Antigua and Barbuda

Welcome to the Island Nation of Antigua and Barbuda. Antigua & Barbuda FlagA very British of islands Antigua , now an independent nation it was for a long time a British Colony evidence of which can be seen in the architecture in the capital St Johns and in the historic naval harbours on the south coast and in attractions such as Betty's Hope. Betty's Hope one of many sugar mills and plantations where slaves were brought from Africa to work. The sugar trade was vital for nations at the time who wanted to remain with power.

Antigua and Barbuda Island Map

Actual Anchor in Nelsons Dockyard

When it comes to postcard-perfect beaches waiting for you to create your perfect island memories, Antigua delivers. Soft white sand meets azure water as far as the eye can see. Celebrities and mere mortals from all over the world flock to Antigua for a chance to enjoy this tropical paradise on earth. But before you head to this upscale island paradise, make sure you know how to properly pronounce it. Forget the “u”….people in the know just say “Ann-tee-ga.”

Read more: Life’s A Beach On Antigua

Devils Bridge Antigua

When to visit Antigua ?

A bit more on when to visit Antigua: A busy month is August as its peak for the British families who come over and stay in the Resorts and Jolly Harbour complex of condos and villas. A lot of the villa owners stay these months (that are not that popular with the Canadians and Americans) in their own places as it is a long school holiday. For the North Americans they start to arrive around Christmas and this goes through to the regata in April when the season starts to get a bit hotter and wetter and leads towards the huricane season.

Read more: Antigua & Barbuda Holiday Island Guide

Well it is ! The black tip reef shark can be seen here. She didn't hang around for long and the vis was a bit average which is normal this time of year.

On this same dive site called double dip there has been a tiger shark spotted by Donald - as you can see he was rightly very excited !

Tiger Shark in Antigua

Trunk Fish Antigua

I feel the need to repaint a different picture at least for what exists currently (online anyway) of Diving in Antigua. I am yet to visit and dive Barbuda - a smaller less visited island. This article will focus on the bigger more developed main island - ANTIGUA ! It may be that diving is very different in Barbuda and harder to plugin and play indeed there are no dive operators on Barbuda..

Read more: Antigua Scuba Diving

Ask your dive operator about the following noted dive sites. Sometimes to keep diving affordable some dive sites are not often visited - be firm if you really want to visit a particular site with any dive operator on any island but please take into account the extra effort to reach the sites. Hard core divers will situate themselves in a specific resort for this reason.

Antigua Dive Sites worth mentioning

Most of the best dive sites in Antigua are around cades reef. This is also one of the main spots for snorkelling. Your dive operator may do cades reef regularly.

Double Dip out in the seeming middle of nowhere you can get down to 22m here and maybe get lucky enough to see some sharks. The reef is healthy and part of the Cades Reef System. This site was found when the Antigua Boat Yacht race markers were installed.

Sunken Rock See this report

Pillars of Hurcules - The Pillars are above the water but boulders and good coral make this dive site one of the best on the island and the south side.

Cape Shirley

For Cruise Ship Tours See Here

Take a canopy tour from the port of St Johns and have a grand antigua adventure click here for this canopy tour on best antigua. You will get expert guides and full safety equipment and get schooled in its simple use. Ropes and treetop walks await you and a series of interconnected ziplines make sure this is the high fun tour for the family. With a departure from St Johns that is listed on the voucher it is convenient for you. This is about 67 USD at last check. It departs at 9am and is designed with most people in mind. People with back problems are not to take this tour along with pregnant women.

Snorkelling Tours

Enjoy a cruise to Antigua's best reef Cades reef where you will view some of the prettiest fish in the world and the wonderful coral. There isn't much snorkling from the shore in Antigua so taking a boat to get to the reef is best.

Antigua Market

Saturday Market in Antigua's capital St John where locals come to sell their items. St Johns is a nice Caribbean town if ever there is one to enjoy on its own merit.

The Museum

Museum of Antigua & Barbuda, at Market and Long streets (tel. 268/462-1469) open Monday through Friday from 8:30am to 4pm and on Saturday from 10am to 2pm. The entrance fee is $3 for adults; students and children 11 and under enter free.St. John's Cathedral, the Anglican church between Long and Newgate streets at Church Lane (tel. 268/462-4686)

English Harbour

Nelson's Dockyard National Park (tel. 268/460-1379 or 268/481-5022) featuring a Georgian naval dockyard once used by Lord Admiral Nelson. This park demonstrates the might of the British Navy in Georgian times. Providing shelter during the eastern Caribbean hurricanes from 1672. The museum recreates a time in the past of pirates and naval history. The park is a pleasant stroll and has some cactus,mangroves of varying species, sandy beaches, tropical vegetation. It is baby friendly and has decent facilities. If you don't really have an interest in this kind of thing you may find some interesting gossip on Lord Nelsons affair in the Museum or failing that go buy a toy steel drum from the shop !

For more info see  http://www.antigua-barbuda.org/Agharb01.htm or Best Antigua Info

The Museum in English Harbour.

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Anchor in English Harbour.

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Capstan for moving the old big riggers English Harbour.

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Pretty much everyone comes to Antigua and tries to get this shot  - English harbour in the background.

Shirley Heights

Shirley Heights

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Best done on a Sunday afternoon into evening when it is the main tourist attraction on the island that day. Featuring a good view across in the day to Guadeloupe and Montserrat and in the evening it is perched high above English Harbour and the lights from the yachts. Steel band music plays while you can get something to eat. This wont necessarily be a cheap jaunt if your located far away because of the transport costs so you might look to do it as part of an organised tour in this case. Check out this page which says it is for transfers but you can get Shirley Heights transport booked for your party here. Sunday is not the only day Thursday is also on offer but the main day is Sunday.


Indian Town is one of Antigua's national parks, on the island's northeastern point. Over the centuries, Atlantic breakers have lashed the rocks and carved a natural bridge known as Devil's Bridge. This is unspoilt and you would benefit from the fresh air you get looking out to the ocean. There is not much else to do , so you might consider bringing a picnic lunch. Some vendors work from here trying to get a few sales but it wasn't spoiling the vibe.

Hiking and Exploring.

For information and some super detail on Antigua Hiking click here if you want even more read Frommers Antigua Guide

Siboney Antigua first came into my radar when I was researching, privately locally owned hotels in Antigua.

It struck me as possibly one of the more secluded romantic Caribbean resorts, and so having spent my honeymoon in Cocos in what I still think is one of the best Caribbean honeymoons hotels, I was anxious to return and try the Siboney Beach Club.

Read more: Siboney in Antigua

jumby bay beach

Jumby Bay

28 million dollars by Miami-based IDC has been spent on refitting so the time is now to get luxury in the Caribbean. You get the regular options for room types and also uncommonly vacation rentals. Suite types include Beachside Courtyard, Ocean View Pool and Rosewood Estate Suites all with great access and views of the sea and beach.
Suites with 4 poster beds and garden showers and the styling is Spanish Colonial. There is also a pool suite.  The Spa with ocean view and feeling offers treatments and massages with the scent of flowers and the ocean.
Things you can do include tennis, croquet or cycle round the island or visit the nearby islands.

Read more: Three top Luxury Resorts in Antigua

wahoo in the food box

It can be hard to organise a days fishing in Antigua when you are already there AND pay a reasonable amount. The difficulty arrises because there needs to be a matching group of fishermen from different resorts on holiday at the same time as you. Thankfully a website handily named has this as one of its goals and in the event there are not enough people you can find the list of boats for hire (tackle included + beer) so recommended is a look at Antigua Fish.

Read more: Deep Sea Fishing in Antigua

Click on the Icons scattered around the map of Antigua and Barbuda to learn more about what's available to do on these great islands !

Antigua and Barbuda Island Map

Submit your resort, dive site, or caribbean related business with a location and it will appear on this map.

Check out the Blue Halo Barbuda organisation if you are keen to dive in Barbuda they will help you out.

Barbuda Blue Halo Initiative - Using the Ocean Without Using it Up from Waitt on Vimeo.

Antigua & Barbuda Info

Size : Antigua 108 sq miles : Barbuda 62 sq miles.
Population : Antigua 80,000 : Barbuda 1,200.
Main City : Antigua :St Johns : Barbuda Codrington.
Language : English
Currency :East Caribbean Dollar (at time of publish 1 US Dollar = 2.72000 East Caribbean Dollar)

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