Often referred to as the "Mysterious Virgin", Anegada takes its name from the Spanish word meaning "drowned" or "flooded". Lying 20mi/32km northeast of Tortola, Anegada is the only British Virgin Island that is comprised of limestone and coral.
Other qualities that make for Anegada's mysteriousness are the flatness of the terrain (highest point 28ft/8m above sea level) and the several deep natural wells, or "shelf holes", that fill up with fresh water. Anegada is at the windward edge of an undersea plateau that supports the islands. The North Drop area is home to huge schools of fish such as blue marlin and blackfin tuna and is ideal for deep-sea fishing.Anegada covers 15sq.mi/39sq.km surrounded by a maze of coral reef that extends for many miles/kilometers off the shore. This reef off Anegada creates ideal opportunities for reef and bonefishing. The island is so low that many mariners cannot see Anegada until caught in the reef, a fate that has caused more than 300 ships to sink off the coast of the island. There are more wrecks off Anegada than anywhere else in the Caribbean, and they now host colorful marine life offering some of the best diving sites in the world.The landscape of Anegada features salt ponds, blooming cacti, wild orchids and century plants. Wildlife found on the island includes flamingos and other bird species, the rare rock iguana, and some 2,000 wild goats, donkeys and cattle. The BVI National Parks Trust protects almost the entire interior of the island from development.Christopher Columbus seemed to have missed Anegada upon his discovery of the other British Virgin Islands in 1493. Taíno and Carib Indians used Anegada for fishing and the collection of freshwater. Early English settlers attempted to establish cotton plantations, however the crops failed due to the arid, windswept weather and unsuitable soil conditions. Throughout the 17th C, many legendary pirates such as Billy Bones and Normand stopped on Anegada.Today, Anegada's small population of people largely make their living from lobster and conch fishing. The development of the tourist facilities, including an airport, campground, several guest cottages and a hotel, took place in the 1960s and 70s. Anegada remains an attractive destination for adventure travellers rather than those looking for a resort-type vacation.
Pat's Pottery on Anegada displays the work of local artists Pat Faulkner. Her works include hand painted piece of a wide variety of household items, most of which is kitchen wear. Pat has two outlets; her studio at Nutmeg Point and another shop at Soper's Hole on the West End.
The Settlement, British Virgin Islands
The Settlement is a quintessential West Indian village found in an almost treeless area on the southwest corner of Anegada. Roaming chickens and goats, hurricane-damaged structures and dead cars can be seen among the small grouping of houses and small businesses.
Settlement - Iguana Hatchery
The British Virgin Islands National Parks Trust manages the Iguana Hatchery, a project to protect the endangered rock iguanas from predators. Young lizards are kept in cages and wild rock iguanas are radio-tagged to track their movements around the island.
Captain Auguste George Airport
Captain Auguste George Airport lies 1mi/1.6km north of The Settlement in the center of the Anegada. There are regular flights between Anegada and Tortola.
Flash of Beauty Beach
Flash of Beauty Beach is a good snorkeling location with coral and and clear water. Just off the beach is a small restaurant.