This 10-sq.-km (4-sq.-mile) rugged island (pop. 150) on the seaward (west) side of Tortola was named after a Dutch settler. In the 1700s, a Quaker colony settled here to develop sugar cane plantations. (One of the colonists, William Thornton, won a worldwide competition to design the Capitol in Washington, D.C.) Smaller islands surround this one, including Little Jost Van Dyke, the birthplace of Dr. John Lettsom, founder of the London Medical Society.
On the south shore are some good beaches, especially at White Bay and Great Harbour. The island has a handful of places to stay, but offers several dining choices, since it's a popular stopover point, not only for the yachting set but also for many cruise ships. Jost Van Dyke is very tranquil, but only when cruise ships aren't in port.