The Baths are the reason why most people visit Virgin Gorda. The huge boulders that descend in a mazelike fashion to beautiful white sand beaches and a tranquil turquoise bay are world famous. I wrote a whole post about how much I loved this place and it’s got some good tips for visitors. This is Virgin Gorda’s #1 attraction and something you CANNOT MISS.
I’ve got to say…of all of the things I had planned during my trip to the Virgin Islands, seeing the Baths on Virgin Gorda was the one I was most excited about. I see amazing pictures of the smooth boulders and the maze like path they make as they descend to the ocean ALL THE TIME on Pinterest and could not wait to finally experience them in person.
It was around noon when we arrived and we were STARVING so we stopped at Top of the Baths for some lunch. This place is a must do to get the total Baths experience. Top of the Baths is like a little resort right at the Baths entrance (minus the rooms!). There’s a lovely restaurant with incredible views of…you guessed it…the top of the Baths, several shops and even a fresh water pool that feels so good during the heat of the day.
After our lunch, we paid our admission ($3) and began the hike down to the Baths. They can get pretty crowded during the day so most locals recommend visiting before 9 or after 3 although we started about 1 and it wasn’t crowded at all.
For the first part of the trail, you’ll most likely want shoes. It’s a slow decent with some of the path being rock and some being sand and a few steps every now and then. Also, expect to see a lot of cacti! Once you reach the bottom you’ll find a little bar serving up drinks and snacks as well as small lockers. There are a few picnic tables and a nice little beach if you want to hang out awhile but here is where the real fun begins.
At this point you’ll either want to go barefoot or wear some kind of water shoes (they have them available for rent) as you hang a left and follow the sign towards the Baths and Devil’s Bay. For the next 20-30 minutes you’ll navigate through caves, across boulders, up small ladders, and through short tunnels until you finally reach Devil’s Bay. Once you get there you’re rewarded with a swim in a beautiful little bay. When you’re ready to head back up to the top, you can either go back up the way you came (keep in mind you’ll be going upstream and against the crowd) or you can take the trail that leads towards the “car park”. It’s still quite a hike (I was huffing and puffing) but it’s straightforward and packed with cool terrain.
Once you’re back at the top, stop in at the gift shop and get the obligatory souvenir t-shirt and I’m telling you, that swimming pool is going to look so dang good you WILL jump in.
We stayed the night on Virgin Gorda to see the baths and a few other things, but it’s very doable as a day trip from other islands. The cheapest way to go is by ferry. There’s a direct ferry from St. John a couple of times a week. It usually runs about $55 round trip (you’ll have to pay around $25 in taxes when you leave the BVI also) and takes a little over an hour and a half if it’s running on time (which it isn’t always). The ferry docks in Spanish Town (you’ll have to clear customs) and then you’ll need to grab a cab to the Baths (it’s not far though). Just be sure to keep an eye on the return time for the ferry (it’s usually around 3:45 or so) and leave the Baths in plenty of time to get back. You can also catch a ferry from Tortola (closer) and St. Thomas (farther and it may stop in St. John).
Other Places to Go on Virgin Gorda
Spring Bay. Right next to the Baths, Spring Bay is quite beautiful and a great stop either before or after the Baths. It has a similar vibe (big boulders, white sand beach, gorgeous water) but isn’t nearly as crowded as The Baths.
Savannah Bay. This might be the prettiest beach in the Virgin Islands. Seriously. It’s a huge white stretch of sand on the most beautiful water you’ve ever seen (and you’re more than likely to have the whole thing to yourself). But while the beach is awesome, it’s made to be seen from the overlook above. Even if you’re just on VG for a short time to see The Baths, consider hiring a taxi to drive you to the overlook. You won’t regret it.
Bitter End Yacht Club. This place is a Virgin Islands institution. I didn’t make it out to the Bitter End during my super short stay on Virgin Gorda and then it was completely destroyed by Hurricane Irma in 2017, but it’s finally getting ready to reopen and looks absolutely amazing.
Where to Eat on Virgin Gorda
I was only on island for a short time so I don’t have many recommendations, but the two I do have are pretty fabulous:
Hog Heaven. This little dive bar sits high up in the clouds and offers the most beautiful views of Virgin Gorda and the North Sound including the Bitter End Yacht Club and Saba Rock. Because this spot is so high up, it gets pretty windy (and chilly) so you’re probably going to want a jacket!
Coco Maya. For some of the best beachfront dining atmosphere in the BVIs, make a reservation at Coco Maya for sunset. It’s sleek and cool yet has a laid back atmosphere which compliments the Asian fusion cuisine and there’s some adorable little couches nestled around a fire pit in the sand for after dinner drinks.
More posts about this area:
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