Every time someone asks me about Anguilla, I can’t help but start a monologue about how this island is like the best of all islands. At least in my opinion. It’s obviously my most favorite island of all. One that I’ve been dreaming of going back since I left.
People are drawn to Anguilla for its pristine beaches and subdued atmosphere which I think is what really defines it. The beaches are the best in the world with literally white powdery sand and turquoise waters. They’re so beautiful you would think the photos are photoshopped. Unmatched in my opinion and what I love about it the most is the sense of peace and calmness that the air brings. The island really does emanate tranquility in its true sense and that’s why honeymooners love it there. No cruise ships and motorized water sports are allowed in the island so the beaches are never crowded. Just a perfect place to relax and unwind.
Anguilla is a British colonized island nation in the northernmost part of the Caribbean. Only 16 miles long and 3 miles wide at it’s widest point. It’s so small that you can circle around the entire island by car in less than an hour. Because of its size, there are no big commercial planes that fly directly to the island. The most practical way to get there from New York is to fly into St. Maarten but if money is not an issue, you can fly into San Juan, Puerto Rico then fly directly into Anguilla in one of those teeny weeny planes. There are no direct flights from the US(at least none that I know of). Jetblue and American Airlines have several flights everyday from JFK to Princess Juliana Airport in St. Maarten. The flight takes about 3 1/2 hours. We opted to fly into St. Maarten and stayed there for a few days before we went to Anguilla. Btw, always check the visa requirements when traveling to any island in the Caribbean. You don’t want to get turned away when you get there. US citizens don’t need one. At St. Maarten, it’s not required for US residents but in Anguilla it is. You can get a visa at the Anguilla consulate in the US or you can also get it in Anguilla when you arrive there but check if this is still the case before you travel.
The ferry to Anguilla from St. Marteen takes about 30 minutes. You can take a taxi from the airport to take you to the ferry dock in Marigot on the french side of the island or you can also charter a private boat which is what we did. For just a little more, you can hop on a private boat and enjoy a more private and faster ride.
The first thing I noticed when we stepped foot on Anguilla was how flat the island looks. You definitely don’t see mountains or any kind of elevation on this island. We went beginning of July and we lucked out on great weather too. The island is so small they only have one main road that goes around the island and one traffic light. The locals are very nice and very friendly.
We stayed at the Ku which is located right on Shoal Bay East, the best and most popular beach in Anguilla. Conde Nast Traveler once described its sand as the most perfect beach sand in the Caribbean. It’s so white and it literally sparkles when it catches the sun. Ku is a sister hotel of Cap Juluca, a top rated resort in Anguilla. Although not as grand as CJ, Ku’s location is perfect. It’s very clean and the rooms are huge. The rates are pretty decent based on Anguillan standards. Anguilla unfortunately is very expensive but you get what you pay for and then some. A typical hotel room could cost $400-$1200 a night. Dining can get very expensive too but there are other restaurants outside the resorts that are a little more affordable.
The food at the Ku wasn’t so good so we mostly ate outside the hotel. We took a taxi one night and went to this restaurant that sits right on the beach called Da’Vida. The ambience was great and the food was great. We also hired a taxi one day and toured the island. We went to see the other resorts too and they were very nice to let us wander around their property. Cuisinart Resort and Spa has a gorgeous pool that extends all the way to the beach and the grounds are very well maintained. Their beach is gorgeous as well but the water was kind of rough at the time we went. Malliouhana Hotel and Spa is also beautiful. It sits on top of a hill with gorgeous views of the ocean. The beach is quite a trek from the hotel because you have to go down this long narrow steps to get there but the water is so calm and perfect for swimming. My favorite is Cap Juluca. Their beach is one of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. My jaw just dropped when I first saw it. The hotel lobby is gorgeous too!
One of the highlights of our trip was this boat trip that took us to a secluded private little island. Unfortunately, I forgot the name of the island but it was beautiful and they had hammocks and palapas to lounge around and you can snorkel right off the beach. It was supposed to be a group tour but the captain of the boat was so late and the people in our group didn’t want to wait so they left. We waited and our patience paid off big time. We had the boat all to ourselves. The captain felt so bad so he spoiled us and served us lunch and drinks on the house. Awesome!
Anguilla is definitely at the top of my “will go back to” list. It’s an amazing island and its beaches are arguably the best in the Caribbean if not the world. Can’t wait to go back.