Virgin Gorda Baths, Caribbean 2011


On Spring Break of 2011, Becky (my wife) and I went on a Cruise in the Caribbean. One of the stops was Tortola, and we decided to visit the “Virgin Gorda Baths” from a hired boat. Virgin Gorda is a small island, about 12 square kilometers, only a few kilometers from Tortola.

Map of Virgin Gorda Island

The “Baths” on Virgin Gorda (the second largest island in the British Virgin Islands) are a maze of giant granite boulders and sheltered pools located on the southwest coast of the island.

Looking East at the beach on the Virgin Gorda Baths.

Virgin Gorda means “Fat” or “Pregnant Virgin” and is said to have ben named by Columbus because of the shape of the island from the horizon.

Looking a little north-east of the beach on Virgin Gorda

The island is about 16 kilometers long with mountains in the northern and central areas.

Looking at the Virgin Gorda Baths, (northeast of the beach).

The oldest volcanic rocks in the Virgin Islands were formed about 120 million years ago, but the granite boulders of Virgin Gorda did not appear on the Caribbean seabed until about 70 million years ago.

Becky sitting on the Beach, across small bay from the Virgin Gorda Baths

Faulting and uplifting of the sea floor approximately 15-25 million years ago exposed the boulders, while weathering and erosion rounded the boulders and carved large caves into them.

I’m standing on a 3 m boulder in the Virgin Gorda Baths.

The “Baths” is a very popular attraction in the British Virgin Islands, and was accessible by land or sea.

Becky sitting within the Virgin Gorda Bath boulders

Apart from exploring the pools and grottos, we found that the snorkeling was great or, (as seen from the photo above), relaxing on the white sand beach.

I’m standing within the grotto of the Virgin Gorda Baths in 2011

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