Anguilla, a 35-square mile island, is truly one of the safest in the Eastern Caribbean. Located 12 miles north of St Martin and east of Puerto Rico, it is the most northerly of the Leeward Islands. The Valley is the principal town on the main island. Anguilla is flat and is fringed by alluring white-sand beaches and banks of coral. The long thin shape, resembling an eel, gave the island its name. Magnificent soft sand beaches, excellent restaurants, and crystal clear water are the main attraction. The best way to get around the island is by taxi. Besides, the drivers make excellent tour guides. Anguillans are in fact some of the friendliest and polite people in the Caribbean. English is the official language. The local currency is the Eastern Caribbean dollar, but the US dollar is widely accepted.
Anguilla’s average annual temperature is 80 °F and is one of the sunniest Caribbean islands. The total annual rainfall is only 35″. Since it has this flat-as-a-pancake topography, it does not attract rain clouds like many other mountainous islands. Trade winds keep this tropical island relatively cool and dry. The drier months from December through to May are the best time to visit but also are certainly the most popular. And the risk of rain is highest from August to December. Overall the ocean temperature is year-round at a very comfortable 83 -85 °F. Finally, keep in mind that hurricane season is between the end of June to November.
Places to See in Anguilla
Big Spring Cave – Located in the fishing village of Island Harbour. Over 100 petroglyphs dating back to 600-1200 AD can be seen here. The Anguilla National Trust offers very interesting Heritage Tours for the entire family. Make stops along the Heritage Trail and visit beautiful old churches and interesting historic sites.
Heritage Collection Museum – Mr. Colville Petty’s collection of island history is equally extensive and unique. From the Amerindian people, colonial settlers to the Anguilla revolution, and the last Calypso King.
Wallblake House – The Valley. The oldest structure on Anguilla. Moreover, the only 18th-century plantation that has been restored and can be toured. Built in 1787, it was once part of a 97-acre sugar and cotton plantation.
Sandy Island – A tiny cay about 3 miles northwest of the main island. Turquoise clear water coupled with sparkling white sand invite you. Have the crew of your chartered yacht take you there with the dinghy. By all means take snorkel equipment with you. Enjoy the best grilled lobster you have ever tasted together with a fine assortment of rum and beer.
Prickly Pear Cays – Two small uninhabited islands, a short boat ride from the main island. The shallow, calm water is ideal for swimming. The cays are home to especially cute canaries and finches that will feed from your hand.
Things to Do on Anguilla Island
Walk, relax, sunbathe on some of the best beaches in the world – Meads Bay, Rendezvous Bay with its 2.5 miles of amazing beach in addition to secluded Barnes Bay Beach. As well as Shoal Bay Beach, which has been named consistently one of the best in the world. And then Sandy Ground, the beach for fun. Rum punches together with reggae and calypso music will make you fall in love with Anguilla beaches.
Little Bay – A remote small beach only accessible by boat. With towering cliffs on both sides. You have not been to Anguilla until you jump off the cliff. Certainly fantastic snorkeling. You will likely see many sea turtles together with manta rays.
Snorkeling – Anguilla and its offshore cays contain seven marine parks and excellent reefs. The eastern end of ShoalBay Beach offers the easiest access to the reef. See corals, sea fans, and a variety of colorful tropical fish. Other exceptional locations are Crocus and Little Bay. Experienced snorkelers can swim further out to spot larger fish, such as rays and the occasional shark.
Diving – For divers Anguilla is a paradise with over 16 excellent dive sites and seven marine parks with wall dives. It has one of the largest concentrations of diveable wrecks in the Caribbean. You can have the crew of your chartered yacht arrange equipment and dive sites for you. Certainly, make sure to take an underwater camera with you. El Buen Consejo is a massive Spanish galleon that sunk in 1772. Cannons and cargo are still intact on the ship. Truly a unique experience. The colourful marine life is spectacular.
Kayaking – From Crocus Bay to Little Bay. Kayaking is so much fun, especially in a clear-bottom kayak that allows you to see colorful marine life and coral. It also provides you with a great sense of how varied Anguilla’s 38 miles of coastline really is with its towering cliffs and caves that are home to birds and bats.
Golfing – Rendezvous Bay. The Cuisinart Resort Gold Club has a Greg Norman Signature Design PGA 18-hole championship course. Stunning views and a dramatic layout with challenging holes.
Dune Preserve – Rendezvous Bay. Owned by local reggae legend Bankie Banx. It is indeed what a Caribbean beach shack should be, laid-back and cool. Several nights a week Bankie or his sons take to the stage. Sometimes he is joined by famous friends like Jimmy Buffet or Marcia Griffiths. In late March, enjoy the annual Moonsplash Music Festival.
Anguilla Summer Festival – First week of August. This ten-day event is the most anticipated of the year. A fun Caribbean Carnival with boat races, parades, parties, and colorful costumes. And of course, plenty of live music.
Native Foods and Drinks
Pigeon peas and rice – The official national dish of Anguilla.
Seafood – Is abundant. Lobster, shrimp, mahi-mahi, grouper are only part of a vast selection.
Saltfish – Salted cod is used in stews, soups, and casseroles.
Goat – The most commonly eaten meat, used in a variety of dishes. Goats rule in Anguilla.
Pyrat Rum – The most popular rum.
Mauby – Non-alcoholic. Mauby is made with the bark and leaves of the mauby tree.
Anguilla is a well-known foodie destination for good reason. Over 100 restaurants serve this small island.
Veya – Sandy Ground. Seafood, local Caribbean cuisine. It offers inventive dishes fusing island and Asian influences. Waterfront dining.
Jacala Beach Restaurant – Mead’s Bay. French food at its finest and an incredible view.
Sand Bar – Sandy Ground. Caribbean, local cuisine. Fun, casual, tapas-style. Unobstructed views of Road Bay.
Sharky’s – West End. Caribbean, and fresh local Anguillan seafood. Guests consistently give it a 5-star rating.
Straw Hat – At the Frangipani Resort, Mead’s Bay. Caribbean, seafood, International. Beachfront setting.
Blanchards – Mead’s Bay, Long Bay Village. American, Caribbean, seafood. In addition to Old-Style Caribbean ambiance.
Marinas and Anchorages
Anguilla Island does not currently have a marina, but it has ample anchorages.
Top Anchorages in Anguilla
Road Bay – Sandy Ground Village. The main anchorage and proper place to clear into Anguilla. You must anchor here. All mooring balls are privately owned. This is where Customs and immigration are located. Furthermore, you can get cruising permits to other anchorages here. Some are located in the marine parks. Dive moorings are red and for local dive boats only.
Rendezvous Bay – Long Bay Village. Anchoring allowed.