The island of Anegada, which means “flooded island” in Spanish, is a flat piece of coral rock with several salt ponds, 10 miles long by 2 miles wide, situated about 15 miles directly North of Virgin Gorda sound.
Historically, Anegada always had a slight aura of mystery. Partially, I suppose, due to the fact that it is set apart from the rest of the islands. Secondly, because it is a coral formation and entirely flat which is in stark contrast to the volcanic origin and hilly green profiles of the other islands in the BVI.
Thirdly, because for many years, it was “off limits” to bare-boaters and there was a certain prideful cockiness when a bare boat skipper would confess, after a beer or two, that he had actually been to Anegada. All of this was prior to GPS and to the more accurate and visible channel markers that exist today.
I remember running up to Anegada in the 70’s when you had to use an outdated British Admiralty chart and there were a few bent pieces of PVC piping to keep you on the straight and narrow.
Nevertheless, all of that has now changed, some people say for the better. Others, principally the old die-hards, long for the days when “going to Anegada” actually meant something and gave you a warm glow of accomplishment if you brought the boat back in one piece.
The Anegada Reef Hotel used to be the only game in town, and yes, while certainly a little pricey, they had the best grilled lobster in the world. Today there are many more choices, some of which you will be happy to review on our “BVI favorite restaurants and bars” page.
What to do in Anegada: if you are spending one or two nights here, make sure you sample the lobster that is now available in all kinds of posh derivatives besides grilled e.g. Newberg, Thermidor, Ceviche to name but a few. Make sure you see one of Anegada’s spectacular sunsets, preferably from the appropriately named Setting Point.
Take a taxi ride to the North Shore and hang out at Loblolly Bay to swim with the turtles. Check out the Caribbean flamingos that mostly inhabit the salt ponds. There is some unique and interesting and wildlife in Anegada and also the ubiquitous Caribbean roaming chickens and goats that always hang out.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s still worth the two to three hour trip to Anegada, it’s a different kind of island, with more of a Bahamian “out-island” air to it as opposed to being a part of the BVI.
The Settlement, as the main group of houses and seat of the government office is called, has the distinct atmosphere of a fishing village. The rest of the BVI has long lost this distinction and is unabashedly Banking, tourist and charter yacht dependent.