Budget Guide to Anguilla

Anguilla is one of the more obscure Caribbean islands. It’s a British Overseas Territory around 200 miles east of San Juan in Puerto Rico comprising one large island and several smaller islands and cays.

The mainland is approximately 16 miles long and three miles wide at its widest point with only 15,000 residents, so it’s by no means a large island. Weighing everything up, it’s not surprising that many tourists opt to visit other Caribbean Islands instead.

Plus, you might assume that Anguilla is one of the more expensive islands. Is it possible to visit Anguilla on a budget? If you are travelling from the US and can snag a cheap flight deal to Sint Maarten’s Princess Juliana International Airport, yes!

Beautiful Caribbean beach with seaside cafe framed with palms

You can absolutely visit Anguilla on a budget. Admittedly, there are many five-star resorts, private beach clubs, catamaran cruises, and fine-dining restaurants on the island for those seeking a luxury beach escape.

But there is mid-range accommodation and cheap hotels in Anguilla. All of the activities are either cheap or free and there are plenty of ways to eat in Anguilla on a budget too.

This budget guide to Anguilla will show you exactly how to enjoy a cheap beach vacation in one of the most beautiful, tropical, and quieter islands in the Caribbean!

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The Best Time to Visit Anguilla

Anguilla has a tropical and humid climate, though it’s drier than most other Caribbean islands. The hottest month is August with an average high of 31°C (88°F) and the coldest month is February with an average low of 24°C (75°F). It’s always windy no matter what time of the year you visit.

The rainy season lasts from April to December, with October being the wettest month. The remaining months experience the least rainfall.

The best time to visit Anguilla if you’re on a budget is from May to August, avoiding the dry, winter peak season.

If you visit in these months, you have a better chance of getting a good package deal while still avoiding the worst of hurricane season from June to November.

Plus, if you visit in July and August, you might get to see Anguilla Summer Festival. This is a Caribbean carnival-style event where British Caribbean islands commemorate their emancipation from slavery.

Shaol Bay West beach during a rainy afternoon at Anguilla

How to Get Around Anguilla on a Budget

Anguilla has one airport, the Anguilla-Clayton J. Lloyd International Airport. You may find it cheaper to travel to the Princess Juliana International Airport on the island of Sint Maarten (the Dutch part) and then catch a local flight or a ferry to Anguilla.

Public ferries between Anguilla and Saint Martin (the french part of the island) start from as little as $20 East Caribbean Dollars (EC$). 

Taxis on the island aren’t metered, there are set rates so you know exactly how much you will need to pay for the journey before departing. They can be expensive as they charge more at certain times of day and for more passengers.

Rates start at $20 and you will often see a list of rates for typical journeys posted on the notice boards at the airport and ferry terminals.

Only use taxis to transport you to and from your accommodation with your luggage and you shouldn’t blow your budget.

One of the best ways to get around Anguilla on a budget is to hire bikes, or you could spring to cars and mopeds if you can afford them.

Anguilla is not a very big island so it won’t take you long to get from A to B no matter where you want to go.

You’ll find both car rentals and scooter rentals at the Blowing Point ferry terminal. Ask your accommodation about bike rentals as many offer them.

Budget Things To Do in Anguilla

Take a Ferry Ride to Sandy Island

Sandy Island is a tiny cay off the north coast of Anguilla near Sandy Ground. It’s literally just an absolutely stunning island with soft white sand, palm trees, driftwood, and a tiny casual restaurant serving snacks and rum cocktails.

But is a fantastic budget activity because you only need to pay for the boat ride and perhaps a cocktail or two while you’re there. 

You’ll feel like a character in Treasure Island! Except much more relaxing because pirates are not hunting you down. 

Plus, the boat ride is likely much cheaper than you might think. They depart from Sandy Ground Wharf every hour starting from 11 am and it’s only $40 for a round trip or it’s free if you book a table at the restaurant. 

One of the many St Martin towns seen from the ferry boat back from Anguilla

Swim in Shoal Bay

One of the best things about booking a budget beach vacation to a Caribbean Island is that all the best activities are free.

Yes, you need to pay for transport and accommodation but all your other expenses can be as minimal as you like.

Shoal Bay is without a doubt the most popular beach in Anguilla and you have to swim in these warm, turquoise waters at some point during your trip. Cost? Priceless!

Shoal Bay located on the Island of Anguilla.

Lounge on Meads Bay Beach

Another beach you should enjoy during your vacation is Meads Bay Beach. You will not believe how quiet and relaxing this beach is because if it were in Tenerife or Jamaica, it would be teeming with people 24/7!

It’s a huge stretch of soft yellow sand surrounded by palm trees and calm waves. It’s the ideal location to soak up some rays and lounge around.

view at beautiful rocky white sand beach and turquoise lagoon at anguilla island caribbean

Snorkel in Barnes Bay

There are lots of coral reefs around Anguilla where you can spot vibrant sea life and plants. Scuba diving can be pricey but snorkelling is a much more cost-effective alternative.

Head to Barnes Bay to see some tropical fish, eels, manta rays, and even turtles if you’re lucky.

above view at family of two snorkeling at anguilla enjoying caribbean sea active lifestyle concept

Eat at Casual Beach Shacks

Strolling around the main strips in the villages, you might think that Anguilla only offers fine dining. But that’s not true! With a little research, you can preserve your bank balance by eating at beach shacks and bakeries.

Eateries like Blanchards Restaurant and Beach Shack, Leon’s at Malliouhana, B & D’s BBQ, and Criss Conch Shack offer tasty, casual meals are more affordable prices.

There are also lots of supermarkets dotted all over the island including villages and along the main highways.

You should have no problems grabbing a quick and cheap snack and if you’re staying in a villa or apartment with a kitchen then you can easily find food to cook meals and save money.

Shop at Devonish Art Gallery and Irie Life

Lots of artists, crafters, and artisans live in Anguilla. One of the best things to do is shop around for a piece of local art to take home with you as a souvenir. But as you can imagine, original art isn’t cheap!

But some of the art galleries, like the Devonish Art Gallery, sell prints by local artists for a fraction of the cost of the real deal.

Cheddies Carving Studio also sells a range of wooden art that is small and therefore more affordable. Irie Life is another great gift shop that sells cheap local souvenirs.

Hike to Windward Point Lighthouse

Lazing on Anguilla’s beaches isn’t the only free activity on Anguilla. Hiking costs nothing, too! Head to the Windward Point Lighthouse on the northern tip of Anguilla and witness panoramic views over to Scrub Island.

stone path at rocky shore at tropical beautiful island with turquoise water

Places to Visit in Anguilla On a Budget

Anguilla Arch

Anguilla’s coastlines are absolutely stunning. Not just because of the beaches, but because of the amazing rocky cliff edges and rock formations.

The Anguilla arch is a window in one of the cliffs so you can see the turquoise sea water on the other side. 

It’s a bumpy road down to the arch but so worth it. Visit at sunset for one of the best vistas you will ever see in your entire life!

Heritage Collection Museum

Many tourists to Caribbean islands like Anguilla almost never leave their resorts. But for just a $10 entry fee, you can visit Anguilla’s only museum and learn tons about the history of the island from the Amerindian people to the Colonial settlers.

Local historian and islander Colville Petty amassed an impressive collection of artifacts that he has painstakingly arranged into this informative exhibition.

It’s not a huge museum, and you’d be forgiven for walking right passed it as it looks like just another charming home, but well worth the visit.

Wallblake Heritage Plantation House

Another historical building you should visit in Anguilla is the Wallblake House. Built during the 1780s, it is the oldest and only surviving plantation estate on Anguilla.

It was refurbished in 2004 and is now used as a rectory. You can arrange a tour of the place in advance by email for a small, nominal fee.

Fountain Cavern National Park

Fountain Cavern National Park is one of the only protected areas in Anguilla and it’s located just south of Shoal Bay along the coast. The Amerindian people discovered these underground caverns approximately 1,500 years ago.

Most of the caverns are inaccessible as they are dangerous to enter without a guide, but there are open (and free) exhibitions if you’re interested in history and geology.

Caribbean jungle with lush green exotic plants beautiful tall trees at morne diablotin national park

Bethel Methodist Church

There are tons of churches all over Anguilla of different denominations like Methodist, Catholic, and Anglican (since Anguilla is a British Overseas Territory).

Bethel Methodist Church is perhaps one of the most beautiful and historic. This 140-year-old church was built with layered stone and was the local church of the sugar cane farmers who worked at the bottom of the hill in Sandy Ground.

Other churches worth visiting are St Gerard Roman Catholic Church and St. Mary’s Anglican Church.

Since they’re all houses of worship to different Christian faiths, you can compare the similarities and differences between these beautiful churches. You can offer a donation but otherwise, these churches are completely free to visit.

Where To Stay in Anguilla On a Budget

Anguilla is split up into 14 districts. Because it’s such a small island, there aren’t any distinct neighbourhoods or towns that are better for budget travellers than others.

In fact, you’re better off staying in the busiest parts of the island where there is a larger choice of restaurants, bars, and accommodation.

If you stayed in quieter areas, you would have to pay a premium for whatever food is on offer and you’d have to pay for taxis more frequently too.

These are some of the most popular Anguilla neighbourhoods that you should stay in.

Shoal Bay Village

Shoal Bay is, by far, the most popular beach in Anguilla. There are tons of resorts, restaurants, and bars in this neighbourhood along with one or two budget hotels. You’ll find it in the North Valley electoral district. 

Meads Bay Village

A similar alternative to Shoal Bay is Meads Bay. It’s on the opposite end of the island and it also has a popular beach. There are lots of resorts and mid-range accommodation options here like Carimar Beach Club, second only to Shoal Bay’s amount of choice, plus restaurants and bars.

It’s also close to the Anguilla Arch, Sandy Ground, and Crocus Bay and closer to the ferry terminal if you want to do a day trip to Saint Martin. 

Blowing Point Village

And if you are only popping to Anguilla for a short trip from the island of Saint Martin/Sint Maarten, you should stay in Blowing Point Village near the ferry.

You won’t have to get taxis anywhere as you could rent a car or bike for one day and explore the far-flung parts of the island then explore the nearest attractions on foot to save as much money as possible. 

Top View of Paradise Beach. Beautiful tropical island with sand beach, palm trees. Aerial view of tropical beach on the island. Tropical landscape: beach with palm trees. Seascape: Ocean, sky, sea.

Cheap Tours To Do in Anguilla

Sint Maarten and Saint Martin Day Trip

Unless you have room in your budget for scuba diving or a catamaran cruise, most tours in Anguilla are pretty pricey. However, this tour of Sint Marteen and Saint Martin is affordable and gives you the perfect excuse to explore a new island.

You will get to see lots of beaches like Maho Beach, street art, and monuments, and explore the cities on the island. It only takes 20 minutes to cross the Anguilla channel so it would be a shame not to!

Maho beach, Saint Martin - Path to the Tortuga Beach Cafe near the famous Maho beach in famous touristic destination.

Anguilla Beaches Self-Guided Tour

Rent a car or scooter from the offices on Blowing Point Village and visit as many of Anguilla’s gorgeous beaches as possible.

Drive anti-clockwise around the coastline starting at Rendevous Beach and then Meads Bay Beach.

Then, check out Sandy Ground Beach, Crocus Bay Beach, Little Bay, Black Garden Bay, Shoal Bay Beach, Captain’s Bay, Savannah Bay, and finally Long Pond Bay.

On this self-guided tour, you’ll see the entire island plus experience a diverse range of beaches from secluded, undeveloped coves to soft white sandy beach clubs.

Beautiful beach on Anguilla island, Caribbean

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Author

  • Samantha King

    Sam, a seasoned traveler across four continents and 49 countries, is a leading authority in travel planning. Her website, Travelling King, offers tailored itineraries and expert guides for seamless trips. Sam's expertise in luxury travel, fast travel, and destination guides keeps her at the forefront of the travel community.

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