Above: Little Bay in Anguilla
By Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon
CJ Travel Editor
We never need a reason to visit Anguilla, that barefoot-casual isle east of Puerto Rico, north of St. Maarten, and smack in the center of Paradise. But in case you do, here are five good ones.
You want beaches? This 35-square-mile island has 33 of the best. No rocky shores and pebble-strewn coastlines here, just more than a month’s-worth of sandy sweeps that beg to be immortalized on Instagram, #nofilter. From secluded Little Bay to popular Shoal Bay East, there’s one for your bum.
Anguilla is hardly inexpensive but now, with “Festive” behind us, resort and villa rates have descended from the stratosphere to “pricey-but-worth-it” rates that include added-value deals. At the swanky Viceroy, for example, current promos include a fifth night free and resort credits of up to $500 a day. And at seven-bedroom Santosha villa on Long Bay, where you’d have paid a whopping $125,000 per week over Festive, the current rate: $80,000 – a snip!
The Street Food
If you only eat at fancy hotel restaurants while you’re here, trust us, you’re missing out. Ditch the dining room and head for The Valley, where our two favorite food trucks will have you coming back for more. At Papa Lash, deep-fried soy chunk and pizza (cheese and tomato) patties are the best sellers. Hungry’s Good Food is our go-to for quesadillas, pasta dishes, and hearty lobster-and-corn soup. Thursday through Saturday, stop at Ken’s Barbecue, where you can fill up on ribs or chicken with garlic bread and Johnny cakes on the side for less than $10.
So many shops, so little time! My hit list of Anguillian stores where you’re bound to find a shopportunity includes Irie Life for T-shirts and swimwear; Limin Boutique for the cutest canvas clutches; and ZaZaa for beach wear. If money is no object, check out the boutiques at Cap Juluca, Cuisinart and Viceroy, which carry designer duds and accessories for the well-heeled.
Whether you’re an internet junkie like me or you just want to throw a few pics up on Facebook to make the folks at the office jealous, you’ll appreciate Anguilla’s pervasive WI-FI. It seems as if almost every resort and restaurant here has the WI-FI trifecta: connectivity that’s free, fast and reliable. Which makes sharing your island adventures a breeze. Because after all, if you didn’t post it on social media, did it even happen?!