Moving to the BVI

AskMoving to the BVI
Nick Cunha asked 11 years ago

Hi there,
Looking to move to BVI in January from Glasgow and I have a million questions. Here’s the top 5:

1) How can I go about finding accomodation? Is there a popular website?

2) Where should I be looking to reside? I’d prefer a garden than a block of flats. I’ll be working on Main Street, Tortola.

3) How bad are the mosquitos and what can I take to stop breaking out in lumps?

4) Just how expensive is BVI living? Food? Power? Household itemss? Compaired to the UK?

5) Sankes? Spiders? Sharks?

Many thanks,


MoTola replied 11 years ago

Hello Sarah, to your questions
1) To find property in the BVI, you can try or BVI Property
2) Where to live in the BVI? First, you WILL need a car. Second, the island is small. Generally, people look for “close to beach” as Cane Garden Bay or West End or “on the hill”. Not too high, as you will get a lot of mold. I do not recommend living in Road Town. Get a hotel when you arrive, you should be able to find an apartment/house to rent pretty quickly. Currently, the BVI is a buyer’s market, so it is wise to get here first, take a couple of weeks to “figure things out” and than do some viewings.
3) Depends where you live. Also varies on the season. Generally, there are here and you can’t evade them. They will bite you. Don’t worry about Dengue that much. In the UK, you call the same thing “fever”.
4) BVI is superexpensive. A loaf of bread (decent) is 6$. Just double all the prices you are used to and you should get an idea. A dinner out is usually aroud 15$ per meal, 3$ for beer, 8$ for a mixed drink + gratuity.
Power- there is a government powerplant in the BVI and all the alternative sources are forbidden- double what you are used to also for the rest of things. 1.75l of Rum is 14$ and a pack of cigarettes is $2.25, being an only example. I lost 10 pounds in my first year and doubled the smoking.
5) The deadliest animal in the BVI is the mosquito. Yes, there are sharks (small ones). Ocassionaly, you can see bigger ones when paddle-boarding or out at sea. There hasn’t been a shark attack in the BVI for 10+ years, nothing to worry about.

Stephen Leslie France replied 11 years ago

Hi Sarah,

Good luck with the move and here are some answers to your questions:

1) is a great site to use for seeking accommodation. There are a variety of others available by doing a Google Search via BVI realty.

2) The most popular neighborhood for 20 – 40s is Cane Garden Bay – see our reader’s choice awards from our magazine: – In Cane Garden, you will definitely find what you’re looking for, but you may have to do a little research with regard to pricing; everyone desires the view you get over there on that beach.

3) Mosquitoes are loners in the BVI and their greatest enemy is OFF repellent, though in recent years, I’m beginning to wonder if they’ve built an immunity…other typical home remedies are Gin and aloe rubbed on the skin.

4) Living can be costly at first, especially when you don’t know where to go for the best deals. Many swear by a big store here called One Mart as the best for groceries. Electricity can be costly, depending on your use and vigilance not to leave things on like A/C! That’s the biggest drain.

5) I had a run in with a spider…just once. Nothing poisonous here though and no shark attacks to my knowledge.

Hope that helps

Nick Cunha replied 11 years ago

Mo’s answer, while enthusiastic, is not entirely accurate.
1) good answer, also look on bvi community facebook pages or our BVI Newbie facebook page for frequent posts on all of the topics you mentioned.

2) A car is great but not necessary. There are benefits of living at a high elevation, mainly, the climate is cooler compared to sea level. Renting an apartment is pretty simple on the sites mentioned.

3) Mosquitos . . are a pest and you get used to them and they get used to you. They are unrelentless at first but as your ninja reflexes progress they will be more afraid of you than you of them.

4)Living expenses, like anywhere some things are cheaper than others. Rum is cheaper than sunblock. Shopping is a challenge, because everything is imported it is all more expensive than UK or US.

5) there are two poisonous terrestrial organisms in the BVI that I know of, the brown recluse spider and the manchineel apple tree. Sharks . . well yeah . . there are sharks (tiger, lemon, reef, bull, nurse and the occasional blacktip, they are rare to see from shore or at the beach but they are out there. the biggest species is the tiger shark.

Dawn Taylor replied 11 years ago

Hi Sarah

If you would like advice from a fellow Scot and someone who has been here for 5years, then drop me your email and I’ll more than happily answer your questions and ease your mind

Stephen Leslie France replied 11 years ago

Sounds like a good way to go