Anguilla is an island of tranquility. At only 35 square miles, the island of Anguilla is small and unique. The island lies between the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. There are no mountains or tall builidings to block your view of this Caribbean Paradise. Visitors will find many fabulous, white sand beaches and the beautiful turquoise waters.
Perfect for diving and snorkeling. The people of Anguilla are very hospitable. Besides having 2 of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean, Mead’s Bay and Shoal Bay , there are also plenty of luxury hotels, inns and villas. Popular places for the rich and famous include Covecastles, Cap Juluca and Malliouhana.
The first Amerindians to settle on Anguilla came to the island over 3500 years ago. It has been said that the island was a regional center for the Arawak Indians. The Carib Indians eventually overpowered the Arawaks and called the island Malliouhana. The early Spanish explorers named the island Anguilla, meaning ‘eel,’ This because of the shape of the island. The British established the first permanent European colony on Anguilla in 1650.
There were a few invasion attempts by the French, though it has remained a Crown Colony ever since. The island slid into a slow decline in the early 1800’s and population decreased., In 1967, Britain sought to loosen its colonial ties by making Anguilla into an alignment with the islands of St Kitts and Nevis. The intent was for the three islands to form a new Caribbean nation. Anguillians wanted no part of the new state.
This lead to the Anguillians arming themselves and revolting. They forced St Kitts police off the island and blocked the runway to prevent a ‘reinvasion’ by Kittitian forces. After two years of attempts to negotiate a solution, the British forces invaded Anguilla in 1969. Rather than resisting, they welcomed the first wave of British paratroopers. The Anguillians eventually did get their way and Britain agreed to drop the idea of an Anguillian union with St Kitts.
Cruise ships dock at Blowing Point Port. At the pier you will see plenty of shopping, eating, and traveling opportunities. Taxis are the only true way to travel around Anguilla. Also, there is no need to worry about the rates of taxis here because they have fixed fares regulated by the government. When your ship docks on Anguilla there will be plenty of taxis for you to choose from.
Anguilla National Trust Museum:
Displays changing exhibits of Anguilla’s history and natural environment. This museum is worth a visit.
Built in 1787 and now fully restored, this plantation house withstood the French invasions in the late 18th century. This is the only surviving plantation house on Anguilla.
Island Harbour is a working fishing village, with beaches that are lined with brightly colored fishing boats. A few dining options are available. Island Harbour’s main historic site is Big Spring. This is a neglected, and partially collapsed cave containing 28 Amerindian petroglyphs. There is also an underwater spring that once served as the village water source.
Just off Island Harbour, in the centre of the bay, is the tiny private island of Scilly Cay, which has an open-air restaurant and bar and is fringed with a beach of bone-white sands. It can make for a fun afternoon of food, music and swimming.
Prickly Pear Cays:
Offshore islands popular for diving include Prickly Pear Cays, which has caverns, ledges, barracudas and nurse sharks. This is also a popular spot for snorkelling. Tour boats leave Sandy Ground for Prickly Pear daily.
Anguilla has more than 30 beaches to explore! There are more located on the offshore cays and islands. All beaches in Anguilla are public, yet have no lifeguards.
The beach is what Anguilla is known for but with so many offered, it is hard to discern which would be the best pick for your individual tastes. For the active and sporty visitor, Barnes Bay (Northwest Coast) is the best spot for windsurfing and snorkeling. Road Bay (Northwest Coast) is quite commercial but it doesn’t take away from its apparent beauty. One of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean is the Shoal Bay East (Southeast Coast). The coconut trees make you realize that you are indeed in a tropical paradise. Sandy Hill Beach: A pleasant place to sun and swim and a favorite with the locals.
Little Bay, this is Anguilla’s best kept secret! A small and quiet beach with fantastic snorkelling.
Shoal Bay, voted one of the Caribbean’s 10 best beached. The most popular beach on Anguilla. The beach is lined with beach bars, small resorts and umbrellas. The water is perfect, and only a short distance from a gentle colorful reef full of fish and coral.