6 Gems of Anegada You Can’t Miss
- August 18th, 2015
- in Lifestyle
Image by Alberto Lazo
The beautiful British Virgin Islands are a volcanic island chain, but Anegada sets itself apart as it is the only island in the chain made of coral and limestone. A stunning preservation of natural island beauty, this place, named “drowned land” by the Spanish, offers visitors an unbelievable experience in just 15 square miles. The highest point of Anegada is just 28 feet high, but these six can’t-miss spots will have you dreaming of its powder-white sands forever.
Anegada’s flat landscape is surrounded by the 39 mile-long Horseshoe Reef, the third largest continuous reef in the Eastern Caribbean. The reef forms and protects some of Anegada’s most stunning beaches, including Cow Wreck, Flash of Beauty, Bones Bight and Windlass Bight. Snorkelers will delight in the reef’s maze of tunnels and caves harboring a plethora of fascinating marine life. The reef has caused major shipwrecks over the years, many of which have become unique scuba diving experiences for treasure hunters and expert divers alike.
Cow Wreck Beach
Often cited as a favourite beach in all of the BVI, Cow Wreck Beach features soft white sand, calm and clear water and the gentle sound of lapping waves. A beach lover’s paradise, you won’t be bothered by many people on this secluded spot of sand. The small, family-run Cow Wreck Beach Bar makes sure you’ll never run out of tropical drinks.
Located on the East end of the island, thousands of conch shells form a “mountain,” reminding visitors that Anegada was once one of the most fertile conch grounds in the Caribbean. These conch burial grounds support the fact that the Arawak people lived on Anegada thousands of years ago. Since then, fisherman have discarded the shells here for more than 200 years, further contributing to the mountainous shell formation.
Pirates and Shipwrecks
Pirates of the Caribbean flocked to Anegada for many years; if an invading buccaneer ship didn’t know the reef and surrounding waters, they would run into it and their ship would sink. In fact, there are more than 150 sunken ships off of Anegada’s coastline, some of the known ones dating back to 1654. With the waters teeming fish, conch and lobster, a beached pirate could survive comfortably in safety in the beauty of this “sunken” island.
Known as some of the Caribbean’s best, Anegada lobster is sweet and tender, and people travel from miles to taste it. The Caribbean people love a reason to celebrate, and the annual Lobster Festival takes place in Anegada every November. No one knows why there is such a large lobster population here, and that uniqueness may add to their fantastic flavor. Simply grilled or fried into a fritter, Anegada lobster is not to be missed.
Pools and Ponds
Even with a 28-foot elevation, Anegada is home to some extraordinary natural features, including a number of salt ponds and even natural bubbling springs. The saltwater ponds, mangrove swaps and other natural sanctuaries are home to many exotic birds, including a growing flock of pink flamingoes. A rare species of iguana indigenous to Anegada also makes for interesting wildlife watching. An eco-tourist’s paradise, Anegada’s natural beauty will continue to impress.