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Destination Vacation: British Virgin Islands

The British Virgin Islands (BVI) lies 1200 miles South East of Miami, Florida in the Caribbean Sea.  The British Virgin Islands comprises some 50 islands and is generally known as the charter capitol of the world.

The Sir Francis Drake channel, that runs between Tortola, the main island and the string of islands to the south of it, makes for some of the most pleasant sailing waters to be found anywhere.

Enjoy white sandy beaches fringed with palm trees and endless coral reefs full of beautiful tropical fish.  The British Virgin Islands are one of the best sailing and cruising areas in the Caribbean.

The wreck of the R.M.S Rhone has become synonymous with the British Virgin Islands' in dive circles, regarded by many as the best wreck dive of the western hemisphere.  Most of the reefs are superb for snorkeling and diving starting shallow then shelving away to 40 feet makes it excellent for all to enjoy.

They are also recognized as one of the top dive destinations

Pristine and crime free, there is not a single traffic light or fast food franchise to be found anywhere.

This is the Caribbean the way it should be.  You will soon be enchanted with the simple pleasures of the British Virgin Islands - natural beauty and modern comforts.

Christopher Columbus discovered the British Virgin Islands in 1493. Quite by accident, since he almost bypassed the islands completely.  Columbus was so struck by the undiscovered and untouched beauty that he named the area after Saint Ursula and her 11,000 virgin martyrs.

These Islands of 11,000 Virgins remain much the same today.  Although beautiful, the British Virgin Islands' were hard to live on, as most do not have any source of fresh water.

Largely uninhabited, they were embraced by pirates and buccaneers with notable names like Black Beard, Jost Van Dyke, and Sir Francis Drake.

The Dutch, Spanish, and French all attempted to colonized the British Virign Islands at various points in island history, but in 1672, the British took the whole of the area under their political and economic protection.

It is just as well to say there are no longer pirates in the Virgin Islands, image relaxing in a secluded bay, sunbathing on the trampolines, with a ice cold Pina Colada in one hand, you notice a large sloop anchor way to close.  Then a gang of noisy thugs row across and swam on deck, empty your wallet, drink your Pina Colada and steal your wife!

Ironically in this most British of places, the US dollar rules.  This was a decision made early in the days of trade to facilitate commerce between the British Virgin Islands and the nearby US Virgin Islands.