Anguilla — Attractions
Though Anguilla is only 16 miles long and three miles wide, a lot of interesting attractions and natural landmarks are packed into this tiny island from above to below. The 213 foot high Crocus Hill towers over the otherwise flat limestone landscape, and a giant underground cave called The Fountain pumps fresh water into Shoal Bay. Sandy Hill’s 18th century Dutch Fort, Old Salt Mine and Pumphouse, and the restored 1787 Wallblake House are Anguilla’s best known historic structures.
Big Spring National Park
Between the years 600 and 1200, Anguilla’s original Arawak residents created petroglyphs called Spirit Eyes inside the Big Spring collapsed cave. Originally designed to record births and deaths, more than 60 of these can still be seen in the small national park behind Island Harbour’s The Pub. Big Spring’s namesake natural spring supplied Anguilla residents with fresh water for centuries until the 1995 arrival of Hurricane Luis, and although visitors can no longer drink from the source, they can get a closer look at along the park’s new walking path or check out several prime bird watching spots and the East End Pond Conservation Area. Visitors must make a reservation with the Anguilla National Trust at least 24 hours in advance to enter the park.
Address: Island Harbour
Fountain Cavern National Park
A 16 foot tall stalagmite carved in the shape of the Taino supreme being, Jocahu, is merely the largest of the many ancient rock carvings found within the Fountain Cavern. This underground cave 50 feet beneath Anguilla’s surface was once a major pilgrimage and worship site. Ancient petroglyphs dating from roughly the year 900 surround the two freshwater pools inside the cave structure close to Shoal Bay.
Address: Shoal Bay
Stoney Ground Marine Park
The 18th century Spanish shipwreck, El Buen Consejo, is the centerpiece of Anguilla’s first fully underwater heritage site. This submerged galleon and the history which surround it can only be seen through a fully guided scuba diving tour, which begin with a presentation and film about the history. Once divers sink beneath Anguilla’s northeast coast, they will encounter impressive anchors, 10 foot high cannons, bronze devotional medals, and numerous other artifacts around El Buen Consejo’s remains. Four pristine offshore cays surround the attraction.
Address: Northeast Anguilla
Heritage Museum Collection
This museum’s modest exterior does not do justice to the many treasures hidden inside. Queen Elizabeth II awarded museum founder Colville Petty an OBE for his impressive personal collection of slave shackles, tools belonging to the Arawak, vintage cameras, and 19th century household items. Highlights include a gun confiscated from a St Kitts policeman at the beginning of Anguilla’s 1967 revolution and a rare St Kitts, Nevis, and Anguilla flag which flew over Anguilla for only a matter of hours.
Address: Across from East End Pond
Old Salt Factory and Pumphouse
Visitors must make advance appointments to secure a spot on one of the Thursday morning tours of Anguilla’s largest surviving salt factory, but those interested in the island’s history will enjoy this closer look at what was once Anguilla’s main industry. This guided tour takes visitors past the salt pond which supplied the salt mined at the Sandy Ground factory and pump house.
Address: Sandy Ground
This stately plantation house was one of many in Anguilla when it was first constructed in 1787. Today, Wallblake House is the only plantation house left standing on the island and one of the few Caribbean estates whose full complex of buildings is still intact, including the slave quarters, kitchen, and stable. Guided tours of this fully restored historic home in The Valley are conducted every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning.
Address: Wallblake House, P. O. Box 1127, The Valley, Anguilla
No Anguilla visit would be complete without a once in a lifetime encounter with some of the world’s friendliest and most intelligent marine life. Visitors to Dolphin Discovery can get up close and personal with the animals, hugging, kissing, and swimming with the dolphins. Hold onto their fin while being pulled backwards or ride a boogie board as they tow you across the water.
Address: P. O. Box 1472, The Valley, Meads Bay, Anguilla