Antigua, an island located in the West Indies, is known for superlative boating, exemplary food, family-friendly activities, and legendary cocktails. Encompassing 108 square miles of beautiful coastline, Antigua is one of the top Caribbean vacation destinations, offering 365 white sand beaches, and a wide array of entertainment.
There is always something exciting happening on Antigua. Sport is a major part of Antiguan life – from world-class regattas such as Antigua Sailing Week and Antigua Classic Yacht to topnotch Cricket, to some of the best fishing and kite surfing on the planet, the options for an active holiday are limitless.
Locals and Travel Recommended
Antigua Rainforest Canopy Tour
The Antigua Rainforest Canopy Tour is a unique eco-tour through Antigua’s lush rainforest where you embark on an unforgettable 22-element journey through the verdant forest, high above the trees. The tour offers uncompromised safety installed on a complete double wire throughout with a Double Redundant system. Your state-of-the-art harness and safety helmet are from the world’s leaders in challenge course equipment.
Your tour starts at the architecturally pleasing Old Pump House with a short walk over a suspension bridge, which spans the gorge to the far bank and the start of the tour. After being briefed by our guides your exhilarating tour of this 22-element rainforest journey can begin!
Shirley Heights Lookout
Shirley Heights is a restored military lookout and gun battery. The Lookout. This high point (about 490 ft.) affords a superb view of English and Falmouth Harbours, the best view in Antigua. The view is spectacular, especially at sunset and early evening when all of English Harbour is all lit up.
A spectacular view over English Harbour and Falmouth Harbour greets your eyes, showing you the scene that is often used as the iconic image of Antigua. A visit to Shirley Heights is considered one of the must do events in Antigua. The buildings have been adapted to function as a restaurant and bar and its famous Sunday evening party is always a hit.
Tropical Adventures – Mystic Catamaran
Our Mystic Sailing Catamaran is comfortable for a full day of enjoyment on the sea. Relax on deck and be pampered by our friendly crew – as we set sail and leave all of the world’s worries behind on this day excursion. As we glide over the turquoise Caribbean waters, you will see palm fringed beaches, marine life and neighboring islands.
Anchored in a beautiful bay, you’ll enjoy a sumptuous meal prepared by one of the Island’s finest chefs. We will also serve you cool beverages throughout the day, including; fruit punch, soft drinks, water and rum punch.
Betty’s Hope was a sugarcane plantation in Antigua. It was established in 1650, shortly after the island had become an English colony. It flourished as a successful agricultural industrial enterprise during the centuries of slavery. It was the first large-scale sugar plantation to operate in Antigua, starting with the Codrington family’s ownership in 1674, which lasted till 1944. Christopher Codrington, Captain General of the Leeward Islands, in 1674 named the estate as Betty’s Hope, after his daughter.
Betty’s Hope is not operational now as a plantation. However, the structures seen here at the time of restoration works initiated by the Government of Antigua in 1990, under the OEC/ESDU Eco-Tourism Enhancement project, consisted of the twin wind mills, the Cistern Complex in serviceable condition, the Great House (Buff or Estate House) in ruins, the Boiling House where 16 copper hoppers were used to boil cane juice to produce crystalline sugar and the Still House (distillery) used for manufacturing rum (also seen in ruins without roof but with elegant arches). Since 1995, it has been developed as an open-air museum with a visitor center under the jurisdiction of the Museum of Antigua and Barbuda.
Things to Do
Prickly Pear Island
You can spend a day on an uninhabited Caribbean isle with a boat tour to Prickly Pear Island. This tiny islet sits off the northeast corner of Antigua, and it’s a popular destination for day-trippers and cruise-shippers looking to lounge on its sugar-sand beaches. Beneath the crystal-clear waters lie fields of shallow reefs loaded with tropical fish, and you can grab snorkeling gear to find your way among the fishes. The only man-made structure on the island is a shack beach bar and restaurant where you can satisfy a craving for rum drinks at the open bar, and have a lunch of chicken, conch and lobster. Snorkeling equipment and a guide are usually included in the trip, and when it’s time to relax, you can find beach chairs, umbrellas and picnic tables on the beach.
The brightest rays in the Caribbean – unique experience of touching and feeding a Southern Stingray, together with snorkeling amongst magnificent coral reefs and colorful tropical fish.
The Southern ray is known as the puppy dog of the sea, always looking for attention and a snack. The Rays sting is a boney spine in the tail that cannot be used in an offensive manner. It is strictly used as a defensive tool to protect itself from predators while sleeping or relaxing. Our guides will brief you on how to handle the Rays and at no time will you be at any risk. In fact, quite the opposite, in no time at all you will find yourself spellbound by their gracefulness and beauty, and you will find yourself among the thousands of people who return home wanting to come back.
Nelson’s Dockyard (English Harbour)
Nelson’s Dockyard is a cultural heritage site and marina in English Harbour, Antigua. It is part of Nelson’s Dockyard National Park, which also contains Clarence House and Shirley Heights. Named after Admiral Horatio Nelson, who lived in the Dockyard from 1784 through 1787, Nelson’s Dockyard is home to some of Antigua’s sailing and yachting events such as Antigua Sailing Week and the Antigua Charter Yacht Meeting, as well as the 2015 and 2016 International Optimist North American Championships.
Great Bird Island
Great Bird Island is a tiny islet lying almost three kilometres north-east of Antigua. Measuring just 20 acres (81,000 m2), smaller than most city parks, it is the only place on Earth where you can see an Antiguan racer (Alsophis antiguae) in the wild. The entire world population of this snake lives on the island. Named by sailors who were amazed at the number of birds that they found living and nesting there, Great Bird Island is a miniature paradise. As well as being the last refuge of the Antiguan racer, it is also home to a variety of other endangered creatures including the rare lizard Ameiva griswoldi, brown pelicans (Pelecanus occidentalis), West Indian whistling ducks and red-billed tropicbirds (Phaethon aethereus). Luckily for the snake, there are no mongooses on the island, although hundreds of black rats lived there until recently. The island is currently privately owned by an American businessman.
Airport Transfers and Tours Services
For peace of mind, secure your hotel transfer in advance.
Location: About 326 miles (525 Km) South East of Puerto Rico Lat Long: 17°03′N 61°48′W Official Language: English Size (Area): 280 sq. km. (108 sq mi) Population: 80,000 (2011) Head of the Country: Prime Minister Capital: St. John’s System of Law: English Common Law Electricity: 220/110 volts, 60Hz. Most hotels have both non-American and standard plugs Things to know: – Time Zone – EST (UTC – 5:00) – Currency – East Caribbean Dollar (XCD) – USD accepted – $2.70 XCD = $1 USD
PLAN A VISIT
Airport: V. C. Bird International (Code: ANU) Major Airlines: – American Airlines – Jet Blue – Air Canada – Virgin Atlantic – British Airways – WestJet – Delta – United Travel Time from major cities: – Miami: 3hrs 10 min – New York: 4hrs – London : 8hrs – Montreal: 4hrs 15 mins Car Rentals: – Avis – Hertz – Budget – Enterprise Places to Stay: – St. James Club – Galley Bay Resort – Pineapple Beach Club – Verandah Resort – Jolly Beach Resort – Sugar Ridge Weather: Fair, Sunny Popular Event(s): Shirley Heights Lookout Best Time To Visit: November thru May Key Feature(s): Tropical Weather Things to know: Antigua Carnival, Sailing Week