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British Virgin Islands

Part 1: Nature's Little Secret

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British Virgin Islands
© Peter Island Resort.
While many people entertain the fantasy that any trip to the Caribbean will transport them to a tropical paradise, it's a misconception.

A diverse gathering of islands small and large, each with its own distinct heritage and topography, the Caribbean islands offer vacationers everything from quiet days lulled by gentle breezes to wild, raucous nights of drinking, dancing, and gambling.

It's all a matter of knowing what you want -- and where to find it.

Couples who take pleasure in serenity and natural beauty, happy to make their own entertainment rather than getting it supplied, have been traveling to the British Virgin islands for decades. A necklace comprising 60 small islands, with hundreds of hidden coves and secret bays, the BVI has long been a sailors' haven.

Days can be spent sunning, sailing, snorkeling, SCUBA diving, hiking, horseback riding, and island-hopping.

At 8.5 square miles, Virgin Gorda is the second largest island in the chain and a protected wilderness with several parks that were donated to the government by Laurance Rockefeller in the 1960s. Today its population numbers just 3,000. And thanks to a zero crime rate, there are no room keys, even at the toniest resorts -- of which there are several.

Deserted beaches fringe the island, and days can be spent sunning, snorkeling, SCUBA diving, hiking, horseback riding, and island-hopping. Many travelers combine a land vacation with a few days of sailing.

Truthfully, though, aside from the delights of the warm, turquoise Caribbean Sea -- including the RMS Rhone, a ship that sank in 1867, leaving behind extensive remains and becoming a popular underwater habitat -- there's simply not much to do here.

And that's just the way vacationing couples like it in the British Virgin Islands.

Major British Virgin Islands Locations

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