Anguilla is one of the Caribbean’s most chic destinations – a favourite haven of the rich and famous, who seem to appreciate its unhurried pace, serenity and seclusion – and a great spot for a honeymoon.
Blessed with 19km of pristine shoreline fringed by soft powder-white beaches and lapped by crystalline turquoise waters perfect for swimming, snorkelling and scuba diving, Anguilla is fast losing its status as the one of the Caribbean's best-kept secrets.
But for now, you can still expect to avoid casinos, package tour crowds, cruise ships and duty free shopping on Anguilla; for that, head to neighbouring St Martin/St Maarten.
Angullia offers a choice of several powder-soft, white-sand beaches that fringe idyllic coves and bays, with superb conditions for swimming and snorkelling.
The best beaches in Anguilla, include …
(Northeast Coast) – Pick your spot to sunbathe on this 3km-long, soft white-sand beach that nestles between shady sea-grape trees and the iridescent blue waters of the Caribbean Sea.
Swim in crystal clear water and snorkel offshore coral gardens that teem with rainbow-hued fish. For the best snorkelling, head to the less-frequented eastern end of the beach.
Facilities include umbrellas and sun loungers for hire, available from a beachside kiosk. A choice of beachside restaurants and bars serve seafood and cold drinks. A water sports centre can arrange scuba diving, sailing and fishing trips, as well as a beachside massage.
(Northeast Coast) – Be adventurous and descend the 20m-long knotted rope ladder down a steep and rocky bluff to this gorgeous, 80m-long, powder-white sand beach.
For a less challenging entrance, hire a water taxi from nearby Crocus Bay.
This idyllic patch of soft sand is surrounded on three sides by towering cliffs that soar up from turquoise waters offering perfect swimming and snorkelling.
There are no facilities here, so you’ll probably want to pack a picnic. Little Bay is located between Crocus Bay and Shoal Bay.
(Northeast Coast) – Dig your toes into the soft white sand of this 1.2km-long beach that shelves into the turquoise waters of Road Bay, a perfect anchorage for yachts and local fishing boats.
Framed by grass- and tree-clad hillsides, Sandy Ground offers magical sunsets and a water sports centre with windsurfing and water skiing action. Several beachside bars and restaurants offer seafood and cold drinks.
(Northeast Coast) – Take a day trip from Sandy Ground to this idyllic island dotted with palm trees and ringed by a white-sand beach facing turquoise waters that are perfect for swimming and snorkelling over surrounding reef.
Enjoy seafood and cold drinks at the beachfront restaurant and bar.
(Northeast Coast) – South of Sandy Ground sits this 400m-long white-sand beach that offers perfect conditions for windsurfing as well as snorkelling at the rocky headlands at either end of the beach.
Facilities on this secluded beach are provided by the Cerulean Villa, an exclusive beachfront property.
(Southwest Coast) – Pick a spot to unwind on this 1.2km-long crescent of powder-white sand that faces a turquoise bay of the same name.
Sunbathe on the beach, swim in the calm and clear waters and snorkel the coral gardens that fringe the western headland.
Come for a day and enjoy fresh seafood and cold drinks at one of the beachside restaurants or stay longer at the deluxe beachfront Covecastles Resort, which offers a range of creature comforts.
(Southwest Coast) – Dip your toes into the soft, dazzling white sand of this stunning 1.5km-long palm- and tree-lined beach that curves around Maundays Bay.
Pick a spot to relax and sunbathe on this idyllic beach, enjoying views across to neighbouring St Martin/St Maarten, then cool off with a swim. Snorkel the offshore coral gardens or rent a windsurf board from the water sports centre.
Facilities including umbrellas and sun loungers, available from the local dive shop, as well as water sports equipment. Come for a day or stay longer at the elegant Cap Juluca resort for a range of creature comforts.
Maundays Bay Beach adjoins Shoal Bay West.
(Southwest Coast) – Relax on the soft white sand of this 2km-long palm-fringed beach that stretches between Maundays Bay and Rendezvous Bay.
Facilities include umbrellas, sun loungers and water sports equipment for hire from the dive shop.
(Southwest Coast) – Dip your toes into the soft powder-white sand of this 4km-long beach that curves around Rendezvous Bay.
The turquoise waters are ideal for swimming and snorkelling.
Come for the day or choose from three beach resorts, including the CuisinArt Resort and Spa, which features whitewashed villas and an Infinity pool overlooking the shimmering white sands.
Relax on the beach, be active in the warm waters and enjoy fresh seafood and cold drinks at one of the beachside hotels that offer a range of facilities not only to guests but also to non-guests.
Unwind on one of Anguilla's idyllic white-sand beaches, explore the shoreline by kayak to discover your own hidden cove then snorkel offshore coral gardens and dive sunken wrecks and underwater marine parks to see schools of rainbow-hued tropical fish – just ideal for adventurous honeymoon couples.
Climb to the highest point on the island – Crocus Hill, 60m above sea level – for panoramic views. Ponder the ruins of the 18th century Dutch Fort at Sandy Hill and the well-preserved Tomb of Governor Richardson (1679 to 1742) then tour the impressive Wallblake House, a restored plantation house that dates back to 1787.
Take a day trip to a desert island paradise such as Sandy, Scrub, Dog and Prickly Pear islands, where you can safely play Robinson Crusoe for a few hours on soft powder-white sand surrounded by gin-clear waters that are perfect for swimming and snorkelling.
Then relax beneath shady palm and sea-grape trees with a pre-prepared picnic or enjoy freshly grilled lobster and a cold drink at a beachside restaurant. Nearby St Maarten/St Martin and St Barthelémy offer great day trip choices, easily reached by ferry or plane.
Anguilla is renowned for its excellent selection of award-winning restaurants, with the emphasis on al fresco dining and laid-back evening entertainment at beach bars and hotel nightclubs.
Apart from relaxing on a choice of great beaches, Anguilla's beachfront resorts offer parasailing, windsurfing, waterskiing, diving, snorkelling, golf, tennis and horseback riding.
Scuba diving and snorkelling – Blessed with gin-clear waters and surrounded by pristine coral reefs (as well as artificial reefs created by deliberately sinking old ships), Anguilla offers excellent diving conditions.
Explore sunken wrecks and underwater marine parks that teem with colourful reef fish, nurse sharks, stingrays and turtles.
Several reputable dive operators offer trips to the best diving sites on the island, including:
A full-service dive centre at Shoal Bay offers PADI open-water training courses.
For the best snorkelling, head to Shoal Bay, Maundays Bay, Barnes Bay, Little Bay and Road Bay.
Sports fishing – Hook up a charter from Sandy Ground and chase albacore, wahoo, marlin, barracuda and kingfish in the deep waters surrounding Anguilla.
Horseback riding – Choose from day and night riding on the beach or along scenic inland nature trails with horses (and lessons) available for riders of different abilities. English, American and Australian saddles are available.
Golf – Tee-off from the 18-hole, par-72, Greg Norman-designed Temenos Golf Course, located between Long and Rendezvous bays.
Tennis – Choose from six courts at the state-of-the-art Anguilla Tennis Academy, which is modelled on the US Open facility in Flushing Meadows, New York.
Most resorts also have their own courts, such as Malliouhana at Meads Bay, which offers four championship tennis courts. Most courts on Anguilla are lit for night games.
Anguilla offers newlyweds an excellent choice of accommodation options to suit all budgets, including the following resorts…
Location: Cap Juluca, West End Village, Anguilla
Ave nightly price: AUD1,518 per room
Description: Offering an outdoor pool and a spa and wellness centre, Cap Juluca is located in Maundays Village Beach. Free continental breakfast and Free WiFi access is available in all areas of this resort. The rooms will provide you with a TV and air conditioning. Featuring a shower, private bathroom also comes with a bath or shower and a hairdryer. You can enjoy sea view from the room. Extras include a patio or terrace and a minibar. At Cap Juluca you will find a restaurant, a private beach area and a tennis court. Other facilities offered at the property include a tour desk, luggage storage and shops (on site). An array of activities can be enjoyed on site or in the surroundings, including golfing, diving and snorkelling. This resort is 13 km from Anguilla Airport.
Cuisinart Golf Resort & Spa
Location: Rendezvous Bay, Ebenezer, Anguilla
Ave nightly price: AUD865 per suite
Description: The Cuisinart Golf Resort & Spa features an 18-hole golf course, an outdoor pool, a spa and a hydroponic farm. The air-conditioned rooms and suites feature terraces with spectacular sea or pool views. Each stylish room and suite includes a sitting area with a cable TV and a Bose music system. All accommodations have free Wi-Fi and private bathrooms. The Cuisinart provides a range of international dining options, including Japanese, Italian and Mediterranean restaurants, as well as the acclaimed Santorini bistro, featuring fresh vegetables and herbs from the resort’s farm. The resort has a gym and provides fitness classes, water sports and other activities. Guests can also book tours and excursions at the front desk. Blowing Point Beach and Ferry Terminal are just a 7-minute drive from the Cuisinart Resort. Anguilla Wallblake Airport is a 10-minute drive away.
Zemi Beach House, Resort & Spa
Location: Shoal Bay, Shoal Bay Village, Anguilla
Ave nightly price: AUD841 per room
Description: Showcasing an outdoor pool and views of the sea, Zemi Beach House, Resort & Spa is located in Shoal Bay Village. The resort has a year-round outdoor pool and sun terrace, and guests can enjoy a meal at the restaurant. Free WiFi is provided throughout the property and free private parking is available on site. Every room comes with a flat-screen TV with satellite channels. Some accommodations have a sitting area where you can relax. You will find a coffee machine in the room. Every room has a private bathroom equipped with a bathtub. For your comfort, you will find bathrobes and slippers. There is a 24-hour front desk, an ATM, concierge services and a gift shop at the property. Car rental is available at this resort and the area is popular for snorkeling and canoeing. Wallblake Airport is 5 km away.
Four Seasons Resort and Residence Anguilla
Location: Barnes Bay West End Village, Anguilla
Ave nightly price: AUD809 per room
Description: Nestled on the beach, this West End Village hotel is within 5 km (3 mi) of Meads Bay Beach, Barnes Bay, and Rendezvous Bay Beach. Crocus Bay Beach and Wallblake House are also within 15 km (9 mi). Catch some rays at the beach or spend the day relaxing at Four Seasons Resort and Residence Anguilla's full-service spa. Then enjoy a meal at one of the hotel's 5 restaurants. All 166 rooms boast deep soaking tubs and offer free WiFi and 24-hour room service. Free wired Internet and DVD players are standard, as are flat-screen TVs with cable channels.
Frangipani Beach Resort
Location: Meads Bay, West End Village, Anguilla
Ave nightly price: AUD620 per suite
Description: Featuring Atlantic Ocean views from its beachfront infinity pool, Frangipani Beach Resort is set on the beautiful Meads Bay. It offers luxurious accommodation, a rum cocktail on arrival and free onsite watersports. The spacious, air-conditioned rooms and suites at Frangipani Beach Resort have Caribbean-style décor. There is a seating area with a balcony, free Wi-Fi, a flat-screen TV and a ceiling fan. The mosaic-tiled bathroom includes a hydromassage cave shower and Plumeria toiletries. Guests can enjoy a free continental breakfast in the Straw Hat Restaurant. There is also a beach bar and a charming terrace with Palapa huts. The resort’s watersports include tubing, wakeboarding, waterskiing, sailing and kayaking. Massages and facials are available in the Frangipani’s beach hut. The resort also has its own boat, which is available to hire. Temenos Golf Club and Rendezvous Bay are approximately 4 km from the resort. The Valley and Anguilla Wallblake Airport can be reached in 15 minutes by car.
The best time to visit Anguilla is in February and March, but anytime during the dry season from December through April is good, with temperatures averaging a high of 29°C (84°F), and a low of 24°C (75°F).
Anguilla has a hot tropical weather, with year-round sunshine and occasional brief rain showers. Sea breezes relieve some of the daytime heat.
There is a slightly cooler, dry season from December to March and a hotter, muggy season from May to October. September through November are the wettest months.
The official hurricane season lasts from June to November, when there is the danger of tropical storms and hurricanes, with greater probability from August to October.
More information about Anguilla weather…
Anguilla is a British Overseas Territory and is one of the most northerly of the Leeward Islands in the Lesser Antilles, lying east of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands and directly north of Saint Martin.
The territory consists of the main island of Anguilla, approximately 26km (16mi) long by 4.8km (3mi) wide at its widest point, together with a number of much smaller unpopulated islands and cays. The island's capital is The Valley.
The most convenient route to Anguilla is by air to Clayton J. Lloyd International Airport (AXA), formerly known as Anguilla Wallblake Airport, which receives daily flights from neighbouring Caribbean islands such as Antigua, St Thomas and San Juan in Puerto Rico.
Alternatively, you can fly to Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM) in nearby St Maarten then take a short 10-minute flight or a 30-minute boat ride to Anguilla.
Public ferries run between the ports of Marigot Bay, St Maarten and Blowing Point, Anguilla every four hours. Private water taxis are even quicker.
More information about how to get to Anguilla…
The best option of getting around Anguilla is to hire a car. Taxis are also available and bicycles are easily rented from most resorts – a fun way to explore the island.
Anguilla is totally flat and there is rarely traffic. The road network is good and the main roads are paved. Minor unpaved roads often lead to beaches.
Traffic drives on the left-hand side of the road. The speed limit on Anguilla is 50kph (30mph) unless posted otherwise.
Public ferries run between the ports of Marigot Bay, St Maarten and Blowing Point every four hours. Private water taxis are even quicker.
From Blowing Point – Anguilla’s main ferry depot – vessels depart once every half hour to Marigot in St Martin, a journey of about 20 minutes. Charter ferries are also readily available to St Martin’s Princess Juliana Airport and several of Anguilla’s smaller islands.
More information about how to get around Anguilla…
Latest update: Anguilla Honeymoon Guide: 30 June, 2022