The small island of Anguilla is renowned for its uncrowded, beautiful beaches. Its white sands are lapped by the clear blue sea, dotted with reef-protected coves and home to a diverse array of marine life.
The island’s natural beauty is matched by its warm and welcoming people, who know how to take joy in the simple things like unique cuisine, fine rum and spirited music. The Anguillans love to laugh, and they are always willing to lend a helping hand. They are a close-knit community, a reflection of their small size and stately British roots. The poor soil that prevented Anguilla from developing a strong plantation system during colonial times also spared the island the racial tensions that have marred many of its Caribbean neighbors.
English is the official language and most Anguillians are Christians. The island has a tropical climate with average temperatures in the low 80s F (about 28 deg C) and abundant rainfall. The island is prone to hurricanes from June to November, which cause significant damage.
Tourism is Anguilla’s main industry, with a large portion of the population employed in this sector. The economy also relies heavily on agriculture, especially sugar, cotton and tobacco. Originally colonized by the English in 1650, Anguilla was later taken over by the French before returning to British control in 1834. Its emancipation on August 1, 1834, is commemorated as a national holiday in Anguilla.
Today, the island is a tax haven and a popular offshore location for businesses and individuals seeking a secure, stable and friendly environment in which to conduct business. There is no income, property or capital gains tax in Anguilla.
With an average temperature of 84 degrees Fahrenheit, Anguilla’s climate is perfect for year-round travel and offers a variety of activities. Beaches, spas and upscale restaurants provide plenty of opportunities to relax. For adventurers, there are many limestone caves to explore and wildlife to observe, including native birds and sea turtles.
In addition to its rich history, Anguilla has cultivated a vibrant culture with influences from its Caribbean neighbors and from Britain. Reggae, calypso and soca music are prevalent, and a number of Anguillian musicians have made their mark internationally. One of the most celebrated is Bankie Banx, who has performed alongside such music luminaries as Jimmy Buffett and Bob Dylan. He is also the founder of Moonsplash, the island’s longest-running music festival.
Music is an important part of Anguillian culture, and it is a regular feature at public events such as Lobster Fest and the Anguilla Day Boat Race. The Anguillian steel pan tradition is well-established as well, and musicians like Michael “Dumpa” Martin have influenced generations with their music. In Anguilla, you can hear a wide range of genres at any time of day or night.