Fallen Jerusalem National Park
Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands
From a distance, the island of Fallen Jerusalem looks like it’s namesake, after the city was destroyed. Located south of the southern most tip of Virgin Gorda, the rocky shores are similar to The Baths, with tumbled boulders covering the interior of this deserted island.
Fallen Jerusalem is ideal for sailors in search of an island escape with no crowds and only seabirds for company. Two sheltered beaches can be accessed from the sea, offering a secluded picnic or snorkeling amongst the boulders that surround the entire island up to depths of seven metres. Underwater tunnels and caves are a haven for nocturnal fish, and schools of glassy sweepers (Pempheris schomburgki) are revealed as they glisten in the sunlight.
Declared a Bird Sanctuary in 1959, Fallen Jerusalem is an important nesting site for many seabirds such as the red-billed (Phaethon aethereus) and white-tailed tropicbirds (Phaethon lepturus), brown boobies (Sula leucogaster), laughing gulls (Larus atricilla), noddies (Anous sp.), brown pelicans (Pelecanus occidentalis), as well as sandwich (Sterna nilotica) and royal (Sterna maxima) terns.
The Hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) and the Green turtle (Chelonia mydas) also nest on the beaches, where they are safe from predators.
The southern shores are rugged and exposed to the rough swells of the Caribbean Sea, preventing access to the island. The more sheltered northern shores are periodically inaccessible when the ground swells from the Atlantic Ocean are active, so sailors must exercise caution at these times.
Area: 48 acres
Bird Sanctuary - No Entry
Marine Tour - Bird Watching