A slender limestone bump in the sea, Anguilla’s little over-water island is an intoxicating blend of old clapboard shacks, stunning new vacation properties, a diverse array of cultures and mind-blowing beaches. It is a place to relax, explore and rejuvenate with the most beautiful waters in the Caribbean.

The island’s history spans from prehistoric Amerindian settlements to its modern status as a British overseas territory. Its people are stately and reserved yet bursting with Caribbean spirit, blending elements of both British and African culture. Anguilla’s storied past is reflected in important milestones, festivals and traditions that are woven into everyday life.

Today, Anguillians are a multicultural people with English as the official language. Many are Christian. Many of the descendants of the original Taino inhabitants, the European settlers and African slaves live together in peaceful harmony. The culture of Anguilla reflects these influences.

Anguillians are well educated. Most are fluent in English and most have access to computer technology. The majority of Anguillians are also familiar with American culture, due to the heavy dependence on tourism and the island’s close proximity to the United States.

The Anguillian economy depends mainly on the service industry, with tourism being the biggest contributor. The island is a major producer of seafood and the export of fish, lobster and other produce helps to support the local market. The economy is also bolstered by the import of goods from the United States and from the remittances sent home by migrant workers.

With no income tax, Anguilla is a popular offshore haven for investors and businesses looking to avoid taxes and regulatory constraints. Anguilla has a highly skilled workforce and a modern infrastructure, including telecommunications and the Internet.

Beaches are the main draw for visitors to Anguilla, with a total of 31 miles of white sand beaches, ranging from wide crescents perfect for surfing to intimate coves where you can spot iguanas sunbathing on the shoreline. There are also water sports, like diving, snorkeling and windsurfing, as well as a variety of land-based activities, like horseback riding and bird watching.

For a day away from the beaches, take a trip to one of Anguilla’s off-island cays, like Scilly Cay or Sandy Island. Rent a boat and go island hopping, docking on some of Anguilla’s most breathtaking beaches. Try a sunset cruise with Tradition Sailing or go island hopping by car, driving around the island’s most picturesque spots in search of secluded beaches and secret coves. Then end the night with a sunset cocktail, watching the stars come out to play at one of Anguilla’s world-class bars. There are plenty of options from the ritzy Veya to the laid-back Elvis’ Bar. And don’t miss a chat with Sandra and Eudoxie Wallace, who own the Pumphouse, for their ribald Anguilla back-in-the-day stories.

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