The British Virgin Islands is an exquisite collection of 60-plus islands and cays just a 30-minute flight east of Puerto Rico, or a ferry ride from St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. Beneath the pristine turquoise waters that surround these islands, you will find more than 62 named sites that cater to all experience levels. Here is a selection of some of the top BVI dive sites:
CHIKUZEN: For sightings of eagle rays, barracuda, goliath groupers and massive schools of fish — including horse eye jacks and yellowtail snapper — few advanced dive sites compare to this 246- foot Korean refrigeration ship that lies between Virgin Gorda and Anegada.
RMS RHONE: It’s the BVI’s most fa- mous dive site, and for good reason: Much of the structure is intact, creating habitat for silversides, lobsters, channel crabs and more. Thanks to its protected status as a marine park, the wreck acts as a canvas for the red, purple and yellow sponges that crowd much of the metal. Inside, find large swaths of orange corallimorph.
PLAYGROUND: The fast-flowing waters here where the Atlantic meets the Caribbean attract everything from cobia to tarpon. This advanced dive is also home to pillar coral and octopus dens.
ANGELFISH REEF: Located off the tip of Norman Island, this intermediate site is perhaps the best turtle-viewing spot, thanks to sea-grass beds that provide endless grazing. Swim around the corner to find surge breaking against rocky outcroppings that jut from the surface. In this dynamic area, you’ll see rivers of creole wrasse and blue tangs, as well as opportunistic barracuda.
FLINTSTONES: Off the west coast of West Dog Island, the sheer-walled boulders here shelter slipper lobsters, gold-spotted eels and schools of snapper, which in turn attract cobia and other larger predators.
Beyond diving, the BVI offers numerous topside activities, from world-class sailing to fine dining and memorable bars to a thriving scene for local music, arts and culture. There is also a wide range of accommodations, including private-island resorts, yacht charters, luxury resorts, villas, intimate inns and hideways.