Port of Call Review: Tortola & The Baths at Virgin Gorda
Tortola is the largest island that makes up all 60 of the British Virgin Islands. It was one of our port of calls during our Carnival Breeze cruise and I knew straight away that I wanted to take an excursion and visit The Baths at the famed Virgin Gorda. We made our way to the ferry at 7:30 a.m. and took a 30 minute ride across to this little island. I definitely suggest you take the excursion route on this trip as you will require a round-trip ferry ride and then a round-trip shuttle to and from The Baths. It isn’t the easiest site to reach.
Virgin Gorda is very quiet and laid back. You’ll notice goats and cows walking alongside the streets and signs of the island’s history painted on walls and fences. Once you arrive at The Baths, you will have to take a hike down a hilly and not so even path. A stroller isn’t the greatest idea. If you have a toddler, bring a baby carrier or be prepared to carry them the entire length of the way. The hike will take you approximately 10-15 minutes.
TIP: Bring good walking shoes/running shoes and a backpack to carry your camera or other goods. Strollers aren’t a good idea. Our excursion included towels but be sure to double check first as you may be required to bring your own.
The Baths look like they came straight out of a Jules Verne novel. It’s a little hard to explain the exact feeling you experience when you reach this place. I was struck with wonderment and awe at the massive boulders that lay in and around this area. Some are as big as houses! They form their own little pools and grottoes which are perfect for little kids.
The Devil’s Bay is adjacent to The Baths. It is not a suitable spot to venture into if you have a toddler, but older children would make it through with adult supervision. If you hike and swim through the grottoes that have been formed in and around the boulders you’ll reach this small beach. Another option is to swim the distance from The Baths, but the hike is the more scenic and adventurous route.
TIP: There are washrooms and a snack stand at The Baths, but an open-air restaurant called “Top of the Baths” and several gift shops await you at the top of the hill. If you prefer a sit-down meal with stunning scenery, stop here on your way out!
My personal opinion of Tortola: in and of itself it isn’t the most exciting destination. Cane Garden Bay is a popular beach that has calm and crystal-clear waters. It’s the closest beach to Road Town which is a short walk from the pier. Here you will find a cluster of multi-colored huts filled with souvenirs. Little restaurants line the streets on the opposite side.
If adventure is what you are after, definitely plan on making your way to The Baths. If you prefer a more relaxing visit, head to Cane Garden Bay.
Disclosure: Transportation and accommodations were provided by Carnival Cruise Line. They hosted my family and I on this cruise. All thoughts and opinions are my own as always.