advertisement

ATMs/Banks -- The major B.V.I. banks are Scotiabank (www.scotiabank.com); FirstBank (www.firstbankvi.com), First Caribbean (www.cibcfcib.com); and Banco Popular (www.bancopopular.com/vi). ATMs are less prevalent in the British Virgin Islands than in the U.S. Virgin Islands; all of the aforementioned banks have ATMs in Wickham Cay I, Road Town, Tortola. A First Caribbean ATM is located at Myett’s beach bar in Cane Garden Bay, and Nanny Cay Marina has a FirstBank ATM. Most other small islands do not have ATMs, so if you’re planning a visit, be sure to visit an ATM on Tortola to cash up first. Each machine charges around $2 to $3 for a transaction fee.

Bookstores -- The best bookstore is the National Educational Services Bookstore, Wickham’s Cay I, in Road Town (tel 284/494-3921).

Business Hours -- Most offices are open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm. Government offices are open Monday to Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm. Shops are generally open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm and Saturday 9am to 1pm.

Dentists -- For dental emergencies, contact Crown Dental (tel 284/494-2770), or Premier Dental (tel 284/494-8062).

Drugstores -- Medicure Pharmacy is located in the Hodge Building, near Road Town Roundabout, Road Town (tel 284/494-6189).

Emergencies -- Call tel 999. If you have a medical emergency, call Peebles Hospital, Porter Road, Road Town, Tortola (tel 284/494-3497). Your hotel can also put you in touch with the local medical staff.

Hospitals/Clinics -- Peebles Hospital, Porter Road, Road Town (tel 284/494-3497), has X-ray and laboratory facilities. The B&F Medical Complex, Mill Mall, Wickham’s Cay I, Road Town (http://bfmedicalcomplex.com) is a public day clinic that accepts walk-ins. The Eureka Medical Centre (www.eurekamedicalclinic.com), Geneva Place, Road Town, Tortola, is a private-run urgent-care facility with both inhouse doctors and visiting specialists on call; call for an appointment.

Internet Access -- Internet and free Wi-Fi access is available all over the islands, including Nanny Cay Marina, Tortola, and Village Cay Marina, Road Town, as well as in many bars and restaurants. If you’re in transit or your hotel’s Internet access is weak or nonexistent, try Serendipity Bookshop & Internet Cafe, Main St., Road Town (tel 284/494-5865); the Pub, Waterfront Dr., Road Town (tel 284/494-2608); or Trellis Bay Cybercafe, Trellis Bay (tel 284/495-2447).

Newspapers -- [“]The BVI Beacon” (www.bvibeacon.com) is a weekly newspaper published on Thursday. The weekly “Island Sun” (www.islandsun.com) is published every Friday. Both are good sources of information on local entertainment. You can find these in most supermarkets and shops.

Police -- The main police headquarters is on Waterfront Drive near the ferry dock on Sir Olva Georges Plaza (tel 284/494-2945).

Post Office -- The main post office on Tortola is in Road Town (tel 284/468-3701, ext. 5160), and is open Monday to Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm. The beautiful and collectible B.V.I. stamps are sold here here.

Safety -- The British Virgin Islands in general are quite safe, with a very low crime rate that many attribute to the illegality of owning guns. Minor robberies and muggings occur late at night outside bars in Road Town, especially in poorly lit areas around Wickham’s Cay I and along Waterfront Drive. But outside of Road Town, Tortola is a very safe place to be.

Taxes -- The British Virgin Islands has no sales tax. It charges a departure tax of $15 per person for those leaving by boat or $20 if by airplane. Most hotels add a service charge of around 10 percent; there’s also a 7 percent government room tax. Most restaurants tack on an automatic 15 percent service charge.

Telephone -- All island phone numbers have seven digits. You can call the British Virgins from the United States by just dialing 1, the area code 284, and the number; from the U.K. dial 011-44, then the number. To call the U.S. from the B.V.I., just dial 1 plus the area code and the number; to call the U.K. from the B.V.I., dial 011-44, then the number.

Toilets -- You’ll find public toilets in restaurants, beach bars, at the ferry terminals, and at the airport.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.