WHERE TO EXPLORE?
FROM OUR BEACHES TO OUR BEAUTY SPOTS...
Our twin-island nation is not all about white sand beaches and clear turquoise waters. Rent a car or hire a taxi and explore the unique attractions of our islands. From scenic drives through untouched rainforests to colourful markets and historical sugar plantations, there really is something for everyone...
OUR 365 BEACHES
Our white sand beaches are still our biggest draw, of course. Those in the west are bordered by the calm Caribbean Sea, those in the east by the wilder Atlantic Ocean. They range from the popular Dickenson Bay in the north to half-deserted Half Moon Bay in the south, and there are hundreds more in between if you’ve got the time to count them! Barbuda has long been famous for its never-ending stretches of sand bordered by its crystalline, turquoise waters. The aptly named Pink Sand Beach and 17-Mile Beach are some of the island’s most iconic.
OUR BEAUTY SPOTS
Devil's Bridge has always been one of Antigua's must-sees. This rocky limestone outcrop at the head of Indian Creek is where the Atlantic Ocean first makes land on our west coast. The natural bridge and blow-holes were forged over millennia by the spouting surf. Fig Tree Drive is no less a time-honoured island experience. It ranks as our most scenic road, meandering through acres of lush rainforest and lined with guavas, coconuts and of course ‘figs’, the old Antiguan name for bananas. Barbuda's natural beauty spots include the popular anchorage spot of Spanish Point, as well as mysterious subterranean wonders like Indian Cave and Darby’s Cave.
OUR HISTORICAL ATTRACTIONS
Antigua's rich colonial history is still evident in naval harbours like Nelson's Dockyard, sugar plantations like Betty's Hope, quaint towns like Parham, and ruined fortresses like Fort Barrington and Shirley Heights. The Dockyard Museum and Dow's Hill Interpretation Centre in English Harbour combine with the Museum of Antigua & Barbuda in St. John’s to whisk you even further back in time – the latter has a fascinating display of Arawak artefacts discovered on one of the island’s many archaeological digs. Past treasures of our sister island Barbuda include a fort and Martello tower, the petroglyph drawings of Indian Cave, as well as Highland House, the historically important ruins of the Codrington estate.
OUR NATIONAL PARKS
Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Nelson's Dockyard is the star of the show. It’s the world’s only working Georgian naval dockyard and a magnet for yachts, catamarans and superyachts from all over the globe. But yachties aren’t the only ones drawn to this charming enclave on our south coast. The 18th-century vibe, one-off boutiques and Shirley Heights party ensure the ‘Dockyard’ remains one of Antigua’s social hubs, especially during the peak winter months. But if getting back to nature is more your thing, then take the Barbuda Express Ferry over to our sister island of Barbuda. The Codrington Lagoon National Park is of economic and cultural importance, supporting one of the world's largest colonies of frigate birds, as well as whistling ducks, pelicans, ibis and cormorants.
OUR OFFSHORE ISLANDS
Green Island, Guiana Island and Prickly Pear are just a few of the deserted islands dotted around Antigua’s shoreline. Many of them are anchored in the translucent turquoise waters of the North Sound. Some like Bird Island and Rabbit Island serve as refuges for globally significant wildlife, while Long Island tends to be more of a sanctuary for globally significant celebrities – it’s the home of the world-famous Jumby Bay Island Resort! An organised boat trip is probably the best way of experiencing these Crusoe-like getaways, everything from a private charter aboard an18ft Boston Whaler to a sunset cruise aboard a 62ft catamaran on offer. Tropical Adventures, Wadadli Cats and CocoVibes Tours are the companies with their hands on the tiller...
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Photo: Adventure Antigua