PRECIOUS PLACES:Anguilla’s best beaches
Anguilla is known for its 5-star dining, coral reefs, culture, and heritage, but perhaps best of all, postcard perfect beaches. Thirty-three to be exact, every one of them as beautiful as they are diverse.
Many of them have been ranked the world’s best on numerous occasions, so don’t be surprised to run into the likes of high-profile beach bums like Ellen DeGeneres, LeBron James or Adele while strolling along the sand.
With an embargo on cruise ships, casinos and high-rise hotels, the eastern Caribbean island offers visitors a peaceful sunny sanctuary.
With this in mind, here’s a list of five favourite beaches when you’re ready to go:
Shoal Bay Beach
Shoal Bay Beach is the most popular, well-known and single most photographed beach on the island and is consistently ranked as one of the top beaches not just in the Caribbean, but also in the world, the 3.2-km beach remains relatively uncrowded and is simply stunning.
There are plenty of bars, restaurants, rental equipment for snorkeling and parasailing and scuba diving and beachfront hotels include the luxurious Zemi Beach House Resort, Manoah Boutique Hotel and Shoal Bay Villas.
Meads Bay Beach
Meads Bay Beach is one of the most popular west end beaches on Anguilla and one of the island’s truly untouched shores. Set your beach bag under one of the iconic yellow umbrella and venture into the water for a snorkel at a nearby coral reef.
Occasionally when the wind is blowing from the north to northeast, the surf at Meads Bay Beach is ideal for surfing or boogie boarding.
Water sports equipment rentals are available from many of the hotels along the beach.
Stretching 2.4 km, Meads Bay Beach has two beautiful hotels that play bookends to the beach; the Four Seasons Resorts and Residences, Anguilla and the Malliouhana, Auberge Resorts Collection. In between, there are smaller resort properties like Frangipani Beach Resort, along with condominium units like Tranquility Beach Anguilla, and boutique style villas such as Carimar Beach Club.
Maundays Beach Bay
A favourite of locals, Maundays Beach Bay the half-moon shaped beach is home to one resort: Belmond Cap Juluca, one of the island’s most distinctive resorts and known for its moorish design. To access Maundays Bay Beach visitors must enter through the hotel’s main gates or via boat.
Shoal Bay West
A lesser-known beach is Shoal Bay West, but still a visitor favourite. This side of the bay has a much calmer feel to it and is the perfect location for those seeking solitude. Look out to sea to spot ‘Blowing Rock’, a small spit of volcanic-type rock and a great area for snorkeling and diving. There is not a lot of boat traffic near the beach making for a serene swimming day. A long walk along the almost empty beach reveals some of the island’s most luxurious private villas. The beach offers beautiful views of St. Martin and is an ideal spot to see the sunset.
Rendezvous Bay Beach
Rendezvous Bay Beach is a 3.2-km long “semi circle of perfection” and the best beach for walking. Taking a stroll down the eastern side will provide you with a little bit of Anguilla’s history while passing The Rendezvous Bay Hotel, one of the oldest hotels on Anguilla. On a clear day, visitors can see St. Martin in the distance.
Access the western bay and stop in at Bankie Banx’s Dune Preserve, rated the #1 beach bar in the world by CNN, owned by fameds reggae artist and local celebrity Bankie Banx.
On Nov. 1, Anguilla entered phase 2 of re-opening with all visitors who meet pre-entry requirements welcome. Full details are available on the Anguilla Tourist Board website.
First published at Travel Industry Today