin Islands, Virgin Gorda was named “fat virgin” by Columbus because he believed that the profile of the island on the horizon looked like a fat woman lying on her side. Tourists have the option of taking a ferry and seeing this view for themselves or flying onto the island on a small charter and catching a bird’s eye view glimpse of the island. Once they've arrived, they'll find that taxis and rental cars are the options to get around.
With no direct flights to this small island, getting to Virgin Gorda takes some doing. Once you arrive on the verdant tropical paradise, however, you'll know right away that every transfer was worth it.
While some resorts may offer daily shuttles to popular attractions, if you're staying in a spot that does not you will have to consider how you will get from place to place on Virgin Gorda. Rental cars are the best choice for those who will be moving around a lot, while taxis are best for those who will spend the majority of their time at their resort. The safari bus serves as a final, yet unreliable option.
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A small airport that welcomes only regional charters resides on Virgin Gorda, aptly named the St. Thomas, USVI; San Juan, , and Philipsburg, Sint Maarten. From there, a flight aboard , , and will get you to your final destination. Due to a number of local and international regulations, only a few flights are able to fly to the island every day, so make sure to study flight patterns closely in order to find a route that best suits your schedule without taking away from your planned vacation time. Learn more about this process by clicking here.. In order to fly onto the island, tourists will fly to larger airports in the Caribbean, namely those located in
Sailing to Virgin Gorda can be quite fun. With plenty of islands making the chain both big and small, there are always plenty of things to see. Additionally, Virgin Gorda itself is equipped with plenty of docking areas that include big marinas and small private docks. If you are already on Virgin Gorda, you will have no problem getting off it, there are plenty of charter companies and excursion operators looking to take visitors out to sea.
Cruising to Virgin Gorda is becoming more and more popular, and a good percentage of all tourists who visit Virgin Gorda each year arrive by cruise ship. Some tourists will arrive on Virgin Gorda by sailing aboard a cruise line that is small enough to anchor in the North Sound such as Windstar or Sea Dream, while others will sail aboard a large cruise ship to Tortola, then sail over to Virgin Gorda for a day on a ferry or a shuttle boat chartered by the cruise line.
Tourists who will be doing more than a little sightseeing will save money if they rent a vehicle rather than hire a cab to take them everywhere they want to go. There are a few locally owned rental car agencies on the island that rent out jeeps, trucks, and ATVs, which are a better fit on this island due to the rugged conditions in some of the remote areas. All of the main roads are paved and the speed limit stays around 25 miles per hour no matter where you drive, so driving around Virgin Gorda shouldn't be too difficult. Learn more about renting a car on Virgin Gorda when you click here.
When you arrive on Virgin Gorda, either by ferry or charter plane, a small collection of cabs will be waiting to pick you up. On this island, you can tell them apart by the color of their vehicles. Taxis are actually vans that try and pick up as many passengers as they can at a time. While this may not sound like the most enjoyable experience for tourists who are used to private cabs, the more passengers in the vehicle, the lower the rate. Click here to find out more.
Although there are buses on Virgin Gorda, they are not the buses you will typically find in a large city. Rather, they are something called “safari” buses. These buses are not public, but privately operated, and are really vans and trucks that have been modified so they are opened aired and feature bench seating enough to seat upwards of 20 passengers. Typically, these buses travel along the main road and their primary purpose it to transport cruise ship passengers to and from the Baths. However, if they catch you on the road and there is room they might pick you up and take you where you need to. A ticket will cost between $3 and $5(USD).
Ferry Routes not only connect Virgin Gorda with the rest of the Virgin Islands, but also help connect Spanish Town with the northern part of the island. Visitors to the island will likely find these maritime runners to be convenient and cheap compared to the cost of renting a taxi or chartering a plane. To see more details about the various routes and the companies you can ride with, click here.
It may take a little work to get to Virgin Gorda, but once you arrive you will find a sparsely populated paradise with one of the best systems of transportation within the British Virgin Islands.
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