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Anguilla Is Caribbean Getaway Of Your Dreams - Trip Advisor, Hotels, Packages, Beaches...

Anguilla Map

"Anguilla, British West Indies - the island that is an experience, a special feeling found nowhere else - chosen by visionaries as the destination of choice for luxurious, five-star resorts; and by all visitors for the quality found in each level of accommodations. Begin your own journey of discovering the many attributes that make the Anguilla experience one that is not easily put in words but one that is truly bound in 'feeling is believing'!"

anguilla beaches
   Barely 35 square miles in size, and rising to a highest point of just over two hundred feet, Anguilla has an interior that is dry, dusty and covered in scrubby vegetation. However, this fact is largely ignored by an increasing stream of visitors who beat their way here for the glorious turquoise waters and truly stunning beaches. Some of these, particularly Rendezvous Bay in the southwest and Shoal Bay in the northeast, are among the finest in the Caribbean.
    Long ignored by tourists, tiny Anguilla has benefited from careful study of the planning mistakes that have badly damaged neighbours like St Martin/St Maarten , where runaway development has led to rising crime and serious social problems. By contrast, Anguilla has eschewed large-scale tourist complexes, successfully aiming for top-quality, high-end development with relatively limited impact on the island's scarce resources. As a result, the island feels very safe, welcoming and relaxed. If you're happy with beach wandering, watersports and plenty of good restaurants, Anguilla is hard to beat.
   Like other Caribbean islands  Anguilla is a year-round destination; however, the best time to visit is between mid-December and mid-April when rainfall is low and the heat is tempered by cooling trade winds.
  The island
   Anguilla is centred around its modest capital, The Valley , from which roads head both east and west to the island's fine beaches and natural attractions, chief among them shimmering Shoal Bay East and Rendezvous Bay . There are no towns or villages as such on the island, and the closest thing you'll find are the small clusters of houses found in areas such as Sandy Ground and Island Harbour.
    Anguilla's climate is tropical, with little seasonal variation. Temperatures range from 22C to 30C. Rainfall is low, averaging 100 centimeters annually, with substantial variation from year to year. Hurricanes are a threat in the summer or fall. The scant rainfall and poor soil allow for only low scrub vegetation.
    Much as in other former British colonies, the official language of Anguilla is English 
   The official currency of Anguilla is the Eastern Caribbean dollar (EC$) , although US dollars are widely accepted. The EC$ is divided into 100 cents. Bills come in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 EC dollars; coins in 1, 2, 5, 10 and 25 cents. At the time of writing, the rate of exchange was roughly EC$2.70 to US$1.
   Credit cards are taken at most hotels and restaurants. Most of the banks are in The Valley and include Barclays, Scotia and National Bank of Anguilla, normally open from Monday to Thursday 8am-2pm and Friday 8am-4pm.
   Seafood aside, almost everything is imported, so prices are relatively high. To compound matters, a 15 percent service charge is added to your bill at many restaurants, and 18 percent in tax and service charges at most hotels
   Local time is GMT -4.  
cap juluca anguilla
   Telephone kiosks are scattered around the island; most take phonecards, sold at many shops and hotels or at the Cable and Wireless office in The Valley.   
    The post office is in The Valley and open Monday to Friday 8.30am-3.30pm. Most hotels will let you hook up to their internet connection for minimal or no charge, and there's an internet cafe at Ripples restaurant in Sandy Ground.
  The country code for Anguilla is 264.    
       A 10% to 15% service charge is added to all hotel bills, though it doesn't always go to staff.
It's usually expected that you will tip more -- $5 per person per day for the housekeeping staff, $20 for a helpful concierge, and $10 per day for the group to beach attendants. It is not uncommon to tip more generously, particularly at higher-end resorts.
   Many restaurants include a service charge of 10% to 15% on the bill; it is your choice to tip more if you feel the service is deserving. If there is no surcharge, tip about 15%. If you have taken most meals at your hotel's dining room, approximately $100 per week can be handed to the restaurant manager in an envelope to be divided among the staff.
   Taxi drivers should receive 10% of the fare.
      Anguilla is a quiet, relatively safe island, but there's no sense in tempting fate by leaving your valuables unattended in your hotel room, on the beach, or in your car. Most hotel rooms are equipped with a safe to stash your valuables.
 Electricity    The current is 110 volts, the same as in North America; U.S.-standard two-prong plugs will work just fine.
  Healthanguilla vacation
    There is only one hospital in Anguilla and facilities are limited. Private medical services are available at Hughes Medical Centre , t 497 3053. Prescriptions can be filled at the Princess Alexandra Pharmacy, the Valley or Paramount Pharmacy in Water Swamp. It is advisable to travel with sufficient medication for your stay.
   Check that your coverage for polio and tetanus is up to date. There is no malaria in Anguilla. You should take normal precautions against mosquito bites. If you are susceptible then make sure to use insect repellent during daylight hours and after sunset.

   Princess Alexandra Hospital , The Valley, t 497 2551
In-and-out patient care and a 24 hour emergency room. Serious medical cases/those requiring surgery need to be flown to the nearest suitable facilities which in many cases will be in Miami.
   Anguilla has something of a reputation in certain circles for its medical tourism, particularly in plastic surgery, through the Hughes Medical Centre owned by Dr Lowell Hughes, a blue building on the West End Road .

   With the exception of Yellow Fever , where a vaccination certificate is required from travellers over one year of age coming from infected areas, no vaccinations are required for entry into Anguilla, however please check with your GP prior to travelling.
January 1- New Year's Day

Good Friday

Easter Monday

May 1- Labour Day

Whit Monday

Dec 25- Christmas Day

Dec 26- Boxing Day

   As well as the public holidays we've listed above, Anguilla celebrates Anguilla Day on May 30, Constitution Day on August 6 and Separation Day on December 19.

  There's a fun but fairly low-key summer carnival , normally during the first week of August, with boat races, live bands, a Miss Anguilla pageant and a calypso show. Boat races are also held over Easter weekend and during the run-up to the carnival - keep an eye out in the newspapers and free tourist magazines for locations and times.

  For ambulance, fire and police dial 911

Food and Drink   

anguilla hotels

     There are many good restaurants in Anguilla, many focusing on local seafood such as snapper, grouper, conch and lobster. Island specialities include pumpkin soup, conch salad and goat stew, though you'll rarely find these at the more upmarket joints. Nightlife is pretty quiet, with the occasional live band at one of the bars in Sandy Ground or Shoal Bay East. To see what's on, pick up the free monthly What We Do in Anguilla, available from the tourist office, airport and most hotels.

   Cedar Grove   Rendezvous Bay Hotel tel 264/497-6549. Excellent hotel restaurant on the southwest coast, where you can eat on the terrace or in the garden overlooking the magnificent bay. Evenings sees the chef serving up a more formal menu of gumbo soup, interesting salads and fresh, tasty seafood. There's live music every Sunday from 7pm. Open daily for lunch and dinner.

cuisinart anguilla

    Covecastles Shoal Bay West tel 264/497-6801. Top-quality French- and Caribbean-style food, from starters such as sauteed snails with garlic butter, through mains of lobster laced with fresh truffle cream sauce to unforgettable black-and-white chocolate mousse cake with raspberry sauce. Expect to pay for the privilege, around US$60 for three courses. Dinner only, closed Tues.

   Johnno's, Sandy Ground tel 264/497-2728. Easy-going open-plan bar and restaurant on the beach at Sandy Ground, dishing up tasty and inexpensive meals of pumpkin soup, grouper, snapper, curried goat and burgers for US$8-12 per person. Occasional live music on Saturday and Sunday. Open daily for lunch and dinner.

    Koal Keel The Valley tel 264/497-2930. Probably the place to go if you're feeling in the money, with a fine hand in the kitchen behind exquisite dishes like crayfish ravioli, seared foie gras with truffles and lightly curried lobster. Starters run US$10-20, main courses US$25-40, and there's a seven-course tasting menu for US$100. Open Friday to Monday, dinner only.

   Le Beach Bar Shoal Bay Villas tel 264/497-5598. One of a series of beachfront bars along glorious Shoal Bay, all fairly similar in price and quality , Le Beach offers simple meals all day, ranging from sandwiches, burgers and pizza for lunch (US$5-10 per person) to fish and chicken meals in the evening at double those prices. There's also a West Indian buffet on Wednesday from 6.30pm for US$20 per person, with live music. A good place, too, to just chill out after exerting yourself in the sea (you can rent snorkels nearby). Open daily for lunch and dinner.

   Old Cotton Gin Ice Cream Parlour The Valley tel 264/497-3328. Fantastic variety of delicious ice creams (coconut, mango, ginger and the like) as well as soft drinks, coffee and home-made cakes. Open daily except Tues, 10am-8pm.

   Ripples Sandy Ground tel 264/497-3380. Delicious food dished up all day, specializing in local seafood dishes like creole snapper or coconut shrimp as well as pasta and burgers. There's a half-price happy hour every evening 5-7pm and you can expect to pay US$25-40 for three courses (drinks not included). Open daily noon-midnight.

   Roy's Crocus Bay tel 264/497-2470. English-style pub on the beach, offering good and reasonably priced anguilla beach sandwiches and fish and chips at lunch, a more formal menu including seafood , sirloin steaks and prime rib in the evening, with starters from US$5 and main courses from US$20. Daily happy hour with half-price drinks and cheap food 5-7pm and live music on Saturday evening. Open daily for lunch and dinner.

   Scilly Cay opposite Island Harbour tel 264/497-5123. Flag down the boat that crosses between the harbour and the cay just offshore, and settle down for tasty food in a great beachside location. Grilled chicken and lobster are the main ingredients on the menu (expect to pay US$25-35 per person) and there's live music on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Worth phoning ahead to reserve a table. Open noon-4pm, closed Mon.

   Smitty's Island Harbour tel 264/497-4300. Friendly little bar and restaurant on the beach, with fish and lobster fresh off the boats as well as barbecued chicken, ribs and burgers. Main courses start at around US$6. Open daily for lunch and dinner.


anguilla travel

      Amerindians are thought to have settled in Anguilla around 1500 BC, living in small settlements dotted around the island. Major remains have been found at twenty sites including the Fountain, the island's only natural spring, near Shoal Bay. Columbus missed the island on his trips to the New World in the 1490s, but Spanish explorers who passed by shortly afterwards named the island Anguilla (Spanish for eel) for its long thin shape. 

   The first Europeans to establish a permanent base here were the British, who arrived in 1650 and began growing tobacco and cotton, and raising livestock with a small number of imported slaves. Short on rainfall, and without the size or the quality of soil to enable its plantations to compete with nearby islands, Anguilla never really flourished. Those who could afford to leave made off for more prosperous islands.

    For centuries the islanders who remained managed on little more than subsistence farming and fishing . Furthermore, they developed a reputation for boat building and seamanship, running boats that exported salt and fish and carried local men off for seasonal work in the sugar fields of Santo Domingo (present-day Dominican Republic) and the oil refineries of Aruba and Curacao.     

   After World War II, with its major Caribbean colonies pressing for independence, Britain showed little interest in continuing to maintain Anguilla. For convenience, it was decided in the 1960s that the island should be administered alongside nearby St Kitts and Nevis , and a union of the islands was put in place. Anguillans, who regarded the politicians on St Kitts as arrogant and bullying, were outraged and demonstrated against the union. They declared independence, sending home the policemen installed by St Kitts and calling in a Harvard law professor to draft a national constitution.

   Showing a wholly disproportionate reaction, British troops decided to invade and crush "The Rebellion" . In March 1969 a crack battalion of over three hundred stormed ashore, only to be met by local citizens waving flags and demanding to be put back directly under British rule. Not a shot was fired, and the event was dubbed Britain's Bay of Piglets.

   Shame-faced, Britain resumed direct responsibility for Anguilla, which it has maintained to this day, with the island run by an elected government but the British-appointed Governor in charge of matters of defence and foreign policy. Tourism took off in the 1980s, when day-trippers from nearby St Martin/St Maarten began to arrive in droves. Today the industry drives the local economy, leaving fewer and fewer of its nearly 10,000 inhabitants dependent on the trade in lobster and fish that sustained previous generations.

  Best Of    

    Shoal Bay
One of the region's greatest beaches, big enough that you'll find your own quiet spot away from the crowds, and dotted with several good restaurants.

   Scilly Cay
Take the ferry out to this tiny island and snack on tasty fresh lobster, grilled for you right by the beach.

Getting Around  

      There is no public transportation system, so you'll need to rent a car if you want to explore the island. Options include Carib (tel 264/497-6020), Connor's (tel 264/497-6433) or Triple K (tel 264/497-2934) and you can expect to pay US$45-50 a day. Most of the rental companies are based in The Valley, but will normally either deliver to your hotel or pick you up and bring you to their offices. Temporary licences cost US$20 and are supplied by the car rental company. Vehicles drive on the left.
   Taxis are available on 264/497-5054 and 497-6089.
  Exploring Anguilla
      Wherever you're staying on Anguilla, it's worth making the journey out to Shoal Bay East on the island's northeastern coast, where you'll find one of the finest beaches in the Eastern Caribbean, backed by coconut palms and sea grape. The pristine white sand shelves gently down to the turquoise waters and, though it's often busy, you can always find your own patch of beach and water. Snorkelling gear, lounge chairs and towels can be rented from outlets around the Shoal Bay Villas resort where you'll also find a series of laid-back bars and cafes.
   At the west end of Shoal Bay, a dirt track leads to The Fountain - a cave that is the island's most important archeological site, where many Amerindian petroglyphs were found in 1979. The petroglyphs include rare depictions of deities - including a 2000-year-old carving of Jocahu, their supreme God - and the site may well have been a religious or ceremonial centre and even a place for pilgrimage from other islands. Sadly, although the government has long had plans to develop the area as a national park, the Fountain remains closed in order to preserve the petroglyphs.
   Further east, Island Harbour is home to much of Anguilla's fishing fleet, along with a touch of tourist development. While it's not especially pretty, it's one of the most engaging parts of the island with its brightly painted boats and fishermen laying out their catch for sale. It's also worth making the trip to the harbour to catch a boat out to tiny Scilly Cay , where you can have an excellent lunch at the restaurant and swim and snorkel in the clear waters.
   At the extreme east end of the island, the appealingly named Scrub Island is also only accessible by boat (don't try to swim it as the currents will drag you off to St Martin). Home to a colony of goats, a garden of frangipani trees and an abandoned hotel and airstrip, it offers a couple of good snorkelling patches but no food or drink so bring your own. Boats make the trip when needed for around US$60 round-trip; ask at one of the bars in Island Harbour for details.
   A couple of minutes' drive from the airport and pretty much in the dead centre of the island, THE VALLEY is Anguilla's only town but not a place where you'll want to spend a great deal of time. It's a functional rather than inspiring place, home to government, banks and the main shops, and with little of historic or architectural interest.   
   The main sight of note is Wallblake House (Tues-Fri 10am-noon; US$5), built in 1787 by a local sugar planter and one of the oldest buildings on Anguilla. The house and its outbuildings of stables and kitchens are not on the scale of plantation houses to be found elsewhere in the Caribbean - a sign that planters here were less successful - but the combination of thick-cut stone and intricately carved timber is undeniably attractive. Donated to the Catholic Church in 1959, the house proved too small for holding services and the adjoining St Gerard's Catholic Church with its peculiar cobbled stone frontage was therefore built in 1966.
      A mile west of The Valley, Sandy Ground is the island's main low-budget hang-out area, with a number of inexpensive places to stay and eat and a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. There's a nice beach, and the tiny village backs onto a large salt pond popular with local birdlife; islanders used to rake salt here for export to the Americas until the costs became prohibitive. Offshore, visible from Sandy Ground, Sandy Island is a tiny deserted isle with a handful of palm trees, just six hundred feet long and a great place for snorkelling and swimming. If you go in the early morning, before any of the day-trippers from St Martin arrive, you may well have the island to yourself. Boats (US$10 round-trip) leave from the pier between about 9.30am and 4pm whenever there's demand and there's a beach bar on the island that sells lunch and drinks.
    South of Sandy Ground the road leads down through the residential area of South Hill to Blowing Point, where the ferries from St Martin dock. There's little to see in either of these places, but just east of Blowing Point, the sparkling white sand that fringes Rendezvous Bay offers one of the island's most spectacular beaches - the two-mile crescent is a great place to find shells. Head past the Anguilla Great House Beach Resort for public access to the beach. 
   Further west still, there's more blindingly white sand at Maunday's Bay, home to exclusive Cap Juluca , one of the island's top-notch resorts, while west of here Shoal Bay West is another curve of lovely white sand that's worth a visit if you're touring the island.

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