Dog Island, Anguilla

Photo: Frangipani Beach Resort

Let’s be honest. How much of Anguilla have you really seen over the last few days? First, there was the 20-minute drive from the airport toward the southern tip of the island. Then you arrived at Meads Bay—one of the best beaches in the Lesser Antilles—and your small resort. That’s about it, though. Since then, you’ve been staring at the same patch of white sand and crystal-clear water all week. It’s beautiful. Stunning, in fact. But it’s hardly a grand tour. Let’s change that this morning.

Today, you’re boarding the FrangiCat, the Frangipani Beach Resort’s 36-foot catamaran. The island-hopping boat provides a great view of Anguilla from the water. It heads out toward Sandy Island and the Prickly Pear Cays, two small cays with their own beach bars. Plus it stops on completely deserted islands. It’s the latter about which you’re the most excited.

Dog Island is Anguilla’s furthest outlying cay. The 510-acre island lies eight miles northwest of the main island and less than five miles west of the twin Prickly Pear Cays. The rocky island’s coastline has sandy beaches in between low cliffs. Big ponds lie beside two of those beaches. Thorny scrub, including a lot of flat prickly pears, cover the interior. So do thousands of nesting seabirds.

It’s because of those nesting seabirds—sooty terns, magnificent frigatebirds, masked boobies, red-billed tropicbirds—that Dog Island is considered an Important Bird Area. Lizards (Anguilla Bank ameivas, Anguilla Bank anoles, Mabuya skinks) and feral goats live here, too. But the birds truly rule the island. At least the center of it. They let visitors enjoy the empty beaches—the very spots you want to claim for a few hours.

So enjoy yourself. Enjoy the sparkling sand and the calm water. Enjoy the warm sun and the soothing waves. Enjoy the complete isolation and the different view. Enjoy a part of Anguilla you’d never get to see from your resort. The Frangipani’s famous rum punch will be waiting for you back on the boat at the end of the day.

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