Sandy Island Snorkeling
The 8th most popular snorkel dive spot in Anguilla.
Tuesday 9 April 2019 06:57 GMT
Off the west coast of Anguilla and southeast of Prickly Pear Cays, the snorkeling at Sandy Island is renowned for clear waters. This very small desert island is barely above sea level and changes dramatically with the shifting sands from each storm. Matter of fact, the island was completely wiped clear by Hurricane Irma in September 2017.
After the last hurricane, the small restaurant was rebuilt and is well known for its fresh grilled fish and rum punches. There are numerous picnic tables and some beach chairs among the a few newly replanted palms.
The best Sandy Island snorkeling is found off the northwest side. There is new coral growth and plentiful marine life including blue tangs, grunts, sergeant majors and the occasional sea turtle. It is recommended to come out to Sandy Island on sunny, windless days at high tide with calm surf for good water clarity. The visibility typically ranges from 10-20 feet.
To reach the snorkeling on Anguilla, you will need to fly into St Maarten and then take a small connecting plane to Anguilla via Anguilla Air Services. If small plane bother you, there is a regular ferry between the islands from Marigot ferry port on St Maarten to Blowing Point Ferry Terminal on Anguilla. In either case, a passport is required on arrival into the island even by ferry, and there is a $20 USD departure tax per person.
The only way to reach Sandy Island is via the Happiness Sea Shuttle from pier/wharf at Sandy Ground Beach (2 mile, 10 minute ride). The shuttle boat charges $10USD (cash) per person roundtrip (reservations recommended), and starts running at 11am daily on the hour (November thru August). If you have extra time, try snorkeling in the sea grass about 150 feet off the eastern end of Sandy Ground Beach where there are typically dozens of hawksbill sea turtles feeding.
Overall, Sandy Island is the 8th most popular snorkel dive spot of all 10 snorkeling dives in Anguilla.