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Nature’s own paradise

Page Contents
Cliff Nesting Seabirds
Guana Head Formation
Monkey Point
North Beach
Quaker Plantation
Salt Pond
White Bay

On the ocean side of Tortola through the Camanoe Passage from Trellis Bay is Guana Island, a nature resort on a completely private island. The whole island is a wildlife sanctuary with one of the richest collections of plant and animal species in the Caribbean.

Its rocky coasts and cliffs provide nests for seabirds such as tropic birds, brown boobys, and a breeding colony of brown pelicans. Ashore, Guana Island has a salt pond where shorebirds, waders and ducks may be seen as well as restored roseate flamingos.

Its small mountain peaks "husband" the available moisture from the trade winds into the interior woodlands, resulting in a rich and diverse flora and fauna, including hundreds of species of insects and plants, such as orchids. Fourteen species of reptiles and amphibians find habitat here–most notably the restored Anegada rock iguana as well as the red-legged tortoise (which can be seen at Road Town’s J.R.O’Neal Botanical Gardens). A network of about 20 trails are available for exploration.

A birdwatcher’s paradise, Guana Island has at least 50 species of birds which may be regularly seen, and is home to a number of endangered or threatened species, such as the bridled quail dove, the roseate tern and a fascinating, but elusive small raptor, the Newton’s barefoot screech owl, once believed extinct.

Sitting on the veranda, many house and garden birds can be seen. Brilliant-colored bananaquits visit for fruit in any form. Thrashers might take a hike in your butter. Two hummingbirds, the green throated carib and the tiny crested doctorbird, dazzle with the spectrum scattered light of their unique feather structure, hovering to extract the nectar of the abundant flowering plants such as hibiscus and frangipani.

Still influenced by its history as a Quaker sugar cane plantation, Guana Island has facilities available for 30 guests in a setting where the simple life prevailsnative stonework and basic styling, nature trails and a wildlife museum (see the Cottages & Villas of Guana Island).

Island grown fruits and freshly baked breadstuffs accompany meals–but with a surprisingly sophisticated cuisine that herbs, local provisions and talented chefs can create.

From Poached Salmon and Passion Fruit Sorbet for lunch to Carrot & Thyme Soup and Grilled Beef Tenderloin with Mushroom & Port Sauce for dinner, guests enjoy this delicious food on covered verandahs in group or separate seating. Savor this tantalizing review by Lynn McKamey, the ScubaMom.

White Bay
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North Beach

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This view, with Guana’s salt pond on the left, looks past The Pyramid, shadowed by a cloud, to Tortola’s Ocean Coast headlands. So pristine that it’s favored by nesting sea turtles, North Beach features a cottage for guests seeking the ultimate seclusion.

Shimmerng white sand forms a long stretch of beach (one of seven on the island) inside its inshore reef with 100 species of its abundant and diverse tropical fish. A favorite for day anchoring by charterers, White Bay has a beach house for guests (the island is private) with self-serve bar, water sports equipment and other facilities.

Monkey Point, marking the sea passage along Tortola’s Ocean Coast, has a small cove for day stops with moorings with a beach and good snorkeling.

GuanaHeadFormation(ScubaMom)Icon.jpg (7991 bytes)Nature’s own palette of earth, sky and water colors of such solidity, yet stunning beauty, is captured by these outstanding images. These natural wonders, like this Guana head formation north of White Bay, from which the island gets its name, invoke an ethereal, almost mystical, immanence of divinity in nature. Both Thoreau and Darwin would have been at home here–the BVI’s own Galapagos Island (photos by ScubaMom).