• Twitter
  • Facebook
  • YouTube
  • Pinterest
  • RSS

Please Support Our Sponsors

long bay villas santosha tranquility beach anguilla logo arawak beach club anguilla real estate beach escape villa anguilla

Prickly Pear Bar & Restaurant...
A Long-Standing Lunch Favorite
on a Peerless Slice of Unspoiled Paradise


Update 2021: Chocolat is no longer sailing to Prickly Pear. To get to Prickly Pear, book a private tour with one of Anguilla's charter companies.

By: Louise Fayet

Six miles north of Anguilla lies an unspoiled piece of paradise, Prickly Pear. One of Anguilla's offshore cays, Prickly Pear offers the best of both worlds...

  • Untouched, natural beauty... think: sparkling, white sand beaches with no development, active coral reefs ripe for snorkeling, iguanas and friendly bananaquits
  • and
  • A terrific restaurant and bar... think: lazing away in the shade of a beach umbrella, sipping daiquiris and fueling up on a divine Caribbean lunch.

The Sheer Seas of Prickly Pear, Anguilla the waters of prickly pear anguilla

Prickly Pear is a gem!

How to Get to Prickly Pear

Most of Anguilla's charter boats (ex., Sea Pro, Calypso, Gotcha, etc.) can take you to Prickly Pear on a private trips. There are also a few boats who offer weekly scheduled trips (ex., Tradition, Chocolat, Sea Pro).

On our latest trip to Prickly Pear, we hopped aboard the lovely catamaran, Chocolat with the warm-spirited Captain Rollins!

Your Captain, Captain Rollins
captain rollins of chocolat

boarding dingy to chocolat catamaran

The trip begins at the main wharf in Sandy Ground.

You meet Captains Rollins at 9am at the wharf just in front of Johnno's.

Bright and early, we were ready for a full day at sea with Captain Rollins!

Before boarding the 35' catamaran?

It's a quick jaunt across the clear waters of Road Bay aboard a dingy.

Once on board?

Captains Rollins and his first made, Deon layout the rules of the sea and explain the course of the day.

And then?

It's on to Prickly Pear!

Chocolat in Sandy Ground
chocolat catamaran in sandy ground

Deon hoists the main sail...

deon hoisting the main sail

Everyone gets comfy...

lazing on the bed hammock of chocolat

And we all settle in for a leisurely sail to Prickly Pear.

Nori & Kirmani on Chocolat
nori and kirmani on chocolat

Chocolat holds a maximum of 14 people, so the boat is never over-crowded. There is one cabin below, two pontoons and two "hammocks" (over the sea!) for lounging. With plenty of space, you never feel overcrowded.

Captain Rollins keeps his eye on the horizon, while Deon makes sure you are hydrated with your choice of water, soft drinks, beer and/or rum punch!

Sail On!
sailing on chocolat in anguilla

About a half hour sail, your body is gently rocked by the waves. Sandy Ground drifts out of sight as the picturesque Sandy Island comes into the foreground and then it, too, disappears. Soon, it's just you, the sound of the sea and the horizon.

An Afternoon at Prickly Pear

And then, you begin the approach to Prickly Pear.

turquoise waters of prickly pear

Prickly Pear is actually made up of two main cays (the eastern and western cay).

The western cay is a long and narrow stretch of rock that is completely uninhabited. Different sea birds call this island home.

Eastern cay has similar terrain on the south side of the island, but on the north side, a long stretch of pearly white sand awaits you!

This is the famous Prickly Pear beach.

... and our destination for the day.

We took a short sail around the eastern cay, admiring its natural beauty and birds. We then made our way through the channel that separates the two cays, and anchored in the middle of the bay.

As you approach the calm bay, the waters turn from dark blue to a light turquoise.

The sight takes your breath away. Waves crash on shallow reef in the distance. Those very reefs that surround Prickly Pear create a calm bay inside.

Approaching Prickly Pear
approaching prickly pear

"Jump in and swim to shore, or jump into the dingy and we'll bring you in," Captain Rollins said once we were anchored.

The water's clarity was calling me, so my friend, Kirmani and I grabbed a mask and took a nice, slow snorkel to shore.

Anchored at Prickly Pear
anchored at prickly pear

Then? It was to Prickly Pear Bar & Restaurant, the original Prickly Pear beach bar that has been providing guests with a true "Caribbean getaway for the day" for years.

Prickly Pear Bar & Restaurant in the Distance
prickly pear restaurant in the distance on shore

The Story Behind Prickly Pear

Prickly Pear Restaurant & Bar has been around since the 1980's.

Prickly Pear Beach "Back in the Day"
the beach at prickly pear back in the day

Back then, it was known more commonly as Agatha's, named after the owner, Agatha Ruan. An open-air restaurant on the serene sands of Prickly Pear, folks came just to sample her terrific cooking.

prickly pear restaurant back in the day

After rebuilding from the destruction caused by Hurricane Luis in 1995...

rebuilding prickly pear after hurricane luis

... the restaurant and the destination has grown considerably, now attracting many folks from surrounding islands.

Today, Agatha still does the cooking (her sautéed potatoes are famous!). Though she doesn't spend much time in the restaurant today, her son Allan is a familiar face. Known as the mayor or Prickly Pear, he operates the restaurant, bar, the beach and can answer any question you have about the island.

Allan Ruan with His Wife, Sue and Daughter, Jasmine
allan ruan of prickly pear

A family owned and operated affair, it's run with passion and love!

The Beach & The Bananaquits

Upon stepping foot on Prickly Pear's powdery sands, we were greeted by Allan himself with a warm smile.

Sands and Seas of Prickly Pear sands and seas of prickly pear

Allan set up three beach chairs and an umbrella (it's $3 USD/chair or $10 USD for 2 chairs and 1 umbrella) and we settled in for an afternoon in the sun.

Allan also gave us a cup a sugar, to feed the tiny birds...

Prickly Pear's Friendly Bananaquits
prickly pears friendly bananaquits

Pour a touch of sugar on your hand and bananaquits will land right on your finger tips, gently eating the sweet sugar.

holding a bananaquit on prickly pear

Birdies fed, what next?

Walk the stretch of beach from tip to tip... explore the western corner (bring walking shoes) in search of iguanas... snorkel the clear waters, rich with fish... or simply hang on the beach with Allan at the Tiki Hut Bar.

The Tiki Hut Bar is set on the sands of the beach, about 50 yards from the water.

The Tiki Hut Bar
the tiki hut bar

Allan serves up plenty of cool cocktails and drinks. Beer, wine, water, sodas, even daiquiris. Allan brings in a battery back up (there is no electricity on Prickly Pear) to blend fruity beverages. They are affordable, too! It's only $8 for a colada, daiquiri or margarita.

Appetites whetted, it's then time for the best off-island Anguillian lunch...

A Delightful Caribbean Lunch at Prickly Pear Restaurant

Set just adjacent to the bar, the restaurant offers pretty views of the beach and sea beyond.

Welcome to Prickly Pear Restaurant
welcome to prickly pear restaurant

Open-air, it's breezy and comfortable.

View From Prickly Pear Restaurant view from prickly pear restaurant

Lunch is prepared and cooked on the cay, with Allan and his staff bringing everything in from the "mainland" daily.

What's for lunch? Your choice of...


BBQ Chicken Meal at Prickly Pear
chicken from prickly pear

Ribs (or a combo of both chicken and ribs)...

BBQ Ribs Meal at Prickly Pear
ribs from prickly pear

Mahi Mahi...

Mahi Mahi Meal at Prickly Pear
mahi mahi meal at prickly pear

Ultra-fresh and moist, the Mahi Mahi just melts in your mouth.

Fresh lobster caught on Prickly Pear is also available (advanced notice is requested).

A hearty portion, all meals come with rice and peas with a touch of curry in them, coleslaw, mixed salad and Agatha's famous sautéed potatoes with spices and onions.

Caribbean cooking at its very best!

And then? It's back to the beach for the "beach-sleep-repeat" routine at quiet and tranquil Prickly Pear :-)

With Allan & Captain Rollins After a Terrific Meal at Prickly Pear!
prickly pear with allan and captain rollins

Our "Sail to Prickly Pear" Snapchat Story

To see the full adventure, check out our Snapchat Story via the video below...

To see more of our Snapchat adventures, follow us on Snapchat here!