There are so many things to do on Anguilla

Cuisinart Golf Course Anguilla
Anguilla Cyclists
Sailing Anguilla
No matter what your age or lifestyle, you’ll find a host of relaxing and exciting things to do on Anguilla.

Simply let us know your interests and what you would like try and we will offer recommendations and make arrangements for you.  Start with our concierge first as she may be able to provide better pricing thanks to our relationships around the island.

Water Recreation
Land Recreation
Music
Shops/Sites/Art
Spas
Food & Wine
Side Trips
  • Beaches

    With 33 beaches on this small island there’s a beach for everyone.  From sugar sand to rocky cliffs, dotted with resorts and beach restaurants to secluded bliss. Laze in the sun, snorkel or swim or try your hand at paddle boarding, kite-surfing, banana boating, diving and more. Explore some of our favorites>

    Scuba Diving

    Anguilla Sea Turtles

    Anguilla is home to seven marine parks and offers wall, ledge and wreck dives.  Villa Alegria owner, Neil Freeman is an avid diver and can share tips and his favorite dive spots.

    The island’s marine parks are home to over 106 species of fish including sea turtles, stingrays and exotic fish in every color of the rainbow.

    Neil places Dog Island at the top of his list. Prickley Pear, Seal Island Reef System, Little Bay, Sandy Island, Shoal Bay Harbour Reef System and Stoney Bay Marine Park make up the rest.  Stoney Bay also boasts a sunken 960-ton Spanish galleon, El Buen Consejo.

    Special D Diving

    We recommend you explore the island’s underwater world with Neil’s  friend, Special D Diving’s Dougie Carty.  Dougie knows all the sea creatures on a first name basis and will ensure you get the most from your dive. A native Anguillan, Dougie knows the local waters like no one else and has a dedicated following of experienced divers from all over the world who charter him for specialty dives, day trips, boat tours and fishing expeditions. Dougie spent years as the dive master for a PADI facility so he knows all about safe diving.

    Special D Diving | (264) 235-8438 | specialddiving@gmail.com

    Shoal Bay Scuba

    We also recommend Matt at Shoal Bay Scuba. Shoal Bay has two locations, its PADI Dive Resort Center, located in the West End which also offers snorkeling and dive equipment for sale and rent, and its Scuba Shack at Roys Bayside Grill in Sandy Ground.  Locally owned and managed with 21 years experience leading dive groups and teaching PADI courses in Anguilla, Shoal Bay offers many excursions with minimal time spent on the boat getting to the dive site.

    Shoal Bay Scuba | (264) 235-1482 | Shoalbayscuba@gmail.com

    Snorkeling

    Snorkeling AnguillaWhether you are a novice or an expert, snorkeling is a must do activity while visiting Anguilla.  Shoal Bay Scuba offers rentals and tours and has created a list of its top recommended spots that we’ve listed below.

    You can also snorkel off Sandy Point Beach.  Just walk down the paved path next to Villa Alegria and you’re there. Villa Alegria has several sets of snorkeling gear and our concierge Michelle can rent additional sets for you.

    On most of the larger beaches hotels and resorts will offer rentals and instruction.

    Spot #1: Shoal Bay East Beach

    From the eastern point where the reef touches the beach, snorkeling is really only a footstep away. You follow the reef heading east and follow it around to the North all the way around back to the East. This takes around 40 minutes to do the whole reef. There is also a smaller reef right in front of the shop that is a 20 minute snorkel.  This beach is ideal for snorkeling because shoals and reefs are located quite close to shore for virtually all two miles, the entire length of the white sand. There are numerous outlets for snorkeling gear along the beach, including beachside hotels.

    Spot #2: Little Bay

    A favorite spot on Anguilla, you can get to Little Bay one of three ways.  First by climbing down the side of the cliff (there is a rope to help but parking by the cliffs can be hard to find), by swimming over from Pelican Trail, or by boat. There are several options for taking a boat to Little Bay, Shoal Bay Scuba stop’s at this spot as part of its half day Prickly Pear Trip. However you get there you will fall in love with not only the small beach that offers shade all morning from the high cliffs running along one side, but the fantastic snorkeling.   It is very protected and you’ll see lots of small fish, baby turtles and stingrays.

    Spots #3 & #4:  Prickly Pear Island and Sandy Island

    Prickly Pear and Sandy Island offer excellent snorkeling just footsteps from the shore and both have lovely sandy beaches where you can spend a few hours and enjoy a great lunch. Both these island are only accessible by boat. Shoal Bay Scuba offers trips. See Cay Tours above for more information.

    Spot #5: Sandy Hill Beach

    This is a great calm beach with good snorkeling and swimming that faces St. Martin on the eastern end of the island, although this beach offers no services, beach bars or shade its large inner reef to the right as you face the ocean with you back to the road is worth seeing. I’ts located off the Sandy Hill roundabout and offers snorkeling from two to 40 feet and you are likely to see a southern stingray.

    Spot #6: Pelican Bay

    Until recently, this spot could only be reached by boat but thanks to the Pelican Trail and Water Sports, you can now walk directly down to the waters edge, half-way between Crocus Bay and Little Bay it offers very good snorkeling in a calm environment. Shoal Bay Scuba also includes Pelican Bay snorkel spot as part of its half day snorkel trip to Sandy Island with lunch.

    Snorkeling operators

    Gotcha! Garfield’s Sea Tours | (264) 235-7902 or (264) 497-2956 | gotcha@anguillanet.com

    Shoal Bay Scuba | (264) 235-1482 | Shoalbayscuba@gmail.com

    Sail Chocolat | (264) 497 3394 | ruan@anguillanet.com 

    Junior’s Glass Bottom Boats | Shoal Bay Island Harbor | (264) 235-1008

    Want more recommendations?  Villa Alegria owner, Neil is happy to provide his top picks.

    Boating, Sailing & Fishing

    Anguilla Boating Gotcha Garfield

    Boating and sailing are at the heart of Anguilla’s heritage and lifestyle. Hundreds of years ago, the plantation economy on Anguilla began to fail, forcing residents to explore new sources of income.  Many Anguilla men sailed to nearby islands, like the Dominican Republic, looking for jobs.  The trips home became a competition to see who could reach Anguilla shores first, earning bragging rights and the applause and cheers of those waiting for their return.

    This tradition continues on with island-wide events each year where landracers (spectators) enjoy music, food and the thrill of cheering on their favorite boatracers, who race at breakneck speeds around the island in handmade boats with as many as 20 in the crew. There are daily sailboat races the first of August during Anguilla’s Carnival. Other major races include Anguilla Day in May and Easter. From Anguilla you can watch the Heineken Regatta or even enter the four days of racing which originates from St Martin in early March. There are several classes of boat sizes and the rainbow of colorful sail masts is a site to see. More about Anguilla festivals and events>.

    Today, many Anguillians continue to make their living from the water as fisherman, as well as ferrying visitors to the island from St. Martin and other nearby islands, and offering cruises, cay tours, sport fishing and more. There are no major rental marinas in Anguilla, but our concierge can arrange with a local charter company, such as Gotcha Garfield’s Sea Tours for guests to rent a boat and captain. Gotcha has a fleet of powerboats between 30 and 50 feet long.  Or if sailing is more your style you can board Sail Chocolat’s 35-foot catamaran.

    Nearby cays

    There are three nearby uninhabited islands that you can get to by boat including Dog Island, Prickly Pear and Sandy Island. Most are just a 20-minute boat ride away and give you the feeling of being a castaway on a desert island.  Both Prickly Pear and Sandy Island have restaurants that serve lunch and are surrounded by quality snorkeling sites. Dog island is more remote, inhabited by birds and lizards, but two of the best scuba dive sites are adjacent to “The Dog.”  See Cay Tours below for more information.  While some of the islands are privately owned, like all Anguilla beaches, their beaches are public.

    Fishing

    In addition to cay tours, cruising and St Martin airport transfers, one of Gotcha’s boats is used exclusively for fishing charters and is called “Gotcha Reel Good”. Other charter boat companies that have fishing excursions include. Calypso, GB Express, Sea Pro Charters and Funtime.  Fishing can include local sites catching snapper grouper and yellowtail, or you can try more adventurous waters to catch tuna, Mahi Mahi or Wahoo. You may even land a shark.

    Yachting

    The clear blue and calm Anguilla waters are ideal for Caribbean yachting. In the winter season, you may see a a helicopter landing on one of the world’s largest yachts (around 500 feet) such as the Eclipse or mega Yacht A .

    Sailboat rentals

    The Anguilla Sailing Academy rents small sailboats to guests on the island. The best place to rent a large sailboat without a captain is at Moorings in St Martin and then you can moor the boat in the harbor at Sandy Ground, the Cove or Island Harbor. Many people rent boats for a week and travel to nearby islands St Barths, Saba, Statia, Nevis and St Kitts.

    Glass bottom boat

    Experience sea life in its natural state on Captain Junior Fleming’s glass bottom boat, complete with shady canopy and chilled soft drinks. Just show up at Shoal Bay East beach and ask for Junior or call ahead for a reservation.  You can customize your excursion, including trips to some of the nearby cays.  This is an ideal outing for anyone, including families with kids — Junior gets rave reviews! In addition to shorter trips, Junior’s boat is available for rent for the whole day.

    You can also hire Junior to teach you how to snorkel. He’ll start with dry land training with the mask, then instruction in shallow water and finally reef diving.  Even non-swimmers and the most nervous person will learn how to enjoy the beauty of the ocean in complete control.

    Once you’ve booked your stay at Villa Alegria you can have our concierge Michelle arrange excursions and rentals for you.

    Boat operators

    Gotcha! Garfield’s Sea Tours | (264) 235-7902 or (264) 497-2956 | gotcha@anguillanet.com

    Shoal Bay Scuba | (264) 235-1482 | Shoalbayscuba@gmail.com

    Sail Chocolat | (264) 497 3394 | ruan@anguillanet.com 

    Junior’s Glass Bottom Boats | Shoal Bay Island Harbor | (264) 235-1008

    Sea Pro Charters | Sandy Ground | (264) 584-0074 | seaprochartersanguilla@gmail.com

    GB Express | (264) 584-6205 | afscs@anguillanet.com

    Funtime Charters | (866) 334-0047

    Calypso Charters | Blowing Point | 264-584-8504 | info@calypsochartersanguilla.com

    Gotcha! Garfield’s Sea Tours

    Tel: 1 (264) 235-7902/ 497-2956
    gotcha@anguillanet.com
    www.gotcha-garfields-sea-tours-anguilla.com

    – See more at: http://ivisitanguilla.com/day-cruising/#sthash.7cKU08LH.dpuf

    enturies ago, when the failure of an Anguillian plantation economy was apparent and economic conditions became increasingly severe, the men folk of Anguilla took to the sea for employment on neighboring islands, in particular the cane-plantation rich Dominican Republic.  On return, trips home became fierce competitions in speed. Schooners would battle the weather, the sea and each other to Road Bay for the glory of arriving home first.

    In the 1930’s a race of historic proportions was had.  The Warspite and the Ismay, two of Anguilla’s most famous schooners were on return from the D.R. along with several other boats bound from home.  On board between the fleet, three to four hundred men all hungry for the shores of their home.

    One Sunday morning, after five days of hard sailing, the schooners were sighted just west of Dog Island, racing toward Road Bay.  All the while, church was in session at Bethel Methodist atop of the hill that surrounds Road Bay.  As the boats came “hard lee,” tacking away from each other just to the leeward side of Dowling Shoal near Sandy Island, the excitement of the parishioners watching from the church windows became unbearable.  Eventually everyone, including the Minister, left their sermon to cheer on their boats from the brow of the hill, leaving the church empty.  So began the spectator sport that accompanies boat race.

    In 1918, according to Sir Emile Gumbs, the first organized boat race occurred as part of the celebrations marking the end of World War I.  The race, which was held in Crocus Bay, was open to all fishing boats and was won by “Repel” a boat built and owned Joe Hodge of Long Bay.  However, the first race and its winner are still disputed on Anguilla to this day.  What is not up for dispute is the passion for this sport and its continued tradition.

    Today, boats are still built by hand but are now built using the WEST (wood epoxy saturated) technique introduced by David Carty, rather than carved from the white cedar trees.  Size determines whether they are A, B and C class.  Class A is the largest and most popular, able to carry 14 men with hundreds of pounds of ballast.

    Races are held at various times throughout the spring and summer, beginning around Easter week and culminating in the Champion of Champion race held in August at the end of Boatracing week.  Landracers, as the enthusiastic spectators are now called, line the beaches roads and hilltops to root their favorite boat in.

    Boatrace is accompanied by barbecues, music and dancing, and is a “don’t miss” island event that is exciting, beautiful and cultural.

    – See more at: http://ivisitanguilla.com/boatrace/#sthash.QxUZewHQ.dpuf

    Cay Tours

    If Anguilla’s extensive, pristine, mainland beaches still aren’t enough, you can hop on a boat and head to one of the smaller offshore islands or cays for a day.  Each cay features something a little different to do and see, and most boat charter companies offer all-inclusive packages including lunch and drinks.  Our concierge can make arrangements for you.

    Prickly Pear Cays

    The Prickly Pear Cays are located six miles north of Road Bay. The Western smaller cay is mainly rocky coral and scrub with no easy access to the island.The Eastern Cay has similar terrain on the south side of the island , but once you pass through the passage between the two cays, on to the north side, you’ll find a beautiful white sandy beach.

    While there you can enjoy some of Anguilla’s best snorkeling amongst the coral reefs, explore the rocky coast line looking for nesting sea birds, walk to the secluded part of the beach for spectacular views of Anguilla, or just laze in the sun and swim.  Visitors describe Prickly Pear as having a “castaway” feel.

    At lunchtime you’ll head to the Prickly Pear Bar & Restaurant, also called Agatha’s.  Enjoy chicken, baby back pork ribs, grilled Mahi Mahi and even lobster (when available, large groups should call a few days ahead) on locally-made BBQ coals lunch and then enjoy view from the groomed green lawns, main building or under thatched umbrellas on the deck.

    You’ll probably see ground lizards scurrying to grab any fallen crumbs and little sugar birds may even eat sugar or rice from your hands — a kid favorite!.  You can find Allan, Agatha’s son and self-proclaimed BBQ king, at the Tiki Hut bar.  He’ll set you up with your favorite beverage, from beer to rum punch to frozen concoctions.

    Dog Island

    The most westerly cay, Dog island is 8 miles northwest of the main island.  The rocky 500-acre deserted island with empty soft, sugar-sand beaches has no buildings or residents, other than goats, and is the nesting spot for nine species of sea birds.  Its waters are home to endangered Green Sea Turtles and Leatherback Sea Turtles and are also a popular dive spot.  Many visitors call it a slice of heaven and consider a trip there one of the most beautiful beach experiences of their lives.  Most boats will anchor offshore and you can swim to the privately-owned island.

    Sandy Island

    Located on the northwest coast, this small island is surrounded by a coral reef and is an ideal spot for a “day at the beach”.  Boats leave from Sandy Ground hourly during the day.  Popular with celebrities and boaters out of St. Martin, Sandy Island is an expansive sugar sand beach dotted with palms, with sand volleyball (bring your own ball), swimming, sunbathing, snorkeling, fresh seafood grilled to order and lots of refreshing cocktails and drinks!

    Scilly Cay

    The closest cay to the main island, this coral-based island is owned by couple Eudoxie and Sandra and their sons, and is just a five-minute boat ride away.  It’s easy to get there, just go to the end of the dock in the village of Island Harbor, “wave your hands like an idiot at the island” and they will come pick you up right away.  This unconventional round-trip ferry service is free. Once there, snorkel or grab some fresh seafood or chicken, and a cold rum punch and watch the pelicans dive for fish at the owners’ beach restaurant, Gorgeous Scilly Cay.  You may even catch some live music depending on the day.

    Cay tour operators

    Gotcha! Garfield’s Sea Tours | (264) 235-7902 or (264) 497-2956 | gotcha@anguillanet.com

    Shoal Bay Scuba | (264) 235-1482 | Shoalbayscuba@gmail.com

    Sail Chocolat | (264) 497 3394 | ruan@anguillanet.com

    Junior’s Glass Bottom Boats | Shoal Bay Island Harbor | (264) 235-1008

    Sea Pro Charters | Sandy Ground | (264) 584-0074 | seaprochartersanguilla@gmail.com

    GB Express | (264) 584-6205 | afscs@anguillanet.com

    Funtime Charters | (866) 334-0047

    Calypso Charters | Blowing Point | 264-584-8504 | info@calypsochartersanguilla.com

    Kitesurfing

    Anguilla is ideal for kitesurfing/kiteboarding with conditions to fit every skill and thrill level.  Kitesurfing is a combination of surfing, wakeboarding and windsurfing.  You are strapped into a harness that is attached to a large kite.  You catch the wind with the kite and then catch the waves.  You may end up airborne, up to 20 feet in the air.

    Caribbean trade winds blow year round at an average of 12-13 knots with the most steady conditions in the morning.  The winds pick up from December to May, and tropical waves reinforce the winds in June and July.   Kitesurfers are asked to avoid kiting near people, restaurants or hotels and to be mindful of turtles nesting and the reefs below the surface.

    Lessons and equipment rental

    Tropical Paradise uses the most modern kitesurfing gear, safety, rules, environmental respect and proficient instruction in a step-by-step manner so that you learn how to kiteboard in Anguilla in a fast and effective manner.  For newbies, they suggest their two-day “ZERO TO HERO” option but they also instruct by the hour as well.

    If you are an experienced kitesurfer you can use the company’s VIP rental service. One of their experts will meet you at the villa to deliver the equipment and go over it in detail.  Once you’re finished, they will return to inspect the gear and pick it up for return.  They won’t rent to people who have not kitesurfed before. If you are a complete newbie, you must take a minimum of a three-hour kitesurfing lesson before they will rent equipment to you.  Visit their website for pricing and more information.

    Tropical Paradise | (264) 584-1201

     

    Paddle-boarding

    Anguilla Watersports Paddle BoardingTropical Paradise/Anguilla Watersports owners, Judd Burdon and Thierry Dehove are two of the first people to paddle the shorelines of Anguilla while on a stand up paddle board or SUP board, and the sport has quickly become an island favorite.  Their firm offers beginner, intermediate and advanced lessons, rentals and tours.  Learn better paddling techniques, posture and even start to ride waves.

    Whether you’re looking for a relaxed SUP day on calm Anguilla waters or crave more action-packed, adrenalin boosting waves, they can assist you.  The guides will pick you up and drop you back off at your villa for lessons and tours.  And for tours they also bring along snorkel gear so you can explore above and below the water.  See their website for rates, hours and tour details.  While not as popular on the island due to wave conditions, the company also offers wave surfing.

    Tropical Paradise/Anguilla Watersports | (264) 584-1201

  •  

    Golf

    Cuisinart Golf Course AnguillaCuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa

    At this spectacular $50 million, 7,063-yard Greg Norman signature designed golf course with challenging elevation changes, 13 holes with water features and panoramic views of the Caribbean Sea and St. Martin, you’ll be yelling “Wow” instead of “Fore.” Just a short drive from Villa Alegria near Rendezvous Bay, this is a course to put on your golf bucket list.  Read about the course’s signature holes>

    Villa Alegria owner, Neil Freeman is a member and frequent participant in the resort’s golf events. Our concierge, Michelle is very familiar with the resort and staff as she is married to the resort’s fitness director, Paul Vasilis. Neil is also friends with the golf pro, Ryan Bowery and the General Manager. Villa guests are eligible for a discount at the pro shop.

    • Public rates are $250 for 18 holes, see website for additional details.
    • Our villa concierge can reserve tee times for guests/agents/groups, or you can book directly.
    • Credit card required to book, reservations can be cancelled 24 hours prior to tee time
    • Can drive or concierge will arrange taxi — 5 to 10 minute ride
    • Visit the website for information on golf events.

     

    CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa | (264) 498-5602 |  golf@cuisinart.ai

    Cycling

    Biking AnguillaOn the back of a bike is an ideal way to explore Anguilla.  Our concierge can arrange daily or weekly rentals for you, including bikes for kids and bikes with child seats.

    Hit the island’s natural clay and lime roads for some fast mountain biking and access to isolated spots most visitors miss, or head out on a leisurely ride, stopping at a beach for a refreshing dip, or roadside truck for a quick snack.  Drivers are friendly toward bikes and drive slowly, making it a safe way to get around.  Just be a little more cautious at night as there are few streetlights on the island.

    We recommend renting from Premier Taxi, Tours & Bicycle through our concierge for the best pricing.  Owner Accelyn Connor provides bicycle rentals and delivery, as well as leads tours to beaches, bird sanctuaries and historic sites.  He also offers 24-hour reliable taxi service for small and large groups.

    Rates when reserved through our concierge:

    • ADULT – $18.00/day (single day rate) or $15.00/day (multiple day rate)
    • CHILD –  $  7.00/day (with or without training wheels)
    • Door to door pickup/delivery – $10.00
    • Rentals include helmet and lock
    • Trek brand bike
    • Child seats available

     

    Premier Taxi, Tours & Bicycle | (264) 497-0515 or (264) 235-8931| premiertaxiandtour@hotmail.com

    Hiking

    Anguilla HikingOn foot is a great way to experience the island.  While not mountainous, there are still cliffs and rocks and more remote areas of the island to explore.  There are several online and printed hiking guides for Anguilla available online.

    Some suggested hikes include the Katouche Trail which is home to forests, salt ponds and the Iguana Caves (think bats, not iguanas). For ocean views and wildlife spotting, head to the sinkhole of Brimegin Trail.  To get a glimpse of goats flanked by rocky cliff walls, make your way to Limestone Bay.  And Windward Point beach, while not ideal for swimming, offers excellent hiking, hills and solitude.

    Tennis

    Anguilla Tennis AcademyAnguilla Tennis Academy

    Minutes from Villa Alegria is the Anguilla Tennis Academy.  Built as a place where children could be exposed to the joys, discipline and rigor of the life long sport of tennis, the facility is also open to adults including island visitors.  Court reservations can be made through our concierge and as a guest of Beaches Edge you are eligible for the villa member privileges, including:

     

    • Free access to ATA facility between the hours of 8am – 5pm
    • Preferred bookings for court time one week in advance
    • Preferred access to ATA instructors for lessons and clinics
    • Villa guests can participate in league programs organized by the ATA
    • Villa guests can sign up for tournaments, lessons, clinics, and programs at the ATA

     

    Anguilla Tennis Academy | (264) 498-0697 | info@anguillatennis.com

    Horseback Riding

    Anguilla Horseback RidingWhat better way to enjoy the tranquility of Anguilla than on the back of a horse.  Ride anytime from sunrise to sunset, and even during the full moon.  Blaze a bush trail, or ride along the beach and end in the water with your horse for a swim.

    Tonia at Seaside Stables has seven horses for riders of all experience levels.  She offers group (maximum six horses per tour), semi-private and private rides, as well as pony rides for children accompanied by a handler.  Most of her rides are an hour long, but she also has a half hour ride and will do longer rides too.  Rides center around Cove Bay,  an untouched natural beach on the southern coast of the island, as well as Merrywing Bay, Maunday’s Bay and Shoal Bay West.  The safety of her guests and horses is a top priority and she keeps things casual and fun.  See her website for rates and reservations.

    Seaside Stables | Cove Bay | (264) 235-3367

    Fitness & Yoga

    Starting or continuing a fitness routine while on island is no problem.  We can arrange for a private personal trainers and instructors to work out with you at the villa.  What could be more relaxing than an early morning yoga session on the beach or terrace.  Or an invigorating workout in the pool.  Getting married on Anguilla?  Steady your nerves with a pre-ceremony workout and avoid those special day jitters.  There are several gyms around the island, including at the CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa which offers trainers, equipment, a variety of fitness classes and boot camps.

    CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa | (264)-498-2000 | spa@cuisinart.ai

  • For a small island, Anguilla has a thriving music scene.  You might bump into someone famous catching some reggae tunes by the Anguillan Bob Dylan, Bankie Banx while you “mash sand” (aka dance) at what’s been called “the coolest place on earth,” the popular beachside venue on Rendezvous Bay, Dune Preserve. Banx has played with such legends as Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff, and Jimmy Buffett and his son Omari Banks is following in his father’s footsteps.  You can get your groove on listening to British Dependency, Sproka, Omari Banks, the Musical Brothers or other chill Anguilla musicians at beach side restaurants nightly.

    Private concerts at your villa

    Villa Alegria owner, Neil Freeman, is friends with many of the musicians on the island.  Several of them have played for Neil and his guests at Villa Alegria.  If you are celebrating a special occasion, or just want to enjoy the island sounds at your villa, please let us know .  You may be able to book one of these amazing artists for a private concert.

    Moonsplash

    Banx was one of the Eastern Caribbean’s first reggae artists, forming his band The Roots and Herbs in 1970.  After spending years traveling through Europe, he ended up in New York where he developed his unique sound that was a fusion of folk and reggae, leading to his nickname, “the Anguillan Bob Dylan.” Today Anguillan musicians are celebrated during the island’s March festival, Moonsplash.  Banx started the annual event in the early 1990s. Originally a series of beach concerts on Anguilla and surrounding islands the event has grown and eventually found its home at Banx’s Dune Preserve.  Originally called Planet Dune, the bar/restaurant on Rendezvous Bay is built from old boats and salvaged wood and serves as the main stage for the three-day event.

  • Anguilla Shops

    Anguilla isn’t known for its shopping, but there are a few nice jewelry and clothing stores where you can pick up a souvenir and unlike the tacky tourist shops of some islands, the merchandise is more unique and often locally handcrafted.  If you want to shop til you drop, the Caribbean “Paris” is just a short 20-minute ferry ride away in French St. Martin where shopping is plentiful, stores are duty-free and prices lower.

    Below are a few Anguilla shops to visit:

    Zazaa Boutique | Shoal Bay East, Lower South Hill and Meads Bay, Anguilla | (264) 497-0460 or (264) 497-6827 | info@zazaaboutique.com: Owned by one of the most well-known Anguilla families, the Ricketts, Zazaa boutiques are an eclectic emporium Anguilla shopping experience for clothes, jewelry, art, gifts and accessories.  The stores stock many Anguilla-made items by local artisans, as well as collections from designers around the Caribbean and the world.

    Irie Life | Back Street South Hill | (264) 497-6526:  Colorful, island t-shirts and caps.

    Limin’ Boutique | West End Main Road | (264) 583-3733 | liminboutique@anguillanet.com: Unique gifts, apparel and more, including handcrafted jewelry and leather notebooks.

    Art Galleries

    Creativity abounds on Anguilla and you’ll want to spend a little time on your trip exploring the artists’ galleries on the island.  Here are a few suggestions:

    Cheddies Carving Studio

    Cheddie Richardson is world famous for his intricate, driftwood and other wood carvings. Wildlife such as birds, dolphins, turtles and fish come to life under his skilled hands, as well as people and furniture.  Many of his pieces have been cast in bronze also. Worth a look just to enjoy the beauty of his work, even if you are not in the market to buy.

    Cheddies Carving Studio | Albert Hughes Drive | ((264) 497-6027 | cheddie@anguillanet.com

    Devonish Art Gallery

    Barbados-born sculptor and potter Courtney Devonish is internationally acclaimed for his wood and ceramic sculptures.  View his and other Caribbean artists’ works including his wife Carolle’s beaded jewelry at their West End gallery.

    Devonish Art Gallery | West End | (264) 497-2949 |

    Lynn Bernbaum

    Originally from Dallas, Lynn Bernbaum showcases her original oil and watercolor paintings in her Sandy Ground gallery. Lynn uses materials in an unorthodox way and lets the subject dictate the essence of her paintings.

    Lynn Bernbaum | Sandy Ground | (264) 497-5211 or US (214)-432-2319 | lynne@lynnebernbaum.com

    Savannah Gallery

    Located in the historic Rose Cottage in the Lower Valley, the gallery features contemporary Caribbean art including paintings, sculpture, crafts and prints, including diverse works by resident Anguilla artists, as well as a Haitian collection.

    Savannah Gallery | Lower Valley | (264) 497-2263 | savannah@anguillanet.com

    Pelican Trail

    Pelican Trail

    One of the newer attractions on Anguilla and a popular workout spot and favorite of photographers and bird/goat watchers, Pelican Trail starts on top of the bluffs of Katouche Bay, 200 feet above sea level.  What was a beautiful but inaccessible spot before, is now in reach thanks to a series of 480 wooden steps down to the water’s edge.  At the bottom, there is a diving platform and you can rent glass-bottom kayaks or snorkel.  There is also a 25-foot trampoline just off the shore that kids and adults will enjoy, and you can swim the 150 yards to beautiful Little Bay beach.  Gazebos break up the stairs and are available for private rental and even have bar service.  Catering can also be made available.

    The trail is beautiful in the day or at night and is open daily from 5am to 10pm. There is a charge for using the area and amenities, please email or call for current pricing.

    The Pelican Trail | (305) 677-0421 or (264) 235-7008 or (264) 497-3558 | pelicantrail@hotmail.com

    Anguilla Heritage Trail

    Anguilla expert blogger, Nori Evoy, can take you on a narrative and photo tour of Anguilla’s heritage trail on her website. To give you a taste, a few of the more famous sites are listed below.

    The Pumphouse

    Because of Anguilla’s dry, arid terrain, plantations never flourished on the island.  Needing an alternative source of revenue, colonists turned to salt production.  The main salt source continues to be Road Salt Pond. This 130-acre pond produces an average of 37,000-40,000 300-pound barrels each year. The sea water percolates through the sandbar, evaporates and forms salt crystals.  You can tour the old salt factory in Sandy Ground at 10 a.m. on Thursdays to learn more about the history  and to see how the salt was pumped from a nearby pond and processed. Or simply show up at the historic Pumphouse restaurant and bar.  Have a look around, grab a famous rum punch or bite to eat and listen to the music.

    The Pumphouse  | Sandy Ground, Road Bay | pumphouse@anguillanet.com | (264) 497-5154

    Wallblake House

    Built in 1787 most likely by a sugar planter, Wallblake House is the oldest existing structure on the island, surviving fires set by French invaders in 1796. Now restored, the plantation house is usually available for tours Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Call before you visit to confirm.

    Wallblake House | The Valley | info@wallblakehouse.ai | (264) 497-6613.

  • massage servicesAfter a day in the sun, sand and sea why not revive with a soothing spa treatment.  We work with professional masseuses and aestheticians to bring the luxury of spa services to you in the privacy and comfort of the villa.

    Feel the caress of the cooling Caribbean trade winds wash over you as our masseuse pampers you.  Refresh your skin with a cleansing, purifying facial.  Or have your toes painted before you paint the town.

    If you prefer to leave the luxury of the villa and visit a spa, here are several lovely facilities on the island.  For example, our concierge can make you an appointment at the 19,000 square foot Venus Spa, housed at the award-winning CusinArt Resort and Golf just a few minutes drive from the villas.  Or choose from a full menu of experiences at any one of the other boutique hotels.

    Spa Facilities

    Venus Spa at CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa  | (264) 498-2000 | spa@cuisinart.ai

    Spa Rituals at Cap Juluca | 888-858-5822

    The Spa at Viceroy | (264) 497-7000

  • Restaurants

    Anguilla’s culinary scene is one of the island’s top draws for visitors.  There are over 100 restaurants from beachside shacks to roadside trucks to 5-star restaurants that are lauded in culinary magazines all over the world.   Learn more about Anguilla dining>

    Groceries

    Anguilla Fresh Produce

    One of the best things about villa living is you can stock your kitchen (or we can stock it for you for a small service charge plus the cost of food purchased) with all the foods you and your family love.  Eat when you’re hungry without a schedule, and easily accommodate food allergies and picky eaters.  Many guests like to eat breakfast at the villa, lunch at the beach and then pick a restaurant for an amazing dinner. The seafood is fresh-caught and the vegetables fresh and grown without pesticides or other chemicals.

    There are several good grocery stores that will have everything you need, our concierge can make suggestions based on your preferences.  Plus many local farmer’s markets such as Rainbow Farms and fisheries where you can pick and choose your favorites.  Rainbow Farms is open most days until about Noon.

    For meat, Merchant’s Market is where the restaurants shop.  You may have to buy a larger quantity so best for larger groups or those staying awhile, but the prices and quality are good.  For general items, Best Buy Supermarket has most everything you will need.

    Our concierge can suggest other stores

    Merchant’s Markets | Rock Farm | (264) 497-5533 | angullia@merchantmarket.com

    Rainbow Farms | South Hill behind Romcan Grocery |(264)-581-6628

    Best Buy Supermarket | Rainbow Isles Shopping Center Long Road | (264) 497-4444

    Wine

    Enjoying a glass of wine or a cocktail on the terrace while enjoying the view, will quickly become a favorite past-time and memory at Villa Alegria.

    Nathalie from, Le Gout du Vin, offers guests a selection of more than 800 benchmark products, including wines from all over the world, top brands of Champagne, fine alcohols of great quality and unique serving items.

    Libations are stored in the company’s temperature-controlled warehouse and retail shop under impeccable storage conditions and there is a dedicated wine fridge in the villa. Our concierge can send your requests to Nathalie, including asking for recommendations based on your mood or menu, and arrange for same-day delivery to Villa Alegria.

    Or visit Wines Etc. on George Hill. Guilford Gumbs owns this small boutique shop and offers a wide selection of French wines to pair with dinner at the villa, or to enjoy watching the sun set over the sea.

    Many of the island’s restaurant and resorts have received a Wine Spectator Best of Award of Excellence including La Bistro Santorini at CusinArt Golf Resort & Spa, Pimm’s at Cap Juluca, Blanchards, Veya, and Mango’s Seafood Grill.  In addition to their extensive wine and spirit options that are available by the bottle or glass, most offer special menus with customized wine pairings and unique events.

    Merchants

    Le Gout de Vin | South Hill Plazza | (264) 497-6498

    Wines Etc. | George Hill | (264) 497-3133

    Pricing

    Guests are responsible for the cost of the items purchased.  There may be a small delivery charge, depending on items ordered.

  • Although it’s hard to imagine why you would ever want to leave the beauty and tranquility of Anguilla, it’s easy to spend a day or two island hopping to Anguilla’s neighbors St. Maarten/St. Martin, St. Barth’s and Saba. For most of the islands you can travel by airplane or boat. Anguilla resident (and expert) Nori Evoy can give you the inside scoop on Anguilla’s surrounding Caribbean islands.

    St. Barth's

    St. Barts

    Just eight square miles this Caribbean playground of the rich and famous offers glitz and glamour.

    Being on St. Barth’s is like being on the French Riviera.  Beautiful scenery, along with beautiful people makes it a perfect place to sip a café au lait while watching the ongoing parade of luxury yachts in the quay.

    Shopping is everywhere, whether you are looking for high-end haute couture or hunting for art and antiques. Refresh yourself with a delicious lunch at one of many restaurants with stunning harbor views. Or grab a taxi and head to the beach for a few hours of soaking in the sun.

    Get there by airline

    Anguilla Air Services

    St. Barth Commuter

    Get there by boat

    Take a charter or ferry to St. Maarten/St. Martin and then take a ferry or charter to St. Barth’s. TIP: Many travelers recommend going by air as the crossing to St. Barth’s is very rough and can be cancelled due to weather.

    St. Martin/St. Maarten

    St. Martin

    You may fly into Princess Juliana International Airport on the Dutch side of this neighboring island enroute to Anguilla. If your travel plans allow, stop and sample what this split personality island has to offer on your way to or from Anguilla. More on getting to Anguilla>

    Located to the south, St.Martin/Maarten is divided roughly 60/40 between France and the Netherlands. Most visitors prefer the quiet ambiance, high-end stores and fine dining on the less populated French or St. Martin side of the island (where the ferry from Anguilla lands) to the casinos, cruise ship crowds and tourist traps on the Dutch side Sint Maarten. Feel like you are in Paris, as you stroll down the streets, sample the fresh pastries or shop ‘til you drop. Mais Oui! An international gateway, this island is also the jumping off point for travel by air or boat to many of the other neighboring Caribbean islands.  Read more about St. Martin/St. Maarten>

    Get there by airline:

    Visit the St. Martin Tourist Board for detailed Information on flights between St. Martin/St. Maarten and other Caribbean islands.

    Get there by boat:

    Take a charter or ferry to St. Maarten/St. Martin.

    Saba

    Saba

    This Dutch gem is known as the “Unspoiled Queen” of the Caribbean and a favorite for scuba diving, climbing and hiking. There are no franchises here, just a handful of eclectic bars, restaurants and hotels.

    The island’s conservation foundation works diligently to protect the island’s ecosystem. The waters and coral reefs surrounding the five-square mile island are protected as a national marine park and are home to more than 150 species of fish.

    Divers are especially attracted to the island’s underwater volcanic rock towers that were created when magma pushed through the sea floor. Teaming with marine life, the towers start 300 feet down and rise to 85 feet below the surface. Contact Saba Divers for diving assistance.

    Get there by airline:

    Fly to Saba’s Juancho E. Yrausquin airport from St. Maarten (12-minute flight) or Sint Eustatius.  Airline information>

    Get there by boat:

    Ferries “Dawn II” and “The Edge: travel to Saba from St. Maarten’s dock three times weekly. Or travel by private charter.