Anegada BVI is different from the rest of the British Virgin Islands as it is not a volcanic island. It’s just a build-up of coral that has formed over eons into an island that is continuously shifting. The highest land mass on Anegada is only 28 feet above high tide. Shallow fringing reefs surround Anegada. You do not see any sight of land until you are halfway there. This 15 square miles of island is hard to spot! Anegada will be on your BVI charter yacht itinerary after you have been to Virgin Gorda, with it being a 2-3 hour sail.
Ashore on Anegada
Anegada has some of the most pristine sandy beaches in the Caribbean that stretch for miles. During a short walk, you will find your patch of sand without anyone else in sight. The beaches are mainly on the northern and western shores; this means a taxi ride from the anchorage. If you go to any of the bars, they will arrange a shuttle or cab for you; they generally leave every 30 minutes or so. It’s worth getting an island tour on your way across the island; they will show you the Settlement, which is the capital of Anegada. The Settlement is just a couple of dozen small homes, many of which are wooden and sit atop blocks of coral.
Pirates and Golden Tables
There are salt ponds where one can often see flamingos wading around looking for lunch. One of the salt ponds is rumored to have a solid gold table buried in its mud. Table Pond is one of the three large ones on the island. The legend says that pirates had pillaged the table from the Spanish, then buried it in the soft mud of the lake. Unfortunately, because of the table’s immense weight and the clay’s quicksand-like nature, the table had sunk beyond where it can be found again
Anegada British Virgin Islands Bars and Restaurants
Over on the north shore, there are many small bars and restaurants; take your snorkel gear with you as the water is shallow, warm, and protected by the fringing reef. Loblolly Bay is the most popular spot with Cow Wreck Beach Bar and Anegada Beach Club, being firm favorites additionally. Back on the south side is a gift shop at the Anegada Reef Hotel that has many unique Caribbean items. Several restaurants will serve you bbq lobster for dinner. There is nothing like being outdoors, sitting under a palapa barefoot, running white sand between your toes, while eating a lobster feast, and washing it down with a glass of wine. The Wonky Dog has tempting original cocktails at their beach bar for you to enjoy. Restaurants on Anegada have been popping up regularly serving lobster and more. If you are on a crewed yacht charter, each yacht crew will have their favorite they recommend.
Interesting facts about Anegada BVI
Anegada has two unique items of interest. One is the native Anegada rock iguana, not found anywhere else. The Zoological Society of San Diego, for many years, had a breeding program running to stop this endangered iguana from disappearing. The DNA from all Iguana on the planet revert to this one. The other item of interest is a small, fast-growing shrubby plant locally called “pokemeboy.” It is a prickly plant and highly prized for its ability to survive as wood for construction in boatbuilding. Its uniqueness is that once again, Anegada is the only place that its found.
Conch Mountain, Anegada BVI
For the more adventurous person, there is Conch mountain and Horseshoe Reef. Conch mountain is a collection of empty conch shells over hundreds of years. I have seen charts from the late 1600s that make mention of it. Conch Mountain is on the south-eastern side of the island. The conch is deposited here by fishermen who clean the conch then toss out the shells. They always wash them in the same spot because if not, the conch is inclined to move away from the dead conch. This way, they do not disturb their favorite conch bed. Often in the early afternoon, there will be fishermen there cleaning their catch. You can usually purchase some conch meat straight from them as well as some of the cheapest lobster we have ever bought in the Caribbean!
Snorkeling Horseshoe Reef, Anegada BVI
While snorkeling around one of the dozens of coral heads in the shallow warm water, one can see a large variety of aquarium sized multi-colored fish. To dinghy to the conch pile, go slow and keep a lookout. In the crystal clear shallow water, you may see giant eagle rays and southern stingrays, turtles, barracuda, and maybe even some small sharks! Once at the mountain, the water is only a couple of feet deep. Hop out of the dinghy and take a look around, water shoes are a great idea. If you see a massive shell high up on the mountain that is calling your name, my advice is “Don’t do it” The likelihood of you falling is tremendous, and these shells are sharp! There are many small fish and small turtles around. A trip to the beach on the eastern end of the island is also possible.
Anegada, British Virgin Islands Beachcombing
The eastern windward beach has much trash washed upon it, check each bottle for a message. I have found three so far; one was from a Canadian couple on a cruise ship in the mid-Atlantic 52 years earlier. Another interesting thing we find a lot are weather sondes from weather balloons. They look like a styrofoam block about 12 inches by 6 inches by 3 inches and have a few circuit boards, a battery, and several sensors in them. Sometimes we find 2 or 3 on a single beach comb. Some beautiful small shells are also possible here. Another way to visit Conch mountain is by dinghy from the main anchorage, this is a fantastic trip but takes some planning.
For starters, It’s a long way, think like 12 to 15 miles return trip. Do not try it in a dinghy that cannot do 10 knots with everyone in it. For safety, it would be better if two dinghies are taking the trip together. It will be hot so take plenty of water, sunscreen, and hats. The trip is anywhere from 15 to 3 feet deep of water. There is always lots to see and many reefs to run into if you are not careful. Plan on a half-day excursion, by the time you have stopped along the way many times to watch the rays and turtles, then had some time at the conch pile, then returned it will have taken up at least 4 hours. A more straightforward method to see Conch Mountain is to arrange a sightseeing tour with Kelly’s Tours. You may even be lucky enough to grab your Caribbean lobster to throw on the BBQ!
Heading from Anegada BVI To Jost Van Dyke
The trip back is smooth and uneventful. You can sail back anywhere you want if you are bareboating your yacht. Just exit the marked channel then pick a spot to head. If you are on a crewed charter yacht, grab a drink and enjoy the downwind sail stretched out on the trampoline to relax. Many sail from here to Jost Van Dyke as it’s usually a dead downwind sail. This sail takes you right over the wreck of the Chikuzen, which is at about the halfway point. Its a fantastic scuba dive if the conditions permit. Some other options are Cane Garden Bay, Guana Island, Mountain Point, Marina Cay, or the Dog islands. Do troll baits, or lure’s both to and from Anegada if you enjoy fishing. Many a Mahi Mahi and mackerel have ended up on the bbq from these waters. During Whale season, keep an eye out for humpbacks that pass through here from January through to the end of April. The first sighting is often the spray of water when they come up to breathe.
How do I get to Anegada British Virgin Islands
We have Fully Crewed, Captain Only, and Bareboat Charter Yachts that can get you to this out of the way unique destination. If you would like to bareboat your catamaran, there are several of the bareboat fleet companies that have a guide taking a flotilla out to Anegada safely weekly. Check out 5 reasons to sail the British Virgin Islands.