The Baths (Virgin Gorda)

Swimming at The Baths

The Baths in Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands, is a beach that transports you back in time to when these islands first formed. It’s best known for the gigantic granite boulders formed here from volcanic activity long ago. Between these huge boulders, coves, and pools of tranquil blue waters, it all adds up to a wonderful place to explore.

Spending a day or two here is easy, so it can be handy to know what to expect when visiting. We’ve taken the time to gather some of that information, so you can find your way to all of the sights that make this spot renowned. 

Don’t forget to bring your snorkeling gear, a good pair of hiking shoes, and a camera for some beautiful photos. 

Where Is The Baths?

The Baths is located in the southwest corner of Virgin Gorda and can be reached by a quick ride from Spanish Town if you’re already on the island. Getting to Virgin Gorda is also easy from any of the nearby islands.

If you’re on Tortola and want to visit The Baths, you can pick up a ferry across the pass from Beef Island. This ferry ride takes you to Spanish Town and from there you can get a taxi ride that takes about 10 minutes. Likewise, if you’re on St. John or St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands, a ferry operates to and from Virgin Gorda daily.

The Baths

For those getting here by their own boat and hoping to dock nearby, there are conveniently located mooring buoys available to help protect the reef from any unintentional anchor damage. 

If you’re planning on doing this, be sure to look into any necessary permits which may be purchased at the National Parks offices in Tortola or Virgin Gorda. 

If you’re coming by car or hiking, you do have to pay a small entrance fee, which is only 3$. 

The Baths yacht in water

Facilities and Parking Near The Baths

There are restrooms and lockers available for use near the shore of The Baths, provided by the BVI National Parks Trust. If you drive in for your visit, arrive early since parking is pretty limited near the park and along the access road. It’s a popular beach so it can be quite busy at times. 

If you’re feeling a bit hungry or thirsty during your trip to The Baths, check out Top of the Baths or Mad Dog Bar & Restaurant at the entrance of the park. Here you’ll find pub grub and a chance at a cocktail or two to cool down and relax in the tropical breeze. 

There is even a watering hole directly on the beach called Poor Man’s Bar that is within eyeshot of the boulders of The Baths.

There is a small entrance fee to get into The Baths from the land entrance, and the park is open every day from 9:00 – 4:00. Please note that there is limited park staff on site. 

The Baths

You will need to exercise caution when swimming, snorkeling, or rock climbing since there are no lifeguards on duty. Use your best judgment and abide by all posted signs and instructions to enjoy your time safely.

Activities at The Baths

You can easily spend a few days enjoying activities and all the attractions at the Baths when you include the surrounding national parks as part of your itinerary. 

There are miles of scenic hikes throughout the boulder-filled hills and shores, panoramic views, and snorkeling opportunities around the entire southern coast of the island.

If you’re considering snorkeling while visiting the beach, you’re treated to ideal conditions regardless of your skill level. Sandy bottoms throughout the area and relatively calm currents and swells allow you to safely observe the base of the boulders through crystal blue waters.

Adjacent to the boulders, you’ll find coral and a burst of vibrantly colored fish throughout. You might get to see a sea turtle, although the area isn’t particularly known for it. But there is plenty of fish.

The Baths boulders

Once you’re ready to dry off and get some sun, set up on one of three white-sand beaches and relax to the sound of gently rolling waves. 

As with any of the more popular locations around the islands, be sure to get out early and set up your spot, as The Baths attract quite a crowd in the afternoons.

Attractions Near The Baths

The Baths are situated between two other national parks that you should check out. 

Spring Bay National Park is just to the north and east of The Baths and features a similarly boulder-lined white sand beach known as Spring Bay, with public picnic tables and barbeques for family outings.

To the south of The Baths, you’ll find Devil’s Bay National Park, home to various trails, including a hike over and through the massive boulders that make this area famous and Devils Bay Beach. Devil’s Bay is one of the most popular places to visit if you’re exploring The Baths.

If you are spending the day at Virgin Gorda, take a quick trip up to Gorda Peak National Park and after a decent hike, check out one of the most awe-inspiring views in the British Virgin Islands. Looking to the west, you can check out islands as far as the eye can see.

Just to the east of The Baths, you can also check out the ruins of an abandoned mine at Copper Mine National Park, located at the top of scenic Copper Mine Bay. 

Here you’ll find the carefully maintained remnants of the mining operation that made this island a destination in the 1800s. The very history of the island and its people are in the granite of this location, and the view is worth the short trek over.

Accommodations Near The Baths

The area surrounding The Baths is primarily unoccupied but just outside of the boundaries of the national park, you can find a nice selection of privately owned and operated accommodations. 

Spanish Town is not that far away and acts as the heart of Virgin Gorda, with loads of hotels, villas, suites, and townhouses to choose from and all of the conveniences of the mainland within reach. You can be within walking distance of bars, restaurants, and shopping.

Since you’re a short ferry ride from Tortola, you can also choose from one of the larger towns over that British Virgin Island and make your trip to The Baths a day trip. There are plenty of choices with similar amenities and surroundings on either island.

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