Virgin Gorda (meaning “The Fat Virgin”) is the second most populated island in the British Virgin Islands. It was named by Christopher Columbus, who thought the island’s profile looked like a fat woman laying on her side. Many many years ago, a 7 acre oceanfront stretch of rock grottos with secret pools and massive granite boulders took form on Virgin Gorda, which is now known as “The Baths”. It has become a national park that attracts thousands of tourists each year. Thankfully when I was there I didn’t see many other people.
The water in The Baths is like a big, warm, turquoise…well…bath! My guide explained that people used to think the water had anti-aging properties and they would bathe in it daily, which is why it is known simply as “The Baths”.
To get inside The Baths, there is an entrance fee of $3 for adults and $2 for children. A short and scenic hike through Virgin Gorda’s unique flora and fauna takes you to the start of the grottos. And when I say unique, I’m talking blue cacti and gigantor florescent striped caterpillars. More on Virgin Gorda coming in a separate post.
Once inside The Baths, ropes and ladders help guide you from pool to pool and up and over the gigantic stones.
Crevices in between rocks reveal wonderful views of white sand beaches and the Caribbean Sea.
The area around The Baths is wonderful for kids and adults alike. It offers great swimming, snorkeling, a restaurant, lockers, restrooms, a gift shop, and a pool.
A short history on The Baths from the BVI tourism board:
[su_frame]”The cavernous surroundings are a result of the molten rock seeping up into the existing volcanic rock layers; because the molten rock did not reach the surface it cooled slowly and formed the hard crystalline granite layer. Further shrinkage and cracking formed blocks, which were exposed when the softer volcanic rock above eroded away. Weathering rounded the corners of the boulders to what they are today.”[/su_frame]