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“Ivan's Camp Groud - JVD”

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White Bay Campground
Reviewed January 23, 2009

I was a bit nervous about the trip when it was being planned. However, the trip was fabulous and all my worries were for nothing!
Ivan's Stress free camp ground was wonderful! We stayed there Saturday Jan 17 thru Wednesday Jan 21 to celebrate birthdays. We met great, interesting, talented and friendly people and also helped nurse a baby goat back to health! Now who can say they did that on vacation!
Stress free is a perfect way to describe our experience. Dinner time was the best. It was a gathering in the kitchen ending with a pot luck of food and drinks - shared by all. I came home with a fantasic recipe for peanut butter fudge - thanks Jane!
The only down side to the camp ground were the bugs! The no seums and sand fleas were abundant - the sprays didn't seem to phase them much at all.
I would highly recommend going to Ivan's - can't wait to go back!

1  Thank lunvik2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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20 - 26 of 34 reviews

Reviewed December 23, 2008

You definitley would LOVE to visit Ivan's! It is the best vacation spot ever. There is a bar and the cabins are great! The camping is the best, you go to sleep listening to the sound of the waves. Ivan offers tents or you can bring your own!(That is what me and my family do). The beach is fantastic. Great snorkeling! Every Thursday night great bbq! Tire swing is great for kids. If you camp,l say great privacy. The showers are OKAY. There a little cold, but it is dealable. It is my 6th time. You have to visit Ivan's Stress Free Campground. HAVE FUN!!!!

  • Stayed: February 2007, traveled with family
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2  Thank ctgirlsew3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 31, 2008

We stayed at Ivans Stress Free Campground last week.
We has an awesome time. They have very basic cabins
with a bed and a refrigerator and electricity which is nice to
have at night. The campground was kept clean. The people
were extremely nice. Natalie, Rene and Ivan were all very helpful
with anything you needed. My husband and I wanted to go out for Lobster dinner but were running very low on cash to take the ferrys and taxi's back home the next morning and since there are no ATM's on the island Ivan allowed us to get cash back on our credit card so we could go enjoy a Lobster dinner our last night
I thought that was very thoughtful. If you want to go relax and really do nothing except drink eat be merry and relax in the beautiful carribean ocean then this is the place for you.
My husband and I will be back. We loved this place.
If you bring your own tent there it is only 25.00 a nigh just another little tidbit of information. We also loved meeting all the interesting people there. We want to say hi to Teresa and Holly
two nurses taking a break from the hustle and bustle of life for a few months. Hi to Jake and Dania from New York wish we would of exchanged phone #s. And to John and Pam his wife the ski instructors from Colorado. WE WILL BE BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thanks Jost Van Dyke and Ivan for such a wonderful place to go and really De Stress.
Gina and MIke

  • Stayed: May 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank heysweetiehey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 19, 2008

Like everything on Jost Van Dyke: over-priced.

  • Stayed: April 2008, traveled solo
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3  Thank felixanders
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 27, 2008

Wow! Ivan's is the coolest place I have ever been. If you are interested in truly a stress-free place in one of the most beautiful settings in the world, check it out.

Also hit the Thursday night BBQ with live music, the food is amazing and Ivan and crew are the nicest people around.

The sleeping cabins are really cool too, but spare. The bathrooms, showers kitchens could be cleaner, but still very nice.

If you are going to stay for a few days, be sure to get groceries before you get there, if possible. The island is a little expensive and things close at varying hours.

Kick off your shoes, grab a beach chair, a Carib or painkiller and enjoy Ivan's.

  • Stayed: March 2008, traveled solo
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2  Thank flybigd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 18, 2007

Ivan has just finished a building just above the campgrounds with two apartments. The top is a 1 bedroom that could easily sleep 4 and the lower is a studio.

The views are really great - we were there for his Easter Regatta, so there were loads of boats on "that side" of White Bay, where it is normally much quieter during the day than the other side where Sandcastle and Soggy Dollar Bar are located. And we were pleasantly surprised to see that JVD Public Works has put stairs on both sides of the rocky hill, smoothed out the top and put a guard rail in at the very steep drop off on top (Rumor has it that a tipsy camper went over in the dark). Flip flops are still a necessity for the cross over, but its so much easier.

Back to the Apartments - both are exceptionally nice compared to the campsites, especially with their full baths and kitchens! (For those who have not stayed at Ivan's campgrounds, the "showers" for the cabins are H2O bags and there's a common cooking area - but hey, it's campgrounds!) No A/C in the apartments, but everything else.

So if the tents or little cabins w/ shared facilities are a little too "roughing it" for you and you don't want the all day crowds on the other side of White Bay, this is great! You still get to experience all of Ivan's vibe with all the comforts of home.

The are just now deciding on rates, so it would be best to call . I was on JVD in November, and took the (incredible!) shot of from a Villa overlooking White Bay. Yes, this is what it really looks like! Because it's so lush, you can't see the cabins or tents.

Also note that there is no real grocery store JVD, so unless you are planning to eat out every meal, it would be best to arrange provisioning thru some place like Bobby's Marketplace on Tortola (they do the majority of yacht charter provisioning, and are well equipped to pull this off). You can go online to their site and send them a list of what you want for the week with a credit card. They will deliver it to the JVD ferry on the day specified, and your stuff will be delivered to the JVD dock. You will have to pick it up at the dock.

The cost of a taxi ride is pretty crazy on JVD, so I highly recommend renting a car at least for a couple of days. We paid $15 each ONE WAY to go from Ivan's to Taboo, and it's $5 each one way to/from Great Harbour or the other side of White Bay. It really adds up fast. There are two places to rent cars on JVD, just Google it.

The lower (studio) apartment was occupied, so I only took pics from the 1 bdrm.

P.S. Did I mention Ivan is the coolest guy on the Planet? =)

  • Stayed: April 2007, traveled with friends
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7  Thank njoynstjohn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 3, 2007

My boyfriend and I just spent five nights at Ivan's Campground. We spent our days diving or snorkelling, avoided crowds, and mostly made our own food.

----Camping----
We tried calling to make a reservation, but if you're staying in a baresite, just show up and don't worry about it. We lugged a tent to the campground with us, which made our entire stay (including bar tab) cheaper than a single night's stay pretty much anywhere else. Before we got there, we were a little concerned about the security of the place, but were soon leaving snorkelling gear to dry outside our tent every night.

The baresites are right on the beach, which (obviously) can be pretty awesome. Cons: stuffy at night, wind mostly brings in sand, wicked sand fleas (they sneak into your tent). Bring some parachute cord (or plain string) and some clothespins so you can hang up your swimsuit/towel in the trees sheltering your tent. Be aware that the high humidity and occasional night showers means things will still be a little damp in the morning. Bring on the DEET - we didn't notice mosquitos, but were covered from knees down (wear long pants after dark) by sand flea bites.

----Facilities----
Ivan has bathrooms, showers, kitchen, bar, and common areas. He renovated the bathrooms last year, and they get cleaned on a daily basis. They're camp bathrooms/showers exposed to the outdoors, so don't expect to be able to eat off the floor. However, these were easily the cleanest facilities I have ever encountered in all my camping.

Be aware that the islands are semi-arid; this means water is always in demand. When using the bathrooms, you'll need to throw your used t.p. into a provided bin, and only flush for #2. The water is well water, so slightly salty. Don't be surprised if the soap doesn't lather as a result.

The showers also use the (slightly salty -- we were told by other visitors that it's not always so salty) well water, and isn't heated. If you'd prefer a warm shower, you can (1) shower in the middle of the day when you'd prefer a cold shower anyway, (2) bring a sun-shower bag to the beach, or (3) fill a gallon jug with water and leave it in the sun during the day.

The kitchen is mostly open to the elements, so don't expect it to look like your home's. There will be insects crawling around, and it's only as clean as its users clean it. There's a gas range, oven (broken when we were there), and community fridges (if you have the stomache and the time, give it a cleaning if you want to use it), in addition to some kitchen implements and utensils. If you plan to cook, try to bring what you can (oil, dried goods, etc). Everything has to be shipped or flown into the island, which means you're in for some sticker shock. They're not trying to rip you off -- that's the cost of transport in (remember your plane ticket cost?). If you don't end up using everything, most things you can leave behind in the community-use areas. Someone will appreciate it. If you want to contribute anything to the kitchen, Ivan could really use both a sharpening stone and a new set of knives (even a really cheap one -- the current one is basically a chef's knife, a deboner, and a paring knife, all pretty dull).

The bar is right by the kitchen, making the area quite the traffic jam around sunset. It runs on an honor system -- you put your name down in a composition book, and add to your tab. Pay it before you go. The bar is sometimes staffed by Ivan or one of his employees, but just as often seemed to be staffed by Ivan's visitors.

The common areas included benches/tables sharing the same roof as the bar and kitchen, some uncovered ones, and a gazebo. All are lit by festive strings of lights -- so if you want to read or write, bring a light with you (good for getting to your tent/bathroom at night anyway). The gazebo seemed to be the best lit out of all the areas.

There is a book share (leave a book, borrow one, etc), and people often leave behind bug spray, aloe, sunblock, etc. If you end up with extra at the end of your trip, it's a convenient place to drop it off instead of hauling back or chucking out. There are also some games (dominos and chess (missing two white pawns)) and musical instruments, if you want to join Ivan when he's jamming. If you like games, bring one to leave. (Just remember it's a building exposed to the elements, and it's easy to lose little tokens (like chess pieces) in the dim light, breeze, and sand.)

----Diving----
We did SCUBA diving with the one diveshop there, JVD Dive. It's run by Colin and his wife Andrea. They also do eco-tours. They're really awesome, and it was obvious that Colin spent a lot of time exploring the island and its waters -- he took us diving to sites other people don't know about that had amazing underwater life. Take a tour with them, or go diving, or do one of those fun "explore SCUBA diving" dives if you don't dive yet.

----Snorkelling----
If you want to see lotsa fishies, find rocks/coral. For White Bay Beach, this means the rocky stuff on the left side of the beach. Swim out so you don't accidentally step on coral (or sea urchins -- we saw lots of wicked large spiny monsters). Be aware of the tides, so you don't end up stranded in a coral cul-de-sac as the tide is going out. There's also supposed to be good snorkelling on the other side of the beach, past the rocks (the side with the resort and beach bars). However, you will have to deal with many more people and speeding boats that might not see you surfacing.

----Misc----
If you're vegetarian, bring your own food. The best you can hope for is a veggie burger or pizza/pasta. Don't ask if the veggie burger was cooked separately or what the fries were fried in.

Taxis can be pokey about leaving or arriving on time. Budget accordingly, accept island time, and don't stress so much about it. Bunn is supposedly the best on the island (he'll help you load your luggage into the van), and the ferry is unlikely to leave until he deposits his passengers on the dock. We mostly hauled ourselves around on foot between White Bay and Great Harbour, though be warned that those are some pretty steep hills.

Buy water in gallons from the grocery stores. You can fill them with cistern/well water afterwards and leave them in the sun for a warmer shower.

Be prepared for higher costs. Everything needs to be shipped or flown in, and the people selling you the goods or service need to be able to live in a place with a high cost of living.

----
Anyway, Jost was awesome, Ivan's was awesome, Colin and the folks at JVD Dive were awesome, and I wish we'd had more time on the island. Hopefully this review covers any questions you might have about camping at Ivan's or who you should take a tour with or why you'd better develop a taste for veggie burgers fast if you're vegetarian.

  • Stayed: February 2007, traveled as a couple
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12  Thank justanotherone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about White Bay Campground

Address: White Bay, Jost Van Dyke
Location: Caribbean > British Virgin Islands > Jost Van Dyke
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 3 Specialty Lodging in Jost Van Dyke
Price Range: $75 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 16
Also Known As:
White Bay Campground Hotel Jost Van Dyke
White Bay Campground Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Islands

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