Finding out about Anguilla was a truly pleasurable experience. The island is situated to the east of Puerto Rico and St Maarten to the south. When traveling to Anguilla, one good thing about Anguilla I was grateful for is that the island is just a twenty minute ferry ride away from St. Maarten where I spent one month while on business.

For leisure purposes, I chose the ferry but there were a lot of travel alternatives that I was informed about. Anguilla’s travel network is hassle free. Persons travelling to Anguilla must take a flight to neighboring islands of St Maarten, Antigua, Puerto Rico, St Kitts or St Thomas then catch a connecting flight to the Wallblake Airport (AXA). People coming from the United States and Europe need a valid passport to enter Anguilla. All visitors entering the island must possess a return ticket, hotel reservation and enough funds to finance their stay on the island. Airlines which services Anguilla includes American Eagle, LIAT, WINAIR, TransAnguilla and private charters are also available.

A few traits I observed about Anguilla are its small size, flatness and aridity. In fact, a person can drive about Anguilla quite easily because the island is approximately sixteen miles long, and even more interesting about Anguilla is its relatively small population estimated at 12,500 inhabitants. The official language used in Anguilla is English and the national currency is the Eastern Caribbean Dollar XCD but the United States Dollar US is commonly used. The capital of Anguilla is the Valley and Anguilla which was last colonized by Great Britain is still under the monarch’s rule and is one of the few countries which have not yet gained independence from England. The island is surrounded by mostly uninhabited cays such as Anguilita.

I went on a few guided tours and learning about Anguilla’s heritage intrigued me. Anguilla was first inhabited by Amerindians people who called the island Malliouhana. Many artifacts belonging to these people have been found and carbon data suggests that the Malliouhana may have inhabited the island over 3300 years ago. Later I learnt about Anguilla’s history and must admit that what I had heard about Anguilla was not much different from the history of the other islands. Christopher Columbus discovered Anguilla in 1493 but as is the case with many islands in the Caribbean he did not land or settle in Anguilla and continued his search for gold farther south. The island was first settled by the British in the mid 1600’s, at which point the English set up their signature plantation system and imported slave labour for the cultivation of crops such as tobacco, cotton and corn. For many years the colonization of the Anguilla was fought over by the French and the English, the same happened for the islands in the northern Caribbean. The English eventually became the owners of the island and to this date Anguilla remains British Territory. Although still under British rule, Anguilla is self governed and as a result of both factors: colony of Britain and self governed, Anguilla is politically and economically stable.

When asking about Anguilla’s economy, I found out that it is primarily supported by Anguilla’s growing tourism industry and over the last decade there has been a significant tourist boom on the island. However, the financial services sector also contributes greatly to the growing economy of Anguilla. As a classic example of a tax haven Anguilla offers offshore services such as International Business Companies incorporation, similar to Nevis companies, offshore banking, trusts registration, as well as other offshore services.

For me the most fun aspect about Anguilla is the beautiful beaches. The small island of Anguilla is surrounded by 33 pristine white sand beaches. The island is perfect for relaxing; virtually crime free Anguilla is a great spot for getting away from the stresses of life or just for having fun. Activities that can be enjoyed on Anguillan beaches include diving, snorkeling, windsurfing, sailing, parasailing, waterskiing and glass bottom boat tours. On the beaches in Anguilla are some of the world’s best resorts and villas.

There were also festivities that I queried about. Anguilla has different celebrations throughout the year that Anguillans and natives from the neighbouring islands look forward to. During the summer Anguilla comes alive with Summer Festival one of the country’s biggest celebrations. The Summer Festival is celebrated to mark the abolition of slavery in the Caribbean. The festival itself has a carnival-like atmosphere and runs in the first two weeks in August. Activities during this celebration include calypso shows, beauty pageants, street parades and boat races among other activities. The festival is a platform to portray the culture and traditions over Anguilla and has been celebrated for more than thirty (30) years.

Here’s some information for Anguilla business that is good to know. Anguilla’s banking hours are from 9 am to 3 pm Monday to Thursday and 9 am to 5pm on Fridays. The banks in Anguilla accept International debit and credit cards which can be utilized at Automatic Teller machines(ATM) provided by the banks. Most shops accept debit and credit cards. Before going to the island, I queried about Anguilla’s climate and I’d advise you to travel with light cotton clothing because of the hot tropical sun that blazes all day long.