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Anguilla

Anguilla Travel Guide

Why Anguilla?

  • Twelve miles of beautiful white-sand beaches
  • Quiet, peaceful and off the beaten path
  • Spiny lobster barbecue on Scilly Cay
  • Greg Norman 18 hole championship golf course
  • Music Festivals!

Anguilla Island Guide

You're in the right place to find all sorts of useful information about Anguilla. Use the Island Guide below to read an overview about the island, and then use the 'tabs' above to learn more about local services, what to do, where to eat, and more! We understand you may not know much about Anguilla - that's what we're here for!

Anguilla Weather/Climate

Average Temperatures
Highs Lows
January 83 ° C 75 ° C
February 83 ° C 75 ° C
March 83 ° C 75 ° C
April 84 ° C 77 ° C
May 86 ° C 78 ° C
June 88 ° C 80 ° C
July 88 ° C 80 ° C
August 88 ° C 80 ° C
September 88 ° C 80 ° C
October 87 ° C 80 ° C
November 85 ° C 78 ° C
December 83 ° C 76 ° C

Average Rainfall
January 2.9 inches
February 1.9 inches
March 1.7 inches
April 3.1 inches
May 3.9 inches
June 2.8 inches
July 3.3 inches
August 4.5 inches
September 4.6 inches
October 3.9 inches
November 4.6 inches
December 3.6 inches

Overview

If your heart is set on getting away from it all and experiencing a true island escape, Anguilla, with its friendly people and natural attractions, is a perfect choice. Its low lying, arid terrain doesn't leave much in the way of exploration but your consolation prize is the beaches - twelve miles of them - all powder white-sand, beautiful and more often than not, deserted. Anguilla is simply a beach lover's paradise! For the most part, people who visit Anguilla are seeking rest and relaxation...sunbathing, walking on the beaches, swimming and reading are the favorite pastimes.

Anguilla (rhymes with "vanilla") is located roughly 150 miles east of Puerto Rico and just a mere five miles north of St. Maarten. The small little island measures sixteen miles long and three miles wide. Gentle breezes bathe the island continuously resulting in an average temperature of around 80F.

A British dependent territory since 1650 and the most northerly of the Leeward Islands and Lesser Antilles, Anguilla remains greatly untouched by commercial development; the hotels are all discreet low-rise designs complementing both the rocky coral and sandy coastlines.

The interior of the island is mostly evergreen bushland (shrubs) with a sporadic bougainvillea, hibiscus or other blooming plant reminding you of the island's tropical influence. Salt ponds provide bird watching enthusiasts with a glimpse of a variety of species calling Anguilla home including the snowy egret and the great blue heron.

Additional attractions on Anguilla range from their national sport of boat racing and sailing to the local art galleries. If you rent a car for a day to tour the island you'll meet many of the local artists, each perfecting their art and proud to share their talents with you. Anguilla is also noted for its gourmet restaurants, luxury resorts and charming locally owned apartments, inns and guesthouses. If diving is what you're after, Anguilla offers a superb reef system and offshore wrecks to explore. Snorkeling is sensational off Scilly Cay, a two-minute boat trip from Island Harbour on the northeast end of Anguilla.

Shopping (to speak of), nightlife and gambling you won't find on Anguilla but if you need a fix in these areas, don't fret - a trip to St. Maarten is just a 30-minute ferry ride. If you're real ambitious with money to spare, you can hop a small plane to French St. Bart's and enjoy a day of exquisite shopping and world renown French cuisine.

History

Some 4,000 years ago, Anguilla was a lush island covered in dense rain forest. It was discovered by Amerindian peoples from South America's mainland. They called Anguilla "Malliouhana", which meant arrow-shape sea serpent.

Evidence of these Amerindians as old as 3300 years has been found at the eastern end of Anguilla. Shell axes, conch shell drinking vessels, and flint blades from the pre-ceramic era have all been found on Anguilla.

Christopher Columbus sailed by Anguilla in 1493 but never landed. During this time the Europeans changed the island's name from Malliouhana to Anguilla, for its long eel shape.

Anguilla first became colonized in 1650. English settlers found that the soil in Anguilla was good for growing corn and tobacco, so plantations began. When they arrived on the island, there were no Amerindians inhabiting Anguilla, but by 1656 Indians from a neighboring island destroyed their settlement.

In 1666 a French expedition captured Anguilla. The following year the island was returned to Britain under the Treaty of Breda. In 1744 Anguilla, assisted by privateers from St. Kitts captured the French half of neighboring St. Martin.

Retaliation came on May 21, 1745, when two French frigates and some small craft attacked at Crocus Bay. The Anguillians repulsed them in less than fifteen minutes. St. Martin was returned to the French in 1748 under the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle.

Anguilla possessed a plantation economy like most of the Caribbean in the 1800s. Rum, sugar, cotton, indigo, fustic and mahogany were its chief exports. However, the soil on Anguilla was thin and unreliable rainfall made conditions for a plantation economy unfavourable. Estates were small and could not employ many slaves. Eventually, slaves began to develop into individual peasant proprietors, fisherman or sailors, which increased their personal independence.

The 1830's brought the union of St. Kitts -Nevis-Anguilla on Britain's recommendation.

In 1958, St. Kitts -Nevis-Anguilla became part of the Federation of the West Indies. The Federation collapsed in 1962, which resulted in individual constitutions for most islands St. Kitts -Nevis-Anguilla was made an associated statehood, a political decision that sparked the Anguilla Revolution. Anguilla wanted its independence from the state and the proposed union was not a viable option for the island.

May 30, 1967 is celebrated today as Anguilla Day. This day commemorates the repulsion of the Royal St. Kitts Police Force from the island.

On December 19, 1980, Anguilla became a separate Dependent Territory.

Top 5 Things To Do

Top 5 Thing to Do

Shoal Bay East

Anguilla's Shoal Bay is a beach lover's paradise

Anguilla is simply a beach lover's paradise and of the 33 magnificent beaches, Shoal Bay is our top pick. The 2-mile strand of perfect white sand has been named the world's best beach by many of the top tourist magazines, which means a good portion of the beach is lined with villas, small resorts and umbrellas. There are several great open-air restaurants bumping with live music and rum punch.

Top 5 Thing to Do

Scilly Cay Restaurant

A unique dining/drinking experience, call the boat over and prepare yourself for some fun.

Head over to Island Harbour and wave at the little island in the distance. Within a few short minutes your Scilly Cay ferry will whisk you away for a unique dining experience. There's one building here and it serves some of the best, alive-just-minutes-ago lobster! Add rum punch and the panoramic view of the Island Harbour and this spot is a favorite of ours and many who visit Anguilla. Open for lunch only and closed on Mondays. Entertainment on Wednesday and Sundays.

Top 5 Thing to Do

Sailing and Boat Racing

Sailing -- Anguilla's National Sport

Who knew Anguilla's national sport is sailing? Well, actually sailing in Anguilla has a long and deep history, often indistinguishable from the history of the island itself. Anguilla hosts a number of annual sailboat racing events. These sailing competitions, regattas or boat races bring the community together and people come out in large numbers to enjoy the intense competition among the sailors. The racing season runs May through August. The races are followed by post-race parties that can last into the wee hours of the night.

Top 5 Thing to Do

Local Barbecue

The local BBQ stands offer a cheap and delicious meat plates

Anguilla smells delicious! That's because everywhere you look, you see tents with locals selling barbecued chicken, ribs, fish, crayfish and lobster. The mouth-watering fare is often paired with a cold rum punch, beer or piña colada. It makes for a fantastic picnic for vacationers on the go. The price is right too!

Top 5 Thing to Do

Prickly Pear Cays

Great snorkling and beautiful conch found on Prickly Pear Cays

Prickly Pear Cays is two small, uninhabited islands located just 6 miles from Road Bay Anguilla. They are divided by a narrow channel into Prickly Pear east and Prickly Pear west. Both offer 360 degrees of powdery sand and turquoise water. It's popular among swimmers and snorkelers looking for a less crowded experience. You'll have to hop a sailboat or catamaran to make your way over but the effort is rewarded. May we suggest snorkeling the Anguilla side where the tourist boats don't sail. Here you'll find beautiful pink and yellow conch shells and abundant marine life. There are two restaurants and a bar so spending the day here is no problem.

Transportation on Anguilla

Getting to Anguilla and getting around. Our transportation tips will help make your trip smoother. More good sand advice.

Entry Documents

All visitors must present a passport upon entering Anguilla along with a return or onward ticket, all documents needed for next destination, and sufficient funds for the duration of their stay. A visa is not required for a maximum stay of 3 months. All Americans traveling by air outside the US are required to present a passport to re-enter the US. This requirement will be extended to sea travel (except closed loop cruises) by the summer of 2009.

Airlines Flying Here

You can fly directly to Anguilla's Wallblake Airport from Puerto Rico via American Eagle/American Airlines or LIAT, or opt to fly directly to St. Maarten or St. Thomas for easy transfers to Anguilla. Other inter-island airlines serve Anguilla: LIAT, TransAnguilla and Windward Islands Airways.

Airport

Wallblake Airport.

Departure Tax

A departure tax $28 USD adult, $10 USD child, is charged at the airport or $5 USD by ferry when departing.

Driving

On the left. Average speed is about 30 mph. A valid license from resident country required to obtain a temporary Anguillian drivers license for $20 USD that is issued on the spot by car rental agencies.

Local Transportation

Renting a car is the best way of getting around the small island of Anguilla, allowing for the most flexibility and mobility, even if it's just for a day or two of sightseeing. Public transportation, apart from a usually reliable taxi system, is non-existent.

Anguilla Weddings and Honeymoons

Vacationers don't just stay in Anguilla villas - they come to paradise to get married and celebrate their honeymoons! A 48-hour island registry is required prior to marriage. There is a mandatory fee of $284.00 USD, and birth certificates, passports and divorce papers (if applicable) are required. The license application is available from the Judicial Department (open 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 pm weekdays) and must be completed and processed. If on island for 15 days prior to your wedding, the cost is US$40.00 USD.

See our favorite villas for weddings.

See our favorite villas for honeymoons.

Know Before You Go...® - Anguilla Travel Tips

Before making their way to Anguilla villas, vacationers like to know a little bit of helpful information to make them feel more at home during their stay. Take a look at our travel tips to make your time in villas in Anguilla even more relaxing.

Capital: The Valley
Population: 13,677
Size: 16 miles long, 3 miles wide, 35 square miles.
Electric Current: 110
Time: 18:12 pm zone:-4 (GMT/UTC -4)
Official Language: English
Topography: Low-lying and undulating island of coral and limestone
Telephone: Area code (264), plus 497, plus the local number.

Anguilla Tourism Board

P.O. Box 1388, The ValleyAnguilla, B.W.I.

(264) 497-2759
(800) 553-4939
(264) 497-2710
www.anguilla-vacation.com

Anguilla Hotel & Tourism Association

(264) 497-2944
ahta@anguillanet.com
www.ahta.ai
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