The country of Antigua and Barbuda is one of the Leeward Islands in the Eastern Caribbean. St. Barth, St. Kitts and Nevis are a few of its neighbors, which is great for island-hopping! St. John’s, the capital, is a lively city with luxury shopping, dining and a casino.
Antigua is the main island, while Barbuda is one of the few remaining undeveloped Caribbean islands. However, visiting Barbuda is perfect for a day trip. Enjoy miles of pink and white sandy beaches, a bird sanctuary, exploring caves and snorkeling in reefs.
Get A Feel For Antigua
For starters, it’s an island known for its 365 unique beaches, and I’ll highlight just a handful. Hermitage Bay is a secluded stretch of beach, and Half Moon Bay is home to windsurfers. Carlisle Beach is a snorkeler’s paradise because of its crystal-clear waters. And, families love the calmer seas at both Dickenson Bay and Pigeon Point Beach.
The island’s temperature averages out to a nice 80 degrees. The ideal time to visit is in December through early May, which is peak season. These months do have the best weather, though. Because it’s a Leeward Island, Antigua is also known for having low humidity. Even in summer months, the ocean breezes help you stay cool.
Antigua feels a bit magical from the sights alone. Like the lush green mountains against the turquoise waters. Or the unique, beautiful flora and fauna. The many pelicans at sea, hummingbirds, tree frogs and even goats.
Now, you might not want to do anything besides sunbathe, sip rum, and swim. But there are so many adventures to be had! Take a helicopter tour, go scuba diving or ziplining in the rainforest! Visit fine art galleries or go swimming with stingrays. Not to worry, however, because these like to give hugs. (See? The magic of Antigua!)
While Antigua’s resorts have their own fine dining, head out for a night to one of the island’s restaurants. You can choose from international cuisines or, even better, authentic local specialties like fungee and pepperpot.
Two historic sites, Shirley Heights and Nelson’s Dockyard, are open to the public and absolutely worth a visit. Shirley Heights Lookout is at the southern tip of Antigua and is a restored military lookout. It’s visited often for the famous view of the entire English Harbour, so, here’s where you go for a surreal sunset! Not to mention a massive party held every Sunday night.
Both a historic site and national park, Nelson’s Dockyard is a huge part of the island’s history. Named after Admiral Nelson, this is the only Georgian naval dockyard in the world. Check out the old forts, hiking trails and views of luxury yachts in the English Harbour. The island’s coast is well-known for being a go-to destination for sailing and yachting.
Fig Tree Drive is a scenic route for nature lovers and it doesn’t disappoint. The vegetation is truly beautiful. Expect to see banana, mango and pineapple trees, too! Also, getting to look at the island’s villages, old sugar mills and churches will feel very personal to the experience. Hire a driver to take you on the journey, or, you can rent a car if you’re brave. It’s a wild, bumpy ride.
Finally, you can’t talk about Antigua and leave out the national sport of cricket! The official season is from January to July, although locals will play cricket everywhere at any time. The excitement and energy from watching a game shouldn’t be missed.
Antigua’s tranquil atmosphere washes over you like a wave of relief. So, if you’ve never been there, take some advice from a very wise man.
“Once a year, go some place you’ve never been before.” – Dalai Lama
Antigua’s airport, V.C. Bird International, services several major airlines such as American, Delta, Jet Blue, United, Air Canada and British Airways.
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