Divers will find pristine reefs, shipwrecks and an abundance of colourful marine life. There are several dive operators offering full equipment rental, guides and certified instruction courses. While keen fishermen can go for Marlin, Tuna, Wahoo and Swordfish.
Salt extraction was once a major industry on the island. You can tour the Old Salt Factory and Pump house at Sandy Ground.
The islands history is worth exploring if you can tear yourself away from the beaches. Amerindian artifacts such as shell axes and drinking vessels date back more than 3000 years. Evidence of their worship or reliugion can be found in two breathtaking cave sites at the eastern end of the island. The Fountain, at Shoal Bay, is the Eastern Caribbean's most intact ceremonial site from this period and features a stalagmite carved in the likeness of Jocahu, the Supreme God. The Anguilla National Trust Museum in the Valley has archeological displays and the Heritage Museum in East End Village has a collection of historical documents and photographs.
Heading into the 1800's, the British were administering a weak plantation economy with the soil too thin and rainfall unreliable. Slaves gradually transformed into small landowners. In the 1830's the Brits encouraged the union of St. Kitts, Nevis and Anguilla under protest by most freeholders - who rightly anticipated that the St. Kitts assembly would neglect them. When the West Indies Federation collapsed in 1962 islanders had had enough and revolted. May 30, 1967 is celebrated as Independence Day, when the Royal St. Kitts police force was kicked off the island. In 1980 Anguilla finally became a separate but dependent territory with a measure of autonomy.
The most vivid cultural display, as if the locals need a cause to make merry, is the August Festival - beginning with J'Ouvert Mornin,' a daybreak jam through the streets to celebrate emancipation. Nearly a fortnight of costumes, dancing, fairs, and parades color the evenings. There are boat races on almost every day featuring traditional open, handmade Anguillian sailboats. Add to the mix beach picnics, fireworks and children's games - and you'll understand why Carnival is the one time in Anguilla when almost no work gets done!