ANGUILLA GEOGRAPHY & DEMOGRAPHICS
Anguilla is a British Overseas Territory in the Caribbean that has been named after its long shape.
With a population of 15 thousand people, the archipelago’s surface area measures around 100 km².
Anguilla is only 7km away from Saint Martin’s coast.
A BIT OF HISTORY
4000 years ago, the island used to have dense rainforest.
Tainos, an Arawaks tribe, used to call the island Malliouhana (“Arrow shape sea serpent”) for its long thin shape.
Europeans later called the island Anguilla (French for “Eel” is Anguille).
The Arawaks left traces of their existence, including petroglyphs and remains of around 40 villages sprinkled over the island.
They cultivated cassava, cotton, corn and sweet potato. They also fished different varieties of reef fish and shellfish.
Colonized by the English in 1650, Anguilla became a haven for pirates and bucaneers. It was first administratively attached to St Kitts then later Antigua. In 1769 France tried twice unsuccessfully to invade it.
After slavery is abolished for good in 1834, settlers left the island after selling off their lands to former slaves.
From the end of the 19th century until 1967, Anguilla was part of the British colony St Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla.
In 1967 the United Kingdom gave full internal autonomy to the associated states of St Kitts, Nevis and Anguilla. This resulted in discontent with little attention being given from St Kitts and Nevis.
Anguilla fought and left the federation shortly afterwards, becoming a distinct British Overseas Territory.
In 1982 the independence began to take shape with the writing of its own constitution. In 1985 Anguilla then joined the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).
MAIN HISTORICAL PLACES TO VISIT IN ANGUILLA
Fountain Cavern National Park
Fountain Cavern National Park in Shoal Bay features caves with the most interesting traces of Taino use, including 1000 year old petroglyphs.
They used caves as magical and worshiping places, even burying some of their community’s most important people inside them.
Visitors can explore this cave, known for its impressive carved stalagmite honoring Jocahu-the divinity.
Heritage Collection Museum
The history museum is curated by Colville Petty and is rich with artifacts, memorabilia and relics from the past.
The exhibit starts off showing how the first inhabitants of Anguilla lived. It carries on all the way through the colonial era, pirates, slavery, early 20th-century and more.
Tourists can travel back in time to a plantation house and learn about the lives of those who worked there.
Visitors will be able to walk through the garden, slave quarters, kitchen, and see first-hand how life was for people during this period.
Art enthusiasts will be delighted to see and shop for some of the colorful Caribbean art in The Valley’s small galleries.
ANGUILLA BEACHES, VILLAGES & ISLANDS
Sandy Ground Village
Sandy Ground is the island’s main port of entry for yachts. It is the perfect place to soak up the Anguilla’s vibe.
Popular with local children, the white-sand beach provides amenities such as restaurants and a dive shop.
Road Salt Pond is a great place to go birdwatching (herons, egrets, stilts…), behind Sandy Ground village.
North East side of Anguilla is Island Harbour, the fishermen place where they park their colored boats.
Shoal Bay East
Shoal Bay East is a peaceful, beautiful stretch of sand that’s perfect for snorkeling and swimming.
The waters are filled with coral gardens inhabited by hundreds of tiny fish, making it one of the best beaches in Anguilla!
One of the most popular beaches in Anguilla, Meads Bay reveals a stunning 1.5-kilometer stretch of white sand with calm waters.
If you’re looking where to eat in Anguilla, Blanchards Beach Shack offers casual dining options while its sister restaurant is famous for fine-dining meals.
RendezVous Bay Beach
RendezVous Bay is a stunning four-kilometer beach of fine sand and transparent sea lined with palm trees. This peaceful heaven is ideal for families with small children.
There are shacks along the beach which offer food and refreshments.
Maundays Bay Beach
Maundays Bay Beach stretches for one and a half kilometers, providing ample opportunities to enjoy the soft sand and aqua sea.
Beach lovers can go snorkeling in clear water on calm days, or windsurfing on breezy days when boats are skimming across the bay.
This beach is a popular spot for weddings. it also offers views of Saint Martin from afar.
Prickly Pear Island
Indulge yourself in the turquoise water and pristine beach of Prickly Pear Island. You can then grab a cocktail at the bar, lounge on your sunchair below an umbrella’s shadow.
Look for banaquits, lovely grey and yellow birds, and have fun feeding them!
Anguilla’s Dog Island is a place visitors love. This rocky island has sandy beaches, low cliffs and two large ponds.
There are many nesting seabords, as well as lizards and fearl goats.
Soak up some sun by one of crystal-clear water beaches or watch seabirds soar through clear skies on this tropical paradise!