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2022 Updated BVI Travel Guide

An update to our most popular blog post ever. Our 2022 BVI Travel Guide is here! 


The British Virgin Islands are…. Known as the some of the most beautiful islands in the Caribbean, and really the World.  Known for great sailing the islands close proximity is a boaters paradise.  

First time visiting?….  The sailing is excellent.  The BVI also offers great snorkeling, surfing and board sports, like wing foiling and kite surfing.  Or just relax on one of our beautiful beaches.  Grab a cold beer or a rum drink and find a coconut tree.

Casual & easy going…. The BVI vibe is casual and easy going. Shorts and T-shirts rule and linen is a great option to dress up a bit. Shop our HIHO linen styles online here. You may need a light sweater in the winter when nighttime temps drop below 80 degrees! 



Surf or SUP…. Tortola and some of the outer islands feature some of the Caribbean best waves for surfing.  Cane Garden Bay is a World class point break!  If you like to SUP then there are plenty of wonderful spots- our favourites include Little Jost Van Dyke and the South side of Beef Island.  Wing foiling is the new hot Watersport and we offer lots of windy and flat water venues to choose from. Our UPF50 Shirts are perfect for all day sun protection, shop here online. 


Honeymooners…. Nothing better than spending a week in a small private villa or aboard your own yacht.  There are lots of private anchorages and plenty of deserted islands you can call your own.  Check out the tiny beach on the North West corner of Fallen Jerusalem, which is a stone’s throw from the tip of Virgin Gorda.


Best Island Cocktail…. Check out a Painkiller at Hendo’s Hideout on White Bay, Jost Van Dyke.  Or mix your own rum punch- 1 part lime and OJ; 2-parts combined white and dark rum; 3/4 part of simple syrup; generous dash of Angostura bitters.  Shake and enjoy.  If you let this sit overnight it tastes even better!

Best Sunset vantage…. Watch the sun go down from the beach bar at the Anegada Reef Hotel.  It’s priceless!

A perfect day is…. Sail down the Sur Francis Drake Channel and across to Sandy Spit.  Rig you Wingfoil gear and island hop down to White Bay (with your yacht following you…).  Have a Painkiller at Hendo’s Hideout.  Stay for dinner, or Scott back up to Great Harbour and eat at Foxy’s.

Best Shopping…  The BVI are not really known for great shopping, but check out the Beach House Boutique at Rosewood Little Dix Resort on Virgin Gorda. It has the best collection of casual and elegant island apparel and gifts. Treat yourself to a sumptuous meal at the Sugar Mill restaurant, which is located a stone’s throw from the boutique.  

Secret Spot…. Stay at one of Long Bay Beach Resorts new beach front rooms. Take long walks down the powdery sand beach and enjoy their Thai curry’s for a quiet and romantic meal.

The British Virgin Islands (BVI) are located to the East of Puerto Rico.  Collectively there are over 60 islands, cays and rocks that comprise the territory which is still a part of Great Britain.  Year round weather is very agreeable with temperature ranging from the mid-70's in the Winter to low-90's in the Summer.  English is the official language and the currency is the US Dollar. The best way to get here is to fly to St Thomas (in the US Virgin Islands) and come across by ferry. We hope you visit soon!

 Shop our BVI gear for your next visit here.

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Featured HIHO Account- HOUSE in Tortola

Nestled in the corner of Road Town is HOUSE, an oasis of good taste and design. 

Owned and run by Fran Samuels who has lived in the British Virgin Islands for 27-years, HOUSE sells interior décor, gift items and our HIHO line of clothing.  Adding clothing to the mix was a good move says Fran. And HIHO’s linen collection is perfect for life in the islands.  “Linen is such a perfect fabrication for the Caribbean,” she says.  “And the HIHO collection sells so well.”  


HOUSE also sells our wovens and knits, and all our men’s linen shirts.  “The best sellers are the bananakeet and Ginnie shift dress, and the men’s shirts. Visit the website here for HOUSE. 

About HIHO:

Inspired by life in the Caribbean HIHO makes casual & comfortable clothing including linen shirts and sweaters, beach dresses, shorts, pants and soft cotton tees.

Our HIHO clothing is based on the tropical lifestyle we love so much, and is influenced by our pristine environment and island life. Our clothing is soft, designed to be functional, colorful and comfortable in a chic island way. The casual, cool and elegant designs and our original prints are the hallmark of the HIHO brand. Shop here

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Bitter End: A New Beginning

The Bitter End, our favourite BVI sailing destination and resort, was levelled by Hurricane Irma in 2017. The new Bitter End just opened and we wanted to report that it is awesome in every way.  Really a shadow of the former resort, the new property features a couple docks that can handle practically any size yacht (the J-Boat Ranger was alongside when were there this week), a restaurant, two bars and some shopping.  There are also two waterfront rooms and some great lounge spaces.  

The new resort has kept the best of the old Bitter End, plus some really cool upgrades.  We loved the new architecture and nautical decor- it’s in-keeping with the former resort and you’ll really love it if you are a sailor.  Standouts from our trip were the food, and the personal attention from the chef.  

We also loved seeing former Bitter End employees back on the job!  Our waitress was a friend from years ago and she served us tasty food and delicious drinks.  We’re not sure what plans the resort has but there is plenty of room for expansion, which we look forward to.


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Windsurfing Paradise: Aruba Island Guide

Windsurfing Paradise: Aruba Island Guide

The thing about Aruba is the great weather and the location out of the hurricane belt. It is also one of the easiest islands to get to with direct flights from many US cities. This “One Happy Island” is a sunny and beautiful destination with something for everyone. Beautiful white sand beaches are the perfect setting for a relaxing vacation but there are lots of activities on the water and in the desert. When you are on Aruba you get a sense of the Dutch influence with the unique architecture all over the island.  

What to do:

Venture outside of the usual tourist spots and visit Boca Grandi for windsurfing, which is located on Aruba’s southern tip. Boca Grandi is a scenic stretch of white sandy Aruba Beach where steady trade winds provide challenging conditions for advanced windsurfers. On the west coast, just north of the Ritz Carlton, there is a great place for windsurfing lessons and rentals, for all levels of experience and it’s run by a company called Windsurfing Aruba. Learn more about rentals & lessons here


Check out Wacky Wahoo’s for a fresh catch of the day and one of highest rated restaurants on the island and family run - it is off the beaten path but walking distance from most of the high rise hotels - book your reservation in advance, here is their website. Quinta del Carmen is a one of kind experience – located inside a building from the 1920’s which was originally a hospital, the building has been renovated and has some of the best fine dining on the island. To take a look at their menu and to contact them for reservations, visit their website here.

Where to Stay:

Amsterdam Manor is a charming low rise property along Eagle Beach – more of a low key experience, great service and easy going vibe. Take a look at their website hereThe Boardwalk is another great boutique style property named by USA Today as a Hidden Gem Hotel. There are many high-rise style resort options as well on Aruba, we would recommend the Ritz Carlton, Hyatt or Marriott, all located along Palm Beach. But most of the hotels are located right along the beach and you can’t go wrong with the location of any resort! And you must visit the Ritz Carlton Gift Shop where you can buy our custom HIHO Caribbean “One Happy Island” shirts featuring the Aruban Flag. For more information about the Ritz Carlton Aruba, visit their website here


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HIHO Style: Charts & Maps

HIHO Style: Charts & Maps

Our interest in collecting charts & maps must have started when we were young and sailing boats up and down the Caribbean.  Pouring over the chart we were using as we made our to or from Antigua or down to Puerto Rico we always fascinated over the islands we were passing.  Even though we were sailing in our backyard it was always interesting to see exactly where were or learn the name of the point, rock or islet we were passing.  (Confession- we still pour over charts, though they are now digital and you can zoom in and out electronically…)  Now we collect all the charts we can get our hands on.  Of course we favor ones from the Caribbean and we have a cool collection of UK, US and French charts with some dating back to the 1960’s.  We started framing them and hanging them in our stores.  We take sections of torn charts and frame them too.  The attached photo shows one wall in our store.

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Nothing Beats Sailing With Friends

On Sunday we clambered about an IC-24 for the inaugural ABI Regatta in St Thomas.  It was a fun race featuring a run down the South side of St Thomas followed by a couple windward-leeward courses off the beach at Frenchman’s Bay.   We were the envy of the fleet in our matching HIHO suntek jerseys.  Our winning speed also turned heads!  The fleet comprised 10 identical IC-24 sailboats manned by teams of friends and families.  We were sailing with friends against our friends- what could be better.  A group of kids from the clubs junior sailing program beat us to the first mark but we sailed a great downwind run to lead at the buoy off Green Cay.  We succumbed to course misinterpretation on the dogleg reach to the next buoy of the beach and slipped to 4th but managed to get back to 3rd by the downwind finish.   We aced the first windward-leeward course and settled for a 4th in the next which put us in end overall.  By Noon we were anchoring off the beach and swimming ashore to ABI beach bar for drinks, lunch and a casual awards ceremony.

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Deliciously refreshing and nearly ubiquitous in the Caribbean islands (the English speaking ones, that is), Ting is, well, about as Caribbean a product as you can find. 

Ting is a soda made from grapefruit.  It’s sweetened with cane sugar, not corn sweeteners.  Kids love it, and so do adults!  Ting cools you off on a hot day and it mixes well with spirits. 

Rum and Ting and vodka and Ting are equally refreshing! 

Ting was “invented” in Jamaica but it’s bottled under license.  We like Ting bottles best.  Specifically, the 8oz greenies that are bottled in St Kitts.  You stumble upon larger 12oz bottled which are shipped down from Canada.  Ting in cans comes from the UK and it has a discernibly different, but still delicious, taste. 

There is also Pink Ting.  It's sexy, but distracting.  Go for the greenies.


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Clean Sweet Wind

Taking a few days off and heading down to Antigua to race wooden boats is a treat, even by our standards.  Our annual pilgrimage to the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta sponsored by Panerai combines our passion for racing with a love of wooden boats.  The event, which is one of the largest gatherings of its kind in the World, blends competition with a wonderful celebration of traditional sailing.  


The starts are jammed with drop dead gorgeous boats including elegant schooners, racing sloops and traditional wooden working boats.  We race aboard Zemi, a 40' sloop built on the beach in Carriacou in the Grenadines by the renowned shipwright Alwyn Enoe.  The Carriacou sloops form a virtual one-design class within the regatta.  The racing is tight, and the post-race camaraderie, fueled by Mount Gay and local Antiguan rum, is boisterous.  The boats are traditional in every way with just two winches, a long boomed mainsail and a genoa.  You sweat in the main sheet by hand and the spinnaker pole is a length of bamboo.  There are no instruments.  It's all about boat speed and tactics.  Local knowledge is king, and with a boatload of Antiguan's there is no shortage of tactical opinions, occasional disagreements and plenty of jokes.  Oh yeah, everyone is on the lookout for fish too.  (Antiguan's, the lot of them, all love to fish).  

Zemi was off the pace on day one of the regatta but we pulled it together and posted solid 2nd place finishes in the remaining three races, including an excruciating 5 second margin on corrected time in race #2.  We had all conditions from squally 30-knot squalls with 15-foot seas to gorgeous 15-knot trade winds under blue skies.  Rain or shine we were comfortable in our HIHO Suntek shirts!

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We draw immense inspiration from our life in the Caribbean.  We are surrounded by beauty.  Stunning islands, tropical scenery and simply the most beautiful water color in the World.  


A view from Tortola takes in nearby islands, the translucent Caribbean sea and lush mountains divided by plunging valleys.  Gardens overflow with tropical flowers and exotic palms.  Evenings are topped of with a sunset fit for a travel brochure.  


We find the sea perhaps the most compelling colored with almost every shade of blue available.  Shallower waters radiate turquoise and aquas while the deeper channels between the islands are darker blue.  It's no wonder that this is one of the favorite colors in our line!  


On smaller Caribbean islands the beach sand is clean and white.  The afternoon sun sparkles off the water, and the sky, particularly in the Winter months, is a radiating clear blue.  At night the stars wrinkle down on us.  


Our designers translate all this into prints and patterns, and we get noticed for our originality of style.


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Growing Nicely


Growth and expansion are the dream of any small company, and no more so than ours at HIHO.  While our genesis is in Tortola, we aspire to see our brand for sale in the Palm Beaches and the Hamptons, and in many places in between.  To that end we hit shows on a regular basis where, in the confines of a 10' x 10' booth space, we show off our clothes and spread Caribbean love.  Truth be told, we love selling and enjoy trade shows.  They are a lot of work, but very rewarding.  It's wonderful when owners or buyers fall in love with HIHO.  

You can learn a lot from the market and we always return to Tortola armed with more good ideas for our next line and motivated to work hard and design more.  It's the dead of Winter but we'll be at MODA in New York City starting February 24th for three days.  It's our second trip to New York in the last two months.  Trading our balmy Caribbean weather for the ice and bluster of the North East Winter, we proudly show our Summer line, and spread a little more Caribbean life and sparkle.


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Caribbean Travel + Life Mag

One of our favorite magazines is featuring HIHO in the June/July issue.  Pick up Caribbean Travel + Life on news stands now to read all about the Highland Spring HIHO windsurfing and stand-up paddle boarding event.

The writer, Matthew Miller and photographer, Shelly Strazis joined us for last year's event and looked at the event through the lense of a pirate's spyglass telescope to write this story.  Excerpt:

We’re offshore Anegada, 14 miles from the safe shelter of Virgin Gorda.  But who’s chasing us? The ghost of Sam Bellamy? Henry Morgan? “It’s Jim,” says John. “He’s crafty.”  Jim Hawkins, the crafty narrator of Treasure Island ? No, Jim Wallace, the cheerful British Airways pilot we drank with last night. This is the HIHO, a weeklong windsurfing and stand-up-paddling race that crisscrosses the BVI.

Download and read the full story here.

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