What’s the best way to get to Anguilla?

Hayley Bosch

Getting to Anguilla can be tricky, especially if it’s your first time visiting the area. As the island is rather small — only 35 square miles — you won’t see any 747s landing here, or really anything much bigger than a prop plane. In fact, there are no direct flights from the U.S.—chances are, unless you are coming from a neighboring island, you’ll have to unload your luggage from that jet and hop into a puddle jumper.
 
One of the easiest ways to get to Anguilla is by flying into St. Maarten’s Princess Juliana Airport (on the Dutch side of the island) and boarding the ferry at Marigot Bay (on the French side of the island). You’ll arrive at Blowing Point on Anguilla 45 minutes later. The ferry is small — carrying about 20 passengers — but offers refreshments and costs just $15 each way, plus a $5 departure tax.

  • On September 6, 2012
    Hayley Bosch answered the question: Hayley Bosch

    What are the best Anguilla food experiences?

    Given it’s small size you might think otherwise, but Anguilla is chockfull of fantastic restaurants. But it’s not necessarily the fine-dining eateries that make the best food experiences. Here are Forbes Travel Guide’s picks for the five best food experiences to be had on this tiny Caribbean island:
     
    1. Ribs on Sandy Island. Take the water taxi out to Sandy Island — it’s two miles from Sandy Ground Beach — and dig into some finger-licking-good ribs. Served fresh off the grill from the lone shack on the island, these juicy ribs are worth the trip. Once you’ve gotten your fill, you can relax on the white sand.
     
    2. Mango’s. It’s a toes-in-the-sand kind of place with fresh seafood dominating the menu. Order up Anguillan lobster and you’ll get a real taste of the island. The food is great, but the beachfront setting is even better.
     
    3. Madeariman Reef Bar & Restaurant. Chow down on local cuisine on the beach overlooking Shoal Bay. The open-air restaurant serves dishes like lobster pizza, allowing you to take advantage of the fresh seafood in a casual setting.
     
    4. CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa. While you can eat at the resort’s restaurants, the best food experience is a tour of the world’s only resort hydroponic farm. See how the luxurious resort grows its own fruits and vegetables and learn about the process.
     
    5. Smokey’s at The Cove. Head to Smokey’s for music and lunch — live music plays Friday through Wednesday. Overlooking Cove Bay, this delightful restaurant serves up plenty of lobster and plenty of rum.
  • On September 6, 2012
    Hayley Bosch answered the question: Hayley Bosch

    Where is the best nightlife in Anguilla?

    If you’re looking for a wild party, Anguilla may not quench your thirst for rowdy nighttime activities. Forbes Travel Guide editors warn the laidback lifestyle is contagious and carries well into the evenings across the tiny Caribbean island. Angilla is known for its live music and there are plenty of places to enjoy it. Island regulars spend night after night at Elvis’ Beach Bar in Sandy Ground. Elvis serves up strong rum drinks and is a must-do if you wan to experience the local scene.
     
    Another popular nighttime spot is The Pumphouse, which is located near Elvis’ Beach Bar. Whether you progress from one to the other or simply stay put for the night, you’ll find a local scene that is flavorful and vibrant, with plenty of music and rum to go around.
  • On September 6, 2012
    Hayley Bosch answered the question: Hayley Bosch

    What is the best way to see Anguilla in one day?

    Anguilla is compact (just 35 square miles), so you can easily cover the bases in just one day. Forbes Travel Guide editors suggest starting with a pastry from Le Bon Pain — the chocolate croissant is particularly popular. This little boulangerie is run by a Frenchman and the sweet aroma will envelope your senses so much that you’ll have no choice but to indulge in an item or two.
     
    Next, head to Sandy Ground Beach and hop on a water taxi to Sandy Island for some spectacular snorkeling. This’ll take a few hours, especially if you want to really enjoy the underwater life, but it’s definitely worth it. After working up an appetite, board the water taxi and make your way back to the mainland. Drive over to Cove Bay for lunch at Smokey’s for some beachfront seafood and roti (a Caribbean specialty). Enjoy the beach setting for a while and soak up some rays — you’re on an island after all.
     
    Refresh at your hotel and prep for dinner at Blanchards. This Anguilla institution is one of the best restaurants on the island — and one of the most popular, so make a reservation before you go. Once inside you’ll chow down on an eclectic menu with Asian and Mediterranean influences.
     
    Once dinner is finished and the sun is down, head to Elvis’ Beach Bar for some live music and a lively taste of the local scene. This laidback beach shack sits on Sandy Ground Beach and serves up strong rum drinks and has atmosphere to spare.
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  • On September 6, 2012
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What are the best places to eat in Anguilla?

    Whether you are staying on Anguilla or just visiting from a neighboring island, there are some great restaurants to try during your stay. Here’s Forbes Travel Guide’s pick of the five best places to eat in Anguilla:
     
    1. Barrel Stay. It may be informal, but the food at Barrel Stay is equivalent to that in fine dining restaurants. On the beach at Sandy Ground, the bistro features menu items like duck confit and foie gras — you can’t help but indulge.
     
    2. da’Vida Restaurant & Spa. A restaurant-spa combination isn’t too common and the ocean side da’Vida is the ideal place to experience it. Fill up on fresh seafood dishes like Crocus Bay tropical lobster layered top of mushroom risotto and then head to the spa to get a relaxing massage.
     
    3. Jacala Beach Restaurant. This beachfront spot on Meads Bay churns out some of the best French food on the island. It’s one of the newer restaurants on Anguilla and it puts a focus on simple dishes — rather than overwhelming delicious ingredients with rich sauces, Jacala lets the fresh food talk for itself.
     
    4. Blanchards. If there’s one menu on the island that foodie travelers know by heart, it’s Blanchards. This Meads Bay restaurant serves up an eclectic menu with influences from local cuisine, as well as flavors from Asia and the Mediterranean.
     
    5. Veya. Mega VIPs, regular folk and everyone in between eats at Veya — and for good reason. The restaurant is as modern as Anguilla gets, with chic furnishings, sleek lines and a sultry glow. The menu is as enticing as the interior — think Moroccan spiced shrimp cigars and vanilla cured duck breast.
  • On September 6, 2012
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What are the best places to stay in Anguilla?

    Given the intimate size of the island — just 35 square miles — Anguilla has an impressive selection of luxury hotels. Most of Anguilla’s hotels are on the west side of the island and are relatively close to each other. Here are Forbes Travel Guide’s picks for the five best places to stay in Anguilla:
     
    1. CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa. The whitewashed resort lies on the shore of Rendezvous Bay and its gorgeous gardened grounds extend inland. With the world’s first resort-based hydroponic farm, CuisinArt grows many of the ingredients used in the on-site restaurants. You can relax poolside, catch some rays on the beach and continue to melt away stress in the spa.
     
    2. Cap Juluca. Two bays away from CuisinArt is another one of the island’s best resorts — Cap Juluca. The hotel’s Moorish-style buildings and whitewashed villas (some with private pools) sit right on the beach. From here you’ll see unobstructed views of St. Martin, beyond Maundays Bay across the channel. Amenities include tennis, croquet, cool beach refreshments and three restaurants.
     
    3. Viceroy Anguilla. This glamorous resort is across the island from CuisinArt and Cap Juluca and has all the amenities you’d expect from a Viceroy. With direct access to two beaches, a sea center and an oceanfront spa, you won’t want for things to do or places to unwind. The modern architecture and sleek clean lines sets this hotel apart from others on the island, but that doesn’t mean it’s out of place — it’s breezy, luxe and local vibe jives with the natural environment beautifully.
     
    4. Altamer Resort. There are just three villas at this Shoal Bay West resort, but they are top-of-the-line. Each of the large homes is decked out with state-of-the-art technology, a personal butler and dedicated staff, private pools and tennis courts. While there’s no on-site restaurant, you can hire a private chef to come to your villa.
     
    5. Frangipani Beach Resort. Sitting next to Viceroy Anguilla on Meads Bay Beach, Frangipani Beach Resort is cozy and relaxing — you’ll be greeted with a glass of rum punch and a chilled towel upon arrival. With just 19 rooms, it’s more of a boutique hotel than a sprawling megaresort. The rooms have all of the modern trimmings and there are plenty of activities offered on the beach.
  • On September 6, 2012
    Hayley Bosch answered the question: Hayley Bosch

    Where is the best shopping in Anguilla?

    While it may be paradise for scuba divers and sun seekers, Anguilla isn’t a haven for those that like to shop until they drop. If you’re looking for fashionable clothing or beachwear, Forbes Travel Guide editors recommend hitting up the boutiques inside the large hotels that dot the tiny island. That said, you can find one-of-a-kind art pieces all over the place — part of the shopping experience here is the hunt. Some shops like Cheddie’s Carving Studio have interesting art, while others are in the form of galleries like the Devonish Art Gallery.
     
    If you’re looking for high-end, luxury shopping, you’ll want to hop on the ferry and take a 45-minute ride across to St. Martin. There you’ll find all kinds of designer shops, one right after another.
  • On September 6, 2012
    Hayley Bosch answered the question: Hayley Bosch

    What are the best things to do with kids in Anguilla?

    Kids are bound to have a blast in Anguilla, no matter how old they are. From snorkeling in the crystal clear water to picnicking on deserted islands, there’s plenty of fun to be had. Here are Forbes Travel Guide’s picks for the five best things to do with kids in Anguilla:
     
    1. Snorkel. Rent some snorkeling gear from your hotel (or a dive shop on the beach) and head to Shoal Bay to explore the endless underwater life. It’s one of the best beaches on the island and it’s a great spot to snorkel for beginners, thanks to its calm waters.
     
    2. Travel to Sandy Island. It’s a full day trip, but visiting Sandy Island is worth the trek. Take the shuttle boat to Sandy Island’s white-sand beaches for a day of snorkeling (the waters are calm here) and fresh seafood even a picky eater will like.
     
    3. Take a ride on a glass bottom boat. Junior’s Glass Bottom Boat departs from Shoal Bay and is a great alternative to snorkeling. You’ll be able to see all of the underwater life without having to get in the water.
     
    4. Picnic on a deserted island. Rent a boat (with a captain, if you like) and head to one of the uninhabited islands off the coast of Anguilla. A picnic on Anguillita Island, Sombrero Island or Dog Island makes for a unique experience for kids and adults.
     
    5. Relax on Sandy Ground Beach. Anguilla’s popular Sandy Ground Beach is good for easy swimming and the village-like atmosphere is ideal for the adults. Multiple beach bars like Elvis’ Beach Bar line the shore, so you won’t have to leave for lunch.
  • On September 6, 2012
    Hayley Bosch answered the question: Hayley Bosch

    What are the best things to see and do in Anguilla?

    Anguilla may be a small island — it’s only 35 square miles — but it doesn’t lack for things to see and do. Pristine white sand beaches line the island, while live music keeps the scene grooving well into the night. Here’s Forbes Travel Guide’s picks for the five best things to see and do in Anguilla:
     
    1. Snorkel. If anything, you’ll have trouble deciding which beach to snorkel because all of them are temptingly beautiful. Once you’ve made a decision — whether you go for Barnes Bay or a deserted cove — get ready to see colorful fish and sea creatures galore.
     
    2. Hit the beach. Is there anything better than relaxing on a white stretch of sand with turquoise water lapping at the shore and rum punch at the ready? The sun is strong and steady here, so be sure to lather up with sunscreen often.
     
    3. Groove to live music. The tiny island is known for its live music scene and Elvis’ Beach Bar is the place to experience the best of it. Located at Sandy Ground Beach, this beached boat-shaped bar will give you a good dose of local flavor.
     
    4. Go sailing. Even if you don’t know how to sail, you can still take part in this quintessential Caribbean activity. Charter a sailboat (and a captain) to island hop or simply sail a Hobie Cat (a kayak-like boat) in the bay.
     
    5. Explore Prickly Pear Cays. This pair of uninhabited islands is a must-see during your trip to Anguilla. They’re uninhibited and remote (located about six miles from Road Bay), but have some of the best snorkeling and calm waters in the Caribbean. Get lunch at the onsite restaurant, Agatha’s.
  • On July 22, 2012
    Hayley Bosch answered the question: Hayley Bosch

    What’s the best thing to bring home from Anguilla?

    Sleepy Anguilla is not much of a shopping destination—your best bet for finding a worthwhile souvenir to bring home is at one of the art galleries or local artists’ shops. From wood and coral carvings to beautiful paintings, you’ll find something to remember your trip to Anguilla. With the arrival of luxury resorts to the island, though, you may find some treasures by browsing your hotel’s boutique. At Viceroy Anguilla, the onsite boutique includes everything from stylish beachwear to objets d’art found at the resort, which was designed by interior designer Kelly Wearstler. If art isn’t for you, seashells always make a great memento. And what better way to collect seashells than on some of the most gorgeous beaches in the Caribbean.
  • On July 22, 2012
    Hayley Bosch answered the question: Hayley Bosch

    What’s the best way to get to Anguilla?

    Getting to Anguilla can be tricky, especially if it’s your first time visiting the area. As the island is rather small — only 35 square miles — you won’t see any 747s landing here, or really anything much bigger than a prop plane. In fact, there are no direct flights from the U.S.—chances are, unless you are coming from a neighboring island, you’ll have to unload your luggage from that jet and hop into a puddle jumper.
     
    One of the easiest ways to get to Anguilla is by flying into St. Maarten’s Princess Juliana Airport (on the Dutch side of the island) and boarding the ferry at Marigot Bay (on the French side of the island). You’ll arrive at Blowing Point on Anguilla 45 minutes later. The ferry is small — carrying about 20 passengers — but offers refreshments and costs just $15 each way, plus a $5 departure tax.