Bordered by the Atlantic ocean on the north and the Caribbean Sea to the south, the British Virgin Islands have a population of 22,000 people. There are the main islands of Virgin Gorda, Anegada, Jost Van Dyke, and Tortola in addition to many other smaller islands. The capital city, Road Town, is located on the island of Tortola. With the exception of the island of Anegada, the British Virgin Islands are comprised of hilly terrain with a tropical climate marked by the presence of trade winds. The usual daily temperature in the capital city of Road Town is approximately 90 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer and 84 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter. Rainfall is heaviest from September to November while the weather is dry from February to March. Hurricanes can occur anytime between June and November.
English is currently the main language in the British Virgin Islands. However, the original inhabitants of the area were the Arawak tribe. Europeans first knew of the Virgin Islands when Christopher Columbus saw the islands in 1493. Shortly thereafter, the Spanish claimed the islands. However, the Spanish never settled the islands. Eventually the Dutch and then the British established a presence there. Once they started to develop the islands, the British brought slaves from Africa to plant sugar cane in the fields. The sugar cane economy continued until the abolition of slavery in the British Virgin Islands and the rise of the sugar beet industry in the United States in the mid 1800's.
For many years, the British Virgin Islands were not a separate entity. Rather, a representative of the British government governed the British Virgin Islands in conjunction with Nevis and St. Kitts. However, the British Virgin Islands formally became a separate colony in 1960. At this time, the Queen of England appoints a governor who specifically governs only the British Virgin Islands. There is a constitution of the British Virgin Islands which was presented for use for the first time in 2007. In addition, there is a Premier of the British Virgin Islands and a Legislative Council that exercises political power.
Economically, there has been a strong movement towards specialization in tourism and banking services. For example, the banks make a lot of money because of the license fees they charge for the formation of offshore companies. Also, a lot of local businesses cater to tourists. There are beaches galore. For instance, Apple Bay or Elizabeth Beach will never fail to satisfy the tourist. Excellent shopping and dining venues exist which cater to every tourist budget range. The shopping is satisfying. The food is comprised of African, British, and seafood dishes that are sure to please the palate. There are scuba diving opportunities where you can see underwater coves and reefs. Fishing, sailing races, and other water sports opportunities also abound.
You cannot go wrong if you decide to travel to the British Virgin Islands. There is much to see and do. It will be the most exciting vacation of your life.