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Ginger Island

Gaze across the turquoise water of Sir Francis Drake Channel south of Tortola and you’ll spy one of the last undeveloped privately held islands in the British Virgin Islands. It rises dreamily from the sea, 250 acres of green hills and steep, rocky cliffs. This is Ginger island, a rare opportunity to create a new escape from the world that is only a short distance from the area’s airport and ferry connections.

Located be ...

Gaze across the turquoise water of Sir Francis Drake Channel south of Tortola and you’ll spy one of the last undeveloped privately held islands in the British Virgin Islands. It rises dreamily from the sea, 250 acres of green hills and steep, rocky cliffs. This is Ginger island, a rare opportunity to create a new escape from the world that is only a short distance from the area’s airport and ferry connections.

Located between Virgin Gorda and Cooper Island, its hilltops provide extraordinary panoramic views of the Caribbean Sea and some 15 other islands in the BVI. Large loblolly, tamarind, and cedar trees cover the low-lying valleys of Ginger island; the bay side is skirted in both red and white mangroves and shrubby chaparral. While there are sheer outcrops on the island’s outskirts, the developable interior averages 200-300 feet in elevation with gradual hills that could easily accommodate a private estate or small boutique resort. A beacon sends light from the island’s far eastern hilltop, marking the deep-water passage for larger vessels.

Ginger island’s standout feature is the pair of bays – the Sound Bay and Wedgeo Bay – which together form a heart on its south side and are lined by an unspoiled beach. Between the bays sits John James Point, a 600-foot-long peninsula that rises about 75 feet above the sea and could serve as the perfect promontory for an estate home or restaurant; the central location, engulfed by water and low hills, ensures the utmost privacy. the only current occupants of this ‘sanctuary within a sanctuary’ are sea birds – such as egrets, herons, pelicans, sand pipers, frigates, and roseate terns – and the amazing array of marine life that colors the underwater world just offshore.

The reef formation around Ginger’s heart-shaped bay prevents all but the most experienced sailors from entering, thus guaranteeing seclusion for any new development. But the incredibly healthy coral reefs set the stage for a world-class dive resort operation.

Ginger island boasts numerous scuba sites, on all sides. Alice in Wonderland, one of BVI’s most acclaimed dives, is off the south shore and filled with mushroom-shaped coral heads that provide shelter for moray eels and lobsters. Farther east is Ginger Steps, tucked into the calm waters of South Bay, where reef fish make their homes among the star and brain coral heads. On the north side is Alice’s Backside/Ginger Patches where the ledges in the reef conceal octopus and stingrays hang out in the sand. Carvel Rock, an advanced dive site that faces the open ocean, attracts schooling southern sennets, reef sharks, and barracuda. There are also ample areas around the island for snorkelers to enjoy the aquatic scenery.

Right now, Ginger island is a blank slate. It could eventually house a private luxury resort to rival those found on Peter, Necker, or Guana islands in the BVI, or it could provide the perfect palette for a private estate. National park staff are willing to work alongside any developer to help preserve the island throughout the building process. Global flight connections are just over 100 miles away in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and it’s only a short ferry ride across the Francis Drake Channel to pick up an island hopper at Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport on Beef island, Tortola. With this kind of untapped potential, the only limit on Ginger island’s development is the owner’s imagination. So, what does your version of paradise look like?

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