Day Trip: Prickly Pear Cays

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On Friday, we took some of our guests out on a boat excursion, beginning at Prickly Pear and ending at the Frangipani Beach Resort with lunch at da’Vida in between. Prickly Pear was a new experience for most guests, even for the Anguilla veterans with years of adventures under their belts. There are two islands that make up Prickly Pear: Prickly Pear East and Prickly Pear West, both uninhabited. On the eastern cay, there are two establishments perched ever-so-perfectly on the beach. Johnno’s, of Sandy Ground fame, has a small satellite beach bar there (though it’s not open regularly). Prickly Pear Restaurant, with a main restaurant and a pop-up stand on the beach, provides affordable frozen concoctions ($6 for coladas and daiquiris) and a great lunch menu.

The trip is a bit further than more well-known Sandy Island, with a trip time of about 25 minutes each way. We headed north towards the openness of the Atlantic as flat Anguilla became masked by mountainous St. Maarten. As the clouds moved away and the sun came out, even the faint silhouette of Saba was visible in the distance.

One guest asked us why the islands are called Prickly Pear Cays. I have no legitimate answer for that. We’ve since asked around our offices at the Frangipani to see if locals had any insight, but we’re still stumped. Someone offered up the thought that perhaps the islands are shaped like prickly pears. Our assumption is that prickly pears once grew on the islands, giving them their moniker. If anyone knows the real story, please share in the comments below!

Some snapshots from beautiful Prickly Pear

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Have you visited Prickly Pear before? What’s your favorite off-island cay when you’re in Anguilla?

This post appeared in its original form at The Traveling Scholar.

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