Spectacular sunsets and laid back beach parties
Antigua is the laid-back beach party, where the sounds of steel pan music fill the air and Antiguan lobster is served alongside a spectacular sunset. Evenings in Antigua’s Shirley Heights are for liming, dancing, eating and just doing it as the locals do. Or escape to find your own little lookout to watch for that legendary green flash as the sun glides into the ocean.
It’s easy to get into the relaxed vibe in Antigua as the whole island is surrounded by paradise beaches, 365 to be exact, with swaying palms and hidden beach bars. Yet Antigua can do exciting too. You can soar through the rainforest by zip-line then dive to the depths of the island’s lost shipwrecks in its reefs and coves. Feel the power of nature at the awe-inspiring Devil’s Bridge, or step back in time at ancient UNESCO World Heritage Nelson’s Dockyard.
There is so much history on this little island, see it in the iconic sugar mill towers that dot the landscape, or have the past within your grasp at the old sugar plantation Betty’s Hope. Even Shirley Heights with its panoramic views out across English and Falmouth Harbours and the party atmosphere was once an important military beacon.
And if you like your luxury, Antigua is ready for you with gorgeous resorts set in tropical gardens, boutique hotels with picture-perfect wraparound verandas and idyllic cottages perched in the luscious hillside. Not forgetting the internationally renowned Classic Yacht Regatta and Antigua Sailing Week, where 100ft yachts and racing boats sail into Antigua’s azure waters for epic duels in the trade winds and partying that goes on late into the night.
For the authentic Caribbean with more than its fair share of charm, beauty and vibrancy- choose the wonderful island of Antigua.
Things to do in Antigua
- Fort James – A small fort at the north side of St John’s Harbour, was first built in 1675, but most of the present structure dates from 1739. It still has a few of its original 36 cannons, a powder magazine and a fair portion of its walls intact.
- Carlisle Beach – This expanse of beach, located on the southwestern coast of Antigua, is endowed with transparent waters and fine sand, making it excellent snorkelling territory. As you paddle around, gaze at a remarkably diverse array of tropical fish. Guests of the Curtain Bluff Hotel frequent this spot, as it is adjacent to the resort. Although the beach is close to a hotel, it is rarely very crowded. The more popular tourist destinations are farther away.
- English Harbour – Unquestionably the biggest tourist draw on the island, this town is steeped in history. Its key is Nelson’s Dockyard, dating to 1743 and presently a port of entry. Under the management of Antigua’s National Parks system, the site contains hotels, shops, restaurants, a museum and more. Tours are available several times daily. Apart from the dockyard, there are forts and the village itself to explore. Public buses stop at the entrance to the dockyard regularly.
- Fig Tree Drive – This route provides unexpectedly lush rainforest scenery in otherwise dry Antigua. Pick up the road just past the town of Liberta heading west. Only a small sign marks the turnoff, and the road is unnamed. But within minutes, you’ll be deep in the jungle! The thick tropical vegetation is dotted with shanty houses, many selling fruits, homemade jams and pepper sauces.
- Potworks Reservoir – Believed to be the largest body of freshwater in the Eastern Caribbean, the Potworks Reservoir is a delight for birdwatchers, especially along this coast. Snow egrets, West Indian whistling ducks, cattle egrets and osprey make their homes here.
Antigua Weather: Annual Averages
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