The Past, Present and Future of the BVI
The Story of Sea, Sun, Surf and Sand
The archipelago of the British Virgin Islands has enjoyed a lengthy renown as being one of the most beautiful collections of isles and cays anywhere in the world. Each of the more than 60 separate landfalls nestled among the surrounding deep blue Caribbean waters has its own distinct texture and character. As a visitor to BVI, you’ll discover a friendly reception, incomparable beauty, and endless adventure.
The archaeological record in the British Virgin Islands shows evidence of human habitation in the area as early as 1,500 BC. The native Arawak people inhabited these lands for many centuries before the Carib tribes landed here. The Virgin Islands came by our name thanks to Spanish explorer Christopher Columbus — the first European visitor to these isles — who referred to them as “Santa Úrsula y las Once Mil Vírgenes.” This was subsequently shortened to simply “The Virgin Islands.”
Today, BVI is a British overseas territory that’s home to more than 30,000 people who’ve settled here from all over the world.
Thanks to our millennia-spanning history of the British Virgin Islands, this part of the world is brimming with stories — from the sea, the shores and the mountain tops. Tales of piracy, the dawn of global trade and early settlers live on in the forts, mines, museums, churches, burial sites and plantation estates around the islands. Shore to shore across the islands, you’ll find a myriad of opportunities to dig into the past. Pay a visit to the scenes of our antiquity, and gain an invaluable perspective on our role within the Caribbean.
The majority of the British Virgin Islands are uninhabited by people, and are designated as National Park space. As the custodians of some of the BVI’s most celebrated natural treasures, the BVI National Parks Trust is responsible for the care and keeping of these precious lands, natural baths, lagoons, reefs, ruins and habitats. Through the preservation of these timeless sanctuaries, the natural splendor of the British Virgin Islands can continue to transport visitors from around the world to an unspoiled paradise, and preserve the richness of the archipelago’s verdant charm for many more generations.
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The islands of the BVI are sources of eternal wonder. There’s always something new to see, do, hear, taste, experience or discover no matter the time of year. We’ll be taking a closer look at some of the more fascinating aspects of the region via our blog. Visitors should watch this space (and return often) to get a deeper sense of what awaits them here, and plan a trip accordingly. It’s the best way to get the most out of your BVI adventure.
Let us help make your decision to visit the British Virgin Islands an easy one. If you have questions, concerns or need to know more, simply consult this handy FAQ. It’s full of valuable information you can use to assist in travel planning. Of course, if you have a question that isn’t covered here, you can always feel free to reach out to us. We’ll gladly assist you.