CLIMATE: The average daytime peak temperature is 83 Degrees Fahrenheit (29 Degrees Centigrade) with little seasonal variation. Rainfall averages 35 inches (89cm) per annum. Wetter during May-October. Lies within hurricane belt which are most likely to develop August-October. Driest period January-April.
BUSINESS HOURS: Commercial: Mon – Fri 8.00 am – 5 pm Sat 8.00 am – 12.00 noon.
Banks: Mon- Fri: 9.00 am – 3 pm Monday-Thursday. Until 5pm on Fridays. Closed at weekends.
Post Office: Open 8:00 am to 3:30 pm Monday to Friday.
DRESS CODE: Casual dress is normal although some hotels and restaurants require ‘elegantly casual’ in the evenings. Please ensure to cover up if you are venturing into the shops from the beach. Officially nudity is against the law in the British Virgin Islands and is frowned upon by the islanders.
CAR RENTAL REQUIREMENTS: Valid BVI driving licences are required by all those seeking to drive in The BVI for a fee of US$10.00. A temporary BVI driving licence can be obtained from the Traffic Licensing Office or Car Rental Agencies provided a valid driver’s licence from another country can be produced. Remember, you must be at least 25 years old to rent a car, and driving is on the left side of the road in The BVI.
DRINKING WATER: Desalinisation facilities supply the BVI’s water needs. Bottled water is also readily available in shops or at your hotel.
TAXIS: There are taxi associations and taxi stands on all the main islands, so you’ll never be far from one. It’s a great way to relax and see the islands too.
NIGHTLIFE: Take a look around the local bars and hotels as they provide a range of entertainment. The front desk at your hotel will be able to tell you which nights certain bars and nightclubs are popular.
COMMUNICATIONS: A range of communication services including card phones, payphones and credit card calling facilities are currently provided by Cable & Wireless. They also provide a number of internet services. For the complete picture on cellular roaming services, click here.
SUNTANNING TIPS: Always have sun block at the ready, as even on overcast days as you can easily become badly sunburnt. For those travelling on boats the need for sun block is especially great; you’ve got very little shade and the consistent breezes may well make you feel that your skin is not burning.
CURRENCY: Since 1959 the US Dollar (US$) has been the official currency throughout the islands.
EMERGENCY NUMBERS: Police, Fire or Ambulance: telephone 999 or radio channel 16. The Virgin Islands Search and Rescue (VISAR) is a voluntary 24-hour marine service. If possible, try to remain calm and relay your position accurately. Telling us where you are will bring expert help more quickly.
ELECTRICITY: 110 Volts AC (60 cycles) – same as that provided in the U.S.A. – Check with your accommodation before you leave to find out what power outlets their facility provides in case you need to bring your travel transformers.
GOVERNMENT: The Government of the British Virgin Islands is legally a constitutional democracy with the Executive Authority vested in Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth because of the islands’ colonial relationship with the United Kingdom. This democracy operates through parliamentary and ministerial systems.
LANGUAGE: English, with a unique Virgin Islands accent.
TIME ZONE: Atlantic Standard Time (4 hours behind Britain, 1 hour ahead of the U.S. Eastern Seaboard).
LOCATION AND GEOGRAPHY:
18 ’ 26 “N, 64 ’40 ” W.
18 ‘ 25 ” N, 64 ’ 25 ” W
Highest Point: Mount Sage, Tortola at 1710ft (521m)
Northern tip of the Leeward Islands in the Caribbean.
PASSPORTS & VISAS: Visitors may be granted entry for up to one month at the ports of entry, provided that they possess return (or ongoing) tickets, evidence of adequate means of support and pre-arranged accommodations during their stay. Visitors wishing to stay longer will need to apply for an extension. As of October 1, 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 the United States
Visitors from some countries may also require a visa for entry. If in doubt about the necessity of a visa, get in touch with the BVI Tourist Board through their website: http://www.bvitourism.com
SECURITY: The British Virgin Islands are generally seen as safe – Blackbeard has long since departed! -but always be sure to be sensible by not leaving valuable belongings in plain view.