Anguilla was first settled in pre-history by Amerindian tribes who migrated from South America . The date of European discovery is uncertain: some sources claim that Columbus sighted the island in 1493, while others state that the island was first discovered by the French in 1564 or 1565.
The name Anguilla derives from the word for "eel" in any of various Romance languages (modern Spanish: anguila ; French: anguille ; Italian: Anguilla ), probably chosen because of the island's eel-like shape.
Anguilla was first colonised by English settlers from Saint Kitts , beginning in 1650. The island was administered by Great Britain until the early 19th century, when – against the wishes of the inhabitants – it was incorporated into a single British dependency along with Saint Kitts and Nevis . After a 1967 rebellion and brief period as a self-declared independent republic, it became a separate British dependency in 1980. Today, Anguilla is an
internally self-governing, overseas territory of United Kingdom.
Anguilla is known as a quiet, peaceful island, with miles and miles of white sand beaches, all ringed by crystal clear waters.
Tourism is the major industry, and visitors (many coming to scuba dive), arrive by air, while some take one of the convenient ferries linking Anguilla with Marigot, St. Martin.
Anguilla is mostly flat land, with the highest point only 213 ft. above sea level. There are no rivers or streams, and the average high temperature is near 80º.