With 33 white-sand beaches, a lack of high-rise hotels and a focus on secluded luxury, Anguilla attracts discerning travellers looking for an authentic Caribbean vacation. But this little island in the British West Indies also has a lot more to offer. Its tradition of protecting privacy, upscale resorts and selection of more than 70 restaurants all add up to one memorable island getaway.

Anguilla’s coastline is dotted with stunning reefs and calm bays where it’s common to spot Hawksbill Sea Turtles. Snorkelers and divers will find that Shoal Bay East’s placid waters and colorful underwater ecosystems make for some of the island’s best diving spots.

The swaying sea breeze, turquoise waters and white-sand shores make Anguilla’s beaches among the most beautiful in the Caribbean. Some are so secluded, even in peak season you might only see a few people strolling the shoreline. Others are wide open with azure-blue waves rolling in and crashing over the soft, powdery sands. There’s a reason this is one of the most popular beach destinations in the Caribbean.

Those looking for more active pursuits can explore the island’s many hiking trails and bird-watching sites, or rent a boat to visit nearby Anegada and The Reef. There are plenty of opportunities for scuba diving, snorkeling and sailing, too.

The island’s cultural heritage is celebrated in many ways: Anguilla Day, a national holiday held on May 30, is the perfect time to witness an Anguillian boat race, the nation’s favorite sport. The National Trust also presents a series of lectures on local history, and the Heritage Collection museum features an exhibition of maritime artifacts.

Musicians have long been a big part of Anguillan culture, with reggae, calypso and soca musicians all thriving here. Most notable is Bankie Banx, who’s shared the stage with musical icons like Jimmy Buffett and Bob Dylan and founded the Moonsplash music festival. Whether you’re hanging out at Dune Preserve or dining at Veya, don’t be surprised to hear some acoustic reggae performances by Omari Banks, the talented son of the Anguillan icon.

It’s easy to see why Anguilla has become a favorite among celebrities, who flock here for the island’s tradition of protecting privacy and its luxurious resorts. But there’s more to Anguilla than meets the eye: the island is rich in natural and historical wonders that will enrich your vacation. Whether you’re strolling the historic Olde Valley district in Anguilla’s capital, dropping by the heritage museum or exploring the salt ponds, you’ll discover why this is one of the Caribbean’s hidden gems.

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