To get Tortola from DC is NOT that easy but so very worth it. A 6:00 am flight to Miami, 3 ½ hour layover and finally a flight to St. Thomas. (there is no decent food at the Miami airport). Then our first problem: the hustle you where it is easiest for them. They don’t care where YOU want to go – only to get you in a cab fast. I kept saying we wanted a single cab to the west end ferry to Tortola. We got pushed into the cattle vans hauling many people and got stuck on the Road Town Fast Ferry. Should have known my stuff better and got the right transport – but oh, well, we still made it to Road Town.
Had our car rented with Jerry – who was not happy we were going to Road Town instead of West End. He told us to take a cab to his shop. We did and got there but no Jerry. And the cab wouldn’t wait. The keys were in the car, the office was open so I did the paper work and took the car (fearing that I would be arrested later in the day for car theft). We called the next day and he said “no problem – we will settle at the end of the week”. Great omen for the days ahead.
Finally made it to Sugar Mill – rooms 110 and 101 for a family of four is just about the nicest set up for an apartment ever. Our room has an awesome balcony with a hammock looking out over Jost Van Dyke. We had a great meal - really great – and celebrated finally making it to Tortola with Caribs and a nice white wine!
Day 1 – Breakfast at Sebastians – banana pancakes to die for and great pastries (don’t get the toast). Did the beach at Sugar Mill – very small, limited snorkeling but no one but us - gotta love the private beach. Dinner at Banakeets – outstanding drinks, great sunset shot and really great food and views
Day 2 – tried to find the bakery in Cane Garden Bay – no luck, pressed on the treacherous drive to the East End. Shopped at Trellis Bay and had an amazing sandwich at the Trellis Bay Kitchen. Very relaxing morning after the drive. Then went to Long Bay (by the airport) – a must see beach. Absolutely gorgeous and some good snorkeling. Then went to Josiah’s Bay - a bit of a “sketchy” crowd that didn’t make us feel all that comfortable – but if you surf it is the place to be. Dinner is the BBQ at the Elm – an ABOSLUTE MUST – outstanding food and amazing entertainment for a great price. It is only on Friday and Sundays so don’t miss it. This was definitely a highlight.
Day 3 – no breakfast – rainy day. Shopping at Soper’s then an early lunch at Pusser’s which was very good. Bought more Cuban’s at Pussers and they did have a good selection. Got some after noon beach time at Sugar Mill. If the weather stinks – just wait because it changes fast. Dinner at Sebastians which was great.
Day 4 – breakfast at Sugar Mill – very tasty and then all day sail on Freedom Charters. Having a boat to ourselves for the same price as the crowded snorkeling trips makes this a great family day. Snorkeling at the Indians and the Caves with lunch at Pirates Blight with Capt Paul and sailing around the islands is a dream. Done a lot of snorkeling and the Indians top the list. I seriously hate the crowded snorkel boats but love a great snorkeling adventure. I will always try to find another Freedom Charters on other islands. Dinner at Sugar Mill is great again – we pass on the full moon party since we are a family and it was most certainly not family entertainment.
Day 5 – had to get the banana pancakes at Sebastians again. Then our beach trek – first to Smuggler’s Cove which is beyond beautiful. Best beach chairs (on the right – not the left as you look at the water) and you only have to order a drink to get them (and the drinks were good). Too much fun. Lunch at Pusser’s then over to Brewer’s. Great snorkeling and gorgeous beach as well. Spectacular day. Dinner at Jolly Roger is pretty amazing. I had a lobster as big as my head – it was huge and delicious. The place was pretty packed but service good and food great.
Day 6 – we took the early ferry to Jost Van Dyke. This, I believe was key – it is an 8 AM ferry from West End but it was worth it because the last cab back is at 5 PM. We got to JVD and there was no cab at the dock. We were the only tourists there (which is always great). A cab showed just as we were walking and took us to the Soggy Dollar. We got our lounge chairs and relaxed. At 11 we got our first Painkiller which was the absolute best. Good lunch as well. Just a great beach and a great day. Unfortunately, the boat people crammed on to their snorkel excursions descended upon us later in the afternoon. We had Bunn (the cab driver) pick us up at 2:30 and went to Foxy’s. He took us on a little tour as we went which was great. Foxy’s was dead – but we picked up some souvenirs and had a few drinks. Very relaxing. The Saba dollar is stapled to the ceiling. Dinner at Bananakeets – great blackened snapper.
Day 7 – sniff, sniff. Leaving on the ferry. Could have used two more days to see it all.
We have been to St. Thomas, Aruba, St. Kitts, Turks and Caicos and Curacao before this. Gotta say that Tortola moved into the number one spot in our hearts and minds. This because we don’t want crowds, love great beaches, casual food (not fine dining) and relaxing. Tortola has it all. It was amazing – thanks in part to the many posters on this forum so our sincere thanks to you all for a phenomenal trip.
I will be on the forums to answer questions for a few weeks. Hope this helps all future Tortola visitors!!