One island, 33 beaches.
With over 33 unblemished beaches, Anguilla has coast line to suit everyone’s tastes and interests. All Anguilla beaches are public and new construction (including private homes) must allow public access to be approved. Bake on the white coral sand undisturbed, enjoy music and action around you, explore the underwater world, hike rugged terrain, or play in the surf with paddle boards, kayaks and banana boats. It’s just a matter of picking a place to start. Here are a few to try.
If you are looking for some exercise on land, but with stunning views of the water, hike the coral rock cliffs at Captains Bay. Pick your way through the rock formations, walk the dirt trail or enjoy a picnic on the white sand or in the shade of the Sea Grape trees. Look for the hole which is a giant cave that became exposed when its roof collapsed. Although tempting, there is no swimming at Captains Bay, as strong undertows can be dangerous. Hiking shoes are recommended.
Directions: Captains Bay is located on the eastern end of Anguilla close to Windward Point. From the Valley take the Long Road to East End for about 1 mile until you reach a sign for Palm Grove Restaurant. Then follow the cliff dirt road east to the beach.
Sand dunes line this often empty beach (head to the western end). The swimming is excellent and the gentle crescent beach has views of St. Martin and the volcanic island of Saba.
Directions: Take the road west from the airport approximately 4.5 miles. Turn left at the Sonesta Beach Resort sign on the main road and follow the road directly to the beach. Parking around the beach.
Not as famous as some of the other Anguilla beaches, Crocus Bay is nestled among soaring cliffs and offers stunning views of some of the island’s most beautiful off-shore cays. Crocus Bay is ideal for swimming and snorkeling. The warm water is shallow and full of fish and coral and you can usually see large starfish. The broken cliffs on the western end may turn up a marine fossil or two if you are willing to hunt for them. Some folks take a leisurely swim over to picturesque Little Bay, stopping at small beach in between. Or ask for Carl and take his water taxi.
Directions: From The Valley take the road to Crocus Bay and follow it down to the beach. You can park right on the beach and along the road.
Experienced snorkelers will find this hard to find tiny beach well worth the effort to get there. There are interesting coral formations close to the shore of the beach (requires some swimming) and very little wave action.
Directions: Take the road west from the airport for about 1 mile. Turn left at the George Hill road to Little Harbour. Follow the road for about 1 mile and turn left just as you reach the marl road. Follow this road until you see Little Harbour and turn left again. Follow this road to Elsie Bay.
This is a working beach full of small homemade fishing boats that often pull right up to shore. While safe to swim, seaweed is plentiful. There are local fishermen who will take you by boat to Scrub Island or Scilly Cay for great snorkeling. Or try your hand at some offshore fishing. You can rent chairs and umbrellas on the beach and there is a gas station and grocery store.
Directions: From The Valley take the road to Shoal Bay/Island Harbour. Bear right at the fork to Shoal Bay and follow the road to Canafist Junction. Bear left and follow the road through Welches Village to Island Harbour. The beach is in the center of the village.
If you’re in the mood for a little adventure, put on your Indiana Jones hat and head to Little Bay. Surrounded by limestone cliffs, you can only reach this small but picturesque spot by climbing down a rope, or by boat or kayak from Crocus Bay. Bring your snorkeling equipment as conditions are fantastic. The North cliff wall is especially good for seeing fish. Pack food, water and your sunscreen so you can stop and stay awhile. Chances are you’ll have this idyllic spot all to yourselves, although you may have to share it with a pelican or two. And be sure to experience the thrill of jumping off Little Bay’s “The Rock.”
Directions: From The Valley take the road to Crocus Bay. Turn right at the old cottage hospital and follow the road up Roachs Hill. Follow the marl road to the cliff edge to access the rope. Or go to Crocus Bay and Ask for Carl. He’ll take you and pick you back up in his water taxi.
Beach is completely surrounded by Cap Juluca Resort.To reach this beach you must go through the resort.
Directions:Take the road west from the airport for appoximately 5 miles. Turn left at the Cap Juluca road sign and follow the road to the beach.
Located on Anguilla’s North shore, Meads Bay is the backdrop for some of Anguilla’s most famous resorts such as The Viceroy, Carimar Beach Club and the island’s original luxury resort Malliouhana (currently under renovation). Favorite restaurants such as Straw Hat, Blanchard’s and Jacala call this beach their home, as well as popular shops. TIP: While all of Anguilla’s beaches are public, Meads Bay has easy public access making it perfect for beach weddings. Get married on the beach and then host your reception at Straw Hat. The beachside restaurant can accommodate up to 120 people.
The beach is also the main venue for Anguilla’s famous boat races during the summer carnival. And if you plan on doing some diving, many dive shops make their beach entries from Meads Bay. You’re also likely to see visitors enjoying kayaks, stand up paddleboards and other water fun up and down the beach.
Directions: From airport take main road West for about 5 miles then turn right for 2 miles to hotel area where you can park and then walk to the beach.
If shelling is on your agenda, head to Mimi Bay. Although very isolated with no swimming, it’s a great spot to hunt for shells and hike. You will need a jeep to navigate the rocky road to Mimi Bay and please bring a friend.Hiking boots and long pants are recommended.
Directions: From The Valley take Long Path Road to East End Village. Turn right just past the Public tennis courts and take the first left on the marl road. Follow the marl road all the way to the coast and the beach. Or, start at Sile Bay and walk along the sea rocks to Mimi Bay.
One of Anguilla’s top beaches located on the south western side, Rendezvous Bay is a perfect semi-circle of azure water and glistening white sand and is a favorite for walking. You’ll pass the luxurious CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa, Reggae music legend Bankie Banx’s famous Dune Preserve which CNN ranks as the number one beach bar, and Anguilla’s historic Great House. There is a rockier area that is good for snorkeling. TIP:The beach’s easy public access makes it an ideal choice for beach weddings and its view of St. Martin and the volcanic island of Saba is exceptional.
Sandy Ground/Road Bay
This is where the action is. Sandy Ground is Anguilla’s main port with a harbor full of fishing and excursion boats. High cliffs overlook the long curved beach. There are a plethora of restaurants, bars and nightlife including Johnno’s Beach stop, a legendary beach bar and grill famous for its music scene, Barrel Stay restaurant and the Pumphouse. It’s also party central for Anguilla’s annual boat races. But if you want to experience a “deserted island,” jump on a ferry or boat and head over to Sandy Island or Prickley Pear Cay. Spend a few lazy hours swimming and snorkeling among the pristine coral reefs.
Directions: From the airport turn left and take road West to the traffic circle and then go down the hill to village. You park along the road to the beach.
This stunning crescent of sugar white sand on a protected bay is a favorite and closest beach to our Villa Alegria. If you are staying at Villa Alegria, just head down the paved private path next to the villa and you’re there! Spend a lazy day alternating between basking in the sun and cooling off in the balmy waters. Watch the small boats go in and out, or explore Anguilla’s coral reefs as you do a little snorkeling.
Directions: Take the one-minute walk down the paved footpath.
Shoal Bay East
Probably Anguilla’s most famous beach, Shoal Bay East is located at the island’s westernmost point and is truly a must see. The sand has a pinkish cast that is a perfect foil for the turquoise waters and the sunsets are postcard worthy. A 90 degree curve, known as “the bend” divides the two-mile slice of paradise into Upper and Lower Shoal Bay. Beach shacks, bars and restaurants dot the sand along the way, offering many opportunities to enjoy fresh seafood or mouthwatering BBQ. Grab a chair under a beach umbrella and drink an icy cocktail while you drink in the spectacular view. Or head into the water and snorkel the live coral reef just off the shore. You can even stay dry and still enjoy the view on a glass bottom boat tour.
Directions: Take the road to Island Harbour out of The Valley. Take the left fork at the Shoal Bay sign and the main road goes straight to the beach. You can park on the main road or turn right and follow the road to Elodias parking area.
Shoal Bay West
Dotted with upscale resorts and restaurants, this beautiful curve of sand meets calm waters that are perfect for swimming. Bask in the Caribbean sunshine while taking in stunning views of the islands of St. Martin and Saba.
Directions: From airport take main road West for approximately 7 miles. The beach is accessible at either the western or eastern end.
Bring your hiking boots. Windward Point is quite desolate and offers a taste of Anguilla’s rugged wilderness. For a great view of the rest of Anguilla, St. Martin, St. Barths and Scrub Island, as well as excellent seabird watching, climb the rock at the eastern end where the light for passing boats is housed. You will need a jeep to navigate the rocky road to the beach and it is recommended that you bring a friend. There is no swimming or snorkeling.
Directions: Take the road to Junks Hole Bay and keep going east.
Small islands or cays that are accessible by boat off of the main island, also offer amazing beaches. See Things to Do on Anguilla>