Captain’s Bay is along the northern stretch of the island. This scenic beach spot is a favorite for relaxing on some of the Caribbean’s whitest sands while enjoying some of the Caribbean’s bluest waters. But be sure to get there early, this small beach sometimes fills up fast.
If you want to learn a little bit about the colonial history of the island, you can spend part of your day at the Wallblake House. Said to be the oldest structure on the island, this historic sugar plantation is now kept and preserved and open to showcase the various eras of the island’s history. You can take a tour or simply wander the grounds and take in another side of Anguilla.
If you’re looking for live music, head over to the Dune Preserve almost any evening and you are sure to see some local talent performing their hearts out for the crowds. If you’re lucky, you might even get to hear one of the local bands that have performed with Jimmy Buffett or Bob Dylan! If you’re traveling to Anguilla in March, be sure to check out the Moonsplash Music Festival, which makes its home at Dune Preserve.
Much of Anguilla’s local economy is built on the fishing industry. Every village and town on the island has their own famous local seafood shack, so you can guide yourself on a tour of the local fare and figure out exactly which flavors o the Caribbean are your favorites.
Every Anguillan or regular traveler to this beautiful island will tell you that boat racing is the national sport and the national pastime. With team sailboat racing occurring in Anguilla since the early 1900s, you are almost guaranteed to see those beautiful billowing sails decorating the sapphire blue waters during your stay. If you want to get a taste of the sea air, you can take lessons at one of the local schools set up for visitors.
Despite the island being relatively small, there is a huge cycling community on Anguilla. The relatively smooth terrain makes for a wonderfully scenic bike ride. You can rent yourself a bike and enjoy stunning coastal views as you fly down the roads. Every year, Anguilla hosts multiple bike races, so if you’re lucky, you just may coincide with a race and watch some of the Caribbean’s top cyclers compete for victory.
After the island has made great forward movement toward recovering from Hurricane Irma, Anguilla’s Ministry of Tourism has announced that this past peak tourism season has been record-breaking. With this spike in tourism, Anguilla can expect to continue not only repairing the island and communities, but also further improve for years to come.
You will not be able to get a direct flight to Anguilla, but don’t worry, the destination is well worth the journey. You will have to catch a flight from one of the neighboring islands of Puerto Rico, St. Maarten, or Antigua, usually operated by Liat Airlines. If you’re travelling from North America, you will want to book a flight with American Airlines or Delta. If you’re travelling from Latin or South America, you will want to hop aboard an American Airlines flight or Avianca. Unfortunately for our European travellers, you will have to switch over in North America. You’ll land at the Clayton J. Lloyd International Airport, which is in the center of the island.
If you’re doing a little bit of island hopping, you may instead opt for a boat journey. If you’re visiting the nearby St. Martin/St. Maarten, you’ll be able to board a ferry and cruise over the Anguilla Channel and arrive on the south side of the island.
When your ferry pulls into the docks at Anguilla, you will be able to catch a shuttle from the docks to wherever you need to go.
If you want to get yourself around the island, your best car rental option will be the AVIS rental agency located just north of the airport in The Quarter neighborhood. Or instead, if you’re travelling with a large group, there is a reservation bus service that will act as your personal chauffeur for your trip. Just contact Harry’s Taxi and Tour Bus Service in advance at http://harrystaxitours.com/ and you’ll be able to work out a deal. Or instead, you can travel like the locals and rent a bike at your hotel!
For the avian lovers among us, you can take a day trip to nearby Scrub Island, one of Anguilla’s offshore cays. Scrub Island is off limits to developers, so all that is awaiting you is a docking point and some basic facilities. There are more than 30 rare Caribbean bird species that make their home here, so if you’re quiet on your hike around the island, you just might get lucky. Not only that, but you can arrange to go snorkeling to view the sea turtles and stingrays that call the reefs and inlets home. Just hop on a ferry from Anguilla’s Island Harbor and you’ll be there in less than 30 minutes!
Bankie Banx: Reggae mogul who has performed with Jimmy Buffett, Bob Dylan, the Bacon Brothers, and many more famous acts. He founded Dune Preserve and its yearly reggae festival Moonsplash. He still performs at Dune Preserve!
The Honourable Ronald Webster, MHA: Local politician, and former Chief Minister of Anguilla, who played a key role in separating Anguilla from other Caribbean islands under British control. Because of his efforts, Anguilla was then considered to be its own British Overseas Territory under the eyes of the British government. March 2nd is a local holiday in honor of him.
Football: Anguilla turns out many star footballers who go on to play throughout the Caribbean and on an international level.
If you want to learn more about the history of the island, you can visit the Heritage Collection Museum. With artifacts dating back from the early indigenous populations of the island, artifacts from the colonial era, and records of recent history, you’ll learn so much more about the history of this little island than you could’ve ever imagined.
To learn about the local art scene, you can visit the Savannah Gallery located in The Valley. The small gallery showcases art produced by local and other Caribbean artists, specifically focusing on Creole influences.
Anguilla isn’t quite large enough to supplement a lot of the eco-tourism seen on other Caribbean islands. However, a day trip to Scrub Island is always a great retreat to see some of that tropical flora and fauna that many Caribbean goers dream of. If you want something a little closer to home, you can find one of the many local watersports schools and adventure groups to go on snorkeling and boating trips around the island.
Anguilla was hit hard by Hurricane Irma and is still dealing with the aftermath. To help the island recover, and prepare for future disasters, you can donate to the Anguilla Red Cross.
If you want to donate to Anguilla’s efforts to keep the island as eco-friendly and wildlife friendly as possible, you can donate to the Anguillan National Trust.