Anguilla

Capital The Valley
Currency East Caribbean dollar (XCD)
Population 13,477 (July 2006 est.)
Electricity 120V/60Hz (North American plug)
Country code +1-264
Time zone UTC-4

Anguilla is a small island nation in the Caribbean Sea, a few miles north of Saint Martin.

Villages

Of the many villages scattered across the island, these are of most interest to visitors.

Other destinations

Here are a few of the many beaches:

Several islands offer dining and drinking or solitude

Understand

Anguilla was colonized by English settlers from Saint Kitts in 1650, and administered by Great Britain until the early 19th century, when the island - against the wishes of the inhabitants - was incorporated into a single UK dependency along with Saint Kitts and Nevis. 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 UK dependency.

Anguilla has few natural resources, and the economy depends heavily on luxury tourism, offshore banking, lobster fishing, and remittances from emigrants. Increased activity in the tourism industry, which has spurred the growth of the construction sector, has contributed to economic growth.

Geography

Anguilla is a flat and low-lying island. It is 35 sq. miles, 16 miles long and 3 miles wide at the widest point. The highest point is Crocus Hill, at 65 meters.

The island is made of limestone, providing many caves. Two of the most impressive being The Big Springs located in Island Harbour and The Fountain located in Shoal Bay.

Anguilla also has many attractive coral reefs which provides habitats for a vast array of tropical fish and marine wildlife. This motivates individuals to take part in snorkeling.

Get in

By plane

Cape Air provides two daily non-stop flights to/from San Juan, Puerto Rico, where Cape Air interlines with most major airlines: JetBlue, American, Delta, United, etc. Cape Air's flights are timed to make connections with the mainland. Cape Air's San Juan - Anguilla route can be booked with JetBlue connections on JetBlue.com. As of June 2011 JetBlue is the largest airline at San Juan measured by ASMs, ending American Airlines' long dominance. Anguilla is listed as a JetBlue destination on their website thanks to the partnership with Cape Air.

Liat provides once daily service to St. Thomas, and onwards to other destinations in the Caribbean.

It may be easier to access Anguilla via St. Maarten, which can be reached non-stop from many eastern U.S. cities, as well as European cities. Anguilla Air Services has three or four (depending on the season) 10-minute flights each way. Visitors may also book local air charters via Trans Anguilla or Anguilla Air Service. Many visitors charter boats privately from the pier near Princess Julianna Airport in St. Maarten to Anguilla. There are also modest, private ferries that depart from Marigot every 30 minutes.

By boat

This is the most common method of transport between Anguilla and St. Martin. There is a chance of getting wet, so choose your seat carefully to sit facing the wind. If you experience sea sickness quite easily, ensure you take medication before boarding and if possible sit towards the back of the vessel for maximum stability.

There are regular small public ferries from Marigot in French St. Martin that cross to Blowing Point, Anguilla in about 25mins. Ferries commence service from 7AM, and run every 45mins. The last ferry departs Anguilla at 6:15PM and St. Martin at 7PM. If traveling from Princess Juliana Airport (SXM) in Sint Maarten (the Dutch part of St. Martin), a dispatcher can direct you to a taxi (approximately $24 - $26 from SXM) for the 10-15min drive to Marigot.

Public Ferry Fees:

   $15 per person one way before 6PM
   Plus $5 departure tax per person from St. Martin to Anguilla
   or $23 departure tax per person from Anguilla to St. Martin

There are also direct fast boats between Blowing Point (Anguilla) and Princess Juliana Airport (Sint Maarten) taking 30mins to cross. Airport drop off is also provided with these services (though the boat terminal is only a couple of hundred meters/yds up the road from the Airport). As of 2015 a comprehensive website for all ferry and boat routes to the regional islands, StMartinbookings.com has come online. Schedules & live availability for the fast boats from Anguilla to SXM are available for comparison there.

A taxi to Marigot and the public ferry from there takes a little longer in terms of total journey time but will cost on average about $15 - $20 less than with the SXM Airport direct speed boat services.

Get around

Sandy Ground

By car

For most visitors, a rented car is the best option. Even if you are staying at a full-service resort, you will want to sample the many beaches and restaurants on the island. Pick up a copy of the Skyviews map, usually available at Immigration and elsewhere. Driving is on the left-hand side of the road. Speeds are low, but the island is small. Main roads are paved; most are in good condition. There are also a few roundabouts and stop lights throughout the island. Road names are not always posted, and some roads change names (the road from The Valley to the West End has a half dozen names along the way), but there are destination signs at main intersections and roundabouts. Many secondary roads are sand or dirt, ranging from smooth to very poor.

There are no car rental agencies at the airport, but all will deliver to your hotel. Island Car Rental, +1 264-497-2723, is an easy walk from the airport, tucked into Anguilla Motors. They can arrange for you to pick up the car after hours, and do the paperwork next day. Hertz-Triple K, +1 264-497-2934, is also nearby. Other agencies include Avis, +1 264-497-2642, and Bass Car Rental, +1 264-497-2361,

By taxi

Many visitors find it convenient to take a taxi on arrival, arranging for a rental car later. Taxi service is unmetered, with set rates. If leaving from the airport, a dispatcher will issue a slip showing the fare.Taxi drivers offer island tours lasting several hours. Fares must be paid in cash and or credit card.

By bicycle

The island does not lend itself to relaxed bicycling. The roads do not have shoulders. Traffic is heavy on many main roads from the Valley to points west. Traffic is light in the Shoal Bay and East End areas, but there are some hills.

Talk

English is the official language, spoken everywhere.

See

Beaches

Anguilla has everything you might expect from a Caribbean island, with gorgeous bays, some of the best white sand beaches in the world, palm trees and the turquoise ocean all around. That lovely setting is of course what draws most travelers here, and it allows for perfect lazy days of sunbathing and swimming. There are some stunning coral reefs just outside the coast, which make it a fine destination for scuba diving or snorkeling. If you're not that sporty, hop on one of the glass bottomed boats to have at least a glance. Shoal Bay can compete with any beach in the world and has a great reef. Other popular bays are Barnes, Rendezvous, Road and Little Bay, but you can choose from 33 fine beaches in total. From April through November, many of Anguilla's beaches are nesting grounds for leatherback, green and hawksbill turtles. Maundays, Meads, Captains and Limestone Bay offer the best chances to witness this wonderful natural phenomenon. All beaches are public, but ease of access varies. The large resorts and developments are obligated to provide public access; don't hesitate to ask. Many beach bars also provide free access.

History

Take some time to learn about the events that have shaped the island's people. Few historic buildings survive, but you will find links to the past around the island;

Island Life

At Island Harbour you can see local fishermen and sailors at work. On the road to West End, past the Sandy Ground roundabout, you may see a racing boat under construction, under a shed on the right side of the road. The boat races are major events, celebrating the return of workers from the cane fields of the Dominican Republic in the old days, and perhaps also the nautical skills of the smugglers of years past.

Anguilla has many farms of corn, peas, tomatoes and other crops. To see, buy or learn about plants and animals in Anguilla one can visit The Department of Agriculture, located in The Valley, Anguilla. The Anguilla National Trust can provide information on Anguilla's environment and conducts tours. Its main task is to preserve Anguilla's natural environment, historic and cultural resources and archaeology. If you're interested in gardens, try the Hydroponic Farm and Organic Gardens, at CuisinArt Resort and Spa, West End Village or the Endangered Species Garden and Indigenous Local Plants Gardens at the Cap Juluca Resort.

Birds

The salt ponds, uplands and beaches provide habitat for a variety of birds. Stop by the National Trust office to buy A Guide to the Birds of Anguilla, with color photos and maps of birding areas. Pelicans and brown boobies dive for fish along the beaches. Frigate birds glide high above. Ducks and wading birds can often be seen at the Sandy Ground salt pond. Even at your hotel, you may see hummingbirds among the flowering shrubs or the small bananaquit in the trees.

Do

Hiking, Art Gallery Tours, Horseback Riding at Seaside Stables, El Rancho Del Blues and CLiffside Stables. Tennis, Golf at Play-A-Round Mini-Golf Park and Temenos Golf Club, Spa and Wellness, Glass-bottom boat, Swimming, Snorkeling, Fishing, Festivals: Anguilla Summer Festival, Tranquility Jazz Festival, Moonsplash, Festival Del Mar, Annual Anguilla Yacht Regatta and Annual Lighting of the Christmas Tree.

Buy

Though the East Caribbean Dollar (XCD) is the local currency, most places frequented by tourists price goods and services in U.S. Dollars (USD) and all locations accept U.S. Dollars for payment. On occasion, you may receive small change in a mix of USD and XCD.

Credit cards are taken at hotels and restaurants (not everywhere will accept Amex. MasterCard/Visa preferred).

Art Galleries

Several art galleries offer the works of Anguillan and other Caribbean artists, with prices from a few dollars to thousands.

Eat

Pigeon peas and rice is often considered as the signature dish of the island.

Budget

Mid-range

Splurge

Drink

There are many places to lounge, listen to music and dance such as:

Sleep

Choose from an array of hotels, villas, guest houses and apartments to rest your head at night. Rates are in US dollars for high season, typically January to April, and do not include taxes (20% plus $1) unless noted.

Budget

Mid-range

Splurge

Villas

Stay safe

Anguilla is a safe island with a low crime rate. But please take necessary precautions—lock your doors at night, don't leave personal belongings in your unlocked rental car and don't give rides to pedestrians.

The Police station is in the capital, The Valley. Also, the hospital, Princess Alexandra Hosipal. There is only one hospital in Anguilla, however, there are many private doctors, including Hughes Medical Center located in West End. There are many Medical Clinics located in many villages such as, The Valley, West End, East End and Blowing Point.

Stay healthy

Anguilla offers a variety of Spas and Wellness centers, Gyms and Healthy Food stores.

Gyms

Spas and Wellness Centers

Healty Food Stores

Respect

The beautiful people of Anguilla are incredibly friendly and hospitable.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Sunday, November 15, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.