Saturday, April 27, 2013

Anguilla Day Trip

The gorgeous white sand beach at Shoal Bay on Anguilla.
The beach at Meads Bay on Anguilla.
The beautiful beach at Rendezvous Bay on Anguilla.

We spent 11 days visiting the island of St. Maarten/St. Martin in March of 2013 for our honeymoon.

This blog entry will cover the day trip we took to the nearby island of Anguilla.

Prior to planning our trip to St. Martin, I had never even honestly heard of the tiny island of Anguilla. However, while completing research for the trip, I read many rave reviews and recommendations for the island. Anguilla is known by many as being one of the most beautiful islands in the entire Caribbean. In comparison to nearby islands (such as St. Martin, St. Barts, the US Virgin islands, etc) Anguilla has remained relatively isolated due to the fact that the only way to reach the island is either by boat or via a small plane from a neighboring island (St. Martin, Puerto Rico, Antigua, St. Kitts). Because there are no direct flights to the island from mainland North America, the island has remained serene and uncrowded. Anguilla is famous for its secluded white powder beaches and aquamarine waters, its high-end luxurious properties, and its sophisticated dining scene. Unlike St. Martin or St. Barts, Anguilla is not known for its shopping, so don't come here expecting to find fancy designer stores; they simply don't exist. The island is long, narrow and flat, making it so much easier to drive on compared to the windy roads of St. Martin and St. Barts. Anguilla is a British overseas territory, which means that drivers drive on the left side of the road. The island uses a currency called the East Caribbean dollar although the US dollar is widely accepted.

Lucky for those who visit St. Martin, the island of Anguilla is located just a quick 20-25 minute ferry ride away from the town of Marigot, located on the French side of the island. After boarding the ferry, try to grab a window seat so that you can enjoy the passing views and scenery.
Marigot Harbor
Marigot Harbor
Marigot Harbor
Marigot Harbor
Marigot Harbor
Marigot Harbor
Marigot Harbor
Marigot Harbor
Ferry ride from St. Martin to Anguilla.
Ferry ride from St. Martin to Anguilla.
Ferry ride from St. Martin to Anguilla.
Ferry ride from St. Martin to Anguilla.
Approaching Anguilla from St. Martin.
Ferry ride from St. Martin to Anguilla.

The ferry will eventually bring you to Blowing Point Harbor, where you will be required to go through customs, so don't forget your passport! Directly outside of passport control are car rental vendors. We had reserved our car rental ahead of time through the highly recommended Andy's Car Rental. Andy himself was actually waiting for us as soon as we stepped off of the boat, allowing the rental process to go very smoothly and without confusion. As previously mentioned, when renting a car you'll have to be ready to drive on the left side of the road. However, once you've got that down, driving will be a breeze since the island is flat, sparsely populated, and only has two major traffic lights.
Blowing Point Harbor on Anguilla.
Blowing Point Harbor on Anguilla.
Blowing Point Harbor on Anguilla.
Blowing Point Harbor on Anguilla.


While on Anguilla for the day, we decided we would visit the following three beaches, which will be described below:

  • Shoal Bay
  • Meads Bay
  • Rendezvous Bay



Shoal Bay:
This gorgeous two mile long beach is probably the most well-known beach on Anguilla and has been named by many as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. The beach is wide and expansive, and compared to the busy beaches on St. Martin, is practically empty of people. The sand here was a gorgeous white and the ocean waters were the most pristine shade of aquamarine that I had ever seen. There are several restaurants that line the beach, all of which offer chair rentals. Note that Shoal Bay is often referred to as Shoal Bay East, not to be confused with the beach at Shoal Bay West.
Shoal Bay
Shoal Bay
Shoal Bay
Shoal Bay
Shoal Bay
Shoal Bay
Shoal Bay
Shoal Bay
Shoal Bay
Shoal Bay
Shoal Bay
Shoal Bay
Enjoying my time at Shoal Bay.
Shoal Bay
Shoal Bay
Shoal Bay
Shoal Bay
Shoal Bay
Shoal Bay
Shoal Bay
Shoal Bay
Shoal Bay
Shoal Bay
Shoal Bay
Shoal Bay
Shoal Bay
Shoal Bay
Shoal Bay
The sand at Shoal Bay.
Shoal Bay
Shoal Bay
Shoal Bay
Shoal Bay
Shoal Bay
Shoal Bay
Shoal Bay
Shoal Bay
Shoal Bay
Shyawn enjoying the beautiful water at Shoal Bay.

We rented beach chairs while at Shoal Bay and then made our way to a beach side restaurant, pictured below. Unfortunately, I do not know the name of this little place as it wasn't marked and there wasn't any formal menu! The views from the restaurant, however, were to die for. We each ordered some drinks and then split their lunch special, which was Jerk Pork served with rice and vegetables. While sitting down to eat, a sweet little cat befriended us so we fed him and later brought him down to the beach with us!
Restaurant at Shoal Bay.
Amazing view from our restaurant at Shoal Bay.
Amazing view from our restaurant at Shoal Bay.
Restaurant at Shoal Bay.
Frozen daquiri at a restaurant at Shoal Bay.
Jerk Pork with rice and vegetables at a restaurant in Shoal Bay.
Friendly cat at Shoal Bay.
Friendly cat at Shoal Bay.
I brought the friendly cat at Shoal Bay down to our beach chairs.


Meads Bay:
This popular beach is lined with several resorts and a few restaurants. Even with the multiple resorts and restaurants that surround the beach, it was still relatively uncrowded. Per the advice of Trip Advisor and both of our guidebooks, we parked at Blanchard's Beach Shack and enjoyed the beach while eating a very delicious and relatively inexpensive lunch.
Meads Bay
Meads Bay
Meads Bay
Meads Bay
Meads Bay
Meads Bay
Meads Bay
Meads Bay
Meads Bay, with a rain storm in the distance.
Mead's Bay

Eating on Anguilla can be quite painful to any visitor's budget, but thankfully there are a few inexpensive places to choose from, including the wonderful Blanchards Beach Shack. This restaurant was created by the same owners who own the fine dining establishment called Blachards, which is a dining institution on the island. The reviews of Blanchards Beach Shack indicated that it served a variety of high quality food including tacos, soups, sandwiches, and burgers, just to name a few. Shyawn ordered the hamburger and fries while I went with the grilled tomato and mozzarella with bacon. Although it took awhile for our food to arrive, all of the items were very delicious and well worth the wait.
Blanchards Beach Shack
Part of the menu at Blanchards Beach Shack.
Some of the outdoor seating area at Blanchards Beach Shack.
Blanchards Beach Shack
French Fries from Blanchards Beach Shack.
Hamburger from Blanchard's Beach Shack.
Grilled tomato and mozzarella sandwich with bacon at Blanchards Beach Shack.
The view from our table of Meads Bay at Blanchards Beach Shack.
The view from our table of Meads Bay at Blanchards Beach Shack.


Rendezvous Bay:
The third and final beach we visited during our day trip to Anguilla ended up being our favorite beach of the entire trip. Rendezvous Bay is a 2.5 mile long crescent shaped beach with beautiful white sand, gorgeous turquoise waters, and an amazing view of neighboring St. Martin. The beach was practically empty during our visit, which seemed nearly incomprehensible to me given its beauty. We spent a few hours enjoying the beach here, vowing to someday return to enjoy it once again. If you have time to make only one beach stop while on Anguilla, I highly encourage you to hightail it to Rendezvous Bay! To me, the beach here is the epitome of a true tropical paradise.
Rendezvous Bay
Rendezvous Bay
Rendezvous Bay
Rendezvous Bay
Rendezvous Bay
Rendezvous Bay
Rendezvous Bay
Rendezvous Bay
Rendezvous Bay
Rendezvous Bay
Rendezvous Bay
Rendezvous Bay
Rendezvous Bay
Rendezvous Bay
Rendezvous Bay
Rendezvous Bay
Rendezvous Bay
Rendezvous Bay
Rendezvous Bay
The amazing water at Rendezvous Bay.
Rendezvous Bay
Rendezvous Bay
Enjoying the water at Rendezvous Bay.
Rendezvous Bay
Rendezvous Bay
Rendezvous Bay
Rendezvous Bay
Rendezvous Bay
Rendezvous Bay

7 comments:

  1. Great pics and useful info, thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ditto, your blog is much appreciated.

    ReplyDelete
  3. What was the cost of the ferry and times ?

    ReplyDelete
  4. I know that you rental a car while on the island of Anguilla, but were there cabs/taxis readily available to take people to different beaches??

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks for the pointers. A couple of questions if you find the time.

    1. Which Ferry Company did you take to Anguilla? Cost? Is the ride know to be as rough as the ride to St. Barts?

    2. Where/how did you go about renting a car on Anguilla? What was the cost?

    Thank you,
    Dawn

    ReplyDelete
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