Book your dream vacation to Anguilla. Its beaches range from long sandy stretches like Rendezvous Bay, overlooking neighboring Saint Martin island, to secluded coves reached by boat, such as at Little Bay.
The tiny island of Anguilla has 33 white sand beaches with crystal clear waters, superb vistas, luxury accommodations and mouth-watering cuisine, Anguilla is the culmination of your search for the idyllic tropical escape. Visiting art galleries, touring historic sites and museums, horseback riding, dancing to island beats, excursions to our undersea world, sailing and snorkeling are a few of the activities awaiting you.
From meeting the local s at the shop or enjoying one of the many annual public festivities, the Anguillan will welcome you with open arms. They are a warm and friendly people
Anguilla is renowned for its unspoiled, tranquil, white-sand beaches – arguably among the best in the world. There are 33 beaches on this small island. All of Anguilla’s beaches are public. A few mentionable ones are:
Shoal Bay East is a popular beach with water sports facilities and restaurants.
Rendezvous Bay is the longest beach on Anguilla and is home to many luxury resorts yet usually remains still quiet and leisurely.
Barnes bay is a quiet spot with gentle surf and good snorkeling.
Secluded Captain’s Bay is accessed along a dirt track.
Climate The average yearly temperature is around 27°C but you will always find a gentle breeze from the northeast trade winds. Water temperatures generally range between 21 and 27°C. The annual rainfall hovers around 900mm per year which is not much for a tropical island. The wettest months are September and October.
Anguilla is situated in the British West Indies, around 161km northwest of Antigua, 241km east of Puerto Rico and 14km north of St. Maarten. It is the most northerly of the Leeward Islands in the Eastern Caribbean.
The long, thin island measures a mere 26km by 5km. The terrain is ﬂat and low-lying, comprised of coral and limestone and covered mostly with rock, sparse scrub oak, few trees and some salt ponds. The lowest point of Anguilla is the sea level at 0m and the highest point is Crocus Hill at 65 m.
The Valley is the capital of Anguilla and is the center of commerce and government. Six nearby islands belong to Anguilla: Scrub Island, Sombrero, Dog Island, Sandy Island, Prickly Pear and Anguillita.
History Around 4000 years ago, the Amerindian peoples arrived on our island from South America. They sustained themselves by living off the sea and the land, and established farms and villages. Over the following three thousand years, a succession of tribes and cultures called our island home.
In 1650, English settlers arrived and colonized Anguilla. They established plantations where corn and tobacco were grown. By the 1800s Anguilla was thriving as a plantation economy like most of the Caribbean. Rum, sugar, cotton, indigo, fustic and mahogany were its chief exports. Over time eroding soil and unreliable rainfall made conditions for farming unfavorable. Many people then became private proprietorships, ﬁshermen or sailors.
Against the wishes of the inhabitants the island was incorporated into a single British dependency along with Saint Kitts and Nevis in the 1960s. Several attempts at separation failed. In 1971, two years after a revolt, Anguilla was finally allowed to secede; this arrangement was formally recognized in 1980 with Anguilla becoming a separate British Dependent Territory with some measure of autonomy in government.
Nature The Anguilla National Trust was established in 1993 to protect the island’s natural environment and to preserve its archaeological, historical and cultural resources. Among its current on-going projects is the rehabilitation of the island’s sand dunes, together with a number of conservation programs designed to ensure the protection of Sea Turtles and Iguanas. They offer a guided tour which includes a stop at Fort Hill, East End Pond Conservation Area for bird watching and Big Spring heritage site.
Anguilla boasts more than 100 species of bird life. Its salt ponds attract many varieties from Herons to Sandpipers.
The Sea Turtle Conservation Group is committed to preserving four varieties of turtles: hawksbill, green, leatherback, and loggerhead. The turtles arrive on the island’s beaches every year between April and November and visitors may have the opportunity to witness the hatchlings emerging from their shells or scrambling across the beaches towards the sea.
Unique to Here Visit the hydroponic farm and organic gardens of the CuisinArt resort. This resort farm concept is one of a kind. The hydroponic farm is a 18,000 square foot greenhouse where crops can be grown all season and the organic gardens is a colorful grove of vegetables and fruit-bearing trees. Tours are available on certain days and with prior reservation.
Wallblake Airport Airport Tax : The departure tax of US $20, per person, is payable at the airport when leaving the island. Distance from Airport : Main resort are is about 13 km away Tourist Office : The Anguilla Tourist Board, Coronation Avenue, The Valley. Tel 1-800-553-4939/264-497-2759 Tourist Season : December through April Festivals & Events February - Anguilla Cultural Festival March - The Moonsplash Music Festival May - Festival Del Mar May 30 - Anguilla Day August - Summer Festival, also know as Carnival, the festival begins on the Thursday before the first Monday in August and lasts 10 days. November - Tranquility Jazz Festival
Boat races, the national sport, are held throughout the year.
Transportation Wallblake Airport is situated on the immediate outskirts of the capital, The Valley. While the airport is not an international airport but it can accommodate small to medium size aircraft. The airport receives mostly inter-island flights from San Juan, Puerto Rico, St. Martin, Antigua, and St. Kitts.
There are several ferry services to both the French and Dutch sides of St. Martin. Ferries leave from Blowing Point.
Car, jeep, scooter and bike rentals are available just remember that driving is on the left-hand side of the road. A $20 temporary Anguilla driver’s license is required for car rental. These temporary licenses are available through most car rental agencies.
Taxis are an option. Fairs are set but trips are unmetered, check and confirm the price before getting into the taxi. Taxi drivers will also usually be happy to give you a guided tour of the island for a set price.
Activities & Sports
Anguilla is truly a diving and snorkeling paradise. The island has six marine parks and nine dive wrecks, plus a huge array of coral formations, walls, ridges, canyons and tunnels for divers of all levels. A most impressive underwater sight is the wreck of the Spanish Galleon, El Buen Consejo, with its cannons, anchors and bronze medals embedded in the coral. The island has both soft and hard corals with giant brains, very tall gorgonians and colorful sea fans.
Sailing, power boat and catamaran tours abound. These tours will take you around the small islands off the coast of Anguilla and across to St Martin and St Barth. And of course you’ll also find many boat charters for fishing excursions here. Possible catches include wahoo, dorado, kingfish, sailfish, marlin, barracuda and grouper.
Shoal Bay is the water sports stations: here you can rent everything needed for wind surfing, sailing and kayaking, to name a few.
Land lover will also find activities catered to them. Several nature spots have walking and hiking trails. A great one is in the Katouche Valley where visitors can see the only remaining example of a natural rainforest on Anguilla. Cave treks are very popular too: check out Pitch Apple Hole, Iguana Cave, Old Ta Cave and Savannah Cave. Other activities include tennis, cycling and horse riding.
Anguilla’s 18-hole Greg Norman golf course at Rendezvous Bay is a state-of-the-art golf course set on 275 acres of beachfront property.
Archaeology Visitors can find 4,000 year old traces left by the Amerindians when they first arrived to this island. Many tribes were religious, including the Arawak people whose belief was based on the sun and moon and two sacred caverns. From these caverns, Big Springs at Island Harbor and The Fountain at Shoal Bay, they believed all mankind originated. The Fountains features petroglyphs, stone carvings, particularly a stalagmite carved in the likeness of their creator God Jocahu.
Attractions & Sights The Anguilla National Trust Museum's has exhibits of Anguilla’s natural, archeological and historical assets, including the Anguilla Revolution, the Salt Industry, Boat Racing, Anguilla's giant prehistoric rat, artifacts and natural history exhibits focusing on the coral reef, and wetlands. The museum building has been renovated from the old Customs Building.
The Dutch Fort remains on Sandy Hill date back to the 1700s. The fort was the site of fighting and battles during the French invasion of 1796.
The Heritage Collection Museum is a display of some of the island’s most important documents, photographs, letters and other items. This unique collection spans our island’s entire history, and contains artifacts from Arawak Indians, present-day political campaign materials and all things in-between.
At the Old Salt Factory and Pumphouse tour takes visitors through the Old Pumphouse located at Sandy Ground and around the pond. Salt was an important part of the island’s history, and one of its main industries.
Old Valley is home to some of Anguilla’s most historical buildings. Ebenezer Methodist Church, the oldest in Anguilla, the Wardens Place, Miss Marjories House and Rose Cottage are among the examples of the island’s architecture.
Sydney's Antique Museum is a unique look at Anguilla's history and development through exhibits of household artifacts, implements and furnishings.
The Wallblake house, built in 1787, is the island’s oldest and only surviving plantation house. It has since been refurbished, except for the kitchen, stable and workers' quarters which remain untouched.
Nightlife Anguilla does not have casinos and huge clubs. It’s a place to hang out, kick back and relax with the sounds of beautiful jazz, steel pan, guitarists and pianists and local soca, reggae and calypso bands. There are a number of bars offering live music and dancing. The most popular areas are Sandy Ground on Thursday through Saturday.
Side Trips The approximate 20 minute ferry ride to St-Martin (Dutch and French sides) make it an ideal day trip destination. Besides hitting all the attractions in both Philipsburg and Marigot you can satisfy your shopping craving here that would be otherwise impossible on Anguilla.
Predominantly associated with its world-class hotels, luxury resorts and villas, Anguilla also offers accommodation choices to suit a variety of tastes and budgets including guest houses, self-catering cottages and inns.
Eating Out The cuisine of Anguilla uses elements from various cooking traditions borrowed from their neighbors and developed from their own traditional yet multi-cultural dishes. Being a British territory and under its rule for so long, the English influence in the local cuisine is very much felt. Many Europeans now call Anguilla home as well so you will find Spanish, Italian and French ingredients.
Anguilla is renowned for its fabulous cuisine and restaurants are plentiful on the island, with over 100 ranging from roadside BBQs and beach cafés to international fine dining.
Shopping This island is not for the shopping enthusiast as there are no malls. What you will find however is a varied selection of pottery, sculpture, handcrafts, paintings, textiles, photography and woodcraft from local artists. There are many outstanding local artists with their studios within an art gallery and studio. If you get a shopping bug that must be satisfied head over to St Martin on the ferry at Blowing Point.