Anegada is a unique and tranquil paradise in the British Virgin Islands, named from the Spanish for "Drowned Land". An atoll formed of limestone and coral surrounded by Horseshoe Reef, the landscape differs vastly from the steep and mountainous volcanic rock that defines the rest of the Virgin Islands.
There are no road signs or stoplights on Anegada. With a population of 200 it is so quiet that at times it feels deserted. Cattle, donkeys and goats roam freely. If you look hard enough, there are locals hidden among various beach and resort bars just waiting to pour you a funky rum drink or take a shot of fireball with you.
Getting there: Spanish Town Virgin, Gorda --> Setting Point, Anegada - the passenger ferry runs on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday and is $55 round trip - cash only - and takes about an hour. (The ferry originates in Tortola.)
Getting Around: A rental car will give you freedom to explore - you can expect to pay about $60/day. Taxis and scooter rentals will also be available at the dock if you arrive on a scheduled ferry.
A day on the Island: 11 miles long and 3 miles wide, it's easy to see the entire island in one full day. After getting situated with our jeep we drove through The Settlement before spending the morning on the secluded shores at the far eastern point of Loblolly Bay. It was windy and the reefs are super shallow, so snorkeling wasn't ideal but we made the best of it. We took a short nap and wandered off the beach into Daddy's Love Shack where the solo bartender/caretaker made us (his only customers) some refreshing Cucumber Crushes blended with coconut rum. He was also thoughtful enough to call in our Lobsters for lunch at Big Bamboo - a restaurant and beach bar further down Loblolly. They pluck your catch fresh from the traps set in the bay, and those spiny crustaceans head straight for the grill. Served hot and dressed simply in butter and lemon with potatoes and carrots, Caribbean lobster is rich and sweet, an island delicacy not to be missed!! After a few Caribs in the sun we headed west to check out the vast pink-toned salt flats where a flock of flamingos dot the horizon. Continuing to cruise along the dirt road a single sign on the right leads us to the Anegada Beach Club for poolside painkillers. Next, we retreat to the pearly white sands of Cow Wreck Bay and can't help but jump in for one last swim. Back at the main dock, we leave the jeep and make our way on foot to the Anegada Reef Hotel. At the outdoor beach bar a crowd of locals celebrates a birthday. They welcome us to the point where we feel like one of them, even inviting us behind the bar where Leah plays bartender and pours all 20 of us a round of shots. Spending the last of our time with this lively Caribbean crew makes our day trip to Anegada feel complete.
Next time, I'm staying longer.