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Are you dreaming of an escape to a deserted island? So are we! Did you know that Anguilla has been designated as “Very Low Risk for Covid-19” by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)? 

Tucked away in the northern Caribbean, Anguilla is a shy beauty with a warm smile. A slender length of coral and limestone fringed with green, the island is ringed with 33 ivory beaches. Commonly regarded by savvy travellers and top travel magazines as a Caribbean hidden gem, Anguilla’s mix of natural beauty and modern luxury has earned it the distinction of being named the Best Island in the Caribbean – two years running.

Scrub Island
[Scrub Island]

Anguilla lies just off the beaten path, retaining a charming character and restful exclusivity. The island can be conveniently accessed from both Sint Maarten (St. Martin) and Puerto Rico.

In Anguilla, you enter a “vacation bubble” – a period in which protocols guide and facilitate visitors’ movements on the island staying at hotels and villas. The goal of these measures is to ensure both residents and tourists feel as safe as possible.

These four off-shore cays are guaranteed to be the highlight of your vacation. Start preparing now for the sun on your shoulders, feet in the sand and a drink in your hand. 

Prickly Pear Cay

Prickly Pear Cay is a small island located six miles from Anguilla’s mainland and is popular among swimmers and snorkelers looking for a more private experience. The “Eastern Caribbean Natural Area Management Programme” has classified the cays as ‘wildlands.’

A boat channel between Prickly Pear East and Prickly Pear West divides the small pair of uninhabited islands. Visitors can swim between the rocky coral reef and shrubs on the smaller Western cay. On the northern side of the Eastern Cay, indulge in long, beautiful white sand beaches with crystal blue waters ideal for snorkeling.

Marine fauna includes schooling goatfish, crabs, lobsters, barracuda, angelfish and nurse sharks. Scuba divers can enjoy discovering several sunken ships in the area. In addition, BirdLife International has identified the two cays as an Important Bird Area due to their breeding seabirds. Both Hiking and bird watching tours are available on the cay, upon request.

Prickly Pear Bar and Restaurant has been in operation for over 20 years; their curated menu includes BBQ chicken and ribs, freshly caught lobster and crayfish, plus burgers, sandwiches and salads.

After lunch, rent a stand-up paddle board, kayak, snorkeling gear, or a seabob to round out your secluded day at the cay. Prickly Pear Bar and Restaurant has partnered with Calypso Charters Anguilla to offer excursions ranging from sunset cruises to sport-fishing tours.

After two years of clean-up and rebuilding what Hurricane Irma had demolished, Scilly Cay has finally re-opened! This family-owned and operated restaurant and private island has welcomed guests for the past 35 years. Located on the eastern part of Anguilla, this offshore cay is not to be missed. The 180-foot-long island is about a quarter-mile from the mainland and accessible by boat from Island Harbour.

Scilly Cay lobster
[Scilly Cay lobster]

If you don’t see a boat at the dock upon arrival, wave at the island, and it’ll be there in a few minutes to pick you up. The waters within the bay are always calm, making it the perfect setting to spend the afternoon snorkeling, swimming or lounging on a floatie.

Indulge in lobster, crayfish (native to Anguilla) and their famous potent rum punch. The lobster is served on a bed of coconut leaves and drizzled in mild curry sauce and many consider the rum punch at Scilly Cay to be the best on the island. The restaurant was built by native Anguillan and former professional tennis player Eudoxie Wallace (Wallace’s sons have since taken over following Wallace’s passing). 

Sandy Island

Sandy Island is a small cay off Sandy Ground beach in Anguilla. Many tourists have called Sandy Island one of the most beautiful places to visit. Catch a boat ride at Sandy Ground to the island, where you can live the day as a castaway in paradise. Pristine white sand awaits your great escape.

Scrub Island, a British Overseas Territory, is a privately-owned small island located off the eastern tip of Anguilla’s mainland. With no electricity or plumbing, the island can feel like an unplugging from life’s everyday stresses.

The expansive white-sand beach is an excellent spot for a picnic and swim. Take a short hike over the dunes where a salt pond with several land birds, waterfowl and shorebirds gather. The island has been identified as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International because of its nesting seabirds. The Caribbean Elaenia, pearly-eyed thrashers and laughing gulls all call Scrub Island home.

Continue exploring, and you’ll find the remains of an old plane, several abandoned homes and an abandoned airfield. Be sure to snorkel the caves filled with beautiful reef fish and nurse sharks. Keep your eyes peeled on the western part of the island as tourists have been known to spot whales! Visit Tourism Anguilla online for more info.

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