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...
Prickly Pear, Anguilla Offshore Cay
Prickly Pear is a gem!
Most of Anguilla's charter boats (ex., 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).
On our latest trip to Prickly Pear, we hopped aboard with, Tradition!
Sandy Ground Meeting Spot
The trip begins at the main wharf in Sandy Ground. You meet the Tradition team at 9am at the wharf just in front of Johnno's. Bright and early, we were ready for a full day at sea with Tradition!
Heading Out to Tradition
Before boarding the 50' Carriacou sloop? It's a quick jaunt across the clear waters of Road Bay aboard a dingy.
Once on board Tradition? The team lays out the rules of the sea and explains the course of the day.
And then? It's on to Prickly Pear!
Deb of Tradition & Louise on Tradition
Tradition's Captain Thomas keeps his eye on the horizon, while the rest of the Tradition crew makes sure you are hydrated with your choice of water, soft drinks, beer, wine, spirits and/or rum punch!
On Our Way to Prickly Pear Cay
About a sixty minute 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.
And then, you begin the approach to Prickly Pear.
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.
The 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.
Prickly Pear Beach
... and our destination for the day.
We took a short sail past the eastern cay, admiring its natural beauty and birds. Then, we made our way through the channel that separates the two cays and anchored in the middle of the bay.
Anchoring at Prickly Pear
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.
"Jump in and swim to shore, or jump into the dingy and we'll bring you in," Captain Thomas said once we were anchored.
Heading to Shore
The water's clarity was calling me, so Nori and I grabbed a mask and took a nice, slow snorkel to shore.
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 & Bar has been around since the 1980's.
Prickly Pear Beach "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.
After rebuilding from the destruction caused by Hurricane Luis in 1995...
... the restaurant and the destination has grown considerably, now attracting many folks from surrounding islands.
Today, the restaurant boasts the same great feel and taste (Prickly Pear's sautéed potatoes are famous!).
Upon stepping foot on Prickly Pear's powdery sands, you are greeted by the Prickly Pear team.
Prickly Pear Beach
Beach chairs and umbrellas are available for rent and don't miss...
Prickly Pear's Friendly Bananaquits
Pour a touch of sugar on your hand and bananaquits will land right on your finger tips, gently eating the sweet sugar.
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 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
Here, the Prickly Pear team serves up plenty of cool cocktails and drinks. Beer, wine, water, sodas, even daiquiris. Prickly Pear has a battery back up (there is no electricity on Prickly Pear) to blend fruity beverages. They are affordable, too!
Appetites whetted, it's then time for the best off-island Anguillian lunch...
Set just adjacent to the bar, the restaurant offers pretty views of the beach and sea beyond.
Welcome to Prickly Pear Restaurant
Open-air, it's breezy and comfortable. Lunch is prepared and cooked on the cay. The team brings everything in from the "mainland" daily!
What's for lunch? Your choice of chicken, ribs, mahi mahi and our favorite...
Ultra-fresh and juicy, the fresh lobster is exquisite. It's bathed in an extra-rich butter sauce and served with all of the Prickly Pear sides. Rice and peas with a touch of curry in them, coleslaw, mixed salad and Agatha's famous sautéed potatoes with spices and onions come with every meal.
Full Lunch at Prickly Pear
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 :-)
Can't Beat Those Prickly Pear Blues!
To see the full adventure, check out our YouTube video below...
To book your Prickly Pear excursion with Tradition, email Deb and Laurie at: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Note: Tradition Sailing is an Anguilla Card Partner. You save 10% when you use your Anguilla Card to book.