At Home In Anguilla
Ringed by sugar-white sand beaches, Anguilla is the Caribbean island otherwise known as ‘The Least of the Lesser Antilles’.
The Caribbean Island of Anguilla is tiny and very low profile and the residents are proud of this fact. The culture of this sleepy Caribbean island maintains a laid-back and relaxed island character. Anguilla is sparsely populated and the islanders are friendly and easy-going. Anguilla’s rich and vibrant history is most evident in the independent and gracious nature of its citizens. In its drive to become a successful participant in the global tourism trade, Anguilla has fared well and has flourished as a vacation and Caribbean real estate investment destination. Anguilla lies between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. It is the northernmost of the Leeward Islands.
Anguilla Real Estate, Economy and Infrastructure
Fishing mainly for lobsters, salt mining and raising livestock are the mainstays of the Anguillan economy. The economy also includes high-end tourism and the Anguilla real estate and offshore banking industries. Since 2004, Anguilla has witnessed rising Caribbean real estate investment – with rising prices. A foreigner who wishes to invest in Anguilla real estate and buy property on the island is expected to first apply for an Alien Land Holder’s license.
As a balance for its limited natural resources, the economy has evolved to place emphasis on high-end tourism and a developed system for offshore banking, along with lobster and local fishing industries. Increased interest in the tourism industry has initiated growth in the construction sector.
The airport is in The Valley, which is also the capital of Anguilla. International travelers can also use one of the additional options offered by the Princess Juliana International Airport in Philipsburg, St. Maarten. These include direct flights with a mere 30-minute taxi to the ferry terminal and a 20-minute ferry from there to Anguilla. Taxi services are available and have fixed fare zones from the Wallblake Airport, as well as the Blowing Point ferry terminal.
Both Eastern Caribbean and US dollars are accepted throughout the Island. The exchange rate is approximately 2.6882:1 EC to US dollars (at April 2007). Major credit cards like MasterCard, VISA and American Express are accepted by most of the restaurants, merchants, car rental agencies and resorts.
If you are looking for a change from the ‘typical’ Caribbean Island experience, avoid the crowds and come experience tranquil Anguilla.
Anguilla Activities, Dining and Entertainment
Famous around the world as the ‘Cuisine Capital of the Caribbean’, the Caribbean island of Anguilla has exquisite dining and offers travelers a large variety of local delights, ranging from the small but elegant, gourmet seaside restaurants to its chic bistros on the beach and roadside grills.
The sumptuous food is often prepared as a creation of the award winning local chefs in concert with the renowned chefs from across the world. Choices for visitors range from Caribbean to French cuisine. Mediterranean and Continental food is widely available. The cuisine also includes Creole, Italian, American and Indo-Chinese delicacies. The abundance of fresh seafood has provided options for creative cookery and wider choices. Most menus offer a variation of the local lobster or the smaller, sweeter crayfish. Needless to say, one can always find old favorites including fish and chicken and rib extravaganzas in most locations. The Caribbean island of Anguilla is also home to two of the region’s largest wine cellars. Most hotels and restaurants offer a large and well-selected wine stock.
Anguilla’s real estate is simply spectacular, and more than half of the island properties are self-catered villas and apartments – with some even offering fully equipped galleys.
First and foremost, the 33 beaches that ring this small island with powder soft white sands are the main attractions of the island. Beachgoers enjoy complete peace and serenity and virtually no crowds. You need to simply take a towel and head straight for the soft sands that welcome the turquoise waters, amidst the gently rolling surf. You can stroll, jog, sunbathe, enjoy beach games, build sandcastles or simply read a book. You can even watch the colourful Anguillan boats and feel at one with nature and romance in the air. Exhale, rest, relax, and rejuvenate. Water sports such as waterskiing, parasailing, windsurfing, paddle boating, glassbottom boats, charter sailing and motorboat riding are available. You could plan a snorkeling trip, fishing, diving and swimming with dolphins for outdoor activities. The island also offers horseback riding, biking, hiking, spa & wellness options, golf, bird watching and special photography tours. Anguilla offers a large number of nightlife options and many venues providing musical entertainment for such a small Caribbean island.
From classical pianists and guitarists to the quiet saxophone, Anguilla delivers up diverse options including reggae, steel drums and calypso bands. Publications listing the various events are available with the Anguilla Tourist Board, as well as most resorts. Most resorts and hotels also offer evening entertainment programs, while local hot spots offer the opportunity to dance to Caribbean tunes. There is music and entertainment available for visitors virtually every night of the week.
Unlike most of its volcanic neighbors, the Caribbean Island of Anguilla is flat coral with a generally arid climate. The mean temperature is around 80°F and the average rainfall is about 35 inches annually. Sunshine and turquoise waters throughout the year make it an ideal island getaway and perfect Caribbean real estate investment location. The flatness of the island allows the cool trade winds to drift over the spectacular beaches, taking away any lingering remnants of humidity. Summer temperatures range from 80°-90°F, while the winter temperatures stay at 75°-85°F, more or less the same through the day and night.
Anguilla Location & Travel
Anguilla is located in the Eastern Caribbean, at 18º North and 63º West, just one short hour east of Puerto Rico and about seven minutes north of Dutch St. Maarten, by air. It is about 20 minutes north from French St. Martin by ferry. Any number of options are available for getting to the island, including flying directly into Anguilla’s Wallblake Airport from Puerto Rico or to St. Maarten, Antigua, St. Thomas or St. Kitts and then taking an easy transfer to Anguilla via flights or ferries. Ferries are quite a popular mode of travel between the Caribbean islands of Anguilla and St. Martin and no reservations are necessary. During the day, especially between 7:30am and 7:00pm, the ferries run at 30-minute intervals and ferry crossings are priced at $12 each way, plus a $3 departure tax. Ferries can also be chartered. Only sixteen miles long and about three miles across at its widest point, the Caribbean Island of Anguilla is quite an easy island to explore on your own. One major roadway runs through it from the east to the west and smaller roads branch off from this major artery. All you have to do is grab a map and head out on your own. It is next to impossible to get lost, but if by chance you do, friendly and helpful islanders are always ready to guide you home. Driving is on the left in Anguilla and the speed limit is 30 mph. You can rent a car with a valid driver’s license from your resident country – a $20 purchase price helps you secure a temporary driver’s license. Well-maintained cars and jeeps are available for rent and car seats for children are also available at rental agencies. To enter the country, you require a Passport and a return or onward ticket. The general dress code is casual, but modest. Short-shorts, bikinis and bra-type tops as well as topless men and women are not welcome in public places. Nude or topless swimming or sunbathing is strictly forbidden.
Anguilla Culture and History
About 4,000 years ago, Anguilla was a lush island discovered by Amerindian tribes. The Arawak, with their beliefs based on the sun and moon and two sacred caverns, left ample evidence of their existence on the island. In fact, the Fountain cave site is the most intact ceremonial site from the period in all of the Eastern Caribbean. Anguilla was colonized by English settlers from St. Christopher in 1650 and has remained a British territory since then. In 1967, the British possessions of Anguilla, St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Nevis were united to form the self-governing state of St. Kitts–Nevis–Anguilla, which was a part of the West Indies Associated States. A few months later, Anguilla declared its independence from the federation. In July 1971, Anguilla became a dependency of Britain and a new constitution for Anguilla, effective in 1976, came into being, providing for separate administration and a government composed of elected representatives.
Art Gallery Tours and Museum Tours are available to give a better idea of the diverse cultural trends in Anguilla. The presence of ancient Amerindian settlements and the rich European colonization, right up to the 1967 revolution are woven into the colorful tapestry of Anguillan life and passed on from generation to generation with considerable pride. Local holidays and festivals are based on historical events. The spectacular display of culture during the Summer Festival begins on August Monday at 5am, with a daybreak jam in the streets. Dancing, various competitions, fairs, costumes and parades are the attractions in the evenings. Days are filled with beach picnics and boat racing, which is Anguilla’s national sport.
Coat of Arms
Motto “Strength and Endurance” Anthem “God Save the Queen” National Song – God Bless Anguilla Capital The Valley Official Languages English Government HM Queen Elizabeth II Governor Andrew George Chief Minister Osbourne Fleming British Overseas Territory Established in 1980 Area Total 102 km2 (220th) 39.4 sq mi Water Negligible Population 2006 Estimate: 13,477 (212th) Density 132 /km² 342 /sq mi GDP (PPP) 2004 Estimate Total $108.9 million Per Capita $8,800 (not ranked) Currency East Caribbean Dollar (XCD) Time Zone (UTC-4) Internet TLD .ai Calling Code +1-264
Anguilla Island Map