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Tour Highlights

  • Swim amongst an abundance of local wildlife, including Hawksbill turtles and tropical fish

  • Enjoy idyllic island-hopping in some of the clearest waters in the world

  • Conquer the iconic crossing from Britain to America (British Virgin Islands to U.S. Virgin Islands)

  • Hike to the summit of Gorda Peak, the highest point in the BVI

  • Relax at the end of each day at the beachfront Leverick Bay Resort

With bright blue skies, crystal clear waters and a climate that is the envy of the world, a swimming holiday is the perfect way to experience the Caribbean’s stunning British Virgin Islands. From the picturesque island landscapes to the breathtaking underwater vistas, this trip is filled with spectacular scenery to explore and discover.

Including underwater reefs, white-sand coastlines and fascinating marine life, this trip also features some of our most challenging conditions and longest daily distances. You’ll even have the opportunity to swim all the way from Britain to America. It may only be a 3-kilometre stretch between the British Virgin Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands, but we promise we won't tell!

With accommodation at the simple and laid-back Leverick Bay Resort, located just a few metres from the water’s edge, this is sure to be a Caribbean swimming tour that you’ll never forget.

Who is this trip for?

This trip is made up of multiple crossings and some coastal swims. A good experience of swimming in all sea conditions is essential, as conditions can be challenging, yet very rewarding.

What's included?

  • Fully guided swimming holiday in the British Virgin Islands, Caribbean
  • Swim guides and full safety escort on all swims
  • Technique analysis
  • Six nights accommodation
  • All breakfasts
  • All lunches

What's not included?

  • Travel to and from the start of the tour
  • Evening meals

Related Links


Day 1

After checking in at the Leverick Bay Resort, we meet for our welcome drinks and pre-trip safety briefing to discuss the plan for the week in detail.

Day 2

Up early for our acclimatisation swim followed by breakfast. The first swim of the trip starts from the nearby Prickly Pear Island as we make our way along the coast towards Saba Rock, offering us excellent views of the North Sound. Following this, we head over to the Bitter End Yacht Club for a lunch prepared by the guides, followed by the chance to have your stroke analysed on video. For the afternoon swim, we start out snorkeling and turtle-watching in the exclusive Oil Nut Bay then carry on swimming along Eustacia Reef keeping an eye out for schools of tropical fish, stingrays, and reef sharks before heading back to Leverick for our video analysis..

Day 3

After yesterday’s swimming in the sheltered waters of the North Sound, today it’s time to swim down Virgin Gorda’s dramatic west coast from Long Bay to the beautiful beach at Savannah Bay. The swimming here is varied and you can see the bottom most of the way. The afternoon is taken up with a visit and adventure to the ‘Baths’, an area of awe-inspiring granite boulders which form sheltered sea pools on the beach’s edge.

Day 4

Today’s the day for one of the big crossings of the week. We swim from the ‘Baths’ at the southern tip of Virgin Gorda to the uninhabited Ginger Island. The swim takes us past the uninhabited island of ‘Fallen Jerusalem’ which we can use as cover should the wind pick up. After a hearty lunch and ice cream stop we make our way from Cooper to Salt Island. We start the swim at the island’s resort and carry out one of the shortest crossings of the week. Time permitting we visit the island’s salt pond.

Day 5

We carry on our journey by crossing from Salt Island to Dead Man’s Bay on the luxury resort of Peter Island, but not before we have the opportunity to swim and explore over one of the world's most famous shipwrecks, the RMS Rhone, who met her final resting place on Salt Island in 1867. After lunch aboard our boat on Peter Island, we enjoy our second swim along the coast from Great Harbour to Little Harbour on Peter Island’s northwest coast.

Day 6

We take the boat direct to Peter Island where we begin our swim across to Benures Bay on Norman Island. The crossings here are more remote and you’ll notice the absence of much boat traffic. After lunch it’s the final and most significant swim of the trip as we literally swim from Britain to the U.S. by heading out from Norman Island, the final outpost of the BVI, towards Flanagan Island in the U.S.

Day 7

This morning, we have a relaxing bay swim at Leverick Bay which gives you an opportunity to work on your technique. This brings to an end a fantastic week of swimming.

Trip Schedule

Start Point: Leverick Bay Resort, Virgin Gorda

Start Time: 19:00 on Day 1

Finish Point: Leverick Bay Resort, Virgin Gorda

Finish Time: 11:00 on Day 7

Trip Information

Equipment Checklist

In addition to your daily non-swimming clothes, we also recommend that you bring the following items:

Item Item
Swimming Costume (x 2) Insect Repellent
Swimming Goggles (x 2)* Motion Sickness Tablets
Sun Hat and Sunglasses Waterproof Jacket and Fleece/Sweater
Small Daypack and Towel Walking Shoes / Sandals
Waterproof Sun Cream Aqua Shoes/Sandals

*Try to bring one clear lens and one tinted lens for different light conditions.

SwimTrek will supply swim hats. We will have a limited supply/range of swim fins, rash vests and wetsuits available on the trip, however we cannot guarantee sizes for all. If you have your own fins, rash vest or wetsuit, we would recommend you bring these with you in order to maximise your enjoyment of the trip. Please note that SwimTrek will provide water and electrolyte drinks in shared water bottles on your safety boat. If you prefer to use your own drink bottle, please bring one along.

Swimming Distances

Swim Distances
Prickly Pear Island - Saba Rock 2½km
Long Bay - Savannah Bay, Virgin Gorda 4½km
Cooper Island - Salt Island 2km
Great Harbour - Little Harbour, Peter Island 2km
Norman - Flanagan Island (USA) 3km
Mosquito Island 2km
Virgin Gorda - Ginger Island 5km
Salt Island - Peter Island 4½km
Peter Island - Norman Island 3km

Swimming Conditions

Swimming in the sea is a fantastic experience but you need to be aware that certain marine life such as jellyfish, sea urchins and coral could be present during the swims. In all cases we will work on reducing your contact with these creatures, however if you suffer from anaphylaxis please consult the office prior to booking. In the Caribbean, sea swell tends to be a bit bigger than in the Mediterranean. These conditions only add to the challenge and fun of the trip, but if you're unfamiliar with these kinds of conditions feel free to consult with the office.

Walking

There is a limited amount of walking on this trip, with most walks taking place on recognised paths and tracks. There may be cases where we walk along trails or other unsealed surfaces and care should be taken in these areas.

Temperatures

Month Water Temperature* Air Temperature*
March/April 26-28˚C / 79-82˚F 28-30˚C / 80-87˚F
November/December 27-29˚C / 81-83˚F 28-30˚C / 80-87˚F

*Please note that these temperatures are indicative and should be used as a guide only.

Weather Caveat

For safety reasons, we rely on decent weather conditions when carrying out our swims. As a consequence, open water swimming holidays require a certain degree of on-trip flexibility which can result in changes to the planned itinerary. These changes often add a touch of uniqueness to your trip and will be communicated to you by your SwimTrek guides as quickly as possible.

Group Size and Boat Support

This trip has a maximum group size of 15. The group will be split into a maximum of three groups, based on speed, with each group being accompanied by their own safety vessel/escort. 

Boat support on this trip includes one main boat and two inflatable boats to be piloted by your SwimTrek guides and a local boat pilot. Please note that this boat support is subject to change without notice and cannot be guaranteed.

Getting There

To get to Leverick Bay Resort on Virgin Gorda island there are a number of options, all of which require you to travel via either Antigua, Puerto Rico, St Kitts and Nevis or another nearby island, before catching a connecting flight or ferry to Virgin Gorda. For most guests, the easiest option is to fly into Puerto Rico and then catch a connecting flight directly to Virgin Gorda. Direct flights to Puerto Rico are available from many U.S. destinations, however, if you are travelling from other parts of the world, you may need to travel via the U.S. (e.g. Miami) in order to get to Puerto Rico. Please note that if travelling via the U.S., you may need to obtain a visa. For further information, please visit: ESTA

While we have outlined various travel options below, they are subject to change and should be used as a guide only. We suggest that you use SkyScanner to search for alternative flight options for this trip. Whichever route you choose to take, we recommend confirming your flights and other travel arrangements as early as possible in order to avoid price rises and availability issues.

More travel information and on ferries and transport around the islands can be found at BVI Tourism.

Travel from the U.S. to Virgin Gorda

The easiest way to get to Virgin Gorda is to take a flight from the U.S. to Puerto Rico (San Juan). San Juan Airport, known officially as San Juan Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport, is located in Carolina, five kilometres southeast of San Juan, Puerto Rico. From here you can catch a connecting flight to Virgin Gorda.

Below is a list of departure airports that fly directly to Puerto Rico:

Airline Departure Airport
American Airlines Boston, Dallas, New York, Miami, Orlando

From San Juan, Air Sunshine provides flights to Virgin Gorda. You will then need to catch a local taxi to the resort. Typically, a fare will cost approximately $30.

Another alternative from San Juan, if you are arriving early, is to fly to the neighbouring Beef Island (Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport). From Beef Island you can catch Speedy’s ferry to Virgin Gorda.

Travel from the U.K. to Virgin Gorda

If travelling from the U.K., Norwegian Air have direct flights from London Gatwick to Puerto Rico (San Juan) departures to and from run every Wednesday and Saturday.

From San Juan, Air Sunshine provides a service directly to Virgin Gorda. You will then need to catch a local taxi to the resort. Typically, a fare will cost approximately $30.

Travel from the rest of the world to the British Virgin Islands

Please note that most non-U.S. airlines do not offer direct flights to Puerto Rico, so you will often need to fly via the U.S. Once you arrive in the U.S., please follow the above advice about your onwards travel to Virgin Gorda. For our European guests, a great website to help with flights from Europe is Best of BVI.

Practical Information

Accommodation

We stay in the Leverick Bay Resort which offers simple, laid-back, local style accommodation situated near the beach. Accommodation is based on twin share in standard rooms with en-suite facilities. A limited number of single supplements rooms are also available.

If you require additional nights at the Leverick Bay Resort, please email: vgvrbvi@gmail.com

Meals

All breakfasts and lunches are included in your trip price, however, dinners are at your own expense. This gives you a fantastic opportunity to explore and experience the local cafes and restaurants of your choice over the course of your trip. .

Extra Expenses

You should bring extra money with you to cover such items as entertainment, dinner, souvenirs, etc. The local currency is the US$. A one-course dinner costs approximately $25-$35. There is an ATM at Leverick Bay, however, we also recommend taking some cash out in advance.

Passports and Visas

Non-residents of the British Virgin Islands require a full passport to enter the country, which should be valid for six months beyond the expected length of stay. Citizens of most countries, including all E.U. member states, U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand do not require a visa to enter the BVI, however, if travelling via the U.S., you may need to obtain a visa. For further information, please visit: ESTA. Please note that visa regulations are subject to change and we advise that you check your own visa requirements prior to travel.

Vaccinations and Important Health Information

You do not require specific vaccinations to enter the BVI, but you should ensure that your immunity to tetanus and polio is up-to-date. There have been cases of Chikungunya virus reported in the Virgin Islands. You should take steps to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes, such as by using insect repellent and covering up when mosquitoes are more prevalent at dawn and dusk.

UK health authorities have classified British Virgin Islands as having a moderate risk of Zika virus transmission. For further information about this assessment, you should visit www.gov.uk/guidance/zika-virus-country-specific-risk and follow the advice on the Travel Health Pro. It is also recommended that you discuss your travel plans with your healthcare provider, particularly if you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant.

Travel Plugs & Electricity

For a useful source of information on the different electrical outlets, electrical plugs, and electric sockets, please visit ElectricalOutlet.org.

  • Holiday of a lifetime. The mental relaxation was just what I needed. Everything was planned for us, all I have to do was swim and enjoy the beautiful marine life.

    Charlie, K. UK-2017
  • It only took one Swim Trek holiday to get me hooked. I had very little open water swimming experience when starting the trip but the guides and boat crew offered exceptional advice and support. At all times, I knew someone was watching over me for my safety. All staff members created a welcoming, fun, and energetic atmosphere. By far one of the best vacations I have ever been on!

    Colleen, A. USA- 2017
  • Absolutely wonderful holiday for me and I am a real beginner.....although swimming with turtles was so special, what really made it for me was the outstanding professionalism, knowledge and care of both guides to ensure my safety and enjoyment. Marvellous experience and I would highly recommend to anyone.

    Linda, S. UK-2017
  • My Swim Trek in the BVIs was exceptional; in fact, it exceeded my high expectations. The swimming was exquisite. The guides and boat operators were total pros. And my fellow swimmers are all new friends for life!

    Heather. Y, CAN- 2017
  • BVI was the perfect location for a swimming holiday. Great mixture of crossings and coastal swims and perfect water and air temperatures!

    Jen I. USA-2017
  • So pleased I had the opportunity to swim with a wild dolphin

    Colin S. UK- 2017
  • A bucket list trip for sure!

    Jan A. USA- 2017
  • Incredible vacation. Great mix of long swims in the morning and "aquarium" swims in the afternoon

    Kathy C. USA-2017
  • I've been wanting to do a SwimTrek trip for 13 years and the wait was well worth it. The BVI trip blew me away--the water, the underwater sealife that we swam over, the guides hospitality and skill, the food, everything. Magic!

    Tatyana S. USA- 2017

Enter guest details to see which departures can accommodate your party:

Dates Availability Price From
27 Nov -
03 Dec, 2017
2 Spaces Left
£1,590 On Request
03 Dec -
09 Dec, 2017
Available
£1,590 On Request
19 Mar -
25 Mar, 2018
Available
£1,690 On Request
25 Mar -
31 Mar, 2018
Available
£1,690 On Request
01 Apr -
07 Apr, 2018
Available
£1,690 On Request
07 Apr -
13 Apr, 2018
Available
£1,690 On Request

Accommodation

Leverick bay  bvi  small
Leverick Bay Resort

Leverick Bay Resort is situated in Virgin Gorda's North Sound, an ideal location for our BVI tour. It offers simple, laid-back accommodation on the edge of the Caribbean's beautiful waters.