Why go to Tortola?
Ample ferry service allows cruisers to take day trips to the smaller islands in the BVI
Not much to do right in Road Town -- other than shop -- you'll need a boat or taxi to get to the real attractions
Beaches and water sports galore await those willing to book a tour or venture out from the port
Tortola Cruise Port Facilities?
As you disembark in Road Town, you'll be at Tortola Pier Park, a fairly recent and modern outdoor cruise complex with an information kiosk staffed with people handing out maps, ferry schedules and brochures, plus about 50 shops, cafe kiosks, a couple of restaurant/bars, bathrooms and ATMs. Almost every venue offers free Wi-Fi, so you'll see passengers and staff hanging out everywhere in order to log on to the internet. Taxis are readily available to whisk you away to wherever you might want to go.
It's just a quick walk into town, where you'll find more cafes with Wi-Fi, restaurants and even a small market. Main Street features cute souvenir shops, where you can find local crafts and jewelry. While Road Town is worth a visit, if that's the extent of your Tortola experience, you will miss out on the best of the BVI.
Good to Know?
You won't encounter dangerous animals or snakes, but a few plants (oleander and elephant ears, for example) are poisonous if consumed. The manchioneel, or poison apple tree, is a shrub or tree that grows near the beach. It's fruit, sap and leaves are caustic -- a severe irritant to skin and eyes -- and toxic if ingested.
Also, smoking is prohibited in all public indoor and outdoor spaces and within 50 feet of these spaces. This applies to all beaches.
On Foot:If you only want to shop or browse, you can easily explore the shops at Pier Park or walk into town.
By Taxi:Safari cabs and mini vans are typical modes of taxi transport. Find taxi stands at the cruise pier in Road Town, Soper's Hole or near Wickham's Cay. Taxis can be chartered based on the taxi tariff available at the ports of entry and provided by each driver. Roads on Tortola are very steep and winding. If this makes you uneasy, avoid the safari cabs.
By Car: You'll need a BVI license, which costs about $10 and is obtainable with a valid driver's license. Don't forget to drive on the left side of the road. Rental agencies include Avis (Wickham's Cay 1; 284-494-4169) located steps from the port, D&D Car Rental (West End, Road Town; 284-495-7676), and Itgo Car Rental (Road Town; 284-494-5150).
By Ferry: Ferries are the primary form of moving people between Tortola and the other islands. Think of them as oceangoing buses. Ferry service from the several companies serving the islands is frequent, dependable and affordable.
There are three regions in Tortola where you can catch a ferry: Road Town (central), Soper's Hole (West End) and Beef Island (East End). Soper's Hole and Beef Island can be reached by taxi for about $20 per person roundtrip.
Currency & Best Way to Get Money?
The BVI use the U.S. dollar for its currency. ATMs are commonplace and easily found in the port area.