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Jost Van Dyke

Photo © Tashley

Travel Guide Caribbean British Virgin Islands Jost Van Dyke

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Introduction

View towards Jost van Dyke from Tortola

View towards Jost van Dyke from Tortola

© All Rights Reserved Utrecht

Jost van Dyke is one of the British Virgin Islands and is located north of the main island Tortola.

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Geography

At roughly 8 square kilometres, Jost Van Dyke is the smallest of the four main islands of the British Virgin Islands, the northern portion of the archipelago of the Virgin Islands, located in the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea. Jost Van Dyke lies about 8 kilometres to the northwest of Tortola and 8 kilometres to the north of Saint John. Little Jost Van Dyke lies off its eastern end. Like many of the neighbouring islands, it is volcanic in origin and mountainous. The highest point on the island is Majohnny Hill at 321 metres.

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Sights and Activities

  • The Bubbly Pool - The bubbly pool is a beautiful pool of water surrounded by rock formations. There is a gap between the rocks that allows waves to come through. It has a wonderful little beach and is a great place for the whole family. Directions can be found at Foxy's Taboo. Address: NE coast of the island, Price: Free

If you have a dinghy or want to make a stop with your sailboat along the way, do yourself a favor and stop by uninhabited Sandy Cay right along the way to Jost Van Dyke. It has one of the most spectacular sandy beaches available, is usually not too crowded, and even has a path around the island so you can look at the local flora and fauna. Please note that during some seasons the beach can be a little buggy, but the slightest breeze will take care of this problem.

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Events and Festivals

  • Foxy's Halloween Cat Fight - Foxy's offers entertainment and a party to wear a Halloween costume.
  • Foxy’s Thanksgiving - Foxy's offers a Thanksgiving dinner with a Caribbean twist.
  • Foxy’s Christmas - Foxy's offers both a Christmas Eve and Christmas day dinner, complete with entertainment, music, and dancing.
  • Foxy's Old Years Eve Party - Travel to Jost Van Dyke for a great New Year's Eve party in the Great Harbour.
  • Foxy’s Wooden Boat Regatta - Memorial Day weekend is a great time view a lot of classic wooden boats.

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Weather

Jost van Dyke has a very pleasant and tropical climate with generally warm and humid weather. The seabreeze makes things relatively mild though and water is never far away. Temperatures generally average around 30 °C during the day yearround and 23 °C at night. December to May is the dry season, where July to October is the rainy season, but this generally means some showers at the end of the day instead of days of rain on end. Hurricanes are possible though from August to October.

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Getting There

The only way to get to Jost Van Dyke is by sea. Ferries run daily to Great Harbour, home of the largest settlement, from West End in Tortola.

If visiting from the U.S. Virgin Islands, ferries run from St. Thomas, USVI (with a stop in Cruz Bay, St. John, USVI) and continue to Jost Van Dyke.

Ferry schedules vary from season to season. But this service from St. Thomas and St. John generally runs Friday - Sunday with an early morning dearture getting visitors to Jost around 10:00am and a return to the USVI's departing from Jost van Dyke around 3:30pm. A valid passport is required for entry.

Ferry costs are reasonable and include any fees required for entry into the BVI's from the USVI's. For example, the cost for the ferry from St. John USVI to Jost van Dyke is $70 US per person round trip, including the customs fee. There is an additional $5 departure fee per person from St. John.
Dolphin Water Shuttle runs daily from the US Virgin Islands (340-774-BOAT).

For those with their own boat, Great Harbour has no moorings and it may be challenging to find good holding for your anchor! You can pick up a mooring for the night in Little Harbour or White Bay. White Bay is a popular daytime anchorage and may not be comfortable and/or safe overnight under some conditions. Diamond Cay on the north side of the island has moorings as well.

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Getting Around

Walking is the easiest method of transportation on the island. Paths and roads are available between each population center, bay and beach. The island is very hilly and can be muddy in the frequent rainstorms, so it's not the easiest place for those with disabilities, etc.

Several taxi services are available, but operate very erratically. Don't expect lightning service... plan ahead.

If arriving by ferry, taxis are waiting to take guests to popular spots like White Bay. Guests can arrange with taxi drivers in advance for a time and location to be picked up and returned to the ferry dock.

4x4s and vehicles can be rented from locals. No chains here. Two reliable companies are Abe & Eunice's and Paradise car rental. Can be expensive and they don't offer insurance, but they are effective for getting around. Most business is done on a handshake and smile on island. They will accept cash for your rental. Renters are instructed to leave the vehicle at the ferry dock on the day of departure with the keys under the mat.

Vehicles are not always necessary if you are up for some energetic walking. However, the island is very hilly and if you want to venture beyond White Bay and the popular tourist spots, a taxi or vehicle is advisable.

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Eat

Great Bay, White Bay, and Little Bay all have restaurants in one form or another, but each runs on a different schedule, more or less at the whim of its owner.

Visitors should not expect fast service and should plan their time on island accordingly. Many foods are made from scratch to order and there is no such thing as fast food. So don't wait until you are starving to go somewhere to eat.

The same applies to your drinks. When you're halfway done, order another. By the time you finish the first drink the second one will finally show up.

Wander throughout the island of Jost Van Dyke and you're sure to find something interesting. Great flying fish sandwiches, burgers, chicken and the like.

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Drink

Foxy's bar is the place to be in Jost Van Dyke; the bar hosts many celebrations on the island.

The island specialty is the "Painkiller" made famous by the Soggy Dollar Bar.

A lethal combination of Pussers dark rum, cream of coconut, pineapple juice and orange juice -- finished off with a sprinkle of freshly ground nutmeg (or island viagra as locals refer to it).

A simple recipe for a Painkiller is four parts pineapple juice, one part orange juice, one part "Coco Lopez" (sweetened cream of coconut), and dark rum to taste. A little nutmeg finishes off the drink.

Liquor throughout the Virgin Islands are generally extremely inexpensive. "Pour Man" (a pun for pour your own) or "honor bars" are common on Jost.

Liquor and mixers are left out for guests to help themselves and guests keep track of what they drink on their own. When it's time to leave guests provide the list of what they consumed to the restaurant or bar. Alternatively, guests can tell the bartender what they want and they are handed the fixings to make the drink.

Oddly enough in this circumstance the restaurants do better since non-locals will generally load up on the liquor in their drinks and minimize the mixers. When in fact the mixers may cost more than the liquor. It's important that you be honest and forthright about your consumption and pay accordingly.

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Sleep

Your lodging choices are slim. Most overnight visitors sleep in their sailboat berths, anchored dozens or more at a time in Great Harbor, Little Harbor, or White Bay. White Bay has a few guesthouse-type places, the most established being Sandcastle and the expanding White Bay Villas. There's a house for rent on White Bay called the Pink House. Up the hill behind Sandcastle is Perfect Pineapple, which has some rooms and single or double bedroom units.

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This is version 8. Last edited at 9:36 on Jul 26, 17 by Utrecht. 2 articles link to this page.

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