Known as the Caribbean’s hidden gem, Anguilla is beloved by travelers for its offering of true peace and quiet, luxurious resorts and restaurants and exciting excursions. With 33 stunning beaches, a host of jaw-dropping properties and the kind of photo-worthy vistas that you just can’t ignore, it’s no wonder that Anguilla keeps popping up on the feeds and “For You” pages of social media.
Anguilla’s pristine beauty is not the only thing that makes it stand out; its people and culture are also top-notch. You’ll find friendly, welcoming residents who greet you with a warm smile and wave every time you pass them on the street. And, while the island is popular with tourists, it never feels overcrowded, with most of its restaurants serving locals as well as visitors.
When you visit, take the time to explore a bit of Anguilla’s fascinating history. There are a handful of historic sights to see, such as Wallblake House in The Valley, which provides insight into the island’s plantation era and the days of the Arawak Indians. You should also stop by the Heritage Collection Museum, which has a good collection of artifacts and documents related to Anguilla’s colonial past.
Although agriculture is important, tourism is Anguilla’s leading industry and a growing source of revenue. In addition to hotel rooms and dining, the tourism sector supports many other businesses, including boat tours, diving, snorkeling, shopping and arts and crafts. Anguilla imports most of its food and consumer goods, but exports of fish and lobster have become a significant source of income. Offshore banking is another substantial economic activity, but there have been some concerns over money laundering.
Like most islands in the Caribbean, Anguilla has a tropical climate with a high temperature range and rainfall that averages 35 inches per year. The rainy season runs from June to November and the island is susceptible to hurricanes, which can be destructive.
The most prominent natural feature is the island’s dazzling array of beaches. Some are sheltered by barrier reefs, while others have gentle surf and calm lagoons. The best beaches include Long Bay Beach, which offers a wide variety of watersports and the pristine Sandy Ground Bay, where you can explore the remains of several shipwrecks.
The sand on most beaches is soft and powdery, making it ideal for swimming and sunbathing. If you’re interested in exploring Anguilla’s underwater world, check out Prickly Pear Cays, an underwater cave whose rock formations play host to barracuda and nurse sharks. The island is also home to a number of stunning shipwrecks, which can be viewed on wreck dives offered by numerous tour operators. There are a few golf courses on the island and other types of recreation are also available, such as horseback riding by the sea or a spot of tennis at one of the island’s many courts. Live music is a common feature at some of the island’s lounges and bars. You’ll find all kinds of genres represented, from reggae to classic jazz.