April 3, 2020
There are islands. There are extraordinary islands. And then, there is Anguilla.
Tucked away in the Eastern Caribbean lies the inviting, intriguing and incomparable island of Anguilla. A 25-minute ferry from the neighboring party island, Sint Maarten.
To be honest, I hadn’t done extensive research before booking this trip. My initial intentions were to visit St. Maarten. After reading a few blog posts, and being in awe of the beach and food options, I knew Anguilla was a must.
As soon as I docked on the island, I knew I was determined to write an Anguilla travel guide — one that would help all of you have as good a time here as I did.
1. How to Get There
Most travelers select their destination first, then determine the dates. This is a good strategy for some, but for me, it works better the other way around.
My go-to flight search engine is www.google.com/flights. Select the dates that you are available and it displays destinations with the best deals. Lucky for me, my dates led to a $210 RT Ticket to Sint Maarten from Miami, FL with American Airlines or JetBlue Airlines.
Ferry to Anguilla Options:
- The Anguilla Ferry System (public ferry) offers a daytime service between Marigot (French St. Martin) and Blowing Point in Anguilla. The ferry runs every day in 45-minutes. Tickets can be purchased at the port for $20 each way
- Calypso Charters – Semi-private boats are shared with other passengers traveling to the same destination and private charters are reserved specifically for your party. Your trip also includes Rum Punch and Beer. Tickets must be purchased online at www.stmartinbookings.com in advance for $65 each way.
The Calypso Charter Private Ferry was worth the price. Their Driver met me at the airport arrivals lobby, escorted me to the shuttle, and transported me to the boat dock. The customs process is handled at the boat dock.
I recommend taking the Private Calypso Charter to Anguilla and returning on the Anguilla Ferry System. You will be asked to pay a $20 Tourist Tax Fee plus the Ferry costs before returning to Sint Maarten.
2. Hotel Recommendations
Turtles Nest Beach Resort
Turtle’s Nest Beach Resort is a breath of fresh air. The one-bedroom suite contains a full kitchen, 2 bathrooms, living area, dining space, and direct access to the pool and beach. This was lots of room for one person, but there was no way I’d fly to Anguilla and not have the ocean view.
- Direct Access to Meads Bay Beach
- Straw Hat Restaurant is within walking distance
- Waves Bar is steps away from the beach with live bands
- Watersport equipment available onsite
Other Hotel Options are “The Four Seasons on Meads Bay” and “Malliouhana Hotel and Spa”. Both hotels showcase the best of Caribbean beaches, where you can enjoy picturesque white sand beaches, enthralling water sports and lazy days sipping cocktails by the water.
Which is your favorite Anguilla beach resort? Let me know in the comments.
3. Greedy Eats
Heyyyyy Foodies! You do NOT want to miss the plethora of deliciousness that Anguilla has to offer. One of the staff members of the Calypso Charter told me What, When, and Where to eat. The locals are always my source for information on food. Trust me, you do not want to pay the tourist trap prices.
Top of the Tree – Try the Saltfish, Tuna, or the Shellfish Sandwich. It’s $6 and does not disappoint. Most of the locals go specifically for the bread, and I understand why. The sandwiches are BOMB! I went every morning and tried a different sandwich.
Straw Hat Restaurant – For my seafood lovers and fellow pescatarians. Do NOT leave Anguilla without eating Cray Fish. I repeat DO NOT LEAVE ANGUILLA WITHOUT EATING CRAYFISH. Imagine a lobster as tender as crab meat drizzled in Caribbean spices and dipped in a lemon butter sauce. Hooked yet? I renamed it Anguilla’s Tender Lobster and I swear I could eat it every day. The price ranges from $5 -$10 Per Cray Fish.
Waves Beach Bar – Just a few steps along the beach from Straw Hat Restaurant is Waves Bar. The drinks are strong, and the price is low. There is a live band most nights of the week with a stage for you to dance along to the Caribbean Music. I had a lovely time listening to the Mystic Vibes band on Thursday Night.
Veya’s Restaurant – This was from start to finish my favorite dinner in Anguilla. Every single dish from the Cray Fish, West Indian split pea soup, fish soup, bread, johnnycakes, Caribbean lobster, and desserts were mind-blowing! It’s rare that you enjoy every course in a meal, but this was exceptional. I’m still dreaming of finding a recipe to duplicate the split pea soup. Tip: $5 Cray Fish Night on Wednesdays
Elvis’ Beach Bar and Lit Lounge – Both bars are in Sandy Ground and close to Veya’s Restaurant. The locals come out around 9 pm and the party is LIT! Anguilla is a relaxation island and shuts down pretty early. I suggest getting dinner at 7 pm and making your way to the Sandy Ground Bar scene by 9 pm at the latest. All of the bars shut down by midnight.
All of the restaurants have the islands local drink, RUM PUNCH!
4. Getting Around
I highly recommend renting a vehicle during your stay in Anguilla. The taxis are fairly expensive and there are 33 beaches on the island for you to explore.
One of the highlights of my trip was driving a Moke rented from Moke Anguilla (www.mokeanguilla.com). The Mini Moke is a small, front-drive utility and recreational convertible. My Mango Moke was Fressssssshhhh. The owner will deliver the Moke to your hotel and give you a quick tutorial of how to properly drive the vehicle before you’re free to hit the road.
5. How to Capture Epic Solo Photos
Anguilla is comprised of 33 picture-perfect white-sand beaches with minimal commercial development. The island is calm, with a clear and electric-blue sea that gives the deserted island photoshoot vibe we all desire.
Tip: Anguilla has breathtaking beaches, but Maunday’s Bay is my favorite. The views are just out of this world gorgeous. Take a stroll from one end to the other.
Buy a Drone – The DJI Mavic Air Fly is my drone of choice. It’s compact, captures wide shots, and the clarity in videos is impressive. *Red Robin is in the above pic*
Start Using a Tripod ASAP! – The Tripod is basically your Travel Bae, except it never gets annoyed when you ask for 100 pics, just to pick 1 shot. I use the Aureday 50” extendable Travel Tripod with Phone Holder Mount, & Remote. *The Tripod took this shot*
Ask for Help – I consider myself a good judge of character and can point out who is willing to take a photo and not steal my phone. It’s easy to spot other solo travelers, or families struggling to get everyone in a selfie. Volunteer to take their pic, and they will return the favor.
Use the Self Timer Feature – This is an absolute must. The iPhone has a 3 second and a 10-second timer. For those who do not have a remote on their tripod, this feature works wonders.
Invest in a Go Pro with Protective Housing – If you’re an adrenaline junkie or adventure extremist, a Gro Pro can capture your action shots and underwater activity. My current Go Pro is the Hero Black 8, but the new Go Pro Max has a 360-degree camera and would have better quality footage.
Tell me about your experience in Anguilla, or ask me any questions related to travel in the comments section below.
Catch you on the next trip!