Anguilla’s capital, The Valley, is located in the center of the island.
It is the home of government and commerce, the Clayton J. Lloyd International Airport, and the Anguilla Tourist Board. Here you will also find the island’s only surviving plantation house, the beautifully restored Wallblake House, built in 1785, offers a glimpse into Anguilla’s colonial heritage.
Wallblake house built in 1785
On the road to Crocus Hill is the area of town that Anguillians refer to as The Old Valley. Here there are a number of architectural examples from Anguilla’s history — Ebenezer’s Methodist Church, Miss Marjorie’s House, The Warden’s Place, Rose Cottage, and other graceful buildings, all a reminder of Anguilla’s beautiful past.
Ebenezer’s Methodist Church
The legendary Lloyds B&B, in operation since the 1950’s, a selection of Charming Escapes, and the luxury villa resort CeBlue overlooking Crocus Bay are all situated in and around The Valley.
THE HEART OF ANGUILLA’S TOURISM INDUSTRY
The West End is the heart of Anguilla’s tourism industry, home of many of the island’s traditional five star resorts, including the Four Seasons Resort & Residences, CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa, the Reef by CuisinArt, Malliouhana, An Auberge Resort, Altamer and Cove Castles.
It is also where Anguilla’s culinary fame was born, led by iconic restaurants such as Blanchards, and followed by establishments like Jacala, Mangos and Straw Hat.
Seaside Dining at Mangos on Barnes Bay in West End
The spectacular beaches of the West End — Meads Bay, Rendezvous Bay, Maundays Bay, Barnes Bay, Long Bay, Cove Bay – glistening arcs of powder soft sand framing azure seas, these are the hallmarks of the Anguillian vacation experience.
Still waters at Meads Bay
ANGUILLA’S POINT OF ENTRY
The Blowing Point Ferry Terminal is the point of entry for most visitors to Anguilla, who arrive via the public or private ferries from St. Martin/Sint Maarten. Blowing Point beach is the location of one of the island’s most popular attractions, the Dolphin Discovery program.
Ferry terminal at Blowing Point
The area is also home to some of the island’s finest villa estates, at Little Harbour and Lockrum.
The East End of the island is rapidly developing as an alternative tourism center to the West End. Blessed with the magnificent Shoal Bay East beach, new properties such as the Zemi Beach House Resort & Spa and Manoah Boutique hotel have opened in the last two years.
Tourism pioneers Shoal Bay Villas and Serenity Cottages paved the way, and the area now boasts a host of popular restaurants and beach bars, and a day spa.
ANGUILLA’S QUAINT FISHING VILLAGE
Anguilla’s quaint fishing village, Island Harbour, sits on the East End of Anguilla. Colorful boats moor in this protected cove, and the fishing pier juts out towards the conch-lined island of Scilly Cay. Stand at the end of the pier and wave your arms and a tiny dinghy will motor across to take you over to the island for a spectacular lunch and heady rum punch. Children jump and fish from the pier, while their parents tend to their boats and the day’s catch.
Fishing boats at Island Harbour
Island Harbour is home to the annual Festival del Mar on the Easter weekend, a celebration of all things from the sea that includes a seafood festival, culinary competitions, swimming and fishing tournaments, lots of music and the national pastime, Boatracing. It is also home to one of Anguilla’s oldest and most popular eateries, the Hibernia Restaurant and Art Gallery..
Festival Del Mar in Island Harbour
Six nearby islands belong to Anguilla: Scrub Island, Sombrero, Dog Island, Sandy Island, Prickly Pear and Anguillita. Many tour companies offer “Anguilla by Sea” tours, which take you to one or more of these islands for a day of swimming, snorkeling and fantastic food.
Scrub Island is the largest of the offshore cays, and it is devoid of development, your perfect private island. Activities here include Wildlife observation, over 34 species of birds that have been recorded, snorkeling with turtles, fish and stingray, and swimming in emerald glowing lagoons. The trip to Scrub Island takes approximately 20 minutes from Island Harbour.
Aerial view of Scrub Island
Sombrero Island has an interesting history as it was a major source of guano mining in the nineteenth century. In 1856 the Americans claimed the island from the British, and in a short period of time quarried over 100,000 tons of phosphate as fertilizer for the exhausted lands of the southern states. Today Sombrero has been designated an important bird area by Bird Life International because of its breeding seabirds, and the surrounding waters are feeding areas for Hawksbill turtles.
Bird Life International has also identified Dog Island as an important bird area, as it is home to large populations of nesting seabirds, mainly sooty terns, over 100,000 pairs, along with nine other species. A large colony of magnificent Frigate Birds nests on the eastern end of the island, along with flocks of Masked and Brown Boobies. It is also an interesting dive location, for experienced divers because of strong currents.
Bird activity on Dog Island
Sandy Island, a five-minute boat ride from Sandy Ground with Captain Jojo, is the proud home of Anguilla’s newest music festival, Livin’ the Sun, which takes place in November. An amazing restaurant, resident masseuse, hammocks, lounges and spectacular snorkeling make a trip to Sandy island a truly memorable experience.
Aerial view of Sandy Island
There are two restaurants on Prickly Pear, Agatha’s, which has been in operation for twenty years, and the more recent newcomer, Johnno’s at Prickly Pear. Both offer a great selection of cocktails and seafood, beach chairs, snorkeling gear, thatch umbrellas and stunning vistas of turquoise seas.
Anguillita island is the southernmost of Anguilla’s cays, a small, rocky uninhabited island that has good snorkeling and scuba diving conditions.