Sailing Waters

The sailing waters around the British Virgin Islands are world-famous. Experienced sailors can hire your own boat to go island hopping. Or you might prefer to take a daysail, where your captain will take you to great snorkeling spots, remote beaches, and more. Contact King Charters (284-494-5820, http://www.kingcharters.com), Patouche Charters (284-494-6300, http://www.patouche.com), or Kuralu Catamaran (284-495-4381, http://www.kuralu.com).

While the islands are best known for their sailing conditions, they also have more than 100 dive sites well worth visiting. There is a wide variety of dive sites ranging from reefs and wrecks to underwater caves and canyons to lava tunnels and grottoes. For snorkeling, Brewer’s Bay is home to schools of trumpet fish, barracuda, stingrays, octopus, and sergeant majors, and Smuggler’s Cove offers two reefs, just 100 feet offshore, that are home to grunts, squirrel fish and parrot fish. Novice divers should enjoy the Chikuzen off Tortola’s East End, a 268-foot steel-hulled refrigerator ship blessed with visibility so good you can stand on the bow and see all the way to the stern. Dive shops make it easy to get certified while you’re here. There are a number of dive shops on Tortola, including Aquaventure (284-494-4320, http://www.aquaventurebvi.com) and We Be Divin’ (284-494-8261, http://www.webedivinbvi.com).

The Tortola coastline is remarkably scenic, quiet, and full of wildlife, making it a great place to kayak. Contact Last Stop Sports (284-494-0564, http://www.laststopsports.com) for kayak rentals.

Surfing, windsurfing, kiteboarding, and parasailing are all gaining popularity on Tortola. Gear and lessons are located in many places like Trellis Bay and Road Town. Try Island Surf & Sail (284-494-0123) or Last Stop Sports (284-494-0564, http://www.laststopsports.com).

For a unique experience, you can swim with the dolphins at Dolphin Discovery (800-417-1736 from the US, http://www.dolphindiscovery.com/tortola), located at Prospect Reef.