Antigua

Antigua is one of the gorgeous tropical Leeward Islands in the West Indies region of the Caribbean. The coastline of this island is filled with plenty of perfect little beaches where the sand is lapped by the blue waves. Stroll through this quiet and laid back paradise and you will find historic architecture, lovely candy-colored homes, narrowing winding roads and tranquil sheltered bays.

Antigua Beach View

Cruise Port:Yes. The cruise lines that stop in Antigua include Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean International, Holland America, Royal Caribbean International, Costa Cruise Lines and others.  

Nearest Airport: VC Bird International is the airport in Antigua and it is located on the outskirts of St. John’s on the north of the island. It is served by several international airlines including United Airlines, British Airways, Air Canada and Delta Airlines.

Prime Attractions

  • Half Moon Bay - This gorgeous beach is protected by a reef and offers superb snorkeling.
  • St. John’s Cathedral - This gorgeous white Neo-Baroque building is one of the major attractions in the city.
  • Nelson’s Dockyard National Park - Home to the former 18th century British Naval Dockyard and some of the best nature trails on the island.

Scenic Places

  • Dickenson Bay - A beautiful long stretch of white sand beach perfect for swimming and lined with al fresco restaurants and resorts.
  • Fig Tree Drive - Take a road trip through farmland, forest and fishing villages and stop at local art galleries and roadside stands selling fresh-picked fruit.
  • 17 Mile Beach - This gorgeous stretch of pinkish sand separates the lagoon on the island of Barbuda from the Caribbean Sea and is the perfect spot to soak up the sun.

Natural Wonders

  • Indian Town National Park - A great spot for hiking and birdwatching, this dramatically beautiful park features several trails and is home to more than 36 bird species.
  • Frigate Bird Sanctuary - See these large sea birds with their huge wingspan and bright red gullets.
  • Darby Sink Cave - One of the most intriguing natural features in Antigua, the Darby Sink Cave is a sinkhole filled with lush vegetation and surrounded by the dry brush.

History and Culture

  • Fort James and Fort Barrington - Visit the ruins of these 18th century forts, built to protect the city of St. John’s from the French.
  • The Museum of Antigua and Barbuda - This superb museum traces the history of these islands, from their origin to modern times.
  • Martello Tower - This tower was constructed by the British in the early 19th century on the site of a previous fort built by the Spanish.

Cuisine (Dining Choices)

  • Cecilia’s High Point Cafe (Caribbean/Mediterranean) - Dine on fresh Caribbean ingredients prepared in a Mediterranean-inspired way while admiring the view of Dutchman’s Bay.
  • Le Bistro (French) - The most elegant restaurant on the island serves French cuisine with a local twist.
  • Grace Before Meals (West Indian) - A simple and unpretentious take-out that includes such home-cooked local cuisine as curried conch and fantastic roti.

Travel Notes

Who is it for:

  • Beach Lovers - There are plenty of beautiful sandy spots to soak up the sun.
  • Honeymooners - The island offers a laid back and romantic atmosphere.
  • Families - There are plenty of great attractions and activities for the little ones.

Best Time to Visit Jamaica: December - March

Cheapest Time to Visit Jamaica: April - November

Health and Safety Information

  • Watch out for casino scams in St. John’s, in which women try to lure the unsuspecting into the casino with the promise of free bets that are not really free in a game that cannot be won.
  • Visit during late July and early August when the Carnival takes place.

Quick Facts

  • Language: Most residents speak both English and Antiguan Creole.
  • Currency: The Eastern Caribbean dollar is the official currency but American dollars are commonly accepted.
  • Electricity and outlets:Most electrical outlets are 220V, 60Hz, which means that transformers are required for North American appliances.  
  • Passport and Immigration: Visitors from the USA, UK and Canada do not need a visa to enter Antigua, but must have a valid passport.
  • Drinking Water: Avoid the tap water and drink bottled water from a sealed container.
  • Time zone: Eastern Caribbean Time Zone - UTC - 04:00 - Same Time Zone as New York.

Interesting Facts:

  • The national bird of Antigua is the Man o’ War, which has glossy black feathers and a scarlet throat that males puff up to attract a mate.
  • Although the nation has a small population it has produced some of the world’s best cricketers, including Andy Roberts, Viv Richards, Richie Richardson and Curtly Ambrose.

 

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