Beyoncé. Paul McCartney. Denzel Washington. Expect to keep good company if you’re holidaying in Anguilla, which has become something of a hangout for the rich and famous in recent years.
Though not the most accessible Caribbean island (geographically and financially speaking), that is precisely why this British Overseas Territory is so appealing for the jet set. There are other reasons, of course. Anguilla also lays claim to some of the finest beaches in the region, as well as some of the most luxurious hotels. Suffice to say, it’s not the place to be penny pinching.
That said, some visitors do just that: favourable tax rates have earned Anguilla a reputation as a place to squirrel away the dollars. However, the island’s true riches lie below the waves, where you will find spectacular coral reef formations and a staggering diversity of marine life: from stingrays to sharks, turtles to tropical fish, there’s as much to see on the seafloor as there is on the shore.
Sailing is another popular pastime in Anguilla and it doesn’t take long to navigate the tiny island and its eight largely uninhabited cays.
If it sounds like a playground for the rich that’s because it is, but that’s not to say more wallet-friendly options don’t exist. There are a range of holiday villas and midrange hotels to suit more modest budgets. A night out needn’t cost the Earth either: potent cocktails go for reasonable prices in Anguilla’s ubiquitous beach bars.
Those who like their food are in for an unexpected treat. The restaurant scene is excellent and there is a surprising range of cuisine, from fine French fare to local dishes. Don’t leave without feasting on buttery Anguillian lobster.
For the culturally minded, Anguilla has many galleries showcasing local art, not to mention a delightfully eccentric museum. Wherever you are though, those beautiful beaches are only minutes away.
14,763 (UN estimate 2016).
British Overseas Territory.
Head of state:
HM Queen Elizabeth II since 1952, represented locally by Governor Christina Scott since 2013.
Head of government:
Chief Minister Hubert Hughes since 2010.
110 volts AC, 60Hz. North American-style plugs with two flat pins (with or without a round, grounding pin) are standard.
Last updated: 13 March 2017
The travel advice summary below is provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK. ‘We’ refers to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. For their full travel advice, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.
Crime levels are low. However, you should take sensible precautions such as locking doors and windows at night and securing your car when you leave it. Avoid isolated areas, including beaches after dark. Do not carry large amounts of cash or jewellery. Valuables and travel documents should be left, where possible, in safety deposit boxes and hotel safes. Do not offer resistance if an armed robbery is attempted.
There is no public transport except taxis but car rental is widely available. You will need to bring your driving licence if you plan to rent a car and obtain a local driving licence from the car rental company at a cost of US $6 and car hire costs approximately US$50 per day. Most rental cars are automatic. If you want a manual one it is best to order in advance. Driving is on the left, the same as in the UK. Take care when overtaking as most vehicles are left hand drive. Observe speed limits and do not drink and drive.
All airlines require early check-in times for passengers and luggage. Check-in times should be confirmed locally as inter-Caribbean flights do, on occasion, depart earlier than timetabled. All items of luggage are subject to search.
As Anguilla is a British Overseas Territory there’s no formal British diplomatic or consular representation. The local authorities deal with all requests for emergency assistance.
In an emergency, dial 911 for a local emergency response.
Telephone: +(264) 497 2551
Victims of crime should contact the Royal Anguilla Police Force:
Telephone: +(264) 497 2333.
Marriage, Birth and Death registration enquiries:
Judicial Department Telephone: +(1 264) 476 2377
Immigration and Visa information:
Anguilla Immigration Department Telephone: +(1 264) 497 3994
Anguilla Passport Office Telephone: +(1 264) 497 7394