Anguilla Travel Guide
Introduction to Anguilla
A Caribbean island well-known for its beaches (there’s 365 of them … one for every day of the year, according to travel literature put out by its tourism board), Anguilla is an overseas British territory that often gets confused with its nearby neighbor Antigua.
The quality of its coastal scenery is enough to set it apart though, as many of the beaches that you will find here frequently make lists for the best in the Caribbean, if not the world.
While prices here aren’t exactly cheap, we think that you will find that the money you end up spending will turn out to be well worth the expense.
Currency: East Caribbean Dollars
What To Do in Anguilla
Anguilla is somewhat short on historical and cultural attractions given its small size, but there are a few places in this category worth seeing during your visit to this small Caribbean territory.
The first of these should be the Heritage Museum Collection, as it is here where artifacts with historical importance to the past history of the island of Anguilla are preserved in permanent exhibits.
Some of these are rather benign, such as the collection of antiques that were used to furnish houses in the 19th century, but others speak to a darker period in the history of Anguilla, like shackles that were used to bind the legs of African and native slaves.
Mr. Petty is the chief historian on duty, and he will be more than happy to answer any enquiries that you might have about life on Anguilla prior to the modern era.
One of the structures that harkens back to the time before internet, television and other mainstays of modern life is Wallblake House.
The oldest and only plantation-style house left standing on Anguilla, this structure dating back to 1787 used to be a place where sugar was grown.
Restored fully in modern times, it includes stables, a kitchen outbuilding and slave quarters. As it now serves as a private home for the Roman Catholic priest of the island, you can’t just stroll up and go for a tour, but those arranging one beforehand will be able to explore the property of one of Anguilla’s most important heritage properties.
Long before Anguilla had a tourist industry, the primary economic export of this small Caribbean island was salt.
The Old Salt Factory & Pumphouse was where this commodity was processed before being shipped off to markets around the world.
A guided tour will lead you through the process of how this ubiquitous mineral was mined, processed and packaged many generations ago, so be sure to inquire about this tour at your hotel or guesthouse.
Those seeking a million dollar view on Anguilla have many options available to them, but those that want a panoramic shot of the island and the surrounding Caribbean Sea, heading to Crocus Hill is a must.
Standing 65 meters above the surrounding ocean, the peak of this promontory is one of the best places on Anguilla for sunset photography.
While there are a number of historical and cultural attractions on Anguilla worth your time, it goes without saying that most of the people that come here are drawn by the beauty of its beaches.
One of the best of these is undoubtedly Shoal Bay. Containing sand so brilliantly white that its brightness might surprise you, this beach makes lists not just for the best beaches in the Caribbean, but the entire world as well. From the second you lay eyes on its electric blue water, you will understand why.
Rendezvous Bay is another excellent choice for those that are seeking a Caribbean beach paradise with nary a person to be seen (or relatively few at peak hours).
A perfect crescent bay lined with sand that is a shade of pure white, one end is lined with several beach and snack bars, while the other is blissfully isolated, allowing you to pursue your deserted island fantasy in near solitude.
Those seeking an incredible beach near a collection of quality hotels and villas will end up visiting Meads Bay a great deal during their stay in Anguilla.
Steps away from these accommodations lies waters that resemble that of a swimming pool; their calm nature during dry season makes it a family-friendly place to be, yet it is lashed by waves during wet season that also make it a great destination for surfers.
What to Eat in Anguilla
A great soup to have while in Anguilla is Lobster Bisque, as this crustacean is found in great abundance in the waters off of this island.
Dating back to the times when the French held possession of this island, it maintains popularity as a starter and as a main course at restaurant tables across Anguilla in the present day.
Those looking to have the national dish of Anguilla need look no further than Pigeon Peas and Rice.
Simply peas and rice in its most humble form, more elaborate versions include bacon or other types of meat or seafood, so ask around at the various restaurants that you end up visiting while in Anguilla.
Another dish that has been passed down through the generations despite the trials of slavery has been Callalloo.
Brought over to the West Indies from West Africa, this stew combines various dark green leafy vegetables with coconut milk, seafood, pumpkin, chopped onions and garlic.