Ever wanted to know what it is like to be stranded on a deserted island?
You can experience this, minus the stranded part of course, at Prickly Pear Island, about 6 miles north of Anguilla.
There are a few ways of getting to this deserted piece of tropical paradise, but they all entail a boat, a captain and a little bit of adventuring spirit!
Prickly Pear is actually made up of 2 main cays, namely the Eastern and the Western cay. They get along just fine though! The western cay is a narrow, completely uninhabited (by humans anyway) island, about 0.75 miles long. It has a rugged landscape, with rocky coral reefs. It makes navigating a boat quite difficult!
East cay however, is about 1 mile long, 0.25 miles wide with a beautiful white sandy shoreline, salt ponds and lots of nature to enjoy. The southern side of the cay has the more rugged version, as it’s mostly coral reef, but definitely worth the time to explore. Fun fact, along this rocky coast line, you will be able to see plenty of nesting seabirds, like red-billed tropicbirds, brown pelicans, brown boobies, laughing gulls and more!
Back to the beachy side, there are plenty of lounge chairs with umbrellas for you to relax under, but as it can sometimes get a little windy, be sure to walk with plenty of sunscreen! Your skin will thank you for it later! Don’t forget to watch out for the “in house/ on beach” entertainment! Prickly Pear wouldn’t be complete without the friendly Sugarbirds, or officially called “Bananaquits”. These sweet little black and yellow birds go absolutely crazy for anything sweet, so pour some sugar on your hand, and these little clowns will land right on your fingers, eating the sugar with their hummingbird-like tongues!
Of course, no adventure is complete without a good cocktail and a meal, and luckily Prickly Pear has an amazing bar and restaurant right on the beach! Order before your stomach starts to growl, as it’s a “deserted island without electricity” kind of situation! The food is awesome and freshly brought in daily from the mainland, but does take a little preparation time!
While you wait for your order, make sure to take out your snorkel gear and take a peep at the underwater wonders that surround Prickly Pear beaches… You will be sure to marvel at the beautiful parrot fish, wild stingrays, lobsters, angelfish and many more fish you’ll have to see to believe!
If you’re lucky, you might see a Nurse shark resting at the sandy bottom under the ledges of the caverns. Don’t worry, they are harmless once you leave them alone! Plenty of sea turtles also lounge around the shores of the cays.
For the diving enthusiasts, there is of course plenty to see. Amidst the coral reefs, in the turquoise waters, there are several sunken ships in the area that each have their own forgotten legacy.
As you can read, Prickly Pear Island might be tiny, but it sure is mighty when it comes to experiences! There is something for everyone, so the next time you’re in the area, don’t forget to check out this hidden, unspoiled gem!
Not sure how to get to Prickly Pear island? Join our Ultimate Anguilla and Prickly Pear Catamaran tour!