Traveling to Tortola, BVI
Traveling to the British Virgin Islands
Immigration and Entry Requirements:
As of 2007 all U.S. Citizens are required to have a valid passport present to enter the BVI. If you are traveling from other countries you are also required to have a valid passport to enter. Fort Recovery is located in the West End and is an easy 45 minute straight drive from the Terrance B. Lettsome (EIS) Airport located on Tortola (you will simply follow the island’s coastline West, there is no difficult driving involved when traveling to Fort Recovery). Immigration and Customs are located within the EIS Airport.
From North America: As of January 1st, 2007, U.S. citizens traveling by air to Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda must present a Passport or other WHTI-compliant documentation to enter or depart from these countries. For Canadian citizens a passport is preferred however you may also use an original birth certificate accompanied by a valid photo ID such as a driver’s license.
From Europe: European citizens need a valid passport to enter the British Virgin Islands. However visitors that are residents of certain countries, require a visa in order to enter the BVI. If in doubt about the necessity of a visa, contact the nearest BVI Tourist Board Office, the nearest British Embassy, or contact the Chief Immigration Department, BVI Government at Tel: (284) 494-3471 or 468-3701 ext. 4700.
From the Caribbean: Please note that citizens from some islands may need to obtain a visa to visit the British Virgin Islands. Visitors from these Caribbean islands need to have a visa in order to enter the BVI. If in doubt about the necessity of a visa, contact the nearest BVI Tourist Board Office, the nearest British Embassy, or contact the Chief Immigration Department, BVI Government at Tel: (284) 494-3471 or 468-3701 ext. 4700.
What you Need:
Visitors coming to Tortola are no longer required to obtain a temporary license, however they must have a valid license from their Country of origin present.
A valid British Virgin Islands Driving License or Temporary license is required by all those seeking to drive in The British Virgin Islands for a period of longer than one month. For a fee of $10.00, a temporary British Virgin Islands Driving License can be obtained from the DMV in Pockwood Pond, in the West End area, with a valid Driver License from your native country.
Car Rental Agencies:
Driving is on the left-hand side of the road in The British Virgin Islands. Minimum age for Car Rentals is 25 with a valid license from their country of origin. Some examples of international Car Rental agencies on Tortola are Avis, National, and Alamo. Local agencies such as Denzil Clyne, D&D, Dollar, International Car Rental, Jerry’s, and more are also located on the island and rent Cars and the more commonly used Jeep (Tortola has mountainous, rugged terrain, an all wheel drive vehicle, preferably a Jeep Tracker of some kind is strongly suggested).
Taxis are considered to be costly if planning on traveling around Tortola and can end up costing you more than a rental car or jeep. However for those who are uncomfortable driving, Fort Recovery can arrange taxi pick-up and drop off for it’s guests’ at any time, simply by visiting the main reception area. There are Taxi stands at every port of entry on the island (air and sea), throughout Road Town, at all major beaches, marinas and other areas of interest.
Flights via San Juan, Puerto Rico Airport Code [SJU]: Frequent connecting service is offered by Seabourne Airlines, Cape Air, with occasional service by other airlines and charter flights. Air Sunshine has direct flights from San Juan to Beef Island and Virgin Gorda.
Flights via St. Thomas – Airport Code [STT]: If you choose to arrive via St. Thomas, Air Sunshine has regular flights to Tortola and Virgin Gorda. Most travelers take one of the frequent ferries that travel between downtown Charlotte Amalie or Red Hook, St. Thomas and Tortola. Ferry service is available to Virgin Gorda and Anegada on certain days and to Virgin Gorda every day via West End or Road Town.
Getting to the next ferry is very easy – just take a taxi at the St. Thomas Airport and let the taxi driver know that you need to take the next ferry to Tortola or Virgin Gorda (with connections to Anegada and Jost Van Dyke). The taxi drivers will know of any schedule changes and make sure you reach the proper terminal for your connection.
Remember that ferries from St. Thomas to Tortola and Virgin Gorda (with connections to Anegada and Jost Van Dyke) only operate during daylight hours – so the last ferry is usually around 5pm. Make sure that your flight arrives in time for the transfer to Red Hook(approximately 45 minutes) or make arrangements to overnight in St. Thomas and catch the ferry the following morning. Ferry service starts at approximately 7:30am. Click here to visit the BVI Tourist Board’s website for the complete ferry schedule.
Flights via Antigua – Airport Code [ANU]:Travelers from the UK (from London, Gatwick) and Canada may find it easiest to travel directly to Antigua by way of the Lester Bird International Airport and then take a connecting flight to Tortola on Liat, or private charter flights.
If you’re arriving by sea, ports of entry are located in Road Town and the West End on Tortola, Great Harbor on Jost Van Dyke and St. Thomas Bay in Virgin Gorda. All vessels must clear Customs and Immigration immediately upon arrival, and a valid passport and boat registration papers may be required. If you are island hopping between the BVI and USVI you will need to enter immigration into the USVI then again upon re-entering the BVI. Fort Recovery is located in West End and is a 5-minute drive from the West End Ferry dock and 15-minute drive from the Road Town Ferry dock. Immigration and Customs are located at both of these ports of entry.