We tell you where to stay, dine, shop, explore and live in Antigua...
Are you thinking of visiting our twin-island nation? THE ANTIGUAN 2024 will tell you everything you need to know at the click of a button. After all, we've been helping visitors find their way around for 34 years.
Our flipbook guide gives you pointers on where to stay, dine and shop. Our island map points you in the right direction, whether you're looking for a beauty spot or a night spot. And if you're thinking of getting married or making your home here, we'll give you all the guidance you need. We don't just visit Antigua, we live it.
TOP TEN REASONS TO VISIT ANTIGUA
Antigua & Barbuda is a twin-island Caribbean nation with 365 white sand beaches. But we've got a whole lot more besides. Panoramic nature trails and offshore wildlife sanctuaries. International cricket and world-class sailing events. A UNESCO World Heritage site and a fascinating backstory. And, of course, we've also got duty-free shops, cosmopolitan restaurants and the kind of hotels people keep coming back to year after year. Here are our top ten reasons why you should put Antigua & Barbuda on your bucket list...
1. OUR 365 BEACHES
Our powdery white sands are still our biggest draw, of course. Where else can claim a ‘different beach for every day of the year’? Those in the west are bordered by the Caribbean Sea, those in the east by the Atlantic Ocean. Some come with intriguing names like Jabberwock, Hawksbill and Darkwood. Others such as the top-secret Rendezvous Bay and the crescent-shaped Half Moon Bay need no explanation. Of course, our sister island Barbuda has long been famous for its endless pink sands bordered by crystalline, turquoise waters.
2. OUR CHARMINGLY AUTHENTIC HOTELS
Our hotels are dotted all around our coastline. They vary from quaint 18th-century inns like the Admiral's Inn to luxurious 21st-century resorts like Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa. Yet what most of them have in common is their sense of place. Few are taller than a palm tree. Many are built from tropical materials. And despite all their 21st-century refinements, no one’s pretending their ocean views aren’t still their biggest attraction. Yet more often than not it's the friendly staff who turn our one-off visitors into perennial returnees.
3. FROM STREET FOOD TO HAUTE CUISINE
You're invited to go on a culinary adventure here. You’re certainly not expected to dine in your hotel every day, that's for sure. Rustic beach bars like Sandra's are complemented by fine dining venues like Le Bistro, and our street food is supplemented by specialities from around the globe. Culinary highlights are our freshly-caught fish and seafood, yet gourmet French cuisine, Japanese sushi, Italian pasta and even English-style fish and chips are on the menu too. And a meal that starts with a Wadadli Beer and ends with English Harbour Five Year Rum is always a good one!
Photo: Admiral's Inn
4. OUR FASCINATING HISTORY
You also get to go back in time in Antigua & Barbuda. Specifically to the 18th century. No stay here would be complete without a stroll through the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Nelson’s Dockyard. Or a selfie at nearby Shirley Heights with its panoramic views over English Harbour. Restored plantations like Betty’s Hope pay testament to our former dependence on sugar, and if you fancy digging much deeper into our past, the Museum of Antigua & Barbuda showcases artefacts dating all the way back to prehistoric times.
5. PLENTY OF ACTIVITIES AT SEA
We’ve got aquatic activities galore. We're talking catamaran trips right around the island with Wadadli Cats and 90-minute powerboat trips all the way to Barbuda with Tropical Adventures. We're talking sailing and kitesurfing in the Atlantic Ocean and snorkelling and jet-skiing in the Caribbean Sea. You can also scuba-dive off Cades Reef and kayak through our hidden mangroves. And if you fancy dining on your very own catch-of-the-day, you can even go after marlin, tuna and wahoo in our Atlantic fishing grounds.
6. AND ON LAND TOO
If you prefer to work up a sweat on dry land, there are plenty of options there too. You can zip-line through our rainforest, climb up the slopes of Boggy Peak, hike through the Wallings Nature Reserve, or play 18 holes of golf on the Cedar Valley course. You can also explore our scenic backwaters on a 4x4 tour and, if you’re happy to take to the air, you can get as close to a volcano as you’ll probably ever want to on a CalvinAir Helicopters trip to Montserrat.
7. GET BACK TO NATURE
We’re a dream come true for nature buffs. You can swim with stingrays at Stingray City and stroke giant tortoises on Laviscount Island. You can look out for whistling ducks on Antigua's McKinnon's Salt Pond or marvel at the Frigate Bird Sanctuary in Barbuda – you'll see more of these magnificent birds there than anywhere else in the world. And if you time your visit right, you can pick bananas off the trees along Fig Tree Drive, and see baby turtles hatching on an island in our North Sound Marine Park.
8. DUTY-FREE SHOPPING ON THE WATERFRONT
Shopping is always a pleasure in St. John’s as our two duty-free shopping areas are on the waterfront. Heritage Quay is a modern boulevard where you can pick up TAG Heuer watches, Chanel perfumes and Cuban cigars at great prices. Neighbouring Redcliffe Quay is a charming contrast with its 18th-century vibe and one-off boutiques selling the sort of handcrafted jewellery and ultra-stylish linen clothing you won't find anywhere else.
9. WORLD-CLASS SAILING & CRICKET
Our reputation as a sailing mecca remains unsurpassed. Annual events like Antigua Sailing Week, Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta and the RORC Caribbean 600 attract sailors from around the globe. And we take our cricket just as seriously. Sir Viv Richards and Sir Richie Richardson are just two of our cricketing greats, our state-of-the-art stadiums hosting everything from prestigious international tests to exciting Twenty20 matches.
10. UNHURRIED WAY OF LIFE
Last but not least is our ‘no problem’ attitude towards life. We locals are a friendly and good-natured bunch, delighted (and proud!) to share our idyllic island with our overseas visitors. It might take you a few days to unwind, but you're sure to adapt to our unhurried way of life in the end. So if you haven't visited us yet, what's keeping you? And if you're planning a return trip we look forward to seeing you again soon...