Anguilla

A slender strip of white sand and clear turquoise waters cradled in the leeward island group of Leeward Islands, Anguilla has a lot to offer. Whether you’re looking for an idyllic retreat from the bustle of everyday life or a place to discover your inner adventurer, this Caribbean gem delivers.

Luxury hotels, delectable restaurants, and an array of fun activities await. Those seeking a more immersive experience can join the local community for cultural celebrations, sporting events, and the traditional round-the-island boat race. The island is also a paradise for nature lovers, with a variety of flora and fauna to discover on land and sea.

In a region that often promotes a one-size-fits-all approach to tourism, Anguilla offers a range of experiences that reflect the diverse backgrounds of its people and the many stories that have shaped its history. The island’s cultural heritage combines influences from both British and African traditions, with important stages and events in Anguillian history woven into the fabric of daily life and celebrated with passion.

From canvases of vibrant color to driftwood carvings, Anguillian artists express their creativity with complete freedom. From the sounds of steel pan music to guitar and soca, Anguillian music reflects the island’s joy of life.

The Anguillian culture is also imbued with a sense of spirituality. The island is home to numerous churches, a large percentage of whom are Baptist, and the Christian faith has deep roots in the Anguillian way of life. Combined with the spirituality of the Caribbean and the influence of African traditions, the faith is an integral part of the island’s culture.

Although Anguilla is a British Overseas Territory, the island has carved its own path to independence and self-determination. Its political structure consists of a parliamentary representative democratic dependency with the Premier serving as head of government. Anguilla’s economy is dependent on luxury tourism, offshore banking, lobster fishing and remittances from emigrants. It is a member of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), the European Union and the Commonwealth.

The island’s most celebrated festival is Anguilla Day, which takes place on May 30. This national holiday pays tribute to the island’s historic legacy of independence, strength and survival. The festivities include Church services, uniformed parades and cultural performances.

Those seeking to make the most of their Anguillan experience should try some of the delicious street food. Popular snacks on the island include “johnny cakes filled with saltfish” (fried bread with salted codfish filling), roti (a Caribbean-style wrap with meat, vegetables and curry sauce) and bouyon (a sweet and zesty drink made from hibiscus flowers). For dessert, try a “coconut tart,” banana bread, or rum cake. Those with a sweet tooth can’t leave without trying mauby ice cream, which is made from the bark of the local mauby tree and has a unique flavor.

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