Caribbean’s best kept secret and a few miles away from St. Martin, Anguilla couldn’t be more different. One vacation on this Caribbean gem is all it will take to fall in love with this gem. However, there are few more things that you should know before visiting this place. Whether it’s a family vacation or honeymoon, here are some of the best tips before going to Anguilla.
Anguilla is known for the number of boutique and villas accommodation on the island. Most of which comes with a small kitchen. In general, you’ll get more villas, Anguilla homes and more privacy on the northeast side of the island. There are more hotels and tons of fun activities can be found on the west side of the island. Ask the receptionist for seasonal tours, as these are some of the tour highlights of locals and tourists.
Take the Ferry from St. Maarten
Getting to Anguilla is super quick and easy. The fastest way is to ride the Anguilla ferry from St. Maarten airport. Prior to your trip, book online to prevent any inconvenience. After clearing customs and immigration in St. Maarten, ride a boat located right across the street for a 20-minute ferry ride to Anguilla. There are available direct flights going to Anguilla but it takes longer than the ferry and cost you more.
All Beaches are Public
Even if there’s a hotel right in front of the beach, you can still have access to the beach. All the beaches in Anguilla are open to the public. At Cap Juluca, you can have a beach access parking lot and signs down to the beach. If you’re staying at the hotel, ask the personnel where the public access path is.
Use USD instead of Eastern Caribbean Dollars (EC)
Some tourists thought that it would be a better deal to use the local currency which is the East Caribbean but it turned out as a bigger headache for them. All restaurants’ menu in Anguilla was listed in US Dollar and would have converted the prices in their local currency. Several beach bars ended up costing more in Eastern Caribbean Dollars than if they just paid in US Dollar.
Get USD at ATM Machines
All ATM’s in Anguilla dispenses both EC and USD, so visitors don’t have to bring tons of cash as there are ATMs all over the island. Don’t purchase EC before going to Anguilla or exchange money at the airport.
Rent a Car
Renting a car is the best way to know more about Anguilla. It’s a small island and easy to navigate. There are several car rental companies located right at the ferry terminal for $35 a day.
Stay in a Villa
Aside from the hotel, villas are the alternative accommodation where you can stay. CeBlue Anguilla in Crocus Bay offers gorgeous villas with private pool complete with amazing views. There are tons of villas listed online that you can choose. Book your accommodation ahead of time especially if you’re coming during peak season.
Explore the 33 Beaches of Anguilla
With 33 gorgeous beaches in Anguilla, you just have to pick which one you like, as all of them are equally beautiful. Many of the beaches are not crowded even the most popular beaches like Shoal Bay East.
Try the Anguilla Crayfish
Anguilla Crayfish is one of a kind, even those you’d see in New Orleans. The sizes of the prawn are huge. If you ask any of locals, they will all tell you that Crayfish are better than lobster. But you have to try it yourself because they are pretty darn good. Per plate of crayfish cost around $40. There’s no official season for crayfish but most of the restaurants have it all year round.
Visit Sandy Island
One of the best things to do in Anguilla is to make a visit to Sandy Island. A one of a kind island with only $10 boat ride away from Sandy Ground, you’ll find this magical island. There are plenty of great restaurants on this island and you’ll surely enjoy some fresh seafood and ice cold drinks. It is highly recommended to spend one whole day or more on this island and make sure to never miss their grilled Caribbean lobster and of course, Anguilla crayfish.
Try some local street food at Ken’s BBQ
Go to Ken’s BBQ in The Valley for some delicious ribs and chicken. It is located off the Valley Rd. You’ll know it’s good when it’s packed with locals lined around the smokey grill. You’ll get to experience a huge order of BBQ ribs for only $6, chicken for $3, garlic bread for $1 and French fries for $2. You won’t find any restaurant on the island for those prices.
Visit Little Bay
Go to Crocus Bay just before DaVida’s beach club, you’ll see a sign for Little Bay boat for only $15 per person. It will take you to over to Little Bay from Crocus Bay. You can also try kayaking where you can rent from DaVida’s beach club going to Little Bay. Don’t forget to bring your camera with you, as there are some great underwater shots here.
One of the best things about traveling is having time for you. But, most people avoid getting lost. If you’re in Anguilla, it’s your opportunity to get lost in this beautiful paradise. Turn down random roads and see where it leads you. The island is small that you’ll surely find your way back or from the main roads.