If you’re looking to experience island life that’s off the beaten path, head to little-known Anguilla. 

Caribbean lovers looking for something a bit more than a typical island getaway should consider Anguilla. The tiny island (just 35 square miles) with a population of 15,000 is one of the most northerly Leeward Islands in the Lesser Antilles, and it’s anything but typical. In fact, just getting there requires a 15-minute boat ride from St. Maarten, or a 15-minute plane ride from St. Barts.

Once on the island, you won’t find chain restaurants or stores, and there’s no public transportation. Here, small-town island life, light traffic, lush landscaping, and gorgeous beaches make it the perfect place to relax and forget about the world. Leave your stress behind and enjoy the sun, along with walking on the beach, biking, hiking, sailing, and golfing.

Unlike many vacation destinations inundated with new construction projects, Anguilla has precious few. The newest condo development, Zemi Beach, located at Shoal Bay East, includes 73 traditional Caribbean-style units with modern overtones. The 1,000-foot Zemi Beach itself has been named among the best beach in the world by The Discovery Channel.

The new single-level one-, two-, and three-bedroom condos offer a little slice of heaven, and the limited number of residences adds to Anguilla’s exclusivity. Every residence has a water view and its own private infinity plunge pool and deck.  

Julio Bautista, construction representative, says he’s proud to say the condos are being built with less than one percent imported materials. “We’re using the best possible technology and materials available, and the development is being built [to be] as sustainable as possible,” says Bautista.

Residents will enjoy 24-hour concierge service, as well as access to a luxury spa, juice bar, state-of-the-art fitness center, and outdoor yoga terrace. There will also be three on-site beachfront restaurants and a beach deck with a full bar. Prices of the residences range from $608,000 for 1,200-square-foot units to $2.9 million for 3,700-square-foot units.

Anguilla has a tropical, though rather dry, climate. The terrain is mostly flat, making it ideal for biking. The island has 33 beaches, numerous salt ponds, and a small rainforest on the north side. Though free of large animals, look for lizards, Caribbean hermit crabs, a variety of sand pipers, the Mangrove cuckoo, and dolphins.

Most eateries on Anguilla enjoy ocean views. Locations to have a cocktail or enjoy steel drum, reggae, and c alypso music include The Viceroy, Elvis Beach Bar, The Pumphouse, and Gwen’s Reggae Bar & Grill. Catering to visitors with a penchant for all things arts related, Anguilla also boasts 15 art galleries, as well as the Mayoumba Folkloric Theater, which features a traditional Anguillan theater for showcasing singing and dancing. zemibeach.com