Cruise and Beach Destinations
in the Caribbean, Mexico & Beyond

Best Anguilla Beaches for Cruise and Hotel Visitors

Anguilla beach
Anguilla beaches are known for their fine white sand and lack of people. Credit: Depositphotos

The best Anguilla beaches include Shoal Bay, Crocus Bay and Rendezvous Bay. They get that way because of their beauty and quiet.

Cruise and hotel visitors will find some of the most memorable in the Caribbean on the eastern Caribbean island of Anguilla.

Anguilla is a British Overseas Territory that lies seven miles off the coast of Saint Martin—the French side of Dutch St. Maarten. Cruise and hotel visitors to St. Maarten—which has most of the hotels and the major cruise port—can take a shore excursion via boat to Anguilla to snorkel and explore the beaches.

Picture going on a snorkeling excursion that begins in St. Maarten and goes over to a spot at the nearby Anguilla. The boat makes the half-hour crossing and rounds the southwestern tip of the island at Lower West End Point.

The water’s color is beautiful, the sky is clear and the water is perfect. The boat anchors off a nearby beach.

What holds the attention is not getting ready to jump into the water, but the nearby beach—serene, pure white sand and completely empty of any human being.

The reason why it is empty is that maps of Anguilla don’t show a road that leads to it. The location is far from the developed resort areas on this quiet island.

But it’s not just the emptiness that is unusual for a Caribbean island. It’s the pure beauty of the beach and the way the blinding white sand contrasts with the green water and the blue sky.

Anguilla is one of the best beach destinations in the Caribbean because of their beauty and remoteness.

Best Anguilla Beach List

Anguilla beach
Maunday’s Bay beach; credit: Wikimedia Creative Commons license

The island claims 33 beaches and 12 miles of white sand in total, according to the Anguilla Tourist Board.

Day trip visitors will likely start with the beach at Rendezvous Bay because of its access from the nearby ferries from St. Maarten.

Shoal Bay East is often ranked one of the best beaches in the Caribbean. It is the most popular beach on Anguilla in large part because of the hotels located there. Visitors will find plenty to do including snorkeling at the coral reef, scuba diving and glass bottom boat tours.

Lower Shoal Bay is lined with beach bars and restaurants. A highlight of the beach is the views at sunset.

For people desiring access to better dining options, a good choice is Meads Bay, one of the longest beaches on the island.

Another interesting option is Crocus Bay because of its coral cliffs, but it’s also a good choice for swimming and snorkeling.

A great option for snorkeling and widely recommended is Little Bay, which is actually another small and out-of-the-way beach. Little Bay is an easy swim from the nearby Crocus Bay.

All of Anguilla’s beaches are public, although not all of them are easily accessible. There are no lifeguards on duty, so take care with high surf.

Visitors won’t be disappointed with Anguilla’s beaches, especially the more remote ones. They are both quiet and beautiful.

Day Trip Visitors

Although Anguilla is a vacation destination in its own right, many beach visitors start from St. Maarten because of the many resorts there or because of the busy cruise port at Philipsburg on the south side of the island.

Ferries depart from three points on St. Maarten depending on a visitor’s location. Resort visitors usually depart from the Simpson Bay area, while cruise visitors might leave from either Philipsburg or especially from Marigot.

Anguilla lies north of St. Maarten, so Marigot is the closest point because it is on the north side of the island.

A quick ride across the island from the ferry docks will take visitors to Sandy Ground village, which offers a major beach along with a festive nightlife. This harbor village is a popular spot for sailboats and yachts.

Scott S. Bateman is a professional journalist who has traveled widely throughout the Caribbean and the Americas.
May 24, 2023