Tortola is the largest and most populated island of the British Virgin Islands. Local tradition recounts that Christopher Columbus named it Tortola, meaning ‘’land of the Turtle Dove’’. But Columbus named it Santa Ana. Later, the Dutch settled and called it Ter Tholen, after a coastal island forming part of the west coast of the Netherlands. When finally the British took over, they altered the name to Tortola.
To experience the beauty of Tortola, swim or stroll the white-sand beaches. Explore ancient ruins or delectable local cuisine, or drop anchor and rock with the rhythm of the azure ocean. In Tortola, there’s a variety of Caribbean vacation activities to indulge in.
In addition, Tortola has a wide variety of places to stay, ranging from luxury resorts and private villas to scenic campgrounds. Convenient to the other British Virgin Islands, regular ferries, private and crewed yachts, and planes offer visitors daily commuting options. As of December 15, Winair offers two daily flights to Tortola.
Capital Road Town
Population Approximately 23908 inhabitants
Political Status Forms of Government: UK Overseas Territory
Legislature: Unicameral Legislative Council with a four - year term, currently composed of a speaker, elected from outside the council by its members, the attorney-general as an ex-officio member and 13 directly elected representatives.
Area 55.7 square kilometers (21,5 sq miles)
Currency U.S. Dollar
Climate Tortola has a tropical climate, moderated by trade winds. Temperatures vary little throughout the year. Typical daily around 32 °C (89.6 °F) in the summer and 29 °C (84.2 °F) in the winter.
Selected Main Attractions
Discover Tortola's history with a visit to:
- 1780 Lower Estate Sugar Works Museum
- Fort Burt
- Mount Healthy Windmill
- Callwood's Rum Distillery
- J.R. O'Neal Botanic Gardens
- Old Government House Museum
- VI Folk Museum
Swim or snorkel at the secluded palm-shaded sands of:
Visit the protected anchorages at:
- Brandywine Bay
- Cane Garden Bay
- Hodge's Creek
- Soper's Hole
- Trellis Bay, a boater’s paradise