largest of the British Virgin Islands, part of the Lesser Antilles chain, which separates the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea. Its name is from the Spanish tortola ("turtle dove"). It lies about 60 miles (100 km) east of Puerto Rico. Tortola is composed of a long chain of steep hills uninterrupted by any transverse valley. The island is about 3 miles (5 km) wide, and the highest peak is Mount Sage, which reaches 1,781 feet (543 metres). There is a fragment of an unusual xerophytic (drought-tolerant) forest, with flora like that of the Greater Antilles, which contains species not found elsewhere on Tortola.
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