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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
  • Guided walk to the summit of Gorda Peak

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 second swim of the day, we head over to Mosquito Island featuring some of the clearest waters and superb underwater scenery of the trip.

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 by walking to the summit of Gorda Peak, the highest point in the BVI, where we have spectacular views of the swims that await us for the rest of the week. We will also have time to explore 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 Jersualem” which we can use as cover should the wind pick up. After a hearty lunch and an ice cream stop on Cooper Island, 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. If there is time we visit the salt pond, which gave the island its name.

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 to bring along with you

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

Item Item
Swimming Costumes (x2) Waterproof Jacket
Swimming Googles* (x2) Small Daypack
Sunhat and Sunglasses Walking Shoes
Waterproof Sun Cream Sweater / Fleece
Insect Repellent Motion Sickness Tablets
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 flippers, rashvests and wetsuits available on the trip, however we cannot guarantee sizes for all. If you have your own flippers, rashvest 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 feel free to bring one along.

Swimming Distances

Swim Distances
Prickly Pear Island - Saba Rock 2½km
Long Bay - Savannah Bay, Virgin Gorda 4½km
Cooper - 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 31 / 87.8

*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.

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 and Best of BVI.

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 International, New York - Newark, 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 $30.00.

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

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 $30.00.

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 and en-suite facilities (single supplements are limited). There are standard twin rooms and there is also a 2-bedroom suite comprising one twin room and one double room, both en-suite, plus a large central kitchen, lounge and balcony.

If you require any additional nights stay at the Leverick Bay Resort please contact the hotel at vgvrbvi@gmail.com

Meals

All breakfasts and lunches are included. Dinners are not included, but this gives you the ability to choose where, when and with whom you would like to dine.

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 2-course dinner costs approximately $25-$35. We recommend you have enough cash to cover extra expenses such as ferry transfers and taxis as Spanish Town is the closest town for ATM machines.

Passports and Visas

You require a full passport that should be valid for at least six months beyond the expected length of stay. Most nationalities including EU, US, Canadian, Australian and New Zealand citizens do not require a visa to enter the BVI, but you may require a Visa when travelling through the USA. Visa regulations do change so please remember to check for the most up-to-date information 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.

Cases of locally transmitted Zika virus have been confirmed in the summer of 2016; you should follow the advice of the National Travel Health Network and Centre and discuss your travel plans with your healthcare provider, particularly if you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant

  • 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
  • It was just a week, but I felt like I was away a month! What a fantastic way to forget about everything and just enjoy being out there :-)

    Johanna H. France - 2016
  • An amazing swim and vacation experience, with a great group of guides and guests. The beauty of the British Virgin Islands, warmth/clarity of the water, and sea life (fish, turtles, coral) viewing while swimming was spectacular. As a first timer, I'm already looking toward my next SwimTrek experience - hoping it will be soon!

    Alex R. 2016 - Canada
  • Every aspect of the trip was over and above my expectations. I will be doing more for sure--just have to review the options and decide on the dates.

    Margot K. 2016 - Canada
  • The Guides were both extremely professional and knowledgeable. The swims were long but after each swim I found myself dying to get in the water again for more! It was great to be in a place to think of nothing but swimming, and although I swm a lot, I never realized how much I just love to swim!

    Curtis C. 2016 - USA
  • Beautiful; awesome ( the two words most favoured by Ben the boat pilot!)

    David B & Ross M. 2016 - UK
  • Swimming with Sea Turtles and tropical fish every day in turquoise waters - truly a once in a lifetime experience that I will look back on with a big smile on my face!

    Heather T. 2016 - USA
  • It was like an extended nature hike in the water. Every coastal swim was a sightseeing marvel, passing over coral reefs with parrotfish and tangs, needlefish, puffers, barracuda, fish in every shape and color. Sandy bottoms had turtles and rays and the water was crystal clear. After 4K I still wanted to see more.

    Betsy M. 2016 - USA

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20 Mar -
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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.