Caribbean Sea
Travel article
LAST UPDATED 11/07/2008
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Level of surfing


Quality of surf


Call code


Net code





61 km


Tropical Maritime



Best Months

July - October




East Carribean Dollar (XCD) East Caribbean dollars per US dollar - 2.7 (2006)

Time Zone


Special Requirements

Private Beaches


Map of Anguilla

Anguilla is a British overseas territory in the Caribbean. The territory itself consists of one main island with several smaller cays – most of them uninhabited. For the surfer, Anguilla is not currently a major destination but there is definetly the potential for waves here.

The area is known as the Lesser Antilles, surrounding islands all the product of volcanic activity, the close proximity of other islands such as the British Vurgin Islands to the west, Antigua and St Kitts to the East and South and offshore reefs does limit the swell window somewhat. There are some excellent points and reefs however that during the hurricane season will warrant further investigation.


Gustave Clarence Rodolphe Boulanger (1824-1888): The Slave Market (Oil on Canvas)

Initially settled by South American tribes from the mainland to the south, the Islands were discovered by Europeans (possibly by Columbus) sometime in the 1500’s. Like many of the islands in the area, the region has a dark past as a slaving and pirate port. England managed to hold onto many of her possessions in the Caribbean until quite late in the 19th century.

Anguilla was briefly rolled in with Saint Kitts and Nevis as an incorporated dependency. Local dis-satisfaction however led to revolts in the late 1960’s. British rule was restored by 1969 and today Anguilla exists as a separate British Overseas Territory


Sandy Ground Harbour - Quieter Day, Anguilla; 2004

The geography of the surrounding area poses a few challenges to the surfer, namely the swell window is fairly tight. North East and South West swells are likely to be your best shot at realising some quality waves, hence these corresponding areas on the main island offer the best breaks.

Hurricane season reaches it’s peak between August and October. These storms thankfully strike the island only once every few years but with a bit of luck you can have one path far enough away from the island to deposit only swell across the island as opposed to 100MPH winds, 8 feet of rain and a few boats. Non hurricane generated swells originating from the south are rarer due to the enclosed nature of the Carribean. The island is fairly exposed to the North East and the prevailing north easterly trades can produce regular although smaller surf on that coast throughout the year.

Try Sandy Ground Point to the north of the main Harbour. At the eastern extreme of the island the Carribean meets the Atlantic, Windward Point and Captains Bay can produce larger surf more regularly though watch the rips. You will need to get up pretty early though to beat the wind on the north before it blows the surf to pieces.


Bottlenose Dolphins Show - Awwww

Flying to Anguilla is expensive. American Eagle (subsidiary of American Airlines) has their own monopoly flying from the US. Plenty of boats and launches ply the waters between the other islands, this is definetly the best way to get around if you are doing some island hoping. St Martin is the closest and a lot cheaper.

Few people come to the Carribean just to go to one island. Local taxis will take you from the docks / airstrip but can be a bit pricy, best to strike a deal before you leave. Hotels should be able to arrange a car for you to travel around the island, a little expensive but hey..your in the Carribean. If it’s flat and you’re waiting for that category 4 hurricane to hit you will have a lot of fun snorkelling or just beach combing – beautiful white sand beaches circle the whole islands, fantastic points and reefs that are sadly often very silent as far as surf goes.

If it’s really flat…I mean really flat you can always check out the dolphin show in Meads bay on the north of the island, you will be able to pat a dolphin…awwww There is often a little left hander working on the beach right near it called…Dolphins.


NASA: Hurrican Wilma (Cat 5) rampaging at full throttle in the Atlantic; October 19, 2005

July to November are the wetter months though there is a good distribution of rain throughout the year. Your best chance of catching some hurricane swell is August through to October. Be careful though, chasing hurricanes can be a very dangerous past time.

The 2005 hurricane season was the most devastating on record with 15 events occurring during that year – this included hurricane Wilma which was one of the most damaging single storms on record. This  storm resulted in millions of dollars in damage across the Carribean, Mexico and southern USA. As tropical storms decend from the north east they reach the warmer waters of the Carribean and undergo a process called explosive deepening. In Wilma’s case this led to winds in excess of 185 mph (300km/h).

It triggered a storm surge of 5 metres and generated a short period storm swell of an additional 9 metres. Anguilla and the rest of the Lesser Antilles were thankfully spared widespread devastation and on the south west corner of the island when the wind finally died down, 5 metre sets peeled onto empty points and beaches for the next week.

where to stay

Jefry Lagrange Reyes: Mar Caribe (The Caribbean Sea)

The main industry feeding the local economy is luxury tourism so be careful where you pick. All of the accommodation is of a fairly high standard however. There are plenty of guest houses near the capital called The Valley all of which are family friendly. If you are on a real budget then you are probably best just coming across for a day trip as there really isn’t anything in the true backpacking range here.

what to pack

Flashdance: A pair of very simple Moroccan flip flops called "Cabjuks"; 25 May 2007

Bring windproof and waterproof clothes, warm jerseys and sturdy walking shoes for all seasons, as well as warm underwear.

As usual, bring all medical things u need with you. You won't regret a plenty of cold weather gear! Your camera and all the equipment you'd need for it, plus a good waterproof bags that will also prevent your gear from getting frozen.

Sunglasses and protective sun lotion, as well as a good repellent.

Pretty much everything can be bought and not only in big cities.

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