Tortola, the largest island of the British Virgin Islands, is a popular destination for cruise ships. With its turquoise waters, white sand beaches, and lush green hillsides, it’s no wonder why. This beautiful island offers many family-friendly shore excursions.
With so many incredible Tortola family tours on offer, choosing the best shore excursions in Tortola can be a daunting task. Especially selecting a shore excursion that will cater to the needs of your entire family. Keep reading to decide which ones to choose for your family!
Best Shore Excursions in Tortola: Beach Excursions
Tortola has some of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean, making beach excursions a popular option for cruise ship passengers. Here are three of the best beaches to visit in Tortola:
Cane Garden Bay
Cane Garden Bay is a popular beach on the north side of Tortola, known for its crystal-clear waters and white sand. This beach is perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and snorkeling. Visitors can also rent kayaks and paddleboards to explore the bay.
Cane Garden Bay has the proud distinction of being the longest elegantly curved beach on the spectacular island. As it is sheltered from the island’s strong coastal winds, it’s a popular boating anchoring spot.
Cane Garden Bay is a quintessentially tropical paradise with a blindingly white powdery beach and clear turquoise-hued water. It is a perfect beach to enjoy windsurfing, kayaking, and swimming in the warm and inviting ocean.
This buzzing coastal town is excellent for a little “retail therapy,” There are several colorful shops and eateries to choose from, so it’s a great place to spend the day. There are also several Cane Garden Bay excursion tour operators to the idyllic area, so it’s easy to get there.
Smuggler’s Cove is a secluded beach on the west end of Tortola. This beach is known for its calm waters, making it a great spot for swimming and snorkeling. Visitors can also hike to the nearby hilltop for stunning views of the cove.
This secluded, pristine beach can be a perfect family excursion, especially if you want to spend a peaceful day on a tropical, sun-kissed beach with warm aqua-hued water, ideal for snorkeling amidst the serene marine life.
Although getting there might be challenging with a taxi, it’s certainly worth it! Especially if your family loves snorkeling and enjoys exploring the island’s coral formations and diverse range of colorful tropical fish species.
If you plan to snorkel there, drive past the first parking lot (it has Nigel’s Boom Bar sign). Then head to Patricia’s Beach Bar, about 100 yards further, where the lifeguard is stationed.
It’s the ideal spot to snorkel as there are few visitors in the area, so it feels like you have your own tropical paradise with a few shady trees.
Brewer’s Bay is a quiet beach on the north side of Tortola. This beach is perfect for those looking for a more secluded and peaceful experience. Visitors can swim, sunbathe, and snorkel, or take a walk along the beach to enjoy the beautiful scenery.
Best Shore Excursions in Tortola: Nature Tours
Tortola is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, and nature lovers will find plenty to explore on the island. Here are some of the best nature tours to consider.
Swim With Dolphins
If swimming with delightful dolphins has always been a dream family excursion, make it a reality at Dolphin Discovery in Tortola’s Caribbean paradise!
Dolphin Discovery caters to kids of all ages. So, your whole family can enjoy this magical encounter with these charming marine animals (even if they are not strong swimmers).
Although your kids will have the opportunity to engage with dolphins playfully, they will also learn about dolphin conservation efforts, their nutritional needs, and how they live in their natural habitat. So, it’s an educational and fun excursion that will become a favorite childhood memory.
Sage Mountain National Park
Nature enthusiasts can take a guided tour of Sage Mountain National Park, which is home to the highest peak in the British Virgin Islands. Visitors can hike through the lush rainforest and enjoy stunning views of the island from the top of Sage Mountain.
It is well worth a visit if your family wants to spend a day exploring the bounties of nature with a healthy workout.
There are several trails to choose from, ranging from easy to challenging. The trails form a loop leading to the mountain top, interspersed with lush tropical fauna, flora, and panoramic views of scenic Tortola at the peak of Sage Mountain.
Explore Virgin Gorda Baths
Located on the nearby island of Virgin Gorda, the Baths are a unique geological formation of giant boulders and natural pools. Visitors can take a guided hike through the Baths and swim in the crystal-clear waters.
Situated on Virgin Gorda’s picturesque southwestern coast, the baths consist of gigantic, house-sized rock boulders dotted along the way.
The ancient volcanic rocks feature vast tunnels and caves that are challenging to navigate. You will need to climb, squeeze into tight areas, swim, and crawl along certain areas to reach the incredible saltwater baths.
Zipline Through A Tree Canopy
Nothing beats the joy of whizzing through a serene tree canopy and enjoying a panoramic view of the lush fauna and flora serenaded by rainforest birdsong.
This thrilling excursion from Road Town is even more adventurous as the ridiculously steep hill and winding narrow road is a nerve-wracking journey!
Although it must be said that the canopy tour is incredibly safe and well-managed, with gorgeous views of the entire bay and the adjacent islands.
Thrill-seekers can get a bird’s-eye view of the island by cruising on a zipline through a tree canopy. The tour includes a series of ziplines and suspension bridges, as well as stunning views of the ocean and surrounding islands.
Go On A 4×4 Safari
You don’t have to be in Africa to enjoy a fantastic safari! Tortola’s 4×4 tours are the best way to explore this island’s rugged yet spectacular mountainous terrain, inaccessible with any other means of transport.
And to say that it is an adventurous excursion is not an understatement. The bumpy sightseeing tour navigates around adrenaline-inducing hairpin bends on narrow roads. Tours include stops at scenic overlooks and secluded beaches, as well as a guided hike through the rainforest.
Best Shore Excursions in Tortola: Sightseeing
Tortola has a rich culture and history that can be explored through various sightseeing tours.
Visit The Old Government House Museum Tortola
The Old Government House Museum is one of Tortola’s best-kept secrets. It is consistently voted the best museum in the entire British Virgin Islands. Thus, if your family enjoys history, and learning more about local cultures, visiting this fascinating museum is a must.
And the best part is that the museum is within walking distance of the Road Town cruise port, so you can squeeze in other fun excursions to make the most of the day.
The museum features several fascinating royal family artifacts, including pictures, signs, and documents that relate to the history of the island’s colonial British past, and illustrious British visitors who have explored the Islands.
So, if your family enjoys the thrill of stepping back in time, this peaceful museum is ideal. Jampacked with two floors of BVI history and cultural artifacts, it is a welcome respite before you venture out to the rest of the scenic island.
Go Sightseeing On A Town and Country Drive
The best way to enjoy Tortola’s gorgeous countryside in a short space of time is with a country drive excursion, especially if your family has a limited amount of time on the idyllic island.
The country drive bus tour conveniently starts at the Road Town cruise port. Then, it meanders along the rising mountainside with scenic, birds-eye views of the lush mountainous vegetation.
The tour bus then stops at a prime lookout point where you can marvel at the panoramic views of the stunning bays and the entire Tortola Island. It is also a perfect backdrop for an Instagram-worthy family photo!
Tortola offers plenty of exciting shore excursions for families to enjoy. From snorkeling in crystal-clear waters to exploring many natural wonders, there is something for everyone. With a little bit of planning, families can find the perfect shore excursion to make their trip to Tortola memorable.