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13 Top Anguilla Tourist Attractions

Anguilla sailboats
Water activities are popular on Anguilla. © Anguilla Tourism Board

The top Anguilla tourist attractions don’t reach the same level of places such as Cancun because the island is small and unspoiled. But the beaches are fantastic.

We discovered how quiet and unspoiled it was when we took a snorkeling excursion from St. Maarten over to a spot by an Anguilla beach.

The beach was long and wide. It had one person on it. The sand was pure white. The water was clear and gorgeous. Anguilla may not have a lot of tourist attractions, but it definitely has great beaches.

Otherwise, people who stay at hotels on Anguilla or the many who visit from nearby St. Maarten will find a small number of tourist attractions that they can tour on their own.

1. Shoal Bay and Rendezvous Bay Beaches

Beaches are the best tourist attractions on Anguilla. Credit: Wikimedia Creative Commons license

Anguilla beaches are some of the best we have seen in the Caribbean, starting with the beaches along Shoal Bay and Rendezvous Bay.

The island has 33 total beaches with more than 12 miles of white sand. Some of them are often empty of tourists.

The beauty and solitude of the beaches offer some of the best reasons for day trips even for cruise visitors to the nearby St. Maarten. Cruise excursions from that island to Anguilla are common. They usually focus on a combination of snorkeling and beaches.

2. CuisinArt Golf Course

The Greg Norman-designed CuisinArt Golf Course is a 7,063 yard, 18-hole, par 72 with water features on 13 holes.

The course offers many great views of the island, St. Maarten and the Caribbean. An 18-hole day on the course will cost about $250.

3. Crocus Hill

The highest point on the island at a little more than 200 feet up is Crocus Hill near the Crocus Bay Beach.

In the past, it was the site of several invasion attempts by French soldiers who were rebuffed by the British. Today, it is the site of several restaurants and hotels as well as the best views of the island along with nearby St. Maarten.

4. Turtle Nesting

Anyone visiting Anguilla from April through November may want to observe the nesting grounds for leatherback, green and hawksbill turtles.

The best beaches for viewing the turtles are Maundays Bay, Meads Bay, Captains Bay and Limestone Bay.

Anguilla photo
CuisinArt golf course; © Anguilla Tourist Board

5. Fountain Cavern National Park

This cave near Shoal Bay surface is a popular archaeological site with a carved stalagmite and petroglyphs (rock carvings or pictographs) dating back to the year 900 A.D.

The best known feature of the Fountain Cavern site is the stalagmite statue in the likeness of the Taino deity “Jocahu”, according to the Anguilla National Trust.

6. Pelican Trail

The Pelican Trail is part eco-park and part water sport facility near Little Bay beach. It sits on top of the bluffs of Katouche Bay at 200 feet above sea level.

The Trail consists of 480 wooden steps and seven gazebos that cascade down to the water’s edge. Water activities include a diving platform, glass bottom kayaks, snorkeling and a 25-foot trampoline island just offshore.

Private decks are available for rent.

7. The Valley

The Valley is the island’s small capital with a population of about 1,000 people. It has the Anguilla National Trust with exhibits about the island’s history, maps for the Anguilla Heritage Tour, and information about birding and walking tours.

Tours include historic homes and plantations that date back to the 18th century. Noteworthy places include Ebenezer Methodist Church, Miss Marjorie’s House, The Warden’s Place and Rose Cottage.

8. Snorkeling and Scuba Diving

Anguilla snorkeling
Anguilla snorkeling is a blast along the shores of great beaches. Credit: Pixabay license

Anguilla has seven marine parks including Dog Island, Prickly Pear, Seal Island Reef System, Little Bay, Sandy Island, Shoal Bay Harbour Reef System, and Stoney Bay Marine Park.

Snorkeling equipment is readily available to take advantage of calm waters in the bays. For divers, the parks have wall dives, ledge dives and nine wreck dives.

Stoney Bay is Anguilla’s first underwater heritage site. The El Buen Consejo sunk off the coast of the island in 1772 on its way to the New World. 

The ship was part of a convoy thought to be traveling to Mexico to convert the inhabitants. Divers can still see the ships’ cannons, anchors and devotional medals in the coral on the ocean floor.

9. Cycling

The island is about 16 miles long and three miles wide, which makes it easy to tour by bicycle for anyone who is moderately fit. Two bicycle shops and some hotels and resorts have rentals available by day or by week.

10. Sandy Ground Nightlife

The main source of nightlife is the beach village of Sandy Ground, which has a number of beach bars open for service.

11. Heritage Museum

This privately developed museum located by the East End Pond contains artifacts from the island’s history ranging from the original Arawak Indians to recent events.

12. Wallblake House

Wallblake House is the oldest and only surviving plantation house on Anguilla. Built in 1787, it is on the western edge of The Valley across from the Old Cotton Gin.

The house is a rare example of an entire complex of plantation buildings that have remained nearly intact. They include the kitchen, stable and workers quarters.

13. Old Salt Factory and Pumphouse

The Anguilla Tourist Board recommends Old Salt Factory and Pumphouse. Visitors can see how salt mining used to be Anguilla’s main industry. Tours are available at 10 a.m. Thursdays by appointment only.

Scott S. Bateman is a professional journalist who has traveled widely throughout the Caribbean and the Americas.
June 14, 2024