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Introducing Tortola

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.