Anguilla

Anguilla Travel Guide

Anguilla Tourist Guide & Info

Introduction

Still a bit off the beaten track, Anguilla is one of the most paradise-like islands in the Caribbean. With some of the world’s best beaches, genuinely gracious inhabitants, and accommodations to suit every budget, Anguilla is the perfect getaway for winter travelers. 

The Valley is the capital of the island, and is located right in the center. Sandy Ground village on Road Bay, the main port and the center of nightlife, is located on the north coast. The luxury resorts are located on the west end of the island. Anguilla also has several smaller resorts and private guesthouses, as well as a great selection of bars and restaurant from the most casual to the star studded.

 

Essential Facts

  • Capital :
    The Valley
  • Currency :
    Eastern Caribbean Dollar
  • Driver's License :
    International license recommended. Must be 25 years old and have a credit card. A visitor's permit of US $20 must be purchased.
  • Electricity :
    110 Volts AC
  • Entry Requirements :
    A passport, valid 3 months beyond intended stay, and an ongoing or return ticket are required. It is the traveller's responsibility to check with the country’s Embassy for up-to-date information.
  • GMT Time :
    -4hr. Daylight savings time is not applied.
  • Government :
    British Overseas Territory
  • Land size :
    91 km2
  • Language :
    English
  • National Airlines :
    none
  • Population :
    14,836 approx.
  • Religion :
    Anglican 29%, Methodist 23.9%, other Protestant 30.2%, Roman Catholic 5.7%, other Christian 1.7%, other 5.2%, none or unspecified 4.3%
  • Required Vaccines :
    none
  • Tourist Season :
    December through April
  • Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada :
    Consult the "Country Travel Advice and Advisories" of Anguilla

 

Origin & Culture

Cuisine
The cuisine of Anguilla uses elements from various cooking traditions borrowed from their neighbors and developed from their own traditional yet multi-cultural dishes. Being a British territory and under its rule for so long, the English influence in the local cuisine is very much felt. Many Europeans now call Anguilla home as well so you will find Spanish, Italian and French ingredients. 

Using the right amount of spices is essential in the Antiguan cuisine and the diversity of vegetables and cereals found in Anguilla is also noticed in the delicious dishes. Meats are often cured and smoked such as hams. A very traditional meal is the mahi mahi fish and it is prepared with roasted red onions, rice, tomatoes and with a sauce of mustard and capers. The meals served on special occasions also include the breast of cinnamon crusted Chicken, served with rice and mushrooms. Other local dishes include vegetable spring rolls, gazpacho, and Jamaican jerk shrimp.

 

Culture

Don’t be surprised if you hear the local speak with a dialect. Anguillan Creole is spoken by about 10,000. Anguillans but is not considered an official language. 

Although there are many local celebrations, Anguilla is a British Overseas Territory therefore all English holidays such as the Queen’s birthday are celebrated as well. 

The island has produced a number of popular reggae, calypso, soca and country musicians. Of these, the last is especially characteristic. Anguilla's Island Harbor, an Irish-settled village on the east side of the island, is a major center for local country music.

 

Geography
Anguilla is situated in the British West Indies, around 161km northwest of Antigua, 241km east of Puerto Rico and 14km north of St. Maarten. It is the most northerly of the Leeward Islands in the Eastern Caribbean. 

The long, thin island measures a mere 26km by 5km. The terrain is flat and low-lying, comprised of coral and limestone and covered mostly with rock, sparse scrub oak, few trees and some salt ponds. The lowest point of Anguilla is the sea level at 0m and the highest point is Crocus Hill at 65 m. 

The Valley is the capital of Anguilla and is the center of commerce and government. Six nearby islands belong to Anguilla: Scrub Island, Sombrero, Dog Island, Sandy Island, Prickly Pear and Anguillita.

 

History

In 1650, English settlers arrived and colonized Anguilla. They established plantations where corn and tobacco were grown. By the 1800s Anguilla was thriving as a plantation economy like most of the Caribbean. Rum, sugar, cotton, indigo, fustic and mahogany were its chief exports. Over time eroding soil and unreliable rainfall made conditions for farming unfavorable. Many people then became private proprietorships, fishermen or sailors. 

Against the wishes of the inhabitants the island was incorporated into a single British dependency along with Saint Kitts and Nevis in the 1960s. Several attempts at separation failed. In 1971, two years after a revolt, Anguilla was finally allowed to secede; this arrangement was formally recognized in 1980 with Anguilla becoming a separate British Dependent Territory with some measure of autonomy in government.

 

Nature

Anguilla’s salt ponds, the only wetlands on the island, serve as sanctuaries for Anguilla’s 136 different bird species including white-cheeked pintails and black-neck stilts. Of particular note are Sandy Ground, East End, West End and Little Harbor ponds where pelicans, falcons, gulls, brown boobies, terns and herons all happen to congregate. 

One of Anguilla’s best-kept secrets is its small rainforest, which is located on the north side of the island. The hiking trail is accessible from the beach beyond Masara Resort, near Crocus Hill. Head left down the beach and look for the trail on your left, away from the beach. 

The Anguilla Sea Turtle Project is committed to preserving four varieties of turtles: hawksbill, green, leatherback, and loggerhead. These ancient creatures arrive on the island’s beaches every year between April and November. Visitors may have the opportunity to witness the hatchlings emerging from their shells or scrambling across the beaches towards the sea. 

Anguilla has six marine parks and six good dive wrecks, plus a huge array of coral formations, walls ridges, canyons and tunnels for the enjoyment of both novice and experienced divers.

 

Sports

As in many other former British Colonies, cricket is also a popular sport. Anguilla is the home of Omari Banks, who played for the West Indies Cricket Team, while Cardigan Connor played first-class cricket for English county side Hampshire and was team manager for Anguilla's Commonwealth Games team in 2002. 

Rugby union is represented in Anguilla by the Anguilla Eels RFC, who were formed in April 2006.

 

Other Useful Information

Banks & Money
While the Eastern Caribbean Dollar is the official currency of Anguilla, the US dollar is widely accepted across the island. Try to carry smalls bills as larger ones, even 20s, can be hard to break. ATMs can be found in many convenient locations and they dispense US and EC dollars. Credit cards are not always accepted and the transaction charge may be added to your bill.

 

Climate

The annual rainfall hovers around 900mm per year which is not much for a tropical island. This is due to the flat landscape and absence of the type of vegetation that attracts rain clouds. The wettest months are September and October. The island is subject to both sudden tropical storms and hurricanes from July to October. 

For monthly average temperatures please refer to your destination of choice.

 

Communication
The country code for Anguilla is 211

Canada is a direct-dial call from the Anguilla and most telecommunications services, such as the internet, have been modernized. If no internet service is offered in your hotel you can find a few internet cafes on the island. 

The only post office is in the Valley and is open only on weekdays.

 

Health
Although the water is generally safe to drink, bottled water is available at most hotels and convenience stores. Local meat, poultry, seafood, fruit and vegetables are generally considered safe to eat. The most common illness is the traveler's diarrhea (turista) and sunstroke. 

There are no required vaccines to enter the country, unless you are arriving from a yellow fever affected destination. The following vaccines are recommended for any tropical destination: hepatitis A and B, rabies, typhoid, tetanus and yellow fever.

 

Official Holidays
March/April – Good Friday/ Easter Monday
1 May – Labor Day
May – Whit Monday
30 May – Anguilla day
2nd Monday in June – Sovereign's birthday
10 August – Constitution day
19 December – Separation day
25 December – Christmas Day
26 December – Boxing Day

 

Safety
Anguilla is considered relatively safe and enjoy a low crime rate. However as a tourist you are more likely to be a target of petty crime. Use good judgment, take advantage of the safety deposit boxes provided by the hotels, do not leave valuables unattended in public and carry your wallet and camera discreetly. Also make sure to lock your hotel room and rental car.

 

Shopping

However, for an even greater selection, hop on the ferry at Blowing Point for the seven mile journey across calm waters to neighbouring island, St Martin, where shops selling duty free jewelry, watches, precious stones, perfumes and clothes are in abundance.

 

Taxes & Tips
There is a departure tax of $20 US per adult, whether by plane or ferry. There is no charge for children under 12 years old. For day trips to surrounding islands through Blowing Point Ferry Terminal ONLY there is a departure tax of $5 US as well. 

The government collects a 10% tax on rooms and a 10 percent service charge is also usually added to the final bill. Restaurants also include a 10 percent service usually charge on your final bill. Extra tipping is at your discretion. Taxi drivers usually get tipped 10%.

 

Transportation
Wallblake Airport is situated on the immediate outskirts of the capital, The Valley. While the airport is not an international airport but it can accommodate small to medium size aircraft. The airport receives mostly inter-island flights from San Juan, Puerto Rico, St. Martin, Antigua, and St. Kitts. 

There are several ferry services to both the French and Dutch sides of St. Martin. Ferries leave from Blowing Point. 

Car, jeep, scooter and bike rentals are available just remember that driving is on the left-hand side of the road. A $20 temporary Anguilla driver’s license is required for car rental. These temporary licenses are available through most car rental agencies. 

Taxis are an option. Fairs are set but trips are unmetered, check and confirm the price before getting into the taxi. Taxi drivers will also usually be happy to give you a guided tour of the island for a set price.

 

Send me more info 

Receive a Free* $100 Visa Gift Card with any qualifying booking!

Please leave this field empty.

Visa Gift Card

*Applicable to all escorted tour or cruise bookings for two or more passengers valued at over $1000 per person before taxes and made through Grand Escapades with our preferred suppliers – Visa gift card will be made available following full payment of booking – One visa gift card per booking – cannot be combined with any other Grand Escapades promotion or discount – to qualify for gift card, client must provide promo-code VGC100 at the time of booking – Not valid in jurisdictions that deems it illegal – Offer may be withdrawn or modified at any time. – Visa, and the Visa design are trademarks of Visa International.