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British Virgin Islands

Baths at Virgin Gorda Shore Excursion Tips

The Baths at Virgin Gorda
The Baths at Virgin Gorda. Credit: Wikimedia Creative Commons license

The Baths at Virgin Gorda is one of the best and most interesting shore excursions in the British Virgin Islands.

The Baths consist of giant granite boulders that lie along the beach’s edge. They form shelters over secretive pools.

Visitors can swim or snorkel in-between the boulders. Some of the boulders are as much as 40 feet in diameter, according to the BVI Tourist Board.

Molten rock formed the boulders beneath the surface, cooled slowly into hard crystalline granite, cracked into blocks and eventually appeared on the beach as softer nearby rock eroded away. Weathering rounded the blocks of granite.

The site is part of The Baths National Park, a seven-acre reserve that also includes Devil’s Bay, which is reached by a series of ladders. The nearby Spring Bay has a white sand beach. The overall activity level is moderate.

Visitors may not be able to swim among The Baths during the winter because of strong ocean currents, the tourist board says. But water temperatures and wind chills may make the water too uncomfortable anyway.

Bathrooms and lockers are available at the site. The Top of the Baths restaurant sits on a hill overlooking the area and includes a bar, pool and shops.

“This popular daytime anchorage is ideal for swimming and snorkeling. The dinghy dock line offshore provides facilities for small vessels, whilst mooring buoys protect the reef from anchor damage,” according to the National Parks Trust of the Virgin Islands.

How to Get There

Virgin Gorda is the third largest island in the British Virgin Islands chain. Most cruise visitors disembark at Road Town on nearby Tortola island. But visitors to St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands also can take a shore excursion there, although the boat ride is much longer.

Visitors to Tortola who want to visit The Baths will take a 40-minute cruise from Road Town to Spanish Town, Virgin Gorda, and then a 20-minute drive to The Baths for a self-guided tour. The total excursion time is about four and a half hours, which means the actual visit will last no more than about two and a half hours.

Shore Excursion Prices

Prices vary with cruise lines and sailing dates. As an example of prices, one cruise line listed the excursion at $89 per adult and $85 per child. Another listed $99 for adults and $75 for children. Both cruise lines said prices vary by sailing date. Some independent excursion operators have posted costs above $100 per person.

The longer shore excursion from St. Thomas will cost $150 to $200, last up to nine hours and include both lunch and beach stops. It will include quite a bit more of travel time.

Scott S. Bateman is a professional journalist who has traveled widely throughout the Caribbean and the Americas. He is the author of four books about cruising in the Caribbean, Alaska and Mexican Riviera.
March 28, 2023

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