The most northerly island in the Leeward island is called Anguilla. Anguilla is a 16-mile long a island with distinguishable clear waters and pristine white sand beaches. Anguilla’s territory includes several other smaller islands and cays namely Scrub Island, Dog Island, Seal Island, Anguillita, Sandy Island and Sombrero. The Valley is Anguilla’s capital. The island has an estimated population of 1100 inhabitants.
The islands are relatively flat and made of limestone and coral. For this reason, the island’s arid and thin soil is not terribly fertile, and not very good for mass agriculture. During British colonization, the approach to island development was similar to that of neighboring islands, in which sugar cane production was top priority. However, the British would soon would give up on Anguilla, as conditions were not favorable for development of the sugar cane or banana industries. They abandoned Anguilla seeking more prosperous ventures, leaving behind a small population of African slaves and a few white plantation owners.
Eventually, the residents would turn to the only viable form of sustenance living – fishing. Up to this day, many islands residents earn their living off fishing, boat building, and salt harvesting. Ironically, the geographical features which once were unfavorable for economic growth are today, the foundations for Anguilla’s success; year round sunshine, beaches.
African slavery, Amerindian settlements and British colonization influence Anguilla’s history. The history begins with first settlor’s the horticultural Saladoids (Arawaks) who came from the Barrancas and Saladero regions of northeastern Venezuela. Years later, Anguilla would be colonized by the English (who came from neighboring island of St Kitts). For many years Britain treated Anguilla, St. Kitts and Nevis as one however, in 1980, the British recognized Anguilla as a British dependency separate from St Kitts and Nevis. Anguilla got a degree of self-autonomy under this motion.
Anguilla is one of the few remaining British overseas territories Its’ existing legal and political framework is based on that of the British system. The governor represents the crown, presides over the executive council the governor of Anguilla and is responsible for external affairs, internal security, and defense of Anguilla and its territory.
One advantage of being a British Overseas Territory is that the island has benefitted from inheriting a sound reputation, credibility, political and economic stability and security. These and other factors continue to contribute to Anguilla’s ongoing development in its financial services sector and tourism sectors.
Tourism and financial services are the islands primary economic earners. Tourism in Anguilla is geared towards an upscale clientele, featuring five star accommodation and facilities, private resorts and villa. The current objective of Anguilla’s administration is to develop Anguilla as a high-end vacation destination. The islands, excluding its territorial cays, can boast of 33powder white beaches stretching the entire coast if the main island. The island ensure there is a diverse array of activities to keep visitors busy, choosing from hiking, diving, cycling, bird watching, sailing, horseback riding, bird watching and fishing, spa activities, and so much more. As small as the island is, Anguilla has over 70 restaurants to enhance the dining experience.
Anguilla is an ideal tourist destination allowing visitors to truly escape the hustle and bustle of city life, in a low key and anonymous way. Like all the other islands in the Caribbean, Anguillan lifestyle is casual and laid back. Socializing, food, drink and music making up a greater part of the Anguilla experience.