Welcome to Anguilla, relax!
We explore each one of the beaches of this island, and we present on this platform a curatorship with everything you need to know to enjoy your trip as a local with unique content full of culture, lifestyle and behavior. Conexão Anguilla (in english Anguilla Connection) seeks to be as complete as possible, with all the information, contacts and relevant details to enhance your experience in this incredibly blue and relaxing destination. However, it is strongly recommended that services such as flight tickets, acommodation, car rentals, among others are made with your travel agency or one of the Virtuoso Recommended Agencies, who have the know-how to make your trip memorable. In this area we provide all important data and practical information from the destination, including island's description, how to get there, visa, type of socket, wifi details and a special map. Visit YOUR TRIP section to find accommodation options, as well as car rentals and a gastronomic tour. And for tips on who really understands Anguilla, visit INSIDER TIPS.
Jordana Gheler, founding partner
Anguilla should not have that many reasons to be so fabulous. An area close to St. Maarten, the island is a tiny point on the radar, with only six traffic lights. It does not have a fancy atmosphere for those who are looking for something refined. Yet, it hosts some of the coolest Caribbean resorts, restaurants that provide a true gastronomic experience and breathtaking beaches. Anguilla has an interesting villa portfolio and is like a magnet to celebrities such as Kevin Bacon and Jimmy Buffet.READ ON
“Anguilla should not have that many reasons to be so fabulous. An area close to St. Maarten, the island is a tiny point on the radar, with only six traffic lights. It does not have a fancy atmosphere for those who are looking for something refined.
Yet, it hosts some of the coolest Caribbean resorts, restaurants that provide a true gastronomic experience and breathtaking beaches. Anguilla has an interesting villa portfolio and is like a magnet to celebrities such as Kevin Bacon and Jimmy Buffet. Unpretentious, but stylish the Anguillan way of being and living is the perfect paradox: no extravagances with a good dose of stripped-down elegance. There are no cruise ships, casinos or hotel chains. What is easily notable is that outstanding singers and composers such as Omari Banks and Ruel Richardson lead the music scene there.
Anguilla leaves good impressions every season: A highlight among the new hotels is Malliouhana, reopened last year after a three-year renovation, Zemi Beach Resort and Spa, an opulent 115 rooms resort, and Reef by Cuisinart, a boutique hotel whose solar energy comes from a nearly four-acre field.”
Por Baz Dreisinger for The New York Times
Anguilla is a relaxing destination. The feeling you get from the island is that you are on vacation of the vacation, surrounded by calm places and friendly people.
Choose one of the hotels or villas, enjoy the nearly empty blue beaches and relax. Have a barbecue fish for lunch and at the end of the day, pull over at the beach bars.
For dinner, a wide range of options. The amount of local delicious restaurants for such a small island is big. Finish the night with the star Bankie Banx pocket show, at his bar Dune Preserve, elected the best beach bar in the world by CNN. By the way, Bankie is one of the highlights of the island because even after the years, the iconic singer’s voice only gets better. It is unbelievable!
Today the island is a refuge for celebrities, that have a cool lifestyle and they say they are addicted to this paradise. Meryl Streep commonly shops at the market, Ethan Hawk have lunch at one of the beach local bars, Justin Timberlake walks around Shoal Bay beach, which by the way was elected one of the five more beautiful beaches in the world and Uma Thurman likes the Dune Reserve.
Anguilla appreciates description and do its best to avoid the paparazzi entrance.
It is that simple, welcome to Anguilla!
Anguilla’s history is full of come and goes. The British colonized it in 1650, the French took it 16 years later and gave it back to the United Kingdom in 1667. The island survived for a long time from the export of raw material and joined St. Kitts and Nevis in 1958.READ ON
The name lives up to the destination, since it comes from the Aztec word "mictlan", which means "gateway to paradise". There is evidence of the Aztec civilization in Punta Mita and surrounding areas dating back to at least 2000 BC. It is believed that at least six big cultural groups were there before the Spanish arrival in the sixteenth century, including the Huichol Indians, which still exists today. In the year 1500, the Spanish arrived on the shores of the beautiful Riviera Maya. Hernán Cortés briefly visited the Nayarit area in 1523.
Although the fight for the Mexican independence from Spain have begun under Miguel Hidalgo in 1810, the state of Nayarit together with the rest of Mexico did not win its independence until 1821.
If you are in Punta Mita on September 16, you will certainly help the local enthusiasts celebrate Mexico's Independence Day, which actually does not celebrate the date of the 1821 independence, but the day that the revolution for independence began in 1810. It was on that fateful day that Miguel Hidalgo launched his famous "Grito de Dolores," urging Mexicans to stand up and promote their independence. Mexicans take their celebration seriously with parties, fireworks, dances, music, flags, whistles and confetti. You will probably hear "Viva la Independencia!" echoing around the streets.
Anguilla is always calm and blue, but we recommend that you appreciate the period of August and November to enjoy the best events of the island. We recommend the Festival Del Mar (March), Moonsplash (April), Anguilla Yacht Regatta, Anguilla Lit Fest: A Literary Jollification and Valley Street Festival (May), Open Golf Tournament (June), John T. Memorial Cycling Race and Anguilla Summer Festival (July), Sandy Island Dance Music Festival, International Tennis Federation and Tourism Week (November).
…September and October because most of the establishments will be closed. That is when the island’s residents take some time off. However, the newly opened Zemi Beach hotel is so busy that it will be available then.
Anguilla is a place to relax. Do not expect many activities, shopping and tours. You will spend most of the time in your hotel or villa, enjoying the beach and the pool. When you leave, explore the paradisiacal beaches and discover the delicious local gastronomy, full of live music. If the trip married is to another destination, three days are enough to feel the island’s vibe. However, it is precisely on the third day that you finally get in the Anguillan vibe and your mind fly away. This is the reason why we recommend between five and seven days to “rest and live inside the dream”, as described by various locals. Try renting a villa to call yours and spend two weeks. You will be addicted to the island’s blue life.
Consider around US$ 400 a day per couple - this value includes a car, lunch in a restaurant/beach bar and drinks at the end of the day and at dinner. Add this value to your hotel or villa’s daily rate. In YOUR TRIP, we offer a range of interesting options.
For your convenience, the island offers at the local Anguilla’s Clayton J. Lloyd International airport an ample private jets parking lot.
Modern and offering an outstanding service, the parking lot is managed by Lloyds Aviation. To schedule your landing, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fly from New York, Fort Lauderdale, Atlanta, Charlotte or Philadelphia to San Juan by American Airlines, United Airlines, USAIR, Delta or Continental.
Remark: one of the options we love is Fort Lauderdale. Why not enjoy a nice breeze and play a round of golf before or after getting into the airport world, with security and visa lines?
From San Juan, it is a one-hour flight by Tradewind Aviation in a super modern and luxurious Pilatus PC-12 airplane. There are four daily flights and the fee per passenger varies between USD 400 to USD 650 the stretch. Each passenger can check one 23 kg bag. If case of overweight, the company will do what it takes to accommodate your luggage the best way possible, or it will send through the next flight.
When getting to San Juan, a Tradewind employee will be waiting for you before immigration. You do not need to worry about anything, he will take you to the airplane that is flying to Anguilla. If by any reason there is no one waiting for you, go through immigration e then to the Tradewind Aviation counter which is easy to find, or you can just ask. An employee will take you to the airplane. With this airline, you will never need to worry!
To make your reservation, send an email to Amandine, email@example.com
Fly from New York, Fort Lauderdale, Atlanta, Charlotte or Philadelphia to St. Maarten (Princess Juliana airport) by American Airlines, United Airlines, USAIR, Delta or Continental.
Remark: one of the options we love is Fort Lauderdale. Why not enjoy a nice breeze and play a round of golf before or after getting into the airport world, with security and visa lines?
When in St. Maarten, you will take-off with Anguilla Air Services (AAS) in a 10-minute flight. The airline usually does this stretch three times a day, departing at 13:30, 15:30 and 17. The price is usually approximately US$ 130.00 per person.
For this stretch one bag up to 20 kg is allowed, and one hand luggage. There might be a fee charged for checked overweight bags and / or extra bags.
1)The St. Maarten airport is usually busy so when you arrive to the island, go to the information desk, which is before the immigration. An AAS agent will help you through the immigration, baggage claim and will direct you to the boarding gate to Anguilla.
2)This AAS flight is the easiest and most practical way to get to Anguilla, but in case you prefer to have a taste of the Caribbean Sea, there is a 20-minute private boat via GB Express. A GB transfer will take you to the airport’s ferry, that is only three minutes from the terminal. The price by boat for up to six people is US$ 440. 00, (US$ 75.00 per additional person).
In case a private boat is not necessary, GB offers this daily shuttle every day at 10, 11:45, 13:30, 14:45, 15:45, 17 and 1830, for the individual value of $120. 00. Too book your boat, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Transportation to and from Anguilla via ferry is handy and simple.
Ferries run all day between 07:30 and 18:15. The last ferry to Anguilla leaves St. Martin at 7:00 p.m. The ferries run at approximately 45 minute intervals and the journey takes about 25 minutes.
Rates are $ 10 (for children) and $ 20 (for adults), and in addition there are also island fees for departure and arrival, ranging from $ 3 to $ 20 (from age 12). St Martin’s departure rate is $ 5.
Boats are commonly used as charters. Some companies that offer these services are:
It has an office in Anguilla and St. Maarten, and offers regular and private transfers between Anguilla and St. Maarten.
Departures opposite St. Maarten airport with arrival at Blowing Point, Anguilla. Schedules vary, please contact the company for more information. Reservation required.
Travel in style with the GB Express Captain by Lyle Connor, with more than twenty years of experience at sea. Regular daily transfers between St. Maarten Airport and Anguilla.
Link Ferry also offers inbound and shuttle service from St. Maarten Airport to Anguilla, and must be scheduled in advance.
The MV Shauna Ferries is a public ferry that can be chartered for travel between St. Maarten and Anguilla airports.
Phone: 1 (264) 476-0975 / 1 (264) 772-2031 / 0542 | Click here to contact them
English is Anguilla’s official language.
The temperature varies from 28º C to 31º C from November to April, and it is very satisfying mixing the abundant sunshine with the cool breeze that comes from the sea. From May, the temperatures slightly rise, reaching 35 ° C and it may rain more often.
Anguilla keeps the same time as the rest of the Caribbean. To calculate the proper time in Anguilla, add or subtract from the local time in your country:
France -6 hours
North America (East Coast) +1 hour (no difference during Daylight Savings Time)
Japan -13 hours
Australia -14 hours
Africa -5 hours
Russia -8 hours
CURRENCY AND ATM’s
The Eastern Caribbean Dollar is the official currency, although the entire island accepts the American dollar.
You will find ATMs:
At The Valley’s center, next to Money Transfers company;
At the airport;
At the Viceroy hotel’s lobby;
At the MiniMart Romcan in South Hill.
To call Anguilla: + 1 + 264 + (7 digit number)
There are two mobile operators in Anguilla, Lime Anguilla and Digicel. If you need, you can buy a local chip or a prepaid phone and use it during the trip, although the American and European carriers work well on the island.
Most of the restaurants and establishments of the island have Wi-Fi available for their clients. The sign is mostly good, although it can oscillate in rainy days.
When exiting Anguilla, either by the airport or by the port every individual has to pay a US$ 23.00
fee, except children under 12 years old. This is payable in cash only. For those who usually use
only the credit card, remember to leave this separate expense.
Information for departure via Blowing Point Ferry
USD$5.00 - Government departure tax
USD$3.00 - Security fee
USD$5.00 - Passenger Levy fee (for travels to St. Maarten (dutch-side)
ELECTRICITY AND PLUG
The electricity of the island is 110 volts. The outlet pattern is the one we illustrated in the picture.
The Environment Department emerged in early 2006 to conserve local biodiversity and heritage for the well-being of the people of Anguilla and its visitors. Since then, it has been developing a series of policies and programs aimed at island’s conservation and protection, including the management of island's natural reserves and marine parks, as well as environmental impact assessment and response to pollution incidents in Anguilla.
ANEA Program (Anguilla National Ecosystem Assessment) was developed by the Anguilla Department of the Environment in partnership with the Darwin Initiative and the National Anguilla Ecosystem Assessment. Its main objective is to raise awareness among Anguillans and visitors about the island's environment, as well as identify and propose new solutions for its environmental management in a sustainable way. Within this program a number of projects are carried out, including the "Terrestrial and Marine Habitat Mapping Project", which aims to reconstruct the environmental history of Anguilla and its possible changes over the years and a Sustainable Economy project for the local population. For more information, visit: http://www.gov.ai/doe
Two private charter’s popular spots, Dog Island and Prickly Pear are two sea cays that completely integrate. At one side, Pricky Pear attracts Anguilla, St. Martin and St. Barth’s boats. Bordering the reefs that keep the waves on the bay, its waters are always calm and you can do best snorkeling in the area. Swim all over the blue waters and afterwards, go to the coast where the drinks just flow and the seafood is always fresh, both at Prickly Pear and at Johnno’s Restaurant.
After lunch, raise the anchor and moor to Dog Island, where the beach is going to be all yours. The sometimes-ignored Dog Island is a private island with a herd of goats wandering and only a few get to enjoy the simple beauty of this empty coast. To get to visit both islands, organize a whole day at high seas with a captain that owns his own charter. To visit Prickly Pear, both Johnno’s as Prickly Pear Restaurants offer shuttle service at their working hours.
Disconnect and escape to Little Bay for an afternoon of uninterrupted relaxation. Towering cliffs surround the bay’s tiny strip of golden sand and sheer turquoise seas. Accessible solely by cliff-side rope or by boat, its hard-to-reach nature lends a feeling of total exclusivity to the area.
If you are feeling adventurous, climb down the cliff and enjoy the beach for the day, or charter a boat and let the gentle currents lull you atop the ocean.
Snorkel through the pristine, calm waters; Little Bay is a protected marine park, after all. Or to add some adrenaline to the afternoon, climb the 20’ rock at the bay’s edge and dive into the blissful abyss. As you float on the sea’s cool surface, gaze up and you will spot Ani Villas, the luxury villas that overlook this intimate bay.
“Shipwreck” at Sandy Island for an enhanced dose of serenity. Set a mile offshore of Anguilla’s mainland, Sandy Island is a remote paradise that is all sparkling seas and smooth sands.
Home to the inviting and unpretentious Sandy Island Restaurant, this laid-back, barefoot beach bar is famous for its welcoming hospitality, charcoal-grilled crayfish and lobsters and specialty cocktails including the JoJo Rum Punch and the High Tide.
Either catch the island’s aptly named boat, Bliss, from the dock in Sandy Ground or hire a private boat charter to reach Sandy Island. Sandy Island is just one of Anguilla’s outer cays. Make it a full day at sea on a private boat charter, and visit the swimming pool-still seas of Prickly Pear and the remote waters of Dog Island, too.
Two miles of pillow-soft sands make up Rendezvous Bay. With glistening, baby blue waters and a view of mountainous neighboring island, St. Martin, the scenery is unparalleled.
Walk from end to end for a mix of undeveloped, natural beach as well as some of the most talked about bars and restaurants on the island. A few musts? The Place, for their blackened-fish sandwich and comfortable beach couches right on the sand. Are you into a more distinct Caribbean vibe? Head to Garvey’s Sunshine Shack. Cool blended cocktails flows, including Garvey’s own creation, Banana Colada. Garvey himself commands the grill, preparing ribs, chicken and foil-steamed fish.
Further down the beach, CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa boasts some of the freshest cuisine on the island, thanks to their on-site hydroponic gardens. Last, but certainly not less important, the #1 beach bar in the Caribbean as rated by CNN: Bankie Banx’s Dune Preserve. A sprawling lounge made of ocean finds, “The Dune” is a drift-wood-encased world of its own. Owner Bankie Banx, the famous Anguillan musician, hosts reggae evenings under the stars that sit on an open sky.
A paradise tucked between two high cliffs, the view as you drive down to Crocus Bay takes your breath away. Sandy beachfront kisses the cerulean seas, dotted with swinging Anguillan fishing boats and the occasional yachts.
Da’Vida restaurant offers everything from jerk chicken pizza and fresh tuna salads by day. Served at your complimentary lounge chaise right on the sand, afternoons at da’Vida are indulgent to say the least.
After lunch? Rent a kayak on-site and circle the bay, following the rays and sea turtles below. Catch Calvin, most often found beneath the area’s exuberant Tamarind Tree, and take his boat and navigate with it around the Little Bay neighborhood.
Walk along the sands to the far western corner of the beach to hunt seashells. Come nightfall, enjoy da’Vida’s Asian-Caribbean ambiance in their upscale restaurant or try a bite of true Italian pizza inside the modern-chic Blue Bar at boutique hotel, CéBlue, which overlooks the sea below.
Remote Savannah Bay is a rustic gem that remains undeveloped and practically undiscovered. Nat’s Palm Grove, a colorful beach shack, painted white and orange, is the only establishment that graces the beach. Family-run, Nat and his son Theon prepare fine Anguillan lunches of fresh-caught grilled crayfish, served with classic Caribbean side dishes like coleslaw, hand-cut fries, and the bread everyone loves, Johnny cakes. Walk the long the stretch of white sand while the wind blows and the palm trees sway until you build an appetite, or rent a surfboard and catch the gentle rolling waves in the middle of the sandy-bottomed bay.
After lunch, laze away on one of Nat’s lounge chairs at his end of the beach, the Junk’s Hole. Protected by the reef, its calmer waters offer a peaceful swimming area for the perfect snorkeling.
Passing by dangerous roads, this wild waves and strong streams natural beauty is Captain's Bay. This natural beauty is located out of the main road and is the home of just one villa, the ultra-luxurious Exclusivity Villa. It is easy to see helicopter landings for the guests who opt to skip the rough drive.
Although swimming is not a good option, it is well worth the drive to witness the scary waters and to walk along the wide stretch of beach. Located on the eastern tip of Anguilla, for a full day of adventure continue and drive to Windward Point, the island’s furthest eastern point. Lined up to Melocactus, go in a light walk to the top of the promontory to enjoy the entire length of the eastern Anguilla, the Scrub Island and neighbors St. Martin and St. Barths.
A flawless half-moon bay facing the south of St. Martin, Maunday’s Bay is a jewel, as defined by five-star resort Cap Juluca. Moroccan-style villas and restaurants that define the coast surround the always still waters
For a daytime meal, try the Blue resort’s restaurant. Located at the beach, it has an incomparable setting and its wide, white tents will protect you from the sun.
For a proper siesta, walk west towards the beach’s undeveloped corner and then up to the rocky cliff-side to enjoy the 180° panorama view of the neighbor island, St. Martin. As the day is ending, drinks and beverages will be at service at the refined atmosphere of the resort’s restaurants: Spice and Pimms.
Hailed as the “#1 Beach in the Caribbean” by visitors and travel authorities, Shoal Bay East has long been the inspiration to those who have exotic-travel dreams. Spread over 2.4 km, Shoal Bay East is the picture-perfect coastline that sparkles for as far as the eye can see before the land curves to the right, extending to out of sight. Split into two halves, the most populated side of Shoal Bay East is famous for its abundance of casual beach bars. The establishments Madeariman and Uncle Ernie’s are at the epicenter of the beach, together with Gwen’s Reggae Grill further to the west. Gwen’s place comes to life on Sundays, when the Scratch Band plays with steel-pan drums. For more serenity, escape to Tropical Sunset or to Elodia’s. Don not miss the beach walk to the most coveted place of the beach, “The Point.” At spit of land that divides Shoal Bay East’s two halves, crystal-clear waters swirl spreading the smooth sands to all directions. Gaze at the distant end of the beach and feel the clear blue water inviting you. Snorkel around the reefs or join Junior Fleming on his glass-bottomed boat to watch the gorgeous rays as they play in the surf.
Meads Bay exhibits one of Anguilla’s most impressive shorelines, with its pristine white sand and crystalline water.
In recent years, Meads Bay became the beach of choice of the rich and famous who either want to anchor their big yachts on the shore or retreat in one of the super-luxurious resorts such as Viceroy or Malliouhana, a hostel-resort which delimits the lengthy strip of golden sand.
In between Malliouhana and Viceroy, are some hotels that have a more mild prices, such as Carimar Beach Club, Turtle’s Nest and the charming Frangipani. There are also some good places to eat - Blanchards Restaurant, Blanchards Beach Shack, Jacala (Martha Stewart’s favorite in the Caribbean) and Straw Hat. The relatively new to the local scene Omalie 360, gloss the crowds on Sunday’s afternoons with its open-air restaurant Ocean Echo.
When you are not on the beach, jump on a paddleboard and slide over the clear Mead’s waters or grab your snorkeling gear and explore the reefs that dress up bay’s western corner
As the day gets closer to a finale and the sun begins kissing the horizon, Viceroy’s Sunset Lounge and Malliouhana’s Sunset Bar offer an unparalleled exclusive scenery to watch the sunset from their elegant spot that overlooks the ocean.
Located at Anguilla’s east end, Harbour Island is a fishing village rich in cultural charm. Rustic wooden fishing boats bait in the harbor as the fishermen ferry their catch along the main quay and neighborhood children sail with the sunfish surrounded by the bay’s crystal clear waters.
With such a buzz in the air, it is no surprise that Harbour island is hosting the much awaited yearly festival, the Festival del Mar, a weekend of food and festivities that celebrates the sea. A little taste of Festival del Mar can be tasted year-round at Falcon’s Nest, a tinny shack in the sand. Fishermen offload their catch at Falcon’s Nest daily. Their grilled Mahi Mahi is amongst the best and cheapest of the island. If prefer a more refined and upscale ambiance, head just down the shoreline to Elite, where you will have a good taste of the Italian cuisine. While you dine, note the afar sight of the picturesque Scilly Cay and soak up that truly joyous Caribbean feeling. To bring a touch of Anguilla home, stop by the Anguilla Sea Salt and take home a pot of handmade kitchen salt.
Established near the far-western tip of Anguilla’s north shore lies the unassuming Barnes Bay. Smaller than the neighbor Meads Bay, its more hidden nature adds a touch of exclusivity to this immaculate and elegant coastline. Its beach is more eminent because of its high-end villas, private houses and properties that reaches the elegant Cerulean Villa that sits at the water’s edge.
Mango’s Seaside Grill serves fresh seafood in a distinct beach bar. The white and blue Barnes’ waves lap just feet away from Mango’s covered wooden deck on the sand. Be sure to sample Chef Dave’s day special tartare.
At the end of the beach, Viceroy’s modern villas sit atop the hilly shoreline. Tuck into the Half Shell, visit Viceroy’s Mediterranean restaurant for a bite of warm pita and hummus, all irrigated by a freshly pressed tropical juice.
Undeveloped and quiet, a walk along Cove Bay offers the best of both worlds: a mix of excitement and peacefulness inside the old times Anguilla. Start the afternoon at the only structure set on the sand, Smokey’s At the Cove. Everybody loves their Saturday afternoon beach parties as the Musical Brothers’ melodies complete the air.
A Saturday afternoon at Smokey’s is a must.
Eat a coconut shrimp or a snapper sandwich before dancing all afternoon long on the sand.
When it is time to freshen up, walk about the ocean’s gentle waters, around the seabed that so gradually leans.
Watch the local kite surfers as they jump across the sea’s surface and try taking an Anguilla Watersports lesson.
To get the full Cove Bay’s untouched beauty influence, walk through all the extension of the sand to the high dunes on the beach’s west end or take a chance on a horsehide at the Seaside Stables whose tours begin and end with the Cove Bay’s peace and calm.
Good doses of rum, sun and fun… that is Scilly Cay!
The husband and wife team of owners Eudoxie and Sandra Wallace take care of this dot of sand in the middle of Harbour’s Island translucent waters. They have been happily hosting guests here on their private island for decades. With just a few simple grills and dining tables, Scilly Cay’s décor may be rather artless, but your experience will be far from ordinary.
To reach this tiny isle, beckon to their small boat from the Island Harbour quay. As you approach Scilly Cay, keep an eye on the lobsters in the sea. Juicy and fresh, they will be your lunch. Chat with the other guests and Eudoxie whose personality fills the entire island while waiting for lunch.
After an indulgent meal of lobster, fruits and shrimp salad, taste the especially strong Scilly Cay rum punch, and have fun in the sea that surrounds you as all your tensions fly through the clear blue sky.
Just a few steps from Anguilla’s eastern tip in Windward Point, Scrub Island is a mysterious slice of uninhabited paradise. Its private island status and the fact that it is surrounded by the high seas, protect it of the heavy ships and the pedestrian traffic.
Getting there is well worth the effort because Scrub Island houses an incredible and deserted beach. A catchy feeling of adventure will dominate you as you observe the isolated Anguilla lands from its isolated coast. To increase your adrenaline, dive even deeper in the waters that are famous for having a rich marine life.
For a full scope of the island’s pros and cons, explore its inner part to observe two surprisingly intriguing views: spot an old propeller airplane at an abandoned track. Walk further into the city to glimpse an old hotel’s skeleton. It is undeniable the mystique feeling and absolute beauty that lives in Scrub Island.
Welcome to Anguilla!
Anguilla’s prosperous main entry port is the nearest point to St. Martin. This is from where visitors and residents arrive and leave, both to the Dutch side of St. Maarten and to its French side, St. Martin.
Adjacent to the ferry’s terminal is one of the island’s most visited attractions, the Dolphin Discovery, one of the few dolphin aquariums in this part of the Caribbean. So feel free to just jump and join the friendly dolphins as the trainers offer attentive instructions that will take your joy and security to the top.
Hold on to your dolphin’s flipper as it takes you to a water ride, or you can stand still while it propels you to the air using his nose, pushing your feet. It is a full time adventure at Dolphin Discovery!
What to do after an exciting morning with the dolphins? Stop at the Ferry Boat Inn, at the beach for a chat with the kind owners Christian and Marjorie McClean, and enjoy one of the best burgers and rum punches on the island. In addition, do not miss Ferry Boat Inn on Wednesdays night, when a British pub style restaurant offers $1 chicken wings.
French invasions site and the house of the “father of Anguilla”, Mr. Ronald Webster who led Anguilla to the independence from St. Kitts in 1967, Sandy Hill Bay is both historically significant as well as a remarkable beach for snorkeling and swimming.
A bay with all shades of blue with views of St. Martin and St. Barth, Sandy Hill is mainly residential, with many houses dotting the surrounding mountains. Among these houses, stands the exotic and imposing Bird of Paradise Villa, developed with attention focused on details and inspired by the owner’s multiple trips to Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and Africa.
On the beach, stroll from tip to tip through the bay and enjoy the protected snorkeling in the reefs with all the tropical fish. Sandy Hill is always peaceful, protected by the winds and the sea. It is a great choice for a beach picnic.
1.5 miles West End district accommodates some of the island’s most talked about beaches, hotels, villas and restaurants.
It hosts the stunning Meads Bay and Rendezvous Bay that respectively look north to the Atlantic Ocean and south, to Maunday’s Bay and Barnes Bay. The beach’s sizes and views diverge, but one thing never changes: all the beaches from the west end of Anguilla have pristine white sands and clear, blue sea.
It is no surprise that sophisticated resorts and villas such as CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa, Cap Juluca, Malliouhana: An Auberge Resort, Viceroy and Cerulean chose Anguilla’s West End to be their prestigious address.
As the west end of the island narrows, the island’s developments decrease. Go to the further and narrower point to leave modernity aside and witness “The Arch”, a natural rock formation over the calm waters and also a tiny piece of land out of Anguilla.
The Valley is both Anguilla’s geographic center and the island’s capital.
During the week, the businesses as well as the government offices are all operating.
Explore the alleys for a mix of Caribbean gastronomic experiences.
The blue and yellow West Indies Café, property of a Trinidad native offers fresh pastries, roasted chicken or cooked ham sandwiches served with your choice of bread: olive ciabatta or baguette.
Head to the Little Curry House to have a taste of the Guyanese cuisine: radha’s curry, rotis and the "doubles", a desirable West Indian snack. For a more formal dinner, Valley Bistro offers an extensive appetizers’ menu , entries and special deserts. Right next you will find the colorful culinary of Hungry, that offers good quesadillas in good prices.
When the sun goes down, The Strip is the place to be. Home of a growing nightlife, the food trucks offer cheap and tasty foods and still have local musicians. Get into the festive atmosphere and grab a piece of the famous Ken ribs or visit the Jazzy for a seashell soup.
On Sundays, do not miss Domino Café to watch the hot competitions. To conclude, comes August The Valley is on fire, full of Carnival celebrations, including the intense Grand Parade of Troupes.
South Hill defines the country’s further part from the Anguillan coast, the Midwest stretch. It is home to one of the most breathtaking island’s views, the Back Street. A road that goes parallel to Road Bay is the favorite observation point of both visitors and residents. Looking to the wide bay and to the Sandy Ground beach you can see August Monday, the carnival pinnacle. The views get even more impressive as the boats of the neighboring islands line up at the coast.
When you are in the area, drop by the long stablished store Irie Life. Adorned by Rasta colors and reggae music, their iconic Anguilla t-shirts are the reason why the store is so famous.
To recharge your batteries, drive a little further down the main road to Lower South Hill and stop by the popular Geraud’s Patisserie for an espresso and a croissant. For dinner, indulge yourself in the Cha Cha San Asian-Caribbean cuisine or invite your taste buds for a groundbreaking culinary experience at De Cuisine, owned and administrated by the chef Denise Carr and her husband Josh Proctor.
Strongly contrasting the island’s West End, Anguilla’s East End is where the true Anguilla lives. Far less developed than its western half, with one big beach and many undiscovered treasures, what characterizes this city is its neighborhoods, deserted beaches and its down-to-earth bars and restaurants. With its sandy beach bars and restaurants, Shoal Bay East is the most famous beach at East End Anguilla, even though Island Harbor anchors the area and is truly the heart of the island.
You can find many stylish places to eat at the main road including the Asian Fusion Escape, Hibernia Restaurant and the ones at the remote beaches Captain’s Bay, Savannah Bay and Windward Point. A visit to East End is not complete unless you meet Mr. Colville Petty, a historian who captures and documents Anguilla’s history for decades. Check Anguilla’s past at his Heritage Collection museum.
In the spirit of walking the road less traveled, the mysterious Katouche Bay is worth the discovery. Tucked below a leaning hill and sheltered by a high cliff on its western side, Katouche Bay is a tiny rocky beach better known for something that are not its sands. The beach is located at the farthest coast area and guards the only Anguilla tropical forest.
The coverages made out of luxurious foliage are pendant as you walk passing by the salty lagoon and the very high cactus installations. Be careful not to smash the many shy crab soldiers that are usually on the way!
Climb to the track's highest point to get to see the real treasure this place holds: Cavanaugh Cave, more commonly referred to as Iguana Cave. However, you will not find any iguanas here. Its only residents are actually a big variety of bats.
Get to know the superficial limestone cave and discover the natural skylight that brings sunlight to the cave’s tree and that extends through its opening towards the sky.
One of the most significant Anguilla’s areas, Lower Historic Valley is full of charm and has a great cultural relevance. Many of the district’s sights are part of the Anguilla’s Heritage Trail, a ten sights self-led tour. The Old Valley Well, the well that has brought water to this part of the community for many years, is one of the first stops of the trail.
Until you get to the road, peer at the gingerbread at the Koal Keel Caribbean wooden house, an eighteenth century ranch that became a popular restaurant more recently. It is famous for being the oldest building in town, and it is across the street from a cured art gallery, the Savannah Art Gallery. As you turn around the corner of the main street, right after Koal Keel you will find Lloyd’s B&B, the first hotel in town, right on the opposite side of the island’s old hospital and current Red Cross. Family owned, Lloyd’s kept its reputation due to its high quality patterns together with competitive prices throughout the years.
Finally, do not miss the Old Court House ruins, which served the government purposes for years, even as a prison. It is above the island’s highest point, Crocus Hill.
Shoal Bay East may get all the focus but her sister Shoal Bay West should not be left aside. Located at the complete opposite side of the island (at the south-west coast of Anguilla) the views and the sensation could not possibly be more distinct. Smaller in size, this beach has a few developments, such as the attractive Covecastle villa, that boasts a modern design and the sophisticated Altamer Resort. There is one private property in between these two hotels, a glossy villa that once belonged to Chuck Norris.
It boarders an outstanding Italian beach restaurant, the politicians and celebrities’ favourite Trattoria Tramonto. Opt for the juicy lobster and a glass of Pinot Grigio to accompany.
Relax in the beach carriage ride with views of St. Martin or get a kayak to the “Blowing Rock” right in the middle of the bay. Moreover, do not forget your snorkel mask! For more affordable accommodations, Blue Waters Beach Apartments offers perfectly conserved beachfront rooms at a reasonable price.
Sandy Ground is an impressing beginning to days filled with fun and exciting nights. From the pier that stretches to the harbor, you can greet your arrival to Sandy Island, spend an afternoon diving or still watch a breathtaking sunset while sailing at a classical West Indies’ sailboat.
In case you prefer to be the captain of your own boat or if you are interested in learning, Anguilla Youth Sailing Club rents 420s, Hobie Cats and Lasers and offers lessons right on the beach. If you want more adventure, walk the shoreline to the western end to explore on-shore shipwrecks.
During the night, restaurants and bars take on a life of their own and you can feel a nice atmosphere of intimacy at the island. Respectable Anguilla’s establishments, such as Barrel Stay, SandBar, Johnno’s, Elvis’ Beach Bar and The Pumphouse offer a range of cuisines and musical styles for a night full of fun. The newcomer Le Bar brings a touch of Paris to the island for a change. Still to complete the European options, Dolce Vita serves a modern Italian while Roy’s and Ripples, represent the United Kingdom with their menus and a British pub atmosphere.