Jost Van Dyke Island,
British Virgin Islands
Jost Van Dyke is four-mile-long barefoot paradise known for its casual lifestyle, fine beaches and beachfront restaurants and bars. Named for an early Dutch settler and former pirate, on Jost Van Dyke one can find vegetation-covered sugar mill ruins, old trails that crisscross the island and the East End’s natural sea-formed Jacuzzi. In the surrounding waters perhaps see whales and dolphins. The main street is a beach with a bar, The Soggy Dollar Bar, named for a patron who swam ashore. The Painkiller drink was created here, and each New Year yachts create a giant raft up off Great Harbour to celebrate festivities at world famous Foxy’s. Foxy’s Bar is something you will never forget! With calypso music always playing, you can join in, sing along and dance until the sun comes up.
Perhaps Foxy’s is best known as the spot to celebrate New Year’s Eve. Yachtsmen started congregating in Great Harbor several decades ago to ring the new year in at Foxy’s. This has now become such a tradition, that it is wise to get to Great Harbor a day in advance for a good spot to anchor. As the New Year draws near, the harbor erupts with activity and the buzz of dinghies heading here and there, throughout the harbor, visiting friends, and ultimately heading ashore for Foxy’s, to hail in the new year, dancing on the beach under the stars.
Although Jost measures just four by three miles, the island is rich in history. It’s been home to Arawak Indians, Caribs, Dutch, Africans and English. William Thorton, architect of the US Capitol, was born on Jost while John Coakley Lettsome, founder of the London Medical Society, was born on nearby Little Jost.
What to See and Do on Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Islands
Great Harbour: This harbor is the main harbor on Jost Van Dyke, is sheltered by small mountains and offers moorings. This is the “main street” area of the island, where Customs can be found, along with Rudy’s Marketplace, and the famous Foxy’s Tamarind Bar.
White Bay: Around the corner from Great Harbour is White Bay, where the Soggy Dollar Bar, said to be the birthplace of the famous Painkiller drink made with Pusser’s Rum, is located. Also located in White Bay is Gertrude’s, which offers cool Caribbean cocktails.
Hiking: Hike the old trails that connect on end of the island to the other, and now used by man and goats. Explore the overgrown ruins of sugar mills. Along the coast from Foxy’s Tabu, hike to the Bubbling Pot. Stretch your legs on the road between Great Harbour and White Bay.
Bubbling Pot: Located at the East End, here the foaming sea forms a natural Jacuzzi. At high tide, waves crash into a natural rock outlined pool creating foaming water conditions within the pool, however be very careful about sea conditions, and don’t climb on the outer rocks so as not to be swept out to sea by strong waves.
Little Jost Van Dyke: Located on the eastern end of Jost Van Dyke, this little islet, once home in the 18th century to a Quaker Colony, today is home to Diamond Cay National Park; with the nesting grounds of wild boobies, terns and pelicans.
Sandy Cay: On the southeast side of Jost, reachable by Ship’s Tender, this lovely little Cay has a wide sandy beach and is a great location for beach picnics. There is also excellent snorkeling around the edges of this islet.
Most well-known today for great beaches and great bars, Jost Van Dyke has had a busy past with more residents in centuries before than today. Enjoy the beaches and explore inland to see the remnants of the sugar mills from centuries past.