SENIORS TRAVEL TO THE BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS



Seniors Discover And Enjoy “Drowned Land”

Anegada is the northernmost of the British Virgin Islands, a group of islands which form part of the archipelago of the Virgin Islands. Named Anegada or the “Drowned Land” by the Spanish, senior travelers learn it is the only coral island in the Virgin Islands’ volcanic chain.

The primary business on Anegada is tourism. Not large, Anegada Island is only 10 miles long and 2 1/2 miles wide with extensive salt ponds. Distinct from all other islands in the archipelago, which are mainly volcanic and very hilly in origin, Anegada is all but flat.

Sparsely Populated

Anegada is the second largest of the British Virgin Islands, but it is also the most sparsely populated of the main islands (population roughly 200). Most of the population on Anegada live in the main town, The Settlement.

Commercial fishing is also a substantial business on Anegada, with local fishermen providing the majority of the fresh fish and lobster catch for the rest of the British Virgin Islands.

Birders will not want to miss the Anegada Flamingos at the salt pond, which, after a couple of failed attempts, were successfully reintroduced to their natural habitat in 1992. In the 1830s, thousands of Caribbean Flamingos lived in these ponds, but they were hunted for food and feathers throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries and disappeared by 1950.

Other rare or endangered animals include the Anegada rock iguana and several species of turtles. The island is the protected home of several varieties of heron, ospreys, and terns. The animal population runs close to 2,000 wild goats, donkeys, and cattle.

Seniors Find That Anegada Is “A World Apart”

Striking coral reefs surround the island, including the Eastern Caribbean’s third largest continuous reef, Horseshoe Reef. Secluded sandy beaches are protected by the sheltering reef.

A popular attraction is Cow Wreck Beach where senior visitors will find  powdery white soft sand, turquoise blue water and the beach uncrowded.

Loblolly was one of many beaches in the British Virgin Islands recently voted ‘world-class’ by Caribbean Travel and Life Magazine. The Bay is one of the most visited spots on Anegada because of its great snorkeling and diving just off-shore.

The mystique of Anegada is legendary and “Anegada Reef” surrounding this tiny island oasis has been the demise of over 300 unsuspecting ship captains and pleasure boats sailing the British Virgin Islands. Another 500 wrecks lie off notorious “Horseshoe Reef.” No wonder Lonely Planet calls it a “killer island.”

But as treacherous as the reef has been, it is also one of the world’s most prolific ecosystems. Teaming with coral and abundant fish, the reef is in pristine condition and is still virtually untouched by man, save local fishermen and a few divers.

Anegada is the ultimate destination for many events in the British Virgin Islands. Kiteboarding, sailing, windsurfing and fishing. Slowly, ever so slowly, the modern world is coming to Anegada and that is undoubtedly why visitors label it “a splendid paradise.”  jeb

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