"Where is Anguilla located?"
... This is the question I get asked the most when talking to "non-Caribbeaners" (and sometimes even frequent visitors to the Caribbean!).
The first two guesses are...
Angola? and Antigua?
There was a time when we thought Anguilla was on the West coast of Africa too! ;-)
Here is the answer to the famous "where is Anguilla?" question...
To begin, Anguilla is in the Caribbean (the best Caribbean island!).
Shoal Bay Beach Walk, Anguilla
Islands that lie on the Caribbean plate are called the "West Indies". They are divided into two regions: The Antilles and the Bahamas/Turks and Caicos Islands (which are not actually in the Caribbean sea, but the Atlantic).
There are two sets of islands that make up the "Antilles" (the larger portion of the West Indies): the "Lesser Antilles" and the "Greater Antilles". The "Greater Antilles" are formed of bigger islands like Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Cuba, and Haiti/Dominican Republic. The "Lesser Antilles" include Barbados, St. Barts, Dominica, and, yep, Anguilla! These islands are located in the Eastern part of the Caribbean sea, bordering the Atlantic ocean.
The "Lesser Antilles" breaks down into "Leeward", the northern islands (ex. BVIs), and "Windward", the southern islands (ex. St. Lucia). The name leeward refers to the winds that mainly blow in from the east, touching the "Windward Islands" first, making these islands "downwind/leeward" of them.
Our beloved 39 square mile desert island is located in the Leeward chain of islands, east of Puerto Rico. In fact, it is the most northern island in all of the Caribbean sea.
The closest island to Anguilla is Sint Maarten, four miles south. Just hop on an Anguilla ferry and you will be in "France" in twenty minutes!
Phew, that is the most detailed answer I've ever given to the question "where is Anguilla?" Normally, I just say "near St. Martin" and everyone knows what I'm talking about. :-)
To see where Anguilla is in relation to other Caribbean islands and North, Central and South America, use the Google Map below...