Anguilla is the Caribbean’s best-kept secret. Just a few miles away from busy St. Martin, Anguilla couldn’t be more different. One trip is all it will take to fall in love with this Caribbean gem, but there are a few things you should know before you go.
Whether you traveling to Anguilla with your family or off on an Anguilla honeymoon here are 18 must-know Anguilla travel tips.
19 Anguilla Travel Tips
1. Take the ferry from St. Maarten
After clearing immigration & customs in St. Maarten literally right across the street hop in the boat for a quick twenty-minute ferry to Anguilla. There are flights to Anguilla but this actually takes longer than the ferry and costs more.
2. All Beaches Are Public
All the beaches in Anguilla are public. Even if there is a hotel right on the beach there will be a public access path to the beach. At Cap Juluca there will be a public beach access parking lot and signs down to the beach. If you’re ever at a hotel just ask them where the public access path is.
3. Use USD instead of Eastern Caribbean Dollars (EC)
We thought using the local currency, Eastern Caribbean (EC) dollars would be a better deal but it actually was a bigger headache. All the restaurants in Anguilla were listed in USD and would have to convert the prices in EC for us. Some of the beach bars ended up costing more in EC than if we just paid in USD.
4. Get USD At ATM Machines
The ATMs in Anguilla dispense USD and EC. There is no reason to bring tons of cash as ATMs are located all over the island. Don’t purchase EC before traveling to Anguilla or exchange money at the SXM Airport.
5. Rent A Car in Anguilla
The best way to explore Anguilla is by rental car. Anguilla is a small island but you’ll want a car. We rented with Junie’s Car Rental which was located right at the ferry terminal for $35 a day, there are several Anguilla rental car companies. Note you will have to purchase an Anguilla driver’s license but if you ask us it’s a pretty neat travel souvenir.
6. Bring Enough Sunscreen
Make sure to bring enough sunscreen because if you forget it you’ll be paying a premium. We have learned on our travels the more you need sunscreen the higher the price. We purchased an 8 oz bottle of SPF 50 for roughly $20 while a 16 oz bottle on Amazon is only $8.
If you do run out of sunscreen in Anguilla the best place to buy some is at Best Buy, there are two locations on the island.
7. Stay In A Villa
Why stay in a hotel when you can stay in a gorgeous luxury villa? When in Anguilla stay in a villa, we stayed at CeBlue Anguilla in Crocus Bay. We had a gorgeous 5 bedroom villa with a private pool complete with ridiculous views. There are a ton of villas listed on Vrbo I would start there but we highly suggest staying at CeBlue Villas.
8. Pack A Floatie
If you have ever thought about buying an 8-foot unicorn or flamingo this is the time. It will be the best $40 you spent. Not only will it be a great photo prop but they are great to just lounge on. Click here for the unicorn
If you travel with a drone as we do, floaties look epic from above. The best drone for travel is the DJI Mavic, it’s super small and easy to fly. Don’t forget to bring DJI filters to make the colors pop.
9. Visit As Many Of The 33 Beaches As Possible
There are 33 beaches in Anguilla, visit as many as possible. Spend a day just road tripping around Anguilla exploring the beaches. There are a ton of things to do in Anguilla but beach hopping is our favorite. This is another reason to rent a car!
10. Get a Local SIM Card
Stop by Flow or Digicel and pick up a local SIM card and data package. A 1GB plan with Flow will cost roughly $11 or 3GB. For the price, it’s worth having data at your fingertips and of course driving directions. There are several, Flow and Digicel stores just stop in and pick up a SIM card. If you have T-Mobile you will have coverage with Flow.
11. Set Google Maps Before Leaving
If you don’t have data on your phone you are not SOL when it comes to directions. Before getting off WIFI put in your destination and pull up driving directions. Once you leave maps will follow your location and you’ll be to see where you are and determine when you need to turn etc. It won’t tell you when to turn so you’ll still need a copilot.
12. Bring A Mask & Snorkel
Don’t forget to pack your snorkel set. You can rent snorkel gear right on the beach but if you plan on spending several days on the beach bring your own. There are several snorkel sets on Amazon for under $20 like this one.
13. Pack a Dome for your GoPro
To get great shots like this one all you need is your GoPro and a $40 GoPro dome. Anguilla’s water is clear and perfect for underwater photography. Here is everything you need to know about GoPro Domes before your next Caribbean vacation.
14. Go Sailing in Anguilla
Get out on the water with Tradition Sailing. We spent the day sailing with the guys at Tradition sailing and it was one of our favorite days. We sailed to Little Bay where we snorkeled and had a lobster roll lunch right on the boat. They sell out fast so it’s best to book online in advance.
15. Pack a Polarizing Filter
If you want great shots of the stunning water that Anguilla is famous for then you need just one simple camera accessory to make the water pop off the picture, a polarizing filter. If you’re using a DSLR check for a number printed on the front of your lens it should be by in millimeters (mm), for example, 62mm. Find out what size your lens is and then order a polarizing filter to fit, all you need is that one number.
They install by screwing onto the end of your camera’s lens and they work like polarizing sunglasses. They have an outer ring you can rotate until you see the glare from the water disappear. Without the glare, you see the pretty blues of the water and not the white reflections. Other cameras other than DSLRs may be able to find polarizers too, we have polarizing filters for our DJI Mavic & Phantom.
16. Know What Nights To Be Where
There is always something happening on the island but you’ll want to know where to be when. There are also some great beach BBQ buffets on the island where you can eat as much lobster & crayfish as you want!
- Monday are pretty chill but good live music at Dad’s Bar & Grill
- Tuesday $5 burger night at Pumphouse ***Damaged in Hurricane Irma, currently closed***
- Wednesday Cap Juluca beach BBQ buffet with lobster, mahi-mahi, and much more $75
- Thursday Caribbean night at Zemi’s live music & Caribbean BBQ
- Friday Ken’s head to the Valley from some of Ken’s famous BBQ ribs & chicken
- Saturday Cuisinart Resort famous Lobster BBQ buffet at Le Bistro $95 all you can eat lobster, brisket, fish, lamb, and much more
- Sunday live music at Gwen’s Reggae Grill
17. Get Lost
Most people avoid getting lost when traveling but don’t be afraid to get lost in Anguilla. Turn down random roads and see where it brings you. The island is so small you won’t ever be too far from the main roads.
18. Shop At Best Buy (West Location)
The biggest and best grocery store in Anguilla is Best Buy West. There are two locations but the west location is twice the size and has a much bigger selection.
If you are staying in an Anguilla villa plan on doing your grocery shopping here. Best buy is open daily and it’s right off Route 1 near Mead’s Bay.
19. Spend A Day On Sandy Island
Dedicate one day to doing nothing but enjoying island life on Sandy Island. Sandy Island is a quick 10-minute boat ride from Sandy Ground. Here’s everything you need to know about Sandy Island. Make sure to get the Caribbean grilled lobster with coconut curry sauce it’s out of this world.