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Anguilla was colonized by English settlers from Saint Kitts in 1650, and administered by Great Britain until the early 19th century, when the island – against the wishes of the inhabitants – was incorporated into a single UK dependency along with Saint Kitts and Nevis. Several attempts at separation failed. In 1971, two years after a revolt, Anguilla was finally allowed to secede; this arrangement was formally recognized in 1980 with Anguilla becoming a separate UK dependency.
Anguilla has few natural resources, and the economy depends heavily on luxury tourism, offshore banking, lobster fishing, and remittances from emigrants. Increased activity in the tourism industry, which has spurred the growth of the construction sector, has contributed to economic growth.
Anguilla is a flat and low-lying island. It is 35 sq. miles, 16 miles long and 3 miles wide at the widest point. The highest point is Crocus Hill, at 65 meters.
The island is made of limestone, providing many caves. Two of the most impressive being The Big Springs located in Island Harbour and The Fountain located in Shoal Bay.
Anguilla also has many attractive coral reefs which provides habitats for a vast array of tropical fish and marine wildlife. This motivates individuals to take part in snorkeling.
Cape Air provides two daily non-stop flights to/from San Juan, Puerto Rico, where Cape Air interlines with most major airlines: JetBlue, American, Delta, US Airways, United, etc. Cape Air’s flights are timed to make connections with the mainland. Cape Air’s San Juan – Anguilla route is codeshared with Continental Airlines and can also be booked with JetBlue connections on JetBlue.com. As of June 2011 JetBlue is the largest airline at San Juan measured by ASMs, ending American Airlines’ long dominance. Anguilla is listed as a JetBlue destination on their website thanks to the partnership with Cape Air.
Liat provides once daily service to St. Thomas, and onwards to other destinations in the Caribbean.
It may be easier to access Anguilla via St. Maarten, which can be reached non-stop from many eastern U.S. cities, as well as European cities. Charter flights can take 8 minutes to reach Anguilla from St. Maarten. Visitors can try to book local air charters via Trans Anguilla or Anguilla Air Service. Many visitors charter boats privately from the pier near Princess Julianna Airport in St. Maarten to Anguilla. There are also modest, private ferries that depart from Marigot every 30 minutes.
There are regular ferries from St.Martin to Anguilla. It is a 20 minute crossing from Marigot, St. Martin to Blowing Point, Anguilla. Ferries commence service from 7:00AM. There is also a Charter Service, from Blowing Point, Anguilla to Princess Juliana Airport to make travel easier. This way of travel is the most common method of transport between Anguilla and St. Martin or Saint Maarten. If you do not want to get too wet, choose your seat carefully to sit facing the wind.
Driving is on the left-hand side of the road. Speeds are low, but the island is small. There are also a few round-abouts and stop lights throughout the island. Keep left and Give way to the right!
Taxi service is unmetered, with set rates. Taxi drivers offer island tours lasting several hours. Fares must be paid in cash and or credit card.
The ferry from Blowing Point to Marigot, St. Martin runs all day on the half hour. The last ferry departs Anguilla at 6:15PM and final ferry departs St. Martin at 7:00PM. Connections and charters are available to other islands.
Cars, bikes, and mopeds can all be rented. Rental cars are available in from several different agencies. Hertz, Avis and other local agencies.
English is the official language, spoken everywhere.
Anguilla has everything you might expect from a Caribbean island, with gorgeous bays, some of the best white sand beaches in the world, palm trees and the turquoise ocean all around. That lovely setting is of course what draws most travellers here, and it allows for perfect lazy days of sunbathing and swimming. There are some stunning coral reefs just outside the coast, which make it a fine destination for scuba diving or snorkelling. If you’re not that sporty, hop on one of the glass bottomed boats to have at least a glance. Shoal Bay can compete with any beach in the world and has a great reef. Other popular bays are Barnes, Rendezvous, Road and Little Bay, but you can choose from 33 fine beaches in total. From April through November, many of Anguilla’s beaches are nesting grounds for leatherback, green and hawksbill turtles. Maundays, Meads, Captains and Limestone Bay offer the best chances to witness this wonderful natural phenomena.
At the Island Harbour you can see local fishermen and sailors at work. The Old Salt Factory & Pumphouse at Sandy Ground is one of the few historic sights. The 1785 Wallblake Househas been beautifully restored and is Anguilla’s only surviving plantation house. If you’d like to dive into the island’s history and cultural heritage further, make sure to visit the Heritage Collection museum. It has a good collection of photographs, artefacts and documents from the prime days of the Arawak Indians till the present.
At 213 feet above sea level, Crocus Hill is the highest point on the otherwise flat lands of Anguilla. On it, there are a few remains of the Old Court House. More importantly however, there’s a great view from the top over the underlying bay, which is extra spectacular at sunset. On the way to Crocus Hill isThe Old Valley, an area with a few unspectacular but locally important church buildings.
Anguilla has many farms of corn, peas, tomatoes and other crops. To see, buy or learn about plants and animals in Anguilla one can visit The Department of Agriculture, located in The Valley, Anguilla. The Anguilla National Trust can provide information on Anguilla’s environment and conducts tours. Its main task is to preserve Anguilla’s natural environment, historic and cultural resources and archaeology. If you’re interested in gardens, try the Hydroponic Farm and Organic Gardens, at CuisinArt Resort and Spa, West End Village or the Endangered Species Garden and Indigenous Local Plants Gardens at the Cap Juluca Resort.