Anguilla is a small British territory in the Caribbean Sea may be a place you have never heard of before or one you heard mentioned briefly conversation as an incredible holiday destination, that is because it is. Every year a growing number of visitors search for beach homes in anguilla, so they can while away your hours in the beautiful waters of this island paradise or, so they can blend in with some of the 14,000 people who are lucky enough to call this island home.
Having won the prestigious title of World’s Leading Luxury Island Destination in 2014, Anguilla reaffirmed its position as one of the best places to visit not just in the Caribbean but in the world. Acting as a tax haven and luxury travel destination this is usually not a location that you will find on a budget travellers list of places to visit, but for those who have a little more money to spend then this island has everything you will need and enough to impress anyone who may be accompanying you. We are going to look at some of the aspects of Anguilla including its history and culture to give you a different perspective of why people choose to come here and why others call it home.
Like almost all the islands of the Caribbean Anguilla went through periods of Amerindian civilisations and the onset of colonisation. The first settlers are believed to have arrived at the island over 4000 years ago and here they settled, built villages and became farmers and fishermen. This continued until around 1650 when the first British settlers arrived bringing with them all the facets of colonisation, some good and some bad. They established plantations, of tobacco, sugar and other popular items of the time.
This style of farming was detrimental to the environment of the island and most of the land became arid and unusable, most of these problems remain today, resulting in many imported products.
Throughout the 1900’s the island when through a number of transitionary stages during its search for independence. This resulted in the island becoming a dependent territory and those remains part of the UK with a level of autonomy.
Like other islands in the region, Anguilla sports a mix of cultures that it has blended into its own unique style. The classic Caribbean sense of independence is especially strong here due to the islands efforts for independence throughout the 1900’s.
Most importantly though is family, music and the community, something seen throughout the Caribbean. You will hear Reggae, Soul, Jazz and contemporary British music on a night out creating a unique blend of sounds. Most of the festivals and holidays are related to the islands history and relation to the UK.
The culture of the island is so important to the people that in 1988 they established the Anguillan national trust to both collect and preserve important aspects of the islands culture and history. This in part helped grow the literary side of the islands population and preserve some of its most important poetry, music and writings from decades gone by. If visiting the island be sure to visit some of the cultural centres to get a better understanding of this part of the islands history and culture.
Climate and geography:
Besides the history and culture of the country another important aspect which will influence your chance of visiting the island is most definitely the geography and climate of the country, it is not somewhere you want to land, to find it is raining and unpleasant. Thankfully this isn’t the case and like the rest of the Caribbean you can expect pretty good weather year-round.
The average daily temperature on the island is a pleasant 27 degrees and rainfall amounts to 890mm throughout the year. Being in a tropical zone though the island is prone to hurricanes and tropical storms throughout the year, these are difficult to predict and you should try to do some research in recent events to avoid any precarious situations.
The island itself is generally made up of coral and limestone, one of the major reasons for the countries poor agricultural output. Being quite flat it is easy to transverse the island by foot or bicycle if you wish to do so, in this way you can find some of the most secluded beaches on the island.
As already stated the once important plantation lands of the island are virtually unusable now and tourism has come to the forefront of the economy of the island. Other major income generators are offshore banking, captive insurance and fishing. All of these have helped to develop the islands luxury destination portfolio with plenty of high-end hotels and villas to choose from.
Having hosted the Oscars of the travel world in the world travel awards in 2004 and winning some prestigious awards, this solidified the islands reputation as a go to destination among the rich and famous. The currency of the island is the East Caribbean dollar which is tied to the US dollar at US$1-ECD$2.70 although this may have changed since this article was published.
A luxury destination with some home comforts, there is not much you can ask for in a destination that Anguilla cannot provide. Do some research and see if it is within your price range, it is not a location to go to on a whim, but it is one you will not regret visiting.