Among Tortola’s sharp peaks and bougainvillea-clad hillsides you’ll find a mash-up of play places. Guesthouses and mountain villas are interspersed with beachside resorts. Cooks for Bon Appétit magazine make island dishes next to elderly Mrs Scatliffe, who prepares meals using ingredients from her garden. You even get your choice of full-moon parties – artsy with Aragorn or mushroom-tea-fueled with Bomba.
About 80% of the BVI’s 25,000 citizens live and work on Tortola, so it’s not surprising there’s a lot of choice here. It’s also the BVI’s governmental and commercial center, plus its air and ferry hub.
As for the name: in Spanish, tortola means ‘turtledove,’ which was the type of bird flying around with distinctive coos when Christopher Columbus came ashore. Most have since flown the coop.
Tortola destination guides
Half-Day Tortola Rum Tasting and Snorkel Tour
Spend time exploring the beautiful sights of Tortola on this half-day rum tasting and snorkel tour! Depart from the ferry dock and enjoy the gorgeous sights of Tortola. See Virgin Gorda and Guana Island as you head towards the Callwood Rum Distillery, where you’ll enjoy an exquisite rum tasting.
Road Town Shore Excursion: Tortola Island Adventure
While you’re in port in Tortola, explore some of the island’s most famous attractions on this fun and entertaining shore excursion! After pickup from the Road Town cruise ship port, enjoy a car ride through Road Town and along Tortola’s southern coast.