“The secret of success is to be in harmony with existence, to be always calm. To let each wave of life wash us a little further up the shore.” Follow the wisdom of British writer Cyril Connolly to Anguilla, a place where serenity sweeps in with the tides.
By Daniel Hayden
Just the mention of the word ‘Caribbean’ conjures images of dazzling white sands, azure waves and swaying emerald palms. While there is no doubt every island in the region is beautiful, each has its own distinct features and personality. The Caribbean, after all, has been the crossroads of the world for over 500 years; a hub of trade, commerce and migration that has shaped every corner of the globe. Each island has a completely unique culture and biodiversity. Anguilla is no exception.
A hidden gem, the island sits in a quiet corner of the Caribbean. It was originally settled by the indigenous Arawak tribes, who would have seen Anguilla as the end of the world; the last stop before the endless expanse of the Atlantic. As Europeans began to conquer the Caribbean, this little island was again often overlooked, not being well positioned for trade or agriculture. While it was colonised by the English in the 17th century, those who did settle here were mostly searching for peace and freedom. In many ways this shaped the laid back, luxurious spirit that is still found today. Cap Juluca, A Belmond Hotel, Anguilla is the perfect starting point to uncover the wonders of the island.
Anguilla covers only 35 square miles of land, but hosts endless opportunities for discovery. Most notably, this small island boasts some of the best beaches in the world. Venture off to discover Shoal Bay. Found on the northern tip of the island, the unspoilt white sands look across towards the endless blue of the Atlantic Ocean. For a taste of the local lifestyle, opt for Sandy Ground. This small town combines the buzz of Anguillan life, including colourful bars and inviting restaurants, with golden sands and gently bobbing sailboats. Maunday’s Bay, home to Cap Juluca, is equally stunning and offers a true sense of exclusivity.
Alternatively leave the land and your worries behind and take to the waves. Jet off on a boating trip to explore a choice of captivating sites. Live out a desert island fantasy on Sandy Island, a tiny palm-lined sandbank off the northwest coast. Head further and find Prickly Pear Cays, uninhabited and blooming with lush vegetation, perfect for snorkelling. With its many coves and reefs, Anguilla is a dream destination for snorkelling. Expect myriad colours beneath the waves; from the mesmerising shimmer of blue tang and shocking cyan of parrotfish, to the winding spotted moray and majestic hawksbill turtle.
Fishing, sailing and diving are all popular pastimes on Anguilla. Thrill-seekers can also keep the adrenaline pumping with a choice of ATV safari tour, or some extreme watersports. Kite surfing, for example, is sure to cause a splash whatever your level of ability.
Anguilla was once a sacred site for the Arawak people, and you will still find echoes of mysticism in hidden spots. Head to Big Spring and examine ancient petroglyphs—rock paintings early tribes created to document their experiences and legends.
Fountain Cavern is one of the most significant archaeological sites in the entire Caribbean. Carefully carved geological features reveal how early Amerindians worshipped and revered the supernatural world.
Venture into the island’s capital, the Valley, to uncover more of Anguilla’s rich personality. Learn about the natural and cultural history at the eye-opening Anguilla National Trust, then head off on a tour to significant sugar and cotton plantations. The Old Factory and Warden’s Place are both well worth a visit.
HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS
For those who simply cannot bear to leave the beauty of Cap Juluca, there’s plenty to enjoy without ever leaving the resort. Try your hand at a selection of watersports, from sunfish sailing and kayaking to water skiing and tubing. Improve your serve at our tennis courts, or take the bicycles out for a spin and explore our corner of paradise at your leisure.
Or take the time to rest and recharge. Arawak Spa offers a complete menu of indulgences, perfect to savour while serenaded by the ocean waves in our beach cabanas. Then head down to the Cap Shack for some live entertainment. Let our barmen show you the great local rums, and with toes in the sand, give in to the Caribbean lifestyle.
If the waves of life have brought you here, then the sea is a generous place indeed.