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Anegada, the Hidden British Virgin Island

Anegada is the northernmost island in BVI, some 15 miles north of Virgin Gorda. It hangs off the top of the chart like a wayward chad, invisible and irrelevant to anyone who doesn’t think to look for it. Many people cruise in the Virgins their entire lives without seeing Anegada even once. The crossing from Virgin Gorda, through open water, is a mental barrier too vast for many boaters to breach, especially with the “safe harbor” on the other end being the Caribbean’s largest coral barrier reef—a graveyard for hundreds of sunken boats.

See Yachts in Anegada

Anegada Overview

My two favorite things about the British Virgin Islands are the proximity of its islands, which make navigation by sight possible, and its well-protected harbors, which let you hide from snotty weather.

How interesting, then, that neither of these characteristics define my favorite island in the chain at all.

Anegada has white sand, lapping surf, and few distractions: A Caribbean paradise.

Anegada has white sand, lapping surf, and few distractions: a Caribbean paradise.

I’ve been fortunate to step ashore at Anegada three times, once while on charter and twice as a guest of the Bitter End Yacht Club, which runs a weekly ferry there for guests. All three times, I’ve heard about how it’s the favorite island of singer Jimmy Buffett, who apparently frequents Anegada for fishing trips away from the crowds (and regularly performs impromptu acoustic sets). If in fact that’s true, then I can tell you Mr. Cheeseburger in Paradise has great taste in more than just dinner. When I want to see nothing but white sand, when I want to hear nothing but lapping surf, and when I don’t want to be bothered by anything but the smell of conch fritters and broiled lobster, I choose Anegada every time.

A town dock makes access to the island easy.

A town dock makes access to the island easy.

You won't just stumble onto the northernmost island in the BVIs, but its unspoiled charm is worth some extra effort. If you want to be among the lucky few of us who have discovered this hidden Virgin Island, then I highly recommend checking out Mangum Walker’s website in addition to using your own charts, GPS, and aids to navigation. You obviously can’t trust everything you find online, but Walker’s site offers some of the most detailed, thoughtful information about getting to Anegada that I’ve seen anywhere.

Anegada offers a protected harbor to cruisers.

Anegada offers a protected harbor to cruisers.

Just don’t share the link with too many people. Having read this column, you’re now one of precious few people who even know Anegada exists. Let’s keep it that way, my fellow yacht insider.

Editor’s Note: Kim Kavin is an award-winning writer, editor and photographer who specializes in marine travel. She is the author of six books including Dream Cruises: The Insider’s Guide to Private Yacht Vacations, is editor of the online yacht vacation magazine, and writes the blog at