A small Caribbean island that packs a punch, Anguilla is a perfect destination for visitors seeking secluded beaches and a tranquil escape. The most northerly of the Leeward Islands, Anguilla is home to just 15,000 people. This picture-perfect isle combines stately British traditions with a lively Caribbean spirit and is the ideal place to soak up some sun, sea and sand.
The landscape is primarily coral and limestone with low scrub inland and stretches of sea grape along the coast. The tropical climate is temperate with average temperatures in the low 80s and frequent sunshine. Annual rainfall is only about 35 inches, and while hurricanes can occur in summer, they are generally not as destructive as on other Caribbean islands.
A British Overseas Territory, Anguilla is governed by a governor and a unicameral House of Assembly with eleven seats. The governor, appointed by the monarchy, is responsible for external affairs, defense, internal security and public services, and presides over an Executive Council with a chief minister, other ministers and ex officio members. Legislative power is vested in the House of Assembly, which selects the speaker and delegates other functions to committees. Voting is by universal adult suffrage.
Anguilla is not overly developed and is mainly known for its white sand beaches, crystal clear waters and the stunning reef systems that surround the island. There are a number of luxury hotels on Anguilla, although the best accommodation can be found in smaller resorts and guest houses that offer a more personal experience.
Most of the island’s hotels are situated on some of Anguilla’s most beautiful and unspoiled beaches, which are ideal for swimming, snorkeling or simply relaxing. Visitors can also hire a boat and dock on the most spectacular beach locations or take a sea-based tour around the islands.
Food and drink is a big part of Anguilla’s culture, with local cooks preparing a wide variety of tasty treats. Try some of the following dishes during your stay:
Sea Moss Soup – A local favourite, this soup is made with boiled sea moss that’s been soaked and boiled until it forms jelly. It is then mixed with sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg to create this refreshing, sweet dish.
Johnny Cakes – A common breakfast pastry served at most restaurants, these delicious flatbreads are made with cornmeal. They are topped with ingredients like egg, onion and cheese and can be served warm or cold.
During the winter months, Anguilla is at its peak glamour as tourists flock to the island for the glitzy New Year’s Eve festivities and spectacular views of the spectacular sunsets. During the spring, Anguilla’s hotels begin to lower their winter rates and the weather begins to shift as temperatures rise into the mid-80s. The calm waters make April a popular time for whale-watching during the annual migration. This is also when many water-sports operators offer reduced rates.