The Virgin Islands are a popular destination for cruisers. Not only is it an amazing experience to visit the port of Tortola in the British Virgin Islands or St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands, but there are so many amazing nearby islands to explore, which makes your cruise adventure even more exciting!
One of the most unique of the British Virgin Islands, which many people have not even heard of before, is Jost Van Dyke. Known as the ‘barefoot island’, this tiny little piece of paradise is only four miles by three, with only around 300 residents. There are no paved roads or fancy high-rise resorts on this rustic island. You won’t see neon signs, shopping malls, or any chain stores at all. In fact, there is just enough electricity and internet to get by, and only about 20 cars on the entire island. And the best part is that everyone likes it just the way it is.
Don’t let its size and lack of urban amenities fool you though – Jost Van Dyke definitely knows how to welcome visitors and host an island party that you won’t soon forget. From its infamous beach bars and eclectic seaside restaurants, to the pristine beaches and welcoming locals – spending the day on Jost Van Dyke is an excellent choice during any cruise to the Virgin Islands.
For some lucky cruisers, a day trip to the island of Jost Van Dyke, BVI is possible via a shore excursion from your ship. If you’d like to explore Jost Van Dyke on your own, you will need info on transportation to the island and things to do. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your time on the beautiful island of Jost Van Dyke during your Virgin Island cruise.
Jost Van Dyke, BVI – Getting There is Half the Fun
Cruise ship guests have a few options to get to Jost Van Dyke for their day trip adventure. Guests can arrive by a ferry boat from local docks on Tortola or St. Thomas for around $20. With ferries that leave at various times throughout the day, this 25-minute boat ride is a great deal that offers beautiful scenery and an up-close look at several of the U.S. and British Virgin Islands along the way. Cruisers can also plan and charter a private boat for the day to get to Jost Van Dyke, which will drop them off on the island and pick them up in time to catch the cruise ship to the next port of call.
One the ferry arrives on Jost Van Dyke, you can make your way around the island on foot, catch a ride with an island taxi, or rent a jeep for the day.
Fun in the Sun on Jost Van Dyke, BVI
Best Beach Bars in the Caribbean – For being such a tiny island, Jost Van Dyke certainly does see its fair share of visitors. So much in fact, that two of the local bars are selected as the best beach bars in the Caribbean year after year. Don’t miss the chance to visit Foxy’s Bar in Great Harbour, owned and operated by none other than Foxy Callwood, a legend in the Caribbean and around the world. The famous crooner is on hand to greet visitors with an impromptu calypso song and toast you with some of his island made Foxy’s Firewater Rum. Also, be sure to make your way to the Soggy Dollar Bar in White Bay, aptly named because there is no dock, so patrons have to swim to shore to spend their soggy dollars on a painkiller, the BVI’s delicious, cocktail that was invented by the Soggy Dollar Bar!
Explore the Bubbly Pool – No trip to Jost Van Dyke is complete without a trip to the bubbly pool. Located on the east side of the island near Foxy’s Taboo, the bubbly pool is one of “nature’s little secrets” the British Virgin Islands has to offer. Great fun for the whole family, this 4 feet deep natural “Jacuzzi” is just a short walk along a seaside path to the small heated “pool.”
Beautiful spot to relax before or after you walk next door to Foxy’s Taboo for lunch or a cold drink. *Insider tip – Grab lunch to go from Taboo and have a picnic on the small beach by the bubbly pool.
Fresh Seafood Right from the Dock – Grab some lunch at one of the seaside seafood shacks on Jost Van Dyke for some of the freshest and best seafood of your life. Try the fresh lobster with lime and butter sauce just inches away from the water at Sidney’s Peace and Love Bar and Grill for a real treat. Abe’s by the Sea Is a great idea for a cold Carib beer and the best conch fritters on the island, and Foxy’s Taboo for some rum punch and the most delicious pizza with fresh, local shrimp in the Caribbean!
Beach It – There are two beaches on the island of Jost Van Dyke – White Bay and Great Harbour. They are both excellent beaches, but doffer greatly. If you are looking for calm water in a secluded harbour with little waves and a variety of shops, visit Great Harbour, home to Foxy’s Bar, Corsair’s and other local gift stores and businesses to explore. Just over the hill is White Bay. Here you will find pristine white beaches, long sandy shores to walk along, and the Soggy Dollar Bar, Ivan’s Stress-Free Bar, and Hendo’s Hideout. White Bay is also home to an excellent snorkeling reef which is located in the water between the Soggy Dollar Bar and Ivan’s.
Spend the day at Jost Van Dyke doing exactly what you want! Relax on the beautiful beaches with a cocktail in your hand, take a hike to the enchanted bubbly pool, or people-watch in a hammock listening to reggae music – the choice is truly yours. Jost Van Dyke lets you relax and just be as you are.
A native of beautiful Charleston, SC, Vicki’s travel writing is inspired by the Carolina and Caribbean coasts, which each hold a special place in her heart. A dreamer of islands, avid traveler, photographer, and music lover, Vicki is a fun-loving Parrot Head that enjoys getting to know the locals when she travels, the relaxed slower pace Southern living offers, and the never-ending journey of exploring the ‘coast of somewhere beautiful.’