Welcome to the Virgin Gorda Baths
I never thought that crawling & wading through caves for 15 minutes would lead me to one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen. After spending the morning driving to our port on Tortola, catching a ferry over to Virgin Gorda, and catching a bus up the mountain to the top of Devil’s Bay (The Baths) National Park, I wasn’t sure what to expect from this day trip. The top of the park is filled with, what I like to call, tourist traps. Restaurants, souvenir shops, expensive art stores, etc. It was not what I was expecting in a national park. The area was crowded with other large tour groups being picked up & dropped off so be careful not to lose any little ones with you. Another 10 minute walk down through the national park, sidestepping many other tourists, I found myself at the entrance to the caves.
We put our belongings, minus waterproof cameras & scuba gear, into the lockers available by the Poor Man’s Bar. Make sure you don’t take anything that you have to hold in your hands in case you slip while going through the caves. I suggest taking a bag that is waterproof or at least water resistant to carry your belongings in. Traveling through the caves is a tight squeeze at times and you may find yourself entering a dead end here and there but it is worth the trip. The unique rock formations and pools inside the caves are something to see. There are secure steps, though steep, with handles throughout the cave to help you through but there are spots where you have to “rock climb” up a rope in order to get around the boulders.
Once you break through the other side of the caves, you will find yourself on white sand looking out at clear blue water with a horizon of boats. As soon as we reached the beach, we dumped our belongings, grabbed our snorkel gear and headed out to swim. The water was so warm and clear, making it easy to find coral & tropical fish. This was one of my favorite places to snorkel while in the British Virgin Islands. You don’t have a guide, it’s just you and the big blue. My favorite specimen to seek out were the sea urchins; every corner I turned they got larger and larger! You can swim out past the boulders so don’t feel confined to the shore, you will find different species of fish outside the tight boulders.
We stayed out in the water for hours hunting for sites to see. The beach was not that crowded but there were snorkelers coming in from the boats anchored out & any families with children stayed on shore in the pools. There are a few trails you can explore leading from the beach that lead up to some of the tall boulders. It makes for a great view. Unfortunately we had to be back through the caves before they closed at sunset so we only had about 3 hours on the beach. We made it back to the top of the national park with time to eat a quick dinner before our bus came to pick us up. I would have liked to stay longer on Virgin Gorda to explore more of the island.
Virgin Gorda Baths
The Baths, Devil’s Bay, Virgin Gorda, BVI
Tel: +1 (514) 839-9673
Cost: The ferry to Virgin Gorda, entrance to the park, and bus ride to and from the port totalled $85.
What to bring: While there are restaurants in the national park you should bring your own snacks. The restaurants are very touristy and the food wasn’t that great for the expensive price.
Bring your sunscreen, camera(s), hat, scuba gear, and cash.