The flat island of Anguilla stretches 16 miles across and 3 miles wide at its fattest point. At the tallest peak, Crocus Hill, the island reaches up to about 215 feet above sea level. Anguilla is the most northern of the Leeward Islands in the Lesser Antilles, situated directly north of St. Martin. The limestone structure of the island provides for many caves and other natural formations that attract tourists from around the world, as well as historical points of interest and buzzing nightlife entertainment.
West central Anguilla offers a variety of attractions to appease any traveler. Located in The Valley, in the central portion of the map, the Wallblake House is a historical plantation home with a connected museum that claims to be the oldest building in Anguilla. Patrons can get a great taste of the past by visiting this structure, built by Will Blake in 1787.
Another historic landmark is the Old Salt Factory and Pumphouse, which sits on the southwestern side of The Valley. Salt played a major role in Anguilla's history, and a tour of the factory gives great insight to the industry that was once flourishing on the island. Interestingly, the Pumphouse has been renovated into one of Anguilla's most popular nightlife attractions. Also located near The Valley, visitors will find the tallest point on the island at Crocus Hill. Here you can tour the remains of the Crocus Hill Prison, which offers great views of the island.
On the northeastern side of the island, tourists can check out the Heritage Museum Collection at Pond Ground. The museum houses interesting artifacts that range from ancient Arawak Indian tools to household items used by 19th century settlers. Head a bit further north, and you'll come across a section of rainforest that offers a great hiking trail.
Near Shoal Bay, explorers will revel in the natural wonder of the Fountain Cavern National Park. Make your way 50 feet down a cave to two fresh water pools and plentiful petroglyphs and rock carvings. This site is believed to have been a center of religious worship by the Amerindians, and combines the great outdoors with a taste of Anguilla's history.
For a truly unique experience, you should check out Anguilla's impressive hydroponic farm. Created by CuisinArt's Dr. Howard Resh to provide the infertile island with an alternative to importing produce, the farm has become the only one of its kind in the world. Housed on the property of the CuisinArt Resort and Spa near the West End of Anguilla, this facility grows everything from peppers, tomatoes and onions to bok choy, water dress and mint oregano. Guests can enjoy a tour of this fantastic greenhouse, then head over to the resort's restaurant to taste some of the great produce in action.
Centrally located on the map, The Valley is one of the most popular places to stay on Anguilla. It is the hub of all government activity, and offers a variety of restaurants, art and nightlife. Be sure to check out the Anguilla Arts and Crafts Center for a taste of the island's creative culture. The Village is also home to the Anguilla Natural Trust Museum, as well as previously mentioned attractions like the Wallblake House.
The area of Shoal Bay offers something for everyone. On the western half of the bay, guests can enjoy themselves at the many beach-side bars and tasty barbecue shacks that fill the streets. Those seeking a more secluded experience should head to the eastern portion of Shoal Bay, which is much less crowded and offers an ideal spot for leisurely snorkeling and sunbathing. Offshore islands like Sandy Isle and Prickly Pear provide excellent getaways for those looking to escape for the day.
This two-mile stretch of Anguilla is one of the most exciting places to stay in Anguilla. Not only is it home to the Old Salt Factory and Pumphouse, this area offers the most popular beachfront access on the island. Guests will find many restaurants and bars lined along the picture-perfect shoreline of Sandy Ground. There are also many places that provide rental equipment for water-sports like snorkeling, parasailing and more. The accommodations here are very low-key, and offer a retreat away from bustling resorts. From Sandy Ground, tourists can hop on a quick boat ride to the Prickly Pear Cays that boast rows of beach chairs and an on-site restaurant.
This area (in the lower left portion of the map) is also popular with tourists. You'll find a number of great lodging options, as well as plentiful dining options, attractions and nightlife entertainment. Many art galleries are located in the vicinity, as well as charming shops. One of the most popular spots in Rendezvous Bay is the Dune Preserve, where patrons can enjoy a tropical-themed beach bar with live music and excellent views of the seaside.
Clayton J. Lloyd International Airport (AXA) is not a major international airports, notwithstanding its impressive sounding name. The airport has frequent commercial flights to and from several Caribbean destinations, including Puerto Rico, Antigua and St. Martin. If you are arriving from the United States or a more distant location, you'll probably make a connection through one of the region's larger airports.
Ferries are a popular mode of transportation for vacationers looking to visit Anguilla's neighboring island of St. Martin. At the Blowing Point Ferry Terminal, guests can catch a ride to St. Martin or the Dutch side of St. Maarten. The ferry shuttles run throughout the day.
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