SI Swimsuit 2020 Destinations: Scrub Island, British Virgin Islands

Hike nature trails, go diving and relax on a pristine beach during your getaway to beautiful Scrub Island.

Searching for the perfect island getaway? Scrub Island is definitely the place for you.

Once you lay your eyes on the stunning blue waters and gorgeous beaches, you'll want to spend every moment of your trip outdoors. Whether you spend the afternoon at a local market, sip on fresh coconut water by the beach or dive to see the underwater world, your time in the British Virgin Islands will be pure perfection.

What exactly is Scrub Island? It's a serene 230-acre haven situated one mile from the east end of Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. Scrub Island was first discovered by Christopher Columbus nearly 500 years ago while serving as a stopping point for European explorers en route to new lands. Legend has it that its name came from pirates who dropped anchor in the area to “scrub” barnacles off of their boats. The island remained relatively untouched for centuries.

The island features protected coves, nature trails and stunning scenery. Extreme care has been taken into every aspect of development to ensure protection of the island’s natural ecosystem. In fact, the island is virtually vehicle-free with resort shuttles serving as the primary form of transportation!

If you're on the hunt for a destination with the ideal combination of relaxation and adventure, look no further than Scrub Island.


Where is the British Virgin Islands located?

18.4207° N, 64.6400° W, 60 Miles East of Puerto Rico or a 45-minute ferry ride from the USVI.

How do I get to the British Virgin Islands?
Most major airlines service the BVI, however there are no direct flights to the BVI from the mainland U.S. nor Europe. One can sail on a ferry to the BVI from neighboring USVI or take a short flight to BVI connecting from Puerto Rico or other islands like St. Martin or Antigua.

Give us a quick snapshot history of the British Virgin Islands.
Discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1493 on his second voyage, he gave the islands the nickname Las Vigenes (the Virgins). A closer look at some of the islands’ names and the Spanish heritage can still be felt. Tortola (turtle dove), Virgin Gorda (fat virgin) and Anegada (flooded) are examples of this. The BVI also has Dutch history, which can be seen in the name of the fourth largest island, Jost Van Dyke. Today the BVI is a British overseas territory, but the U.S. dollar is the official currency, not the pound.

What is the British Virgin Islands known for and why?
The BVI is reputed to have the best sailing waters in the world, friendly people and painkiller cocktails, of course.

Scrub Island, BVI

Scrub Island, BVI

Scrub Island3

Scrub Island, BVI

Shell Museum4

Scrub Island, BVI


Scrub Island, BVI


What is the weather like year-round in the British Virgin Islands?
The weather is 80–90 degrees year-round.

Best time of year to travel to the British Virgin Islands?
November through May is the best time to travel to the BVI.

How many islands make up the British Virgin Islands? And how many are inhabited?
Approximately 60 small islands and cays. 20 islands are inhabited, although the majority of residents live on Tortola, Jost Van Dyke, Anegada and Virgin Gorda.

Tell me about the culture and people of the British Virgin Islands.
A blend of African, Spanish and Caribbean culture is evident in the cuisine, music, art and dance. The people are friendly. Be prepared to be greeted by everyone at all times of the day every day.

Must have packing items for a trip to The British Virgin Islands (BVI)? Swimwear, sunscreen, flip flops, passport, and a friend’s number or their email address so you can tell them about the BVI.

What is the one thing someone must bring home from the British Virgin Islands?
A friendship.

What are some go-to restaurants in the British Virgin Islands?
De Coal Pot Restaurant (Tortola)
The Dove (Tortola)
Sugar Cane (Nail Bay Virgin Gorda)
Cardamom & Co. (Scrub Island)
Any restaurant in Anegada for its spiny lobster

The best bars in The British Virgin Islands (BVI)?
Soggy Dollar Beach Bar, White Bay, Jost Van Dyke (amazing Beach, always a party atmosphere, the painkillers and ring game)

Pusser’s, Road Town Tortola (Iconic in the BVI, the BVI meets the U.K. meets a sailor vibe, painkillers in a tin cup)

Willy T’s Bar, Norman Island (This bar is floating on a pirate ship by Norman Island. It’s an adventure getting there.)

Paradise Beach Bar, Cane Garden Bay, Tortola. It’s a great place to meet the locals.

Foxy’s Beach Bar on Jost Van Dyke. Foxy, an iconic personality of the BVI, can still be found there and will most certainly sing to you once you arrive! They host an amazing New Year’s Eve party every year.

Scrub Island, BVI


Scrub Island, BVI

Shell Museum2

Scrub Island, BVI

Shell Museum1

Scrub Island, BVI


Scrub Island, BVI

The Baths1

What are the top-five must-have experiences in the British Virgin Islands?
Visiting the Baths/Devil’s Bay National Park
Meeting the people
Sailing in the BVI/island-hopping
Trying the local cuisine
Sunrises on Anegada

What are the top-five attractions to visit in British Virgin Islands?
The Baths/Devil’s Bay National Park, Virgin Gorda
The Conch Shell Mounds, Anegada
White Bay ,Jost Van Dyke
The Norman Island Caves
The Indians

What are the best outdoor activities in British Virgin Islands?
Laying on a beach chair on the beach
Beach bar hopping
Exploring the islands by mini moke
Island hopping by ferry
Canopy tour

What are the best day trips from British Virgin Islands?
With 60 small islands and cays, there’s no need to leave the BVI. Visit a new island at your leisure.

What are the most popular things to do in the British Virgin Islands with kids?
Snorkeling, swimming, building sand castles, hiking.

Best tour companies in the area? And what kinds of tours do they offer?
Dive BVI offers diving, snorkeling, and day-trip experiences for both novice and experienced divers. They have offices on Scrub Island as well as at Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbour and Leverick Bay for easy accessibility. Our largest and most versatile tour operator is Romasco Group’s travel plan tours. Kelly’s Tours on Anegada are also very unique, offering trips to the conch mounds.

If I have a boat, can I bring it to the British Virgin Islands?

Are there lots of marinas in the British Virgin Islands?
Yes. There are 15 marinas in the BVI.

Is boating a popular activity in the British Virgin Islands?
The BVI is the sailing capital of the world, so absolutely.

For an adventure backpacker, outdoorsy type of traveler, what can someone experience in the British Virgin Islands?
Hike Sage Mountain or Gorda Peak
Visit the Baths/Devils Bay and Spring Bay National Parks
Go kiteboarding on Anegada
Commandeer a yacht throughout the BVI
Dive Wreck Alley
Camp on a beach

Scrub Island, BVI


Scrub Island, BVI


Scrub Island, BVI

Scrub Island1

Recommendations for some R&R experiences in The British Virgin Islands (BVI)?
Visit or stay on Anegada or Virgin Gorda
Stay in a villa
Take a day sail
Take a crewed charter yacht vacation

Budget traveler advice and tips for traveling to and around the British Virgin Islands?
Island hop via ferry.
Explore restaurants not attached to resorts or hotels.
Come in June. Accommodation rates drop but almost everything is still open.
Go camping.
Show your passport for duty-free opportunities.

Does British Virgin Islands Tourism work with any charities? Conservation efforts? If yes, please explain.
Seeds of Love, a non-profit organization created by the BVI Tourist Board, aims at replanting the islands’ indigenous trees and vegetation destroyed by Hurricanes Irma and Maria while preventing erosion and protecting the ecosystem, the very thing that makes the tourism product unique.

Why the British Virgin Islands? Tell us why it is so special!
All islands in the BVI are accessible by boat and the major ones by ferry. A person can have breakfast on one island, lunch on another and dinner on another on the same day. Each island also has a distinctive mood. In this regard, BVI is unmatched.

Visit to learn more.

Kelsey Hendrix