Anguilla Travel Information – What You Need To Know
Anguilla forms part of the Leeward Islands, a sub grouping of the Lesser Antilles and lies east of the island of Puerto Rico. Anguilla consists of a number of low-lying cays including Anguilla itself, which is the main island. Some of these islands include Anguillita, Scrub Island, Sombrero, Dog Island, Sandy Island, Seal Island, Prickly Pear Cays and Scilly Cays.
Anguilla’s total land area is 96 km².
Anguilla has an estimated total population of 13, 600 (2005 census) people who are a mixture of principally of African and European descent. There is an estimated birth rate of 14 per 1,000 people and life expectancy is calculated at 77 years. Anguilla’s population is estimated to grow at 1.8% per annum.
The officially spoken language is English.
The capital of Anguilla is The Valley and the Valley’s population is approximately 1, 169.
Anguilla’s time zone is GMT – 4hours.
Anguilla is known for its arid soil and very little rainfall that averages 790mm per annum in comparison to other West Indian islands. The climate is tropical and is moderated by northeasterly trade winds. Anguilla’s hurricane season normally falls June and November and the dry season is between July and October.
Anguilla is made up of coral and limestone and is flat with thin, arid soil. Anguilla has about 30 white sand beaches, no rivers and the highest point is Crocus Hill rising to about 64 meters above sea level. There are salt ponds that are used for salt production.
Anguilla is a British Overseas Territory (BOT). This status was granted on December 19, 1980. However, Anguilla is governed with some degree of self-autonomy and has a Chief Minister who is the head of government and a Governor General who represents the Queen of England as the Head of State.
Anguilla’s last elections were held in 2005 and are scheduled to be called again in 2010. The current ruling party is the Anguilla United Front, The Queen of England is the Head of State and she is represented by the Governor General. The Chief Minister is Osbourne Fleming.
There are a number of religious groups in Anguilla. There are several Roman Catholics as well as a large number of Protestant religions such as the Anglican, Methodist, Seventh day Adventist and Baptist churches. Minority religious groups include Hindus, Jews and Muslims.
The Wallblake Airport is Anguilla’s main port of entry. It is strategically located near the The Valley and resort sites. American Eagle (American Airline) is the only major North American airline that serves Anguilla from San Juan, Puerto Rico. However, many other carriers fly in from other Caribbean islands, namely, St. Barth, St. Martin, Barbados and Antigua. These include Coastal Air (St. Barthelemy), LIAT / Leeward Island Air Transport Windward (Antigua, St. Thomas) and Island Airways or Winair (St. Barthelemy, St. Maarten, Antigua).
Ferry Services are available to and from St. Martin between 7:30 am and 5pm. Trips are normally 20 minutes long and leave from Marigot Bay, St. Martin and Blowing Point, Anguilla.
Taxi services are readily available in Anguilla. Metered rates are fixed by law, but may vary from time to time. Driving is always done on the left side of the road. A variety of vehicles including scooters and bicycles are available for rent. Guided tours of the island are provided by taxi drivers and a temporary Anguilla driver’s license may be bought. Roads in Anguilla are relatively wide and are well kept. Taxi services are available to and from the Wallblake Airport.
Anguilla’s international dialing code is + 1 264. Internet, cable and satellite Television, mobile phone, fax, radio and international courier services are readily available.
There are 2 weekly news papers, namely, The Light and The Anguillan. The Anguilla Life Magazine has three yearly publications. The Daily Herald and Chronicle are imported from St. Martin. All Island Cable TV is a privately owned television company that provides satellite and cable TV in Anguilla. Radio broadcasts are done by Radio Anguilla and Caribbean Beacon, which provide daily local programming with scheduled BBC programmes.
The currency used is the Eastern Caribbean Dollar, internationally coded as XCD. The symbol that is locally and regionally used is EC$.
The school year in Anguilla begins in September. Children begin their primary education at the age of 5. According to 2005 estimates, the pupil – teacher ratio is 15:1 at the primary school level and 12:1 for secondary schools. Anguillans are able to further their education at the University of the West Indies, which has several distance learning centers and major campuses in Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago. Anguillans also attend universities in the United States and Canada and Europe.
The Princess Alexandra Hospital is the main hospital and is located at Sandy Ground.
The holidays celebrated in Anguilla are Good Friday, Easter Monday, Anguilla Day, New Years day, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, Labour Day, August Monday, Whit Monday, August Thursday and Constitution Day, August Monday, Queen’s Official Birthday, Separation Day.