Anegada is known for miles of white sand beaches and the 18-mile (29 km)-long Horseshoe Reef, one of the largest barrier coral reefs in the Caribbean. The reef makes navigation to Anegada difficult. While charter boats freely sail among most of the other Virgin Islands, charter companies often forbid clients to sail to Anegada to avoid running aground on the reef.
The reef has caused hundreds of shipwrecks, including HMS Astraea in 1808, the Donna Paula (1819), and the MS Rocus (1929) As such, it was once an important scuba diving destination. In an effort to protect the reef, the BVI government has made anchoring on Horseshoe Reef illegal.