Located east of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands lies the British overseas territory, Anguilla offers visitors Caribbean paradise. The island was granted its independence in 1980, seceding from Saint Kitts and Antigua. The territory was all but devastated by Hurricane Irma in 2017. It is still rebuilding all that the hurricane destroyed, but still remains a popular destination. This article focuses on the top attractions prior to the hurricane.
In true Caribbean island fashion, Anguilla provides relaxing vibes. Surrounded by white sand beaches and crystal clear waters, visitors have no problem leaving the stresses of their lives behind when they get to Anguilla. Along the beaches, there are usually live reggae bands playing and small restaurants serving Caribbean barbecue.
Shoal Bay East
Shoal Bay East is easily one of the most popular attractions of Anguilla. There is little to no development on the beach, so you don’t have to worry about a high-rise condominium building blocking your view of the paradise. The beach is picture-perfect white sand and the waters are clear enough that you can go snorkeling. If you don’t have gear, don’t worry. There are plenty of small beachside bars and shops that sell all the gear you’ll need to enjoy yourself at this location.
Heritage Collection Museum
If you’re looking to learn about the island’s rich history, you should check out the island’s only museum. It’s located next to East End Salt Pond, another popular island destination. Each room within the museum features different artifacts from different moments in Anguilla’s history, so by walking through the rooms, you essentially get to walk through a timeline of its history. The museum features artifacts that date back to as early as the island’s settlement, to as recent as Queen Elizabeth II’s visit in 1994.
Fountain Cavern National Park
In 1985, Anguilla designated the 14.5-acre national park features limestone terraces and petroglyph rock art. At this moment, you can currently explore the national park, but you can’t explore the cavern. It’s awaiting UNESCO-listing status. Despite this, there is still plenty to see in the national park without visiting the cavern.
Bankie Banx’s Dune Preserve
Yes, that Bankie Banx’s dune preserve. Your eyes didn’t fail you. Legendary reggae artist Bankie Banx created a large beachside treehouse out of driftwood and boats. One of the Caribbean’s most popular music festivals, Moonsplash, is hosted here. If you’re looking for a good time and good music, this is one place you can’t miss.
Prickly Pear Cays
If you’re into diving, you must visit Prickly Pear Cays when you’re in Anguilla. This attraction is located about 6 miles (9.6 km) northwest of Anguilla. Here you can view nurse sharks swimming through shipwrecks and other underwater structures.
It’s no surprise why Sports Illustrated featured the shores of Anguilla in their 2017 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition. The island is gorgeous and has plenty to offer for even the pickiest of travelers. From relaxing on the beach to sipping a cocktail and enjoying reggae music, Anguilla won’t disappoint.