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The Best Prison Water Views Ever

Vol. II, No. 81

The Tortola hills are filled with luxury resorts and great estates, but this particular spot is home to the BVI prison, the long building under the tower. Photo by Andrew Gorelik.

If you have to be incarcerated, a not-so-bad place to do hard time is in the British Virgin Islands. The food is merely OK, but the views are nothing short of spectacular.

The BVI prison is located high on a hill on the eastern end of Tortola, in an area known as Hawk’s Nest.  There, there are stunning views of the emerald green and turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea. Due east of the razor wire topped perimeter are the Caminoe Islands (Little and Great) and Marina Cay (pronounced “key’).  North of the prison, across Beef Island channel, lies Guana Island (a private resort). Anegada atoll is visible in the distance some 17 miles beyond.  Vacationers pay plenty for views like these at regional upscale resorts. Inmates here get it for free.

A close-up view of the prison on Tortola. Photo by Andrew Gorelik.

The inmate population numbered 136 (129 men, 7 women) on a recent voluntary visit. It was posted on a chalk board in a visitors area. Cameras are not allowed in, so we cannot show the view looking out. You will have to use your imagination for that. Shown are views from a charter sailboat looking shoreward from near Monkey Point off Guana Island.

So WaterViews readers, next time you charter in the BVI, look up now and then. There may be some people up there in the hills looking down and wishing they were where you are.