Anguilla, Caribbean - Stein Travel
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Anguilla

The Caribbean is abuzz with tourists, ports packed with cruise ships, beaches coated with glistening baking bodies and wharfs beset with souvenir stalls and busy bars. There is one place in this bright holiday Mecca though, where tranquillity reigns supreme and unspoilt beaches spill down from discreet exclusive resorts to the crystal clear sea. This is the island of Anguilla, situated in the British West Indies about 150 miles (241km) east of Puerto Rico, and nine miles (14km) north of St Martin.

Anguilla, a British overseas territory, is a tiny, flat sliver of an island with scrubby vegetation, 16 miles (25km) long and three miles (5km) across at its widest point. The main island is surrounded by a collection of low islets and coral cays, all administered from The Valley, the capital of Anguilla.

This small landmass boasts 33 amazing beaches that many rate as the best in the world and most certainly in the Caribbean. Each is special in its own way, from Shoal Bay East with its mile of soft sand and wild Windward Bay to serene Little Harbor or secluded Captain's Bay, reached only by a narrow gravel track. The beaches, together with a set of stylish villas, resort hotels and delicious cuisine served up in a disproportionately large number of top class restaurants, have made Anguilla a favourite hideaway for celebrities, particularly movie stars, as witnessed by the private jets often parked on the airport runway.

Far from the madding crowd, Anguilla is the perfect retreat for an indulgent, exclusive getaway for the discerning traveller, dedicated to the simple pleasures of basking in the sun, taking sunset strolls, sailing and snorkelling. It is also a popular venue for weddings and honeymoons, and is fast becoming recognised as a useful tax-free haven.

Information & Facts

Business

Business in Anguilla is centred on tourism and the financial services, as it is a zero-tax environment and an offshore jurisdiction. Due to the balmy climate, lightweight suits or a buttoned up shirt are sufficient for business meetings. Business hours are Monday to Friday from 8am to 12pm and 1pm to 4pm.

Climate

The island experiences average temperatures of around 80°F (27°C), with the Trade Winds providing a constant warm breeze. With no high mountains to block the sun's rays and in the absence of the type of vegetation that attracts rain clouds, Anguilla is a sun-worshipper's paradise. The average rainfall per year measures 35 inches (889mm), much of it arriving in short cloud bursts. Hurricane season extends from June to November.

Communications

The international dialling code for Anguilla is +1 264. The island is well covered by a GSM mobile network. The outgoing code is 011 (eg. 01127 to South Africa). The Internet code for Anguilla is 'ai'. An Internet service provider is operating on the island with easy access in the resorts and large cities.

Customs

In Anguilla skimpy dress in public is frowned upon and nudity on beaches is not permitted.

Duty Free

Goods that may be brought into Anguilla without paying duty are 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 225g of tobacco and 1.1 litres of wine or spirits.

Electricity

Electrical current in Anguilla is 110 volts, 60Hz with flat blade attachment plugs and flat blades with round grounding pin plugs in use.

Getting Around

There are more than 60 miles (97km) of roads on Anguilla, the majority of them with a sealed surface. Car, bike, jeep and taxi hire are available. Driving is on the left and the speed limit is 30mph (48km/h).

Health

Travellers over a year old arriving from infected areas require a yellow fever vaccination certificate. Hepatitis A vaccinations are recommended for all travellers as well as polio and tetanus vaccinations. It is advisable to get a hepatitis B vaccination if travellers will have intimate contact with the locals, especially if staying for over 6 months. Mains water on Anguilla is chlorinated, but bottled water is available and recommended for visitors. All food on the island is safe to eat. There are three private medical clinics and a small hospital, which can deal with minor emergencies, but serious cases are transferred to neighbouring islands or the USA mainland. Adequate medical insurance is therefore strongly advised.

Language

English is the official language in Anguilla.

Money

The East Caribbean dollar (XCD) is the official currency of Anguilla, although US dollars are widely accepted, with prices on menus etc. generally quoted in American dollars. The East Caribbean dollar is fixed to the US dollar at US$1 = EC$2.68. There are several ATMs throughout the island and one at the airport. Credit cards and travellers cheques are accepted at most establishments.

Passport Visa

All visitors require a return or onward ticket, all documents needed for next destination and sufficient funds for the duration of their stay. As part of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), all travellers travelling between the United States and Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, and the Caribbean region are required to present a passport or other valid travel document to enter or re-enter the United States. If departing from the USA, a valid passport will be required.

Safety

Visits to Anguilla are trouble-free. The crime rate is low, but it is wise to take sensible precautions with valuables. Hurricanes usually affect the island between June and November.

Time

Local time in Anguilla is GMT -4.

Tipping

A service charge of 10% is generally added to restaurant and hotel bills in Anguilla, and any tipping over and above this is discretionary.

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