Anguilla: Tranquility wrapped in blue
Many Caribbean islands would be grateful for just one of Anguilla’s estimated 33 powder white beaches. – Condé Nast Traveller
Anguilla (pronounced “ang-gwill-ah”) is everything you could ever want from a Caribbean island – stunning white sand beaches, turquoise tropical waters, luxury resorts and fine dining, a laid-back atmosphere, and cool vibes. But what impressed us most of all was the lack of crowds, despite the island’s easy accessibility. Anguilla really is “tranquility wrapped in blue.”
We spent five days on the island and visited several postcard perfect beaches.
Shoal Bay East
This beach has it all. At one end, it is peaceful and unspoiled, while on the other end it is dotted with little beachfront restaurants and small hotels. Absolutely gorgeous and great for long walks, it’s no wonder this beach is often ranked among the “best beaches of the world” :)
This section of the beach close to Gwen’s Reggae Bar was our favorite. With no hotels around, we had the beach all to ourselves.
Rendezvous Bay, where we spent most of our vacation is definitely one of the prettiest beaches on the island with soft powdery white sand, crystal clear turquoise water, a view of St. Martin in the distance, and fantastic sunsets – it was just breathtaking.
This is one of the longer beaches, nice for strolling and exploring the colorful beach bars stationed along the way.
Rustic and charming, Bankie Banx’s Dune Preserve was named the best beach bar in the world by CNN Travel. The bar is made of driftwood, and is the home of the annual Moonsplash reggae festival.
They also serve local style lunch – fried chicken with rice. Our kids loved it :)
Shoal Bay West
This beach is amazing, very peaceful and secluded, with vibrant azure water. A nice place to relax and get away from the world.
There is only one resort on Maundays Bay beach – the luxurious Cap Juluca, often chosen by celebrities. Since all of the beaches on Anguilla are public, we could visit it without staying at the resort. The funny thing is that the resort’s security guard took one look at our cameras and thought we were paparazzi! Our two small kids weren’t enough to convince him otherwise, so he followed us around :)
The beach itself has soft white sand and crystal-clear aquamarine water. It’s quiet and serene.
There are no hotels located at this beach, just one restaurant – Smokey’s at the Cove. They offer free beach lounging chairs and umbrellas if you stay for lunch.
Despite the hotels, condos, and restaurants, Meads Bay is not crowded! It’s certainly a nice, beautiful beach, loved by many, but is not our favorite.
Sandy island is not just a beach and not just a restaurant – it’s a tropical island excursion :) You take a boat out to eat, drink, snorkel, and enjoy being on a tiny little island. It was a little too crowded for our taste, but the beach was fantastic and the seafood platter we tried was delicious :) Don’t go if you are pressed for time. Everything is super slow there :)
One of the less visited beaches is Barnes Bay on the northwestern shore of Anguilla. It’s a great spot to spend a quiet day at the beach, and Mango’s Seaside Grill restaurant is nearby if you feel hungry :)
Another very secluded beach of Anguilla. We reached it via stairs that formed part of an old Oliver’s Restaurant.
Good to know:
- Anguilla gets less rain than most Caribbean islands. Nonetheless, there are two weather seasons as in most of region: the dry season (December to April) and the wet season (May to November). Pretty much any time of year is good for a visit, except for September and October, when the probability of a hurricane is higher. We visited Anguilla in February – the most popular time after Christmas. It was perfect – great weather and empty beaches. On a couple evenings we needed light sweaters.
- The easiest way to get to Anguilla is by flying to Princess Juliana International Airport on Saint Martin island, and then taking a 30 minute ferry to Blowing Point Terminal.
Come to Anguilla and find your favorite shade of blue :)
Visited February 2013