WHAT WEATHER TO EXPECT
The Baths, an easy boat ride from Great Camanoe Island
Welcome to perpetual summer weather - well, almost! The weather in the British Virgin Islands (the BVI) is typically sunny and warm, with infrequent rain showers. The BVI does not experience significant seasonal changes, therefore air and water temperatures are fairly consistent the year round. Sunshine here is practically an everyday affair. Temperatures climb into the 80s (high 20s Celsius) during the day, and drop into the more comfortable 70s (low 20s Celsius) at night. Winter is generally the dry season in the BVI, but rainfall can occur at any time of the year. You don't have to worry too much, though -- tropical showers usually come and go so quickly you won't really notice. Any everything dries out very quickly. If you're out exploring for the day, you may want to bring rain gear or prepare to get a little wet.
and when to go?
As mentioned above, the temperature variations in the Caribbean are surprisingly slight, averaging between 75°F and 85°F (24°C-29°C) in both winter and summer. It can get chilly, however, especially in the early morning and at night. The BVI winter is usually like a perpetual U.S May. Overall, temperatures in the mid-80s (high 20s Celsius) prevail throughout most of the region, and trade winds make for comfortable days and nights, even without air-conditioning.
The humidity and bugs can be a problem here year-round. However, more mosquitoes come out during the rainy season, which usually occurs in May and autumn. If you come in the summer (August - September), be prepared for really broiling sun in the mid-afternoon.
The Peak Season, Shoulder Seasons & the Off Season
Brochures make people feel that it's always sunny in the Caribbean, but that isn't necessarily the case. Different islands get different amounts of rain and sunshine, yet the Caribbean has become a favorite year-round destination during all seasons.
Peak Season - the "Season" in the BVI runs roughly from December to April, which is generally the driest and most meteorologically predictble time of year (and the Peak Season in the BVI coincides with the most unpleasant time of year in much of the U.S. and Canada). If you wish to vacation in the BVI during the peak winter period, you should make your reservations well in advance - months in advance if you want to travel over Christmas or in the depths of February, especially around the U.S. President's Day weekend.
Shoulder Seasons - the months on either side of the Peak Season, including the fall months of October & November, and the spring and early summer months of May, June & July, are considered the Shoulder Season. During these months, the weather and water temperatures are nearly the same as during the Peak Season, but lodging expenses are generally lower and the beaches less crowded.
Off Season - the Off or Summer Season begins when North America warms up and many tourists assume that temperatures in the Caribbean are in the 100s range (30s Celsius). This is not the case throughout the Caribbean, however, as it's actually quite balmy year-round in the Virgin Islands - thanks to the fabled trade winds - with temperatures varying little more than 5° between winter and summer. The Off Season in the BVI runs, roughly, from August through September. It's still very lovely during these summer months, but less expensive with respect to the costs of accommodations and some services as well.
In the Off Season, you'll find a slower pace prevails in the BVI, and you'll have a better chance to appreciate the local culture and cuisine. Also, it's less likely that you'll encounter crowds in the towns, resorts, restaurants, and shops. Dollar for dollar, you'll spend less money by renting a summer house in the BVI than you would on Cape Cod, Fire Island, or at California's Laguna Beach. You just have to be able to tolerate, or avoid, the strong sun in the afternoon if you're considering coming in the summer. During the Off Season, the beaches and waters are less crowded, and you can get good deals. But by advisd that many BVI restaurants and bars close during parts of August or September.
AIR TEMPERATURES: The late spring & mid summer months (June through August) tend to be the warmest with temperatures averaging 82 degrees (Fahrenheit). The late autumn and winter months (December through February) are the coolest with average temperatures in the high 70s. The average daytime air temperature in late summer and most of fall (September through November) is 82 degrees, while the average daytime temperature from late winter through mid spring (March through May) is nearly 79 degrees.
WATER TEMPERATURES: Water temperatures in the Virgin Islands do not change greatly from summer to winter, however, the 4 or 5 degree change is noticeable to those acclimated to consistently warm tropical weather. In the summer months, the water temperature is about 83 degrees. In the winter months, it's about 79 degrees.
RAINFALL: The British Virgin Islands does not have a rainy season. There are, however, average month to month differences in rainfall. The rainiest months in the Virgin Islands are May, and August through November. In respect to those five months, the BVI does not receive rain every day all month long. In fact, most daily rainfall reports are below 0.10 inches. Rain showers are usually short and typically occur early in the morning or at night. For the most part, daily sporting activities are unaffected by weather during the “rainy” months because the rain usually falls at night or for short periods during the day. However, on a truly rainy day, it will rain off and on for the entire day. All day downpours over numerous days are not common. The driest months of the year are typically February and March.
HURRICANES: The curse of Caribbean weather, the hurricane season lasts - officially, at least - from June 1 to November 30. But there's no cause for panic: Satellite forecasts give enough warning that precautions can be taken.The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1st to November 30th, with the highest occurrences of storms in August and September. (The table below indicates tropical storm and hurricane activity which occurred within two degrees of the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico from 1819 to 2001. Source: NOAA).
STORM ACTIVITY (number of storms) from 1819 - 2001
Jan-1; Feb-0; Mar-0; Apr-0; May-0; Jun-0; Jul-9; Aug- 34; Sept-38; Oct-9; Nov-4; Dec-0.
As reflected above, the most likely times that hurricanes may affect the BVI are clearly the summer months of August and September (the Low Season). The last major hurricane that affected the Virgin Islands was Hurricane Marilyn in September, 1995. Previously, there was Hurricane Hugo in September 1989. There have been smaller hurricanes that have passed over the Virgin Islands like Hurricane Georges in September, 1998, and Hurricane Lenny in November, 1999, but none as severe in recent years as Marilyn and Hugo.
If We Could Choose Only One Place to Live . . .
Guest: J & Ra (Lake Ontario)
Date of Stay: Jan, 2012 Review Submitted: 03/03/12
***** 5 out of 5
My wife and I (60’s), our son and his wife (30’s) spent 12 wonderful days here in January, 2012, booking the only open dates 5 months in advance. On arrival, it was clear why The Villa Oasis has near-100% occupancy. Carved from an adjacent estate, this lovely, well-designed and built home has been carefully updated, looks new, is furnished with class, topped by an unbeatable view of Marina Cay and a vista full of islands. The house was impeccably clean, and our standards are high. The manager and his wife are excellent and most helpful. We value a good boat and used this one well. Our January stay saw constant Westerly winds and chop, tolerable for the 18’ boat on short trips. For our ladies’ comfort, we took the commercial ferry from Trellis Bay to visit the Baths on Virgin Gorda and the Bitter End Yacht Club on a great day trip. My son and I are seasoned divers and booked local SCUBA guides who picked us up by boat at Trellis Bay, had our gear rigged and waiting, took us to The Dogs through rougher water than comfortable for our boat, and guided us through two locations and tanks. Our son and his wife spent their spare time snorkeling in the warm, clear waters around Great Camanoe. Provisioning was done through Bobby’s Market Place, who will take your orders online and deliver to the dock at Trellis Bay at no extra charge. The convenient grocery store at the Trellis Bay dock proved excellent for filling in any blanks. We enjoyed dinners out at Marina Cay, the Last Resort, and Bitter End Yacht Club. The US-based owners were gracious and helpful, arranging backup Internet service after an outage, since my work requires constant comms. Air conditioning was not needed or even tried. There were no bugs (other than normal sugar ants), and we have had the island mosquito experience in other places on past trips. We put serious mileage on the blender, and left the satellite TV system exclusively on music channels. We taxied from Trellis Bay to Road Town for a shopping day. Car & boat are essential - no discussion. Someone in your party should be capable with a center console outboard. Having two will help in docking or anchoring in wind and chop. After a wonderful stay here, we are more convinced that we will never stay at a resort so long as we can find a comparable private residence, preserving our privacy and peace, taking as much or as little of the local attractions as we care for. We recommend this with no hesitation to anyone with similar tastes.
Recommended for: Tourists without a car, age 55+, romantic getaway, adventure seekers, families with teenagers.
Guest: Alicia and Gary (Plano, Texas, USA)
Date of Stay: Jun, 2011 Review Submitted: Nov 21, 2011
***** 5 out of 5
Our wedding week at The Villa Oasis on Great Camanoe Island was wonderful. We found the home to be stunning and the views more incredible than any pictures could conjure. The home and property were bigger than expected, and although it was perfect for just the two of us, we could have included several family members with plenty of space for all! Our time on the porch, and our fun in the boat made it the best week ever. The owners and island manager saw to it that we were well taken care of. We couldn't help but recommend this private paradise to our friends and family. Thanks and we shall return.
Recommended for: Age 55+, Adventure Seekers, Girls' Getaway, Tourists without a Car, Sightseeing, Families with Teenagers, Families with Young Children.
Best Views in the BVI...with a Boat for Island Hopping and Snorkeling
Guest: Charles, Family & Guests (West Monroe, Louisiana, USA)
Date of Stay: Oct, 2011 Review Submitted: Nov 27, 2011
**** 4 out of 5
We spent ten wonderful days in the BVI at Villa Oasis. The view of Marina Cay from the large back porch was to die for. Every day we would pack our ice chest with food and drinks and head out to all the great places to go snorkeling, which is our favorite activity in the BVI. Later in the afternoon we would return to the Villa, get cleaned up and sit out on the porch with a cool drink and watch the boats pass and anchor at Marina Cay. Later the wives would prepare a gourmet meal with all the food we brought from the states. Some nights we would take a moonlit cruise around the island or go over to Trellis Bay for dinner. If you like privacy, this is a great place to stay. The house is located up the hill from the dock and is surrounded by lush thick tropical plants and trees. Like many of the homes in the BVI this house has an open covered porch that connects the main house with a wing that has two of the bedrooms. Both have A/C that works great which was needed when we were there. In the winter with good breezes you would not even need the A/C at night. The master bedroom is attached to the main house and has an extra large bathroom that is nice. In the bedroom is antique furniture that is perfect for the island look. The great room has a flat screen tv with Dish Network which was nice to keep up with news and sports. For us, having a boat was a must and you need to know how to handle a boat to be able to go over to Trellis Bay or around to Fat Hogs Bay which has a large grocery store. The only drawback with the boat was when the wind was blowing really hard and we could not go to Norman Island the day we planned to. This was our second time to go to the BVI, the fist time we chartered a 46' catamaran which was a lot of fun, but very expensive. So renting the house with the boat was the next best altervative.
Recommended for: Families with teenagers.
Truly a Million Dollar View!
Guests: Augie & Brenda (Orange, VA, USA)
Date of Stay: April, 2007
***** 5 out of 5
A private, relaxing experience for anyone. We love the Villa Oasis and even on a modest income can afford this incredible Caribbean get-away. The owners have thought of everything so getting to/from the Villa on Great Camanoe is easy. It easily sleeps 3 couples with the 3 BR, 3 bath arrangement and has deck/patio space for everyone to spread out, do their own thing, or spend time together enjoying an incredible view. Snorkel all around the coves in walking distance, visit the area islands, or not. It is all up to the visitor. We loved it and plan to return again soon. This is a great honeymoon spot, girls trip get away, family trip or 2-3 couple shared trip. Have fun!
Recommended for: Age 55+, Adventure Seekers, Girls Getaway, Tourists without a Car, Sightseeing, Families with Teenagers, Romantic Getaway.
A Perfect Week with Family
Guest: Richard &Shelley and family (North Shore, Massachusetts, USA)
Date of Stay: Jul, 2011 Review Submitted: Dec 5, 2011
***** 5 out of 5
The Villa Oasis is a beautiful hidden gem. We enjoyed a wonderful week with family in this beautiful home. The privacy of the island and home were exactly what we were looking for, yet restaurants, beaches are just minutes away by boat. Boating skills are essential to travel to surrounding islands. The villa is a home that the owners love and take great care of. The views are simply stunning from the hillside location. The Villa Oasis is a place of tranquility and beauty. We highly recommend this vacation rental.
Recommended for: Age 55+, adventure seekers, sightseeing, romantic getaway.
The Trip of a Lifetime
Guest: J & P and family (Daphine, Alabama, USA)
Date of Stay: Nov, 2011 Review Submitted: Dec 7, 2011
**** 4 out of 5
We were at the Villa Oasis for 10 days. It was every bit as beautiful as the description and photos led us to believe. We went diving and snorkeling everyday. The water was a little rougher than we had expected but clear and beautiful. Having the boat is the way to go. having the car to haul our luggage and groceries up to the house was a God send. The bugs were more of an issue than we expected (and we are from the south), we bought bug spray in town, it helped. We went to Monkey point for diving and snorkeling it was a great area, in protected waters, to spend the day. We also went to Dog Islands, this was the most beautiful place we went. we would recommend anyone who is snorkeling to visit the Dogs. I would also suggest a gps. We had one and it was a huge help with maneuvering from each snorkeling spot. We went offshore fishing with the "Big Ting" the Captain and crew were excellent and loads of fun, it was rough waters but we caught mahi-mahi wahoo tuna and several other fish. The house was great we would have loved it more if the livingroom had AC, but the AC in the bedrooms were perfect. There were 5 in our party and we were very comfortable with the layout of the house.The house was clean and very nice. We did not spend much time in the house but when we were there all our time was spent on the front porch it was the best place in the house. We were on Tortola a lot for all our needs, we never made it to Virgin Gorda. When we visit again Virgin Gorda will be on our list of things to do. We ate at Pussers once it was good but very high priced as most everything was, as we expected. The local beer and rum was cheap. Carlos was helpful although I would suggest you make him be very clear about where to tie the boat up at when you go to beef Island. We live on the gulf coast and own a boat of our own, but with the wind and waters around the Islands, the boat was a challenge, but well worth it. I would not want to be on ferry time restraints. Our party had a blast and will always remember the beauty of the water it is truely breath taking. I would love to go back in the future around January. We loved it there and it was a wounderful 10 days.
Recommended for: Adventure seekers, sightseeing, tourists without a car, romantic getaway, families with teenagers.
Eureka! We’ve Found Paradise
Guest: John and Cathy (Seattle, Washington, USA)
Date of Stay: Aug, 2010
Review Submitted: Dec 14, 2011
***** 5 out of 5
We couldn’t have chosen a more beautiful place to stay in the tropics. The Villa Oasis is classic Caribbean: casual, unpretentious, comfortable. Large windows on opposing walls catch ocean breezes and provide stunning sea views from every room. We’ve traveled to many resort destinations and can honestly say we have never seen a more spectacular marine view, or found a more delightful place to play. Islands, beaches, boats bobbing in a bay, and living coral reefs – everything is here for those who love water sports. We walked from the Villa down to the private beach each day, and also took a few treks around the island and found differing sea views, each gorgeous in its own special way. We discovered private coves and beaches, snorkeled, took up Scuba diving again, and explored other nearby islands with the Villa’s very nice power boat. Of course, we’ll be back. We’ll definitely be back.
Recommended for: Adventure seekers, sightseeing, tourists without a car, romantic getaway, families with children.
The Most Beautiful Place on Earth
Guest: Mike & Jill (Denver, Colorado, USA)
Date of Stay: Sept/Oct, 2011 Review Submitted: Dec 21, 2011
***** 5 out of 5
This was our second stay at the Villa Oasis. My wife and I absolutly LOVE the BVI and especially the Villa Oasis, so as planned, we returned once again. Depending on what you enjoy doing, this magnificent paradise offers everything you could want or imagine in a Caribbean vacation. We enjoyed snorkeling every day in the crystal clear, clean, warm tropical waters with the beautiful fish in the gorgeous coral reefs. The spectacular view from the house has to be experienced to be believed, so relaxing at the end of the day to sit back on the Lanai with a glass of wine and just take in all the view has to offer - completely therapeutic. The boat offers a great way to get around to some of the other islands to explore. We went to Virgin Gorda to snorkel and hike the Baths, a must see. We also took the ferry that leaves from Trellis Bay over to The Bitter End Yacht Club, a very beautiful place with restaurants, pubs and shops. The accommodations are very nice, a lovely spacious home that is very clean and well taken care of provides all the amenities and and comforts of home. If you're interested in dining out, the Pussers at Marina Cay offers delicious fresh caught seafood entrees at reasonable prices. The British telephone booth at the Pussers fuel station has a live web cam that takes your picture and provides a fun and unique way of capturing the moment. We plan on returning hopefuly many more times as we still have other islands that we would like to see. We would also like to Scuba dive some of the famous wrecks and other dive spots. So if this is not the most beautiful place on earth it’s got to be close.
Recommended for: Couples, Families, Adventure Seekers, Girls' Getaway, Tourists without a Car, Sightseeing, Families with Teenagers, Families with Young Children.
We did the Villa Oasis instead of Mardi Gras in New Orleans
and are glad we did!!
Date of Stay: Feb 2012 Review Submitted: Apr 16, 2012
***** 5 out of 5
We loved it. The views from the home are incredible and the home is very comfortable. We stayed for a week and spent all our time on the front porch which has a number of very comfortable loung chairs and the million dollar views. A couple of things you should know if planning on staying at the Villa Oasis. The owners have a wonderful motor boat and you really need this to get around; boating skills are necessary. My brother-in-law is an expert boater which made things easy for us. We island hopped using the boat and it was great!! The snorkeling on the island is also very good - there is a beach by the boat pier that is very nice. There is a nice deck there also which many of the islanders come down to visit and surf the net. As for restaurants, there is a great restaurant on Scrub Island at the Scrub Island Resort which is a short boat ride away; we all had the lobster and it was unbelievable. The price was very reasonable. Will go back there again next time down. We brought food from the States and ate most of our meals on the porch watching the sun go down. The kitchen is not large, but we found just about everything we needed. We used the gas bar-b-q pit most of the time. Pusser's Marina Cay is a stones throw away; get gas for the boat, some supplies (rum, wine) and great rum drinks. We also shopped at Trellis Bay Market which is ok. The better market is on the Virgin Gorta in Spanish Town, a little further, but much nicer and wider selection. We went deep sea fishing and caught the most expensive fish in the world that day. It was good, but the most expensive fish in the world should be good. The home has everything you need; all of the the rooms were very comfortable. We spent most of our time either boating, snorkeling or on the front porch reading and enjoying the views. We are going back in February, but staying for 10 days this time.
Recommended for: Families with young children, romantic getaway, sightseeing, adventure seekers, age 55+, tourists without a car, families with teenagers.