Travellers come to Anguilla for the natural beauty and quiet atmosphere, the 33 sparkling strands, art galleries, and other historical and cultural offerings.
For seaside experiences, the beach options are seemingly endless: Rendezvous Bay, Cove Bay and Mead’s Bay beckon with long curved strands of sand. Smaller pocket beaches include Limestone Bay, known for its snorkeling, and Little Bay, reached only by boat. Captain’s Bay and Junk’s Hole Bay are more remote. Shoal Bay East is undoubtedly the island’s most popular beach while Scrub Island, Prickly Pear and Dog Island are excellent snorkelling destinations.
Activities on land include horseback riding, bird watching (there are 136 species), biking and sampling spirits at the Pyrat Rum Distillery. Visit the Arawak “spirit eyes” petroglyphs in the caverns at Big Springs Heritage Site and the 1,000-year-old artifacts at the Heritage Collection Museum. Art aficionados will enjoy touring Anguilla’s 16 galleries, which feature a mix of local and Caribbean crafts, woodcarving, hand-blown glass and fine art. At the MoonSplash Music Festival in March, Bankie Banx serves up three days of music, food and fun. In May, a regatta features seven yacht races over three days. Carnival in August is beloved for parades, calypso competitions and traditional wooden-boat racing. November’s Tranquility Jazz Festival brings performances by regional and international musicians.
Airport: Wallblake Airport is located 5 minutes drive from the capital, The Valley. Gateways/Flying Times: There are no direct flights from the UK to Anguilla, however, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic fly from Gatwick to Antigua, from there LIAT will connect to Anguilla. American Airlines fly from Heathrow via the United States to San Juan, from there LIAT will also connect to Anguilla. Air France from Paris, and KLM from Amsterdam fly to St. Martin with connecting flights on several local carriers. London: 8 3/4 hours. Manchester: 8 hours. Paris: 8 hours. Amsterdam 8 hours 40 minutes. Antigua: 35 minutes. Puerto Rico: 1 hour. St. Maarten: 6 minutes.
Average Winter/Summer temperature: 80 degrees. DINING: Known as ‘the cuisine capital of the Caribbean,’ Anguilla’s extraordinary dining scene offers discerning travelers a robust variety of gastronomic diversions with more than 70 dining experiences ranging from elegant, intimate gourmet seaside restaurants to casually chic beachfront bistros and festive, affordable roadside grills. Tipping at restaurants is discretionary at 10 or 15% as a 15% service charge is added to each bill.
Most resorts and hotels offer nightly entertainment in season and there are several excellent local bands who perform frequently at such venues as Johnno’s, The Pumphouse, Road Well Café and Ripples in Sandy Ground; Rafe’s and the Red Dragon Dance Club in South Hill and the Dune Preserve on Rendezvous Bay.
Explore caves and grottos. The Wallblake House, a restored 17th century plantation house, is the oldest on the island. Lobster village at Island Harbor. Salt ponds at Sandy Ground. An Island tour 1 or 2 persons is US$50.00. Each additional person pays $10.00. Dolphin Discovery – a pool where one can actually interact with the dolphins. Big Spring – an ancient Amerindian cavern with petroglyphs carved into the face of the rock walls. The Warden’s place is Anguilla’s 2nd oldest property, dating back to the 18th century. Heritage Collection Museum.