ACTIVE ANGUILLA caribbean islands vacations

ACTIVE ANGUILLA caribbean islands vacations

Justifiably renowned for its pristine beaches and spectacular turquoise seas, this laid-back island also has a lot to offer the active traveler. For those looking for some action, Anguilla offers a surprising array of caribbean islands vacations activities.

Bird Watching – The numerous salt ponds around Anguilla provide an inviting habitat for more than 136 species of birds from Great Blue Herons to Sandpipers and Snowy Egrets. The second largest pond on the island, Cauls Pond, is important for migratory shore birds, making it a particularly good area for keen ornithologists to visit. ‘A Field Guide to Anguilla’s Wetlands,’ published by the Anguilla National Trust, is an ideal companion for birdwatchers visiting the ponds.

Boating – The Island Yacht Charter Company offers half and full-day charters of its 35ft custom-built power boat and, for those who prefer to sail in the tropical winds, a 30ft yacht. Alternatively, join Captain Rollins on Chocolate, a 35ft catamaran, which is available for day excursions, sunset cruises and private charters. Either option is an ideal way of visiting some of the off-shore cays surrounding Anguilla, such as Scrub Island, Prickly Pear, Sandy Island and Dog Island.

Boat Racing – Visitors to the island during carnival and other public holidays will be able to witness – and possibly take part in – Anguilla’s national sport of boat racing. Featuring the island’s traditional, unique, hand-crafted wooden sailboats, which create an impressive spectacle when in full sail, the races have taken place around the island for almost seventy-five years and usually culminate in a huge party!

Fishing – Half- and full-day trips are available from a number of fishing charter companies, some of which allow visitors to keep their catch – should they be lucky enough to reel something in!   Fishing is generally done by trawling live bait and the catch might include wahoo, dorado, kingfish, silfish, marlin, or even barracuda and grouper.

Horse Riding – Is available at El Rancho Del Blues and Cliffside Riding Centre where novice riders and experienced equestrians are welcome. Daily lessons and hacks along the scenic Gibbons Trails, North Hill Ridge and the white sand beaches are just some of the options offered.

Hiking & Nature Treks – Miles of powdery white sand beaches, dramatic cliff tops and tropical rainforest trails provide a variety of interesting walks for those in search of a leisurely stroll or a more energetic hike. On the north coast, in particular, there are tracts of land that remain covered in thick vegetation, providing a rich habitat for wildlife, while trails through the Katouche Valley allow visitors to see the best remaining example of a natural rainforest on Anguilla. Other places

of interest include Cavannagh Cave at the end of the Katouche Valley, originally mined for phosphorous, which today is home to the likes of bats, crabs and lizards.

Scuba Diving – Anguilla has six marine parks and six dive wrecks, plus a huge array of coral formations, walls ridges, canyons and tunnels for the enjoyment of both novice and experienced divers. In addition, the creation of Stoney Bay Marine Park has ensured that artifacts dating back to the 18th century will continue to be preserved for the future enjoyment of Anguillians and visitors alike. The wreck of the Spanish galleon, El Buen Consejo, together with canons, anchors and bronze medals embedded in the coral at Stoney Bay, is possibly the island’s most impressive underwater treasure. Minimal sea currents within its waters make Anguilla an ideal site for novices and there are a number of dive centers, including Shoal Bay Scuba & Watersports, running PADI instructional courses for complete beginners up to divemasters.

Shopping – Anguilla features a variety of gift shops offering Caribbean mementos, arts and crafts ranging from silk screen printed goods, wood carvings and handmade baskets to paintings, soaps and lotions, t-shirts and books about the island.

Historical Walking Tours – There are two organized walking tours that highlight the architecture and history of Anguilla. The first takes in the historic houses of the Lower Valley, the property now known as Koal Keel, originally a sugar and cotton plantation, as well as the remains of the old courthouse. The second guided walk highlights the history of Sandy Ground, home to the Old Salt Factory, once the island’s primary source of income.

The Wallblake House – Built in 1787, Wallblake House is the oldest and only surviving plantation house on the island. This National Trust property is one of only a few remaining plantation houses in the Caribbean where the entire complex – including kitchen, stables and workers’ quarters – has remained just as it would have been centuries ago. The property now also houses a museum showing the history of the island’s cotton industry.

Touring Museums & Art Galleries – Anguilla has a strong and expanding community of artists and visitors are able to see a cross-section of their work on a guided tour of the island’s art galleries, organized through the Savannah Gallery. Anguilla’s Heritage Collection in East End Village maps the history of the island from its discovery by Arawak-speaking Amerindians some 4,000 years ago. Visitors can learn about Anguilla’s colonization by the English, the subsequent battles that took place among opposing nations determined to win this Caribbean jewel, and the revolution of 1967.

Tennis – All major properties have lighted courts for their guests and some have resident pros. There are two public courts in the Valley at the Ronald Webster Park. The Anguilla Tennis Academy (ATA), a world class tennis facility, is located in Blowing Point and is open to visitors.

Golf – The CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa is home to Anguilla’s only golf course. The 18-Hole Greg Norman Signature Designed Champion Golf Course offers 14 unparalleled sea view holes. Players are greeted at the starting hole with spectacular views of St. Maarten and the Caribbean Sea, and the visual panorama continues to unfold as play progresses. In planning the course, significant environmental efforts were undertaken to preserve and to enhance the island’s natural habitats.

Touring by Car or Bicycle – The best way for visitors to visit every corner of the island during their stay is to hire a car/jeep or even a bicycle. Driving is on the left-hand side of the road, the speed limit is usually 30 mph or slower, and there’s only one main road with smaller branches off towards the coast, so it should be a stress-free experience! Road bikes are available from leading bike companies (including Trek, Giant). Rentals include fully fitted bikes and helmets.

Turtle Spotting – The Anguilla Sea Turtle Project is committed to preserving these ancient creatures that arrive on the island’s beaches every year between May and November. Visitors may have the opportunity to witness hatchlings emerging from their shells or scrambling across the beaches towards the sea.

Watersports – Anguilla has 33 beaches, most of which offer a calm, safe environment in which to swim, plus water so clear that the conditions are perfect for snorkelling above the many coral reefs. Those looking to participate in more active pursuits should head for Rendezvous Bay or Shoal Bay (East), both of which offer over a mile of beach and a variety of water sports facilities, including wind surfers, sailboats, paddle boards and kayaks. Alternatively, Savannah Bay has the best conditions for boogie boarding and body surfing.

Relaxing – When relaxation and pampering is all that’s required, in addition to its numerous sandy beaches, restful bays and idyllic views, Anguilla also has a number of spas with qualified massage therapists and beauticians offering a range of treatments from manicures and facials to eyelash tinting and waxing.

Nightlife – For those with energy left at the end of the day, there are a number of night spots where live music and dancing is on the agenda. Venues include Johnno’s, Pumphouse and Elvis’s in Sandy Ground, and the Dune Preserve on Rendezvous Bay.



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