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Trip Report Anguilla is like a DREAM!

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A little overdue, but our vacation to Anguilla in May was spectacular! I’ve pulled together a few bullet points, but honestly, if you’re thinking about going - JUST GO!

- We flew directly to/from Anguilla via Puerto Rico and while I can’t compare it to ferrying over from St. Martin, we found this option super easy and convenient. It’s what I would do again.

- We stayed at the Carimar Beach Club. It was almost perfect! It’s exceptionally clean, the staff were very kind, the proximity to the beach and the beach itself were ideal. The only downsides: 1) no a/c in the entire unit, only in the bedrooms and only when you are in them (the door automatically locks behind you and it will only run if the door is closed). 2) no pool. Not a big deal for us, the beach is MORE than enough, but something to note. Otherwise this place is so peaceful, calm, and quiet. While there isn’t a restaurant onsite, the Blanchard’s Beach Shack is awesome and there are plenty of other nearby restaurants to easily walk to as well.

- We enjoyed everywhere we ate! Blanchards - both the Beach Shack and their restaurant - were excellent. The Beach Shack was so reasonably priced and everything we tried (which was a lot over the course of the week) was outstanding. We also really like Jacala (and the staff were wonderful) and The Straw Hat. Plenty of fun beach bars, too - Elvis’, the SunShine Shack, and the Bamboo Beer Box were awesome. The owners at almost all of these places introduced themselves and greeted us! Definitely kind and welcoming customer service. Smokey's at the Cove was our least favorite - the food and staff were not memorable.

- We didn’t snorkel much, but we didn’t see much where we did. The water is so perfect and crystal clear though!

- There were mosquitos at night, but bug spray (that I brought and the Carimar provided) helped. Nothing over what would be expected on a tropical island.

- We did a day trip to St. Martin and that was easy enough. Customs went quick on both islands and it was a fun experience, worth the 1/2 of a day.

- Best Buy was the all-purpose grocery store and we found everything we needed there. Yes, prices are a little high, but it’s to be expected.

- Every person we encountered was so genuinely kind! They are 1/2 the reason I would want to go back; I felt so comfortable and welcomed. (the other 1/2 is the beach/water!)

- We had a little rain, but it didn't hinder our day too much - we chose to just read on our patio during that time instead of the beach.

- We rented a Jeep through the Carimar for the week. It was ready upon our arrival (we took a taxi from the airport since we arrived at night we figured it’d be easier) and then just left it at the airport when we left. Very simple and convenient! I wouldn’t say a vehicle is necessary because there is enough to walk to, but we enjoyed going for a drive every day and seeing different parts of the island and trying different restaurants.

- I hear Anguilla being compared to Turks and Caicos often and for me, Anguilla wins HANDS DOWN! Grace Bay on Providenciales is unbelievable, but the less intimate feel of the resorts there and the indifferent staff and locals we encountered are the difference. Anguilla’s beaches are GORGEOUS and the people are so kind. Plus, it still has a Caribbean feel, less resort-y and more authentic.

Any couple looking for a relaxing and quiet vacation, I’d recommend: Staying at the Carimar, walking down Meads Bay and grabbing lunch at the Blanchard’s Beach Shack, keep walking for afternoon drinks at the BeerBox, and ending with a nice dinner at Jacala. When we go back with our kids I plan to consider Frangipani because of the pool, but would consider the Carimar again despite no pool because of the nice two bedroom/huge condo option.

Thanks to all of those who helped me plan! Feel free to ask any questions; I may be able to help!

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