Guana Island: Enjoy nature, privacy in Caribbean

If Mother Nature ever went on vacation, Guana Island might be one of her destinations. Situated on the Atlantic side of Tortola in the British Virgin Islands, Guana is an 850-acre private wildlife and nature sanctuary just waiting to be explored.

For nearly four decades, Guana’s owner, Dr. Henry Jarecki, an American academic, psychiatrist, entrepreneur and philanthropist, and his wife, Gloria, have cultivated their island treasure into a haven for birdwatchers and lovers of the environment. It’s an elegant, pristine setting.

In 1975, the Jareckis purchased Guana have been improving accommodations and facilities ever since. Today, Guana Island can host 30 guests in stone cottages that nestle at the crest of one of its small mountain peaks. There are seven white sand beaches (four of which are only accessible by boat), three reefs, a salt marsh and more plant life species than any island of equal size in the Caribbean.

Don’t look for telephones, TVs, restaurants or shops. In fact, the food for the superbly prepared culinary experiences on Guana must be brought in by boat from neighboring Tortola. What you can expect are magnificent sunsets, pervasive solitude and casual elegance.Guana is one of two islands the Jareckis own in the BVI. The other is the uninhabited Norman Island, said to have been the inspiration for the Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel, “Treasure Island.”

The iguana-shaped rock formation jutting from Monkey Point is the source of the island’s name, by the way.

If you’re looking for a total escape from the cares of the world, Guana Island might just be the answer: It, too, is a “Treasure Island.” Mother Nature would agree.