Anguilla is a 40 mi², picture-perfect island, north of St. Martin. It is a British overseas territory with 14,000 inhabitants and the capital is The Valley. It is very easy to get here from the Friendly Island. Along with St. Martin, this island is one of the treasures of the Lesser Antilles. It only takes around twenty minutes by boat to get to the deserted beaches and protected little islands. There are five marine reserves on Anguilla. Fishing and jet-skiing are strictly forbidden here. The most popular activities on this island are deep-sea diving and snorkeling, thanks to the incredible underwater environment.
How can you come and spend a day on Anguilla?
You can take a boat from Marigot to access this wonderful, untouched natural environment. All you have to do is go to the ferry terminal to buy a ticket. It costs 16 euros/one way (or 20 dollars) for an adult and 8 euros/one way (10 dollars) for a child + port taxes (3 euros). The service begins at 8:15am and a boat leaves every 45 minutes. The last back to St. Martin is at 6pm. Don’t forget your passport. The crossing from St. Martin to Anguilla is on a small ferry and it takes around 20 minutes to reach the Blowing Point dock in the south of the island.
Then you’ll need to rent a car or take a cab to explore the island and enjoy the beaches. Remember, we drive on the left here!
You can also get to Anguilla on your own boat if you decide to rent one for the day and head out to sea. In this case, you’ll get to the island via Road Bay (in the north), which is the only port that welcomes recreational boats. It is forbidden to drop your anchor into the coral reefs, you have to moor your boat using the buoys available. If you want to access the other mooring locations across the island (except Crocus Bay), you’ll have to buy a mooring or cruising permit, issued by the customs authorities. You can purchase this permit when you arrive via Road Bay. Please note that if you don’t complete all the necessary formalities or if you decide to spend the night in the marine reserve, you’ll be required to pay a fine (around 1,500 euros).
Road Bay is along Sandy Ground beach. This place is a popular choice for recreational boaters because you are not required to complete the entry and exit formalities here. The “marine base” on the beach is where all the customs and immigration authorities are located. The office is open from 8:30am to 12pm and 1pm to 4pm, every day. You can spend the night on your boat in this dock. You’ll also find bars, restaurants and cabs here, as well as trendy clothing store Irie Life, so you can take Anguilla-themed t-shirts, caps, and beach items home with you.
Crocus Bay/Little Bay
Crocus Bay and Little Bay are picture-perfect places just north of Road Bay. The ocher-colored cliffs at these two side-by-side coves plunge into the sea. These bays are exceptional spots for snorkeling and deep-sea diving. You can spend the day on Crocus Bay beach and have lunch at the restaurant Da Vida, which serves a fusion of Asia’s culinary treasures mixed with those of the Caribbean’s. Every Sunday, there are concerts organized here on the beach. They also have watersports equipment available to rent (kayak, paddleboard, surfboards, sailing, and diving equipment).
On the northeastern tip of Anguilla, Shoal Bay East is listed as one of the top 10 most beautiful beaches in the world! The natural environment here doesn’t seem real. Stretching for almost a mile, the water is an incredible turquoise-blue color . The sand is dazzlingly white. You can easily access the remarkable coral reef with snorkeling equipment. The water is so clear, you are guaranteed to have a great view of the extraordinary wildlife, including rays and multicolored fish, 15 in under the water. They’ll swim around your legs and will leave you speechless. If you would like to spend a night, or several days, on Anguilla, you can stay at the Shoal Bay Villas You can rent an apartment on the beach (studio apartment, one or two bedroom), with a furnished kitchen and air-conditioning.
You’ll come across a dreamlike place if you go southwest of the Blowing Point dock. Rendezvous Bay is a very long sandy beach, well known for conch snails and the Dune Preserve, a wooden beach bar that is very characteristic of the island, rustic and decorated with little trinkets and treasures of the Caribbean Sea, and with a boat on the roof. It is owned by singer Bankie Banx (the Bob Dylan of Anguilla). Dune Preserve serves delicious cuisine with a selection of meat grilled on the barbecue and Caribbean dishes. Great atmosphere guaranteed thanks to the exceptional live reggae and funky concerts.
The capital of Anguilla is in the center of the island, with a number of banks, some spirits stores, clothing stores, and fast-food restaurants.
The Islands of Anguilla
There are several little islands around Anguilla such as Dog Island, Prickly Pear, Sandy Island, and Scrub Island. These little treasures of the Caribbean can only be reached by boat and belong to the five marine reserves. Only Sandy Island can be reached by ferry from the “marina base” in Road Bay. There’s a restaurant there serving grilled lobster and rum cocktails.
You’ll have to rent a boat to get to the other islands.