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TRIP OVERVIEW

7 days
Classic
4km/day
Moderate

Trip Dates

2024
10 Nov - 16 Nov
4 Spaces

Tour Highlights

  • Escape for a holiday in the tropical British Virgin Islands with cloudless blue skies, countless coral gardens and an irresistible tropical climate!

  • Swim the warm Caribbean waters and meet local aquatic wildlife, including the much-loved hawksbill turtle and shoals of reef fish

  • Discover far-flung tropical islands, like the protected national park of Prickly Pear, which is home to many wonderful birds, from mourning doves to blue-winged teals

  • Stay in beachfront comfort at the Mango Bay Resort - a beautiful getaway location with all the necessities for an idyllic Caribbean experience

With blue skies, coral gardens and an irresistible tropical climate, a swimming holiday is the perfect way to experience the Caribbean’s stunning British Virgin Islands. These are the islands romantic castaways dream of, untethered from the trappings of ordinary life, wrapped in calm currents and unruffled waters. Don your goggles, duck underwater and you’ll be privy to astounding underwater vistas. Truly, the British Virgin Islands offer spectacular scenery – scattered with pirate-esque bars and sheltered bays - like nowhere else on Earth.

Guests on this trip will be able to enjoy the underwater reefs, white-sand coastlines, and fascinating marine life, alongside taking on stronger open sea conditions with our experienced safety crew guiding you all the way.

Our accommodation is at the stylish Mango Bay, situated on a long sandy beach. The bay is naturally protected by a coral reef barrier which gives the resort privacy from larger yachts or charter boats. With plenty of surrounding space to relax and immediate access to the wonderful Caribbean Sea, this is an ideal base for a Caribbean swimming tour you will never forget!


Who is this trip for?

This trip is an ideal option for those looking for a more remote Caribbean swimming holiday. The island-hopping swim itinerary is made up of coastal swims as well as some crossings. Sea swell in the Caribbean tends to be bigger than in the Mediterranean, which also adds to the challenge of this trip and swimmers should be comfortable in these conditions prior to the start of the trip.

Swimmers should have a basic understanding of open water swimming and be capable of completing the average swim distance and average daily swim distance (over the course of two swims) prior to the start of the trip.

The average swim distance is around 2km, with one 3km swim on Day 3. The average daily swim distance is around 4 km.

We have given this trip a ‘Moderate’ grading. Most swimmers comfortable in the open water will be able to take part and enjoy one of these trips.


What's included?

  • Fully guided swimming holiday (swimmers only)
  • Professional swim guides and full safety escort on all swims (swimmers only)
  • Six nights' accommodation
  • All breakfasts
  • All lunches (swimmers only)
  • Full ABTOT Financial Protection

What's not included?

  • Travel to and from the start of the trip
  • Evening meals
  • Drinks and additional activities

Sample Trip Itinerary

Please note that the below daily itineraries are an example of the swims that may take place during your trip, however, actual swim locations and distances will vary according to local weather and swim conditions. Your SwimTrek guides and local boat pilots will determine the most suitable swim locations each day and will communicate the plan with all guests as soon as possible.

Trip Schedule

Start Point: Mango Bay Resort, BVI

Start Time: 16:00 on Day 1

Finish Point: Mango Bay Resort, BVI

Finish Time: 11:00 on Day 7

Day 1

Once you have made your way to Virgin Gorda, you will meet your SwimTrek guides this evening at Mango Bay. We will carry out a quick safety briefing before heading down for your acclimatisation swim. Afterwards, you will have the opportunity to discuss the plan for the week in detail over a welcome drink and dinner before getting a good night’s rest.

Day 2

After breakfast overlooking the Caribbean Sea, we jump on our rubber dinghies and journey up along the length of the dramatic landscape of Virgin Gorda, until we arrive at Mountain Point on the island’s northern tip, which guards the entry into Long Bay. There is a mixture of large rock formations, caves, grottos, and magnificent coral heads. We may spend some time just snorkelling around before we start our swim down the Virgin Gorda coastline. The swimming here is varied, with reefs interspersed with golden sand. You can see the bottom of the seabed for most of the swim as well. On arrival into Mountain Trunk Bay, you swim yourself up onto the beach where we will take a walk up towards Sugar Cane Restaurant. This will be our stop for lunch and a chance to relax. After lunch, we head back down to the beach and set off for our second swim of the day, returning along the coastline back to Mango Bay. You will have plenty of time to relax before dinner at the resort’s laidback beach bar.

Day 3

Today sees us complete the coastline of Virgin Gorda as we head out from our accommodation and take the boat down to Little Dix Bay. We start here and swim back to Mango Bay where we stop for a relaxing lunch.

In the afternoon, we travel back down the Virgin Gorda coastline by boat, which gives you a chance to remind yourself of where you have just swum. We head to Devil’s Bay and the Baths, a geological wonder comprised of awe-inspiring granite boulders, which form sheltered sea pools. It’s a fantastic experience to swim in and out of these formations, which are dotted between Little Trunk, Spring and Devils Bays. It is surely one of the highlights of the week! Following this we head back to our idyllic base at Mango Bay.

Day 4

After breakfast, we transfer south again and start exploring the other Virgin Islands. First up is Ginger Island. We make our way by boat to the uninhabited island, with plenty of snorkelling time, before we start our swim along the coast. After the morning’s swim, you can enjoy some beachside relaxation before having lunch at the wonderful resort of Cooper Island - renowned for its rum and coffee! Our afternoon swim will see us further explore Cooper Island before transferring back to Mango Bay.

Day 5

We carry on our swim journey today, heading down to explore the islands further south with a mix of crossings and coastal swims. Salt Island, which is now uninhabited, is named after its salt ponds. Just off the coast of the island is one of the world's most famous shipwrecks, the RMS Rhone, which sank in 1867. Dead Man’s Chest island is a national park with several dive sites as well as numerous caves and archways to explore from the water.

In the afternoon, we base ourselves just off the north shore of Peter Island. After lunch aboard our boat, the afternoon swim takes us between the two stunning natural harbours of Great and Little Harbour. The reefs that we swim over are a varied kaleidoscope of marine flora and fauna. The reef is within a few metres of the surface, which makes wildlife spotting a breeze. There are several beaches where you can stop off should you want a rest. On arriving at Little Harbour, the reef expands. You can spend some more time in the water, or you may choose to explore the ruins of an old cigar factory, which lie near the water’s edge.

Day 6

If weather permits, on our final day, we will head north to explore the waters and islands surrounding the famous Necker Island. Moskito (Branson’s second privately owned island) shares several popular dive spots and waters to explore. Prickly Pear Island, protected as a national park, is home to wonderful birds such as the American coot, blue-winged teals and the national bird - the mourning dove.

With plenty to explore, this will be the perfect last full day.

Day 7

On our final morning, we have a relaxing pre-breakfast swim in Mango Bay in front of our accommodation before our fantastic week of swimming comes to an end.

Reviews

The lure of the water just makes me want to keep on swimming.

Luc A - 2022

Absolutely Amazing!

Jennifer Samway - 2021

SwimTrek is an absolutely must do vacation for anyone who loves to swim!

Beccah Rothschild - 2021

I felt like a kid at summer camp!

Michelle Joubran - 2021

We had an unforgettable experience. We have incredible memories that will last a lifetime. It was a special trip!

Bill Gardner - 2021

Fabulous experience and I will definitely be planning my next SwimTrek holiday soon!

Jennifer S, USA

Accommodation

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Mango Bay

Our home for the week is in stylish but comfortable Mango Bay. With it’s commitment to serving a luxury beach vacation, the small easy going resort provides the perfect location to sit back and relax after a full day of swimming. With it's newly built beachside bar and restaurant, you will be able enjoy your evening meal on the edge of the reef, admiring the views.

Location Summary

Mango Bay

Mango Bay Resort is small & easy-going resort with all the necessities for an idyllic Caribbean experience. Your stay will be quiet, peaceful and tranquil, so your post-swim relaxation is always restorative and memorable.

Virgin Gorda

The third largest of the Virgin Islands - nicknamed the ‘Fat Virgin’ by Christopher Columbus. Known for its labyrinth of beachside boulders, the sea pools and grottoes highlight the beauty of the west coast and its Baths have drawn travellers here from far and wide. Gorda is also home to several historic sides, including the remnants of early African, Spanish, and Indian settlements.

Salt Island

Named after its extraordinary salt ponds, the island was historically important as a source of salt for the British Royal Navy, but it is perhaps most famous as the location of the iron ship RMS Rhone, which sank in a hurricane in 1867. The wreck is still visible and is now a popular snorkelling site.

Dead Chest Island

An uninhabited national park, the island gets its name from the many massive heads of brain, star and sheet corals resembling an aquatic garden. There is plenty to discover on Dead Chest Island, including archways, caves, bowls, and mazes. Dead Chest Island reputedly also hosted the notorious Blackbeard, after a mutiny, when he put 15 men ashore on this island with only a bottle of rum - hence the song: "15 men on a dead man's chest, yo ho ho and a bottle of rum."

Trip Grading

We have given this trip a ‘Moderate’ grading. Most swimmers comfortable in the open water will be able to take part and enjoy one of these trips.

Swimming Distances

Swim Distances Swim Distances
Long Bay – Sugar Cane 2 km Sugar Cane – Mango Bay 2 km
Little Dix Bay – Mango Bay 3 km The Baths 1 km
Ginger Island 2 km Cooper Island 2 km
Salt Island 2 km Peter Island 2 km
Moskito Island 2 km Prickly Pear 2 km

*Please note that these swims are an example of what may take place during your trip and should be used as a guide only. Actual swim locations and distances will vary according to local weather and swim conditions.

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. Sea swell in the Caribbean tends to be bigger than in the Mediterranean, which adds to the challenge of this trip. Swimmers should have a good level of open water experience and be comfortable in these conditions prior to the start of the trip.

Walking Conditions

There is a limited amount of walking on this trip, with most walks taking place on recognised paths and tracks.

Temperatures

Month Water Temperature* Air Temperature*
April 25-28˚C / 77-82˚F 26-29˚C / 79-84˚F
October/November 27-29˚C / 81-84˚F 27-30˚C / 81-86˚F
November 26-28˚C / 77-82˚F 26-28˚C / 79-82˚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.

Trip Information

Group Size

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

Boat Support

Boat support on this trip includes one main boat and two support boats, 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.

Extra Activities

When not out swimming the Mango Bay has kayaks and stand up paddleboards (SUPs) available for you to use. There is also snorkel equipment available but for comfort you are welcome to bring your own along with fins which can then also be used whilst away on swim days.

Equipment Checklist

For your basic, essential packing list, please visit our Packing List page on the website. For additional, location specific items, please see the information below.

SwimTrek will provide water and electrolytes at every location and refill your bottles.

Item Item
Insect Repellent Reef friendly waterproof Sun Cream / Zinc block
Small Daypack and Towel Rash Vest
Sun Hat and Sunglasses Small waterproof backpack/dry bag

If you would like to use a wetsuit, rash vest, snorkel, or fins during your swims, please ensure that you bring these with you.

Getting There

As SwimTrekkers come from all over the world, and join our swimming holidays in numerous destinations, we don't currently offer flights as part of our SwimTrek packages. We do however want to do as much as we can to ensure that our guests get the best deals when travelling to one of our trips so check out SwimTrek's tips to help you get the best deals for your flights page on the website.

Flying to Virgin Islands

There are no non-stop flights to Virgin Gorda (VIJ) but www.capeair.com offers flights to Virgin Gorda from local islands. Depending on where you are flying from, you may be able to book your ticket from your home airport all the way through to Virgin Gorda (including stop over).

Other carriers fly into Tortola, such as American Airlines, Win Air, interCaribbean and Silver Airways depending on your starting location. From Tortola, you will need to take a ferry to Virgin Gorda.

Ferries to Virgin islands

If you have taken a flight to Tortola, there are a number of ferries that provide a service to Virgin Gorda from the main island, although some do not operate on a Sunday. Mango Bay can offer a discounted nightly rate if you would like to book an additional night at the start of your trip.

www.bviferries.com/ - Road Town Tortola - Spanish Town or Beef Island – Spanish Town

www.sensationferries.com - Road Town Tortola – Spanish Town

If you are exploring more of the surrounding islands, other ferries are available and you can find out more information here https://bestofbvi.com/bvi-ferry-schedules/

Virgin Gorda airport or ferry terminal to Mango Bay

Transfers are not included in your package. If you would like assistance organising a transfer from a ferry port or airport to Mango Bay, please contact our suppliers at info@mangobayresort.com

You will also have to arrange your return transfer after the trip has finished.

Accommodation

Our home for the week is a stylish but comfortable Mango Bay. With its commitment to serving a luxury beach vacation, the small easy-going resort provides the perfect location to sit back and relax after a full day of swimming. Each suite is fitted with a small kitchenette so bring your morning essentials to enjoy with breakfast served on the veranda.

There are 17 suites available with a mixture of twin and king rooms. Some suites offer a shared suite option but with your own ensuite bedroom, perfect for sharing friends or meeting new SwimTrekkers. The resort does have larger, beach front properties but they are subject to availability on a request only basis. Please contact our customer team at info@swimtrek.com for more information. Each suite has air conditioning, ceiling fan, Wi-Fi, and cable television.

Pre/Post Trip Accommodation and Trip Extension Options

Some ferry routes run limited services on Sundays, so why not consider extending your trip and taking some time to enjoy the island before we meet for the start of our trip. If you would like to book an additional night at the start of your trip, Mango Bay Resort can offer a discounted nightly rate.

If you require additional nights at the Mango Bay, you should contact them directly to check availability at info@mangobayresort.com or you may wish to explore Virgin Gorda and perhaps stay in Spanish Town.

Food and Drink

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 restaurants of your choice over the course of your trip. The average cost of dinner in a local restaurant is around $30-40. Alternative restaurants will require a taxi which will be at your own expense, however reasonable rates are offered for groups and our guides will help arrange transport.

Mango Bay can accommodate most dietary requirements, but any special ingredients required may need to be brought in in advance and may not always be available. SwimTrek must be notified of any special dietary requests in advance.

Snacks and drinks are not included in your package price and must be paid for locally.

For more information, please visit our food and drink page on the website.

Travel Advice

Money, Extra Expenses and Tipping

You should bring extra money with you to cover such items as entertainment, off menu, souvenirs, travel etc. The local currency is the US Dollar.

In some countries tipping (gratuities) is not part of the culture - in others it has become an expected norm. We believe that tipping is entirely at your discretion. If you have been provided with excellent it may be something you wish to do. Your SwimTrek Guides can advise on local norms for service providers like boat crew, waiters, or taxis. Nothing is expected for your SwimTrek Guides but many groups like to present something to the Guides at the end of the trip.

Responsible Travel

SwimTrek is conscious of the importance of protecting the world’s natural wonders. We are acutely aware of our responsibility to not only take care of the natural environments which we are lucky enough to explore, but also to educate our guests about the importance of conservation efforts and responsible tourism. It’s for this reason that we have worked so closely with our partners to ensure that our trips are conducted in the most responsible and sustainable way possible, working tirelessly to minimise the impact of our presence on local marine life and the natural habitat.

For more information, please visit our Responsible Travel page on the website.

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 all EU member states, the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand do not require a visa to enter the BVI. If travelling via the US, non-US residents are likely to need a visa. For further information, please visit esta.cbp.dhs.gov Please note that visa regulations are subject to change and we advise that you check your own visa requirements prior to travel.

Travel Insurance

We consider comprehensive travel insurance to be essential, and we strongly recommend that you purchase insurance which includes, but is not limited to, cover for illness, accident, emergency repatriation, ambulance, air ambulance, helicopter rescue services, cancellation, lost luggage and delays. Your travel insurance should also cover you for open water swimming and any other activity listed in your trip itinerary (including races and competitions, where applicable). Please read your policy details carefully and remember to take them with you on your trip for your own reference.

For further information, please visit our Travel Insurance page on the website.

Health Information and Important Health Information

Here at SwimTrek, we pride ourselves on our focus on safety and the well-being of all our guests. As we operate in some beautiful and remote locations medical facilities are not always easily accessible. SwimTrek Guides, and many staff working for our local partners, are first aid trained. However, we ask that you read our Travel Health page to ensure that you are informed about general Travel and Swim Health precautions.

Travel Plugs and Electricity

At Mango Bay Resort there is free Wi-Fi. Around the islands internet access not always reliable.

For a useful source of information on the different electrical outlets, electrical plugs, and electric sockets, please visit www.worldstandards.eu.


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