Flying from the US:
There are two main hubs for travel into the British Virgin Islands: San Juan, Puerto Rico and St. Thomas USVI. A number of US airlines fly into both locations and there are pros and cons with each one. San Juan airport is a large airport with more traffic but with generally more affordable flights because it is serviced by a wide range of airlines. St Thomas airport is smaller with limited flights from the mainland. If you book at Bellamare, we can give you more personalized advice about the best way for you to travel depending of your home base, group size, and travel preferences.
From these two hubs, there are four options for traveling to Virgin Gorda. The first two will require a ferry ride. This is the best site for the schedules and contact numbers: www.bestofbvi.com/info_bviferry.htm
1. Fly to Tortola from San Juan or St. Thomas; Ferry to Virgin Gorda
There are several airlines that fly directly into Tortola from San Juan and St. Thomas, LIAT (www.liatairline.com), Air Sunshine (www.airsunshine.com), Seaborne (www.seaborneairlines.com), and Cape Air (www.capeair.com), both the Tortola airport on Beef Island and the St. Thomas airport are quite easy to manage. You can take a ferry from Tortola to Virgin Gorda.
2. Fly into St. Thomas and take a ferry to Virgin Gorda.
If you arrive in St. Thomas, depending on day and time, you can take a ferry to Beef Island, Tortola and then on to Virgin Gorda or take a ferry directly to Virgin Gorda. The ferry to Beef Island, Tortola will take about an hour and a half and you will stop to transfer to a ferry to Virgin Gorda. The direct ferry to Virgin Gorda will take approximately two hours. In both cases you will clear customs and immigration at your first landing in the BVI’s although it is considerably easier process at the ferry dock in Spanishtown, Virgin Gorda than Beef Island, Tortola.
3. Fly directly into Virgin Gorda from San Juan or St. Thomas.
We generally prefer this route but it should be noted that due to the length and type of runway on Virgin Gorda, the planes that land there are small– not everyone’s cup of tea. There are two airlines that currently fly scheduled flights: Air Sunshine and Cape Air (www.capeair.com). Cape Air’s service is offered in partnership with American, JetBlue and United, and is offered for sale on each of their websites as through service from the Continental U.S. You can book your Virgin Gorda Airport (VIJ) flights on any of those websites to ensure through ticketing and that checked bags get tagged all the way through to Virgin Gorda. .
4. Charter from either San Juan or St. Thomas into Virgin Gorda.
This is by far the easiest and quickest way but can also cost anywhere from 30 to 100% more than the regular airlines depending on the number of people. There are several charter companies flying into Virgin Gorda but we have experience using two–Island Birds and Fly BVI.
From Europe or South America
Since many travelers from Europe or South America follow similar routes into the Caribbean as United States travelers, most of the same information on entry via San Juan or St. Thomas is relevant. Some, however, enter through Antigua which does not have direct flights into Virgin Gorda although charters are still an option.
Arriving Virgin Gorda:
After arriving at your port of entry — either the Virgin Gorda ferry dock or the Virgin Gorda airport, you will be met by a representative of the villa to transport you to Bellamare. If you have arranged to have a auto rental company meet you with a car (see section on auto rental) you have the option of driving to Bellamare yourself or having the villa representative guide you to the villa.