You don’t have to go full out with a scuba tank to enjoy the undersea life, a snorkel and a pair of flippers will do the trick just fine. Anguilla is fringed with those colorful coral reefs and several islets and cays and little bays to find the perfect spot to splash out into the water and explore. Some of the best locations for snorkelling are Crocus Bay, Shoal Bay East, Junk’s Hole and Sandy Island. Go out on your own or with a chartered tour, the freedom is yours.
Deep Sea Fishing
The oceans are abundant with exotic fish and Anguilla is a haven for deep sea sport fishing. It’s an integral part of the economy as well, with fisherman working these waters for centuries to provide food for the community. The deep waters offshore are filled with fish like Swordfish, Wahoo, Marlin, Yellow and Blackfin Tuna, and Mahi Mahi. An experienced captain will take you out on a chartered boat to the very best spots to sit in the chair with the rod rig and try your hand at hauling in a big catch. The earlier you go the better, when fish are closer to the surface, sinking deeper at the hottest times of day.
Like fishing, sailing is a defining characteristic of Anguilla. Being an island in the Caribbean, this should come as no surprise, but especially on Anguilla, sailing is extremely popular. It’s the island’s national sport and there are several annual regattas where sailors race for fortune and glory. You can rent your own sailboat if you know what you’re doing or you can charter a boat to take you on an unforgettable tour of the surrounding waters. Boats will take you to the perfect hidden coves for swimming and snorkeling, on sunset boat tours with champagne, and to adjacent desert islands for a castaway experience.
If you’ve only ever been snorkelling, scuba diving is a whole nother animal as you become part of the underwater realm, not just a surface observer. If you’ve never been, there are several PADI-certified operations that will teach you how to dive, then you’ve got full access to the amazing bounty and abundance of dive sites in Anguilla. There are seven protected marine parks, each offering a slightly different approach to undersea life – including a robust reef system full of vividly colored and exotic fish and wildlife, and nine shipwrecks. Whatever your skill level there is something incredible to experience, catching sight of sharks, turtles, eels, manta rays, lobsters, and much much more.
Thanks to the tradewinds that grace Anguilla’s waters with cooling breezes, windsurfing is popular here. It’s a thrilling experience to glide across the crystal azure waters, just catching the wind and directing your board where you want to go. Windsurfing is considered a bit of a retro sport these days thanks to kitesurfing, which is a more extreme version based on the same principles. Both are available with rentals at many spots to get out there on the water and have some fun. If you’ve never been, lessons are available to get you up and on your feet.
Another excellent way to explore the seas and get involved in Anguilla water sports is paddleboarding. You get out and stand on a longboard and paddle your way over the surface. The rocker is solid so it’s quite easy but it does take a sense of balance. And once you get the hang of it, paddleboarding becomes a great core and cardio workout. Not to mention it feels like you’re walking on water, which is a phenomenal experience.