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Sombrero Island, Anguilla

Sombrero Island is one of several possible day trips from the island nation of Anguilla, located about 40 miles northwest. The desert island, also known as Hat Island, got its name by its distinctive sombrero shape when viewed from the sea. Sombrero Island is under a mile in length and only a quarter of a mile in width. The lone structure on the island, which was once heavily mined, is a lighthouse.

The only inhabitants of Sombrero Island are the several species of birds, lizards and geckos found there. The birding list includes Masked Boobys, Brown Boobies, Bridled Terns, Brown Noddys and Sooty. I guess if you’re creative you could come up with a t-shirt that says something along the lines of “I Went to Sombrero Island and All I Saw Was Boobies.” Drum roll, please…

Pretty much the only reason to take a day trip to Sombrero Island is to chill out on the boat and check out the Boobies, unless you’re in to scuba diving. Divers can see quite a lot in the waters around the island, including Gorgonians, black coral shells, turtles, rays, grunts, jacks, snappers, and a great variety of soft corals. If you’re making the trip without the benefit of a local guide, be aware currents are normally strong during the full moon. Diving is fairly shallow on the rim down to about 50 feet in certain areas.