Anchoring at Fallen Jerusalem
While Fallen Jerusalem Island’s rock formations are dramatic, they also make navigation a bit tricky. Be very cautious because the currents are extremely strong. Avoid passing between Round Rocks and the reefs of Brocken Jerusalem if you approach the island from the east.
Take one of the two fair-weather day moorings at North Lee Bay to explore the island for the day. There is no safe overnight anchorage and overnighting is strongly discouraged. For the day, once moored offshore, snorkel in or land your dinghy near North Lee Bay beach.
Reasons to visit Fallen Jerusalem
Visit uninhabited Fallen Jerusalem because of its secluded beaches, interesting rock formations and superior snorkeling. Located south of Virgin Gorda, Fallen Jerusalem is so named because its volcanic boulders are believed to resemble the ruins of Jerusalem after being destroyed by the ancient Romans.
Featuring underwater formations similar to those of The Baths off Virgin Gorda, this small island (just 48 acres) in the BVI is far less crowded. It’s worth a visit, especially if you’re coming from nearby Cooper Island or want to avoid the crowds at Virgin Gorda.
What to do at Fallen Jerusalem
Fallen Jerusalem is only accessible by water and has no amenities but that makes it appealing for seclusion-seekers. Fallen Jerusalem is considered one of the most memorable snorkeling destinations in the BVI. When the weather is good, you can snorkel The Blinders, a snorkeling spot with colorful coral and big sponges covering submerged boulders. Snappers and squirrelfish can be found in swim-throughs and overhangs, and turtles can sometimes be spotted by snorkelers. Some liken The Blinders to exploring The Baths’ boulders in 35 feet of water, with tunnels and cave-like underwater formations on the northwest shore.
Non-snorkelers can take in the coastal vegetation and boulders, some which weigh thousands of tons. Fallen Jerusalem was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1959 because it is home to several species of birds, including the endangered red-billed tropic bird. Some birds nest on the island, including the brown boobies, laughing gulls, noddies and brown pelicans, and sandwich, royal and bridled terns. Fallen Jerusalem National Park was established in 1974.
North Lee Bay beach is the best on the island. It’s also the ideal place to enjoy a picnic or relax in the sunshine. There are lots of rocks on the beach but the sand is soft and there are conch shells everywhere.