Blue sky over The Baths on Virgin Gorda

Visiting The Baths on Virgin Gorda (Ultimate Guide for 2023)

👉 Jump to: How to Visit The Baths on Virgin Gorda | Things to Do | Tips | FAQ

Every destination has one or two absolute must-dos—a rite of passage of sorts. Paris has the Eiffel Tower, Peru has Machu Picchu, and Mexico has Chichen Itza. As for the British Virgin Islands? Your trip isn’t complete without visiting The Baths on Virgin Gorda.

In this post, I’ll go into great detail on exactly how to successfully visit The Baths for what’s sure to become the best day of your vacation.

The Baths are an iconic white sand beach dotted by massive granite boulders developed over thousands of years. Today, visitors can float in the natural pools, trek through hidden tunnels, caves, and tide pools, or snorkel the pristine coral reef systems hiding beneath the surface.

The Baths are easily accessible from other parts of the British Virgin Islands and the US Virgin Islands, with countless boat charters departing daily from both territories. 

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How to Visit The Baths, Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands

How to Get to The Baths

Tourists riding the blue cab going to The Baths
Cabs to The Baths are easy to come by from Virgin Gorda’s ferry terminal.

🛥️ Boat Tour from the US Virgin Islands – Several tours departing either St. Thomas or St. John visit The Baths on Virgin Gorda. My favorite is aboard MV Aquarius with Seas the Day Charters.

⛴️ Ferry from Tortola – Speedy’s BVI offers round trip ferry service to Spanish Town on Virgin Gorda from Road Town on Tortola. After arrival, taxis are lined up at the ferry terminal eager to bring you to the Baths!

⛵ Bareboat and Crewed Charter – The National Park Trust of the Virgin Islands provides mooring buoys for sailors to access The Baths.

🚗 Drive While Staying on Virgin Gorda – Except for the Bitter End and Oil Nut Bay, you can take a taxi or drive your rental car anywhere on Virgin Gorda to The Baths. 

🥾 Hiking – If arriving at The Baths by land via taxi or rental car, you’ll have to take a short hike before arriving at the scenic oceanfront.

🛂 Don’t Forget Your Passport: Virgin Gorda is in the British Virgin Islands, and travelers from the US Virgin Islands must bring their passports to enter and exit the British Overseas Territory.

Hours and Details for The Baths

The author, Andrew Bloem admiring the view at The Baths
Giant boulders line the colorful coves of The Baths.

🎟️ Entrance – $3.00 for adults and $2.00 for children

⏱️ Hours – 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM

🅿️ Parking – Free parking at the Top of the Baths and park entrance

🌐 Website – National Parks Trust of the Virgin Islands

📍 Map It – The Baths National Park

☎️ Phone – +1 (514) 839-9673

⛵ Tours – You can visit The Baths via a day trip, cruise ship tour, or boat charter from most Virgin Islands. Browse all Tours Visiting The Baths from the USVI

🏞️ Multiple National Parks – What’s commonly called “The Baths” on Virgin Gorda is a series of National Parks protected by the British Virgin Islands on the island’s southern tip. These include Devil’s Bay National Park, The Baths National Park, and Spring Bay National Park. 

🪨 Environmental Profile – An in-depth analysis of the island of Virgin Gorda by the Island Resources Foundation.

🌋 Origin and Evolution – “The Baths” is derived from the geological term batholith – not the calm waters and natural pools.

Things to Do at The Baths, Virgin Gorda

Hiking

A girl entering a tunnel mad by  granite boulders
The large granite boulders create intricate tunnels and a unique hiking trail.

Entering The Baths from the parking lot requires a short loop hike to see all the points of interest the parks offer. The hiking trail begins in a dry scrub environment surrounded by towering boulders before descending into white sand beaches at Devil’s Bay.

After departing the beautiful beach, you’ll enter a labyrinth of underground passageways, tide pools, and grottoes beneath ancient granite boulders. I recommend wearing a bottom-threaded pair of water shoes for a safe and sturdy passage.

Stoney Bay

Two women at the coastline in Stoney Bay
Stoney Bay overlooks the rugged Caribbean Sea.

Stoney Bay is the first stop on the trail to The Baths and the perfect visual appetizer of what’s to come. The bay is the best place to sift for sea shells, fossilized coral, and pieces of sea glass.

Devil’s Bay National Park

The author's wife posing for a photo at the Devil’s Bay National Park
My wife and I had the entire park to ourselves by arriving early in the day!

Devil’s Bay National Park is the second stop for hikers and the first stop for boaters. The bay is a natural wonder and the first glimpse of the beautiful water lapping against the half-submersed boulders.

👉 Pro-Tip: We arrived at Devil’s Bay before any boat tours or cruise ships showed up and had the place to ourselves. I highly recommend arriving as early as possible (before 10 AM) to enjoy the natural pool just as much as we did.

The Caves

A woman at one of the secret pools at The Baths
Secret rock pools weave between the huge boulders of The Baths.

The Caves highlight the most remarkable aspects of the Virgin Islands – the unique geological structure allows sunlight through crevices creating a dancing effect across the rippling turquoise waters of the underground tide pools.

The hidden grotto is accessible to boaters and hikers, making it one of the busier features as everyone seeks a set of amazing pictures. So again, arriving as early as possible is best to enjoy the small cave fully.

The Baths National Park

Giant granite boulders at The Baths National Park
The granite boulders form natural swimming pools ideal for snorkeling, relaxing, and floating.

Although White Bay, Cane Garden Bay, and Savannah Bay come close, no other beaches in the British Virgin Islands are as beautiful as The Baths. The natural pools, the massive granite boulders, the crystal clear water, the white sand, and the scenic overlooks – this place has it all.

Poor Mans Bar

People, tables, and chairs at the Poor Mans Bar
The snack bar features picnic tables, cold beer, and rum cocktails for a perfect day at the beach.

Poor Mans Bar is a traditional Caribbean beach bar and the only spot for food and drinks along the oceanfront at The Baths. It’s the perfect spot to grab a cold beer after hiking, snorkeling, and exploring the hidden passageways of the Caves.

Top of the Baths

View of a blue water on a pool at the Top of the Baths
Splash into the pool with a drink in hand while enjoying one of the best views in the BVIs.

The Top of the Baths rests on a hill overlooking the British Virgin Islands and the dramatic boulders of The Baths. The complex features a restaurant, bar, swimming pool, artisan shops, and boutiques. It’s a great place to grab a drink while waiting for your taxi ride back into Spanish Town or your resort.

Snorkeling

People enjoying their day at The Baths
Snorkel anywhere within the national park’s buoy line.

The Baths offer world-class snorkeling opportunities with building-sized boulders gracefully scattered along the shorelines of Devil’s Bay and Spring Bay. Snorkeling around the tide pools within The Caves is also a worthwhile adventure.

Tips for Visiting The Baths

Pack Snacks

Although Poor Mans Bar has a few snacks, drinks, and food, it’s best to pack your favorite treats with you. Exploring The Baths for a few hours is hot and dehydrating – packing a few snacks can help save your day.

Try to Avoid the Crowds

View of blue water and blue sky over The Bath
This beautiful place can be overwhelmed with tourists.

The Baths are a world-renowned destination and tend to get crowded during peak tourist season and midday hours. Try to visit during the offseason and avoid days when cruise ships dock in Road Town. My favorite time to travel in the Virgin Islands is May, with fewer crowds, cooler temperatures, and no hurricanes!

Stay Hydrated

Saltwater swimming, sunbathing, and cool rum drinks can easily dehydrate you. Drinking plenty of water – much more than you think you need – is important to stay safe in the Caribbean.

Bring Snorkel Gear

The author, Andrew Bloem snorkeling at the blue water of The Baths
The Baths have some of the best snorkeling in the Virgin Islands.

I recommend bringing travel snorkeling gear on any adventure in the USVI or BVI. Every beach has something fun to look at underwater – whether sea turtles grazing in the seagrass or vast fields of endangered coral splaying upward. The Baths are no different, with some of the best snorkeling in the Caribbean. 

Wear Plenty of Sunscreen

My favorite brand of reef-safe sunscreen by Stream2Sea is a must-have when visiting The Baths. A small dab goes a long way in protecting your skin from the intense sun while preventing harmful chemicals from damaging the healthy coral reefs of the Virgin Islands.

Take it All In

Direction signages at The Baths
Take the time to visit every spot at The Baths!

Although it might be tempting to head straight for The Caves or the white sand beaches, take your time and visit every aspect of the area. Wander down every path to all the sandy shorelines. Take in the flora and fauna away from the waterfront. Listen and watch for birds overhead. And search for fascinating marine life beneath the ocean’s surface.

Bring Extra Clothes

Between hiking, swimming, water sports, and sandy shoreline, you might want a dry and clean change of clothes after your adventure. It makes for a more enjoyable lunch outing at the Top of the Baths, plus a pleasant ferry and taxi ride back to Tortola.

FAQs About The Baths in Virgin Gorda

Why is it Called The Baths in Virgin Gorda?

Despite the swimmable caverns, bath-like temperatures, and obvious natural pools between beach boulders, The Baths on Virgin Gorda derives its name from the geological term “batholith.” Specifically, underneath the island is the Virgin Gorda batholith, an intrusive igneous rock formation resulting from cooled magma.

What Do You Wear to the Baths in Virgin Gorda?

You should wear a bathing suit, sun-protective clothing, sunscreen, a hat, and swim shoes for a day at the Baths in Virgin Gorda. The adventure will bring you through granite-surfaced passageways, sandy shorelines, tide pools, and other rocky and uneven surfaces.

How long is the hike to the Baths?

The hike from the parking lot directly to the Baths is .5 km there and back. You can also complete a 1.1 km hiking loop that brings you to Stoney Bay, Devil’s Bay, The Caves, and The Baths.

***

That’s it for this guide to the Baths! 

Along with the Baths on Virgin Gorda, I recommend visiting other bucket list items in the USVI and BVIs like Soggy Dollar on Jost Van Dyke, Virgin Islands National Park on St. John, the spectacular beaches of St. Thomas, and Buck Island near St. Croix!

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