Antigua and Barbuda Travel Guide


Antigua and Barbuda Adventure Travel Guide: Ideas and Inspiration

PureTravel Says: “Antigua and Barbuda is a tropical paradise destination the Caribbean and offers pristine beaches and a wealth of history and culture the former British Island. Explore English Harbour and St. John's Cathedral and go diving and snorkelling. The islands are also ideal for land activities cricket, golf, mountain biking and horse riding. Water activities include boating, scuba, fishing and kayaking. Visit Stingray City and swim with rays, go on eco-tours and a jeep safari tour. At the end of the day, watch the sunset and maybe sip a cocktail made from the local rum!”
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Holiday Highlights

History & Culture - Antigua and Barbuda gained independence from the British in 1981 and the current population of 82,000 has a blend of cultures mainly British, West African and Portuguese. This has left a wealth of culture and history to be explored in Antigua and Barbuda.

Visit the impeccably restored architecture of English Harbour and Nelson’s Dockyard which is an 18th century British naval base and named after Admiral Horatio Nelson. Also nearby is Clarence House, which was built for the king-to-be, William IV The capital and largest city, St Johns has sights such as the Baroque St John's Cathedral, built on the island in 1845. St Johns is a classic example of a West Indian town with markets to explore

Sir Christopher Codrington arrived on Antigua and began large scales sugar cultivation and during the 18th century there were more than 150 windmills processing sugar cane. There are around 100 stone towers that are still standing including Betty’s Hope, Codrington’s original sugar cane estate where you see the fully-restored sugar mill and maybe sample the famous island rum! Codrington Lagoon has the largest rookery in the Caribbean with thousands of frigate birds.

Visit Hawksbill Bay for beautiful beaches and try black pineapple at Fig Tree Drive.

Walking, Trekking & Hiking – Walk, trek and hike around the tropical islands of Antigua and Barbuda through winding coastline and expansive beaches. There are trails to follow and discover Fort George atop Monk’s Hill. On Bird Island, you can see the birdlife and rare wildlife living amongst the 20 acres of remote land.

Wildlife and Bird Watching – Wonder at the unusual bird and wildlife sightings at Barbuda's Frigate Bird Sanctuary. Walk along white and pink beaches and see over 170 species of birds, including the Fregata magnificens (also known as the man o'war bird) with a 4-5feet wingspan. You can also see egrets, pelicans and cormorants. Barbuda is undeveloped and accessible only by boat and you can see the nation’s nature preserve of Redonda by sea.

Scuba Diving – The shelves, reefs and hundreds of wrecks to explore make Antigua and Barbuda ideal for scuba diving. You can either bring your own diving equipment or rent it. Great shallow diving is available off of the southern and eastern coasts of Antigua and in the numerous shelves surrounding Barbuda. Dive at Cades Reef, which is a wonderful underwater park, or get down 30 feet in Deep Bay to see the wreck of the Andes. If you are a more advanced diver, you might want to try the ledge of Sunken Rock on the southern coast.

Water Sports - Whilst in Antigua and Barbuda why not snorkel in the colorful coral reefs off the coast or spend time beachcombing. Sailing is great in these warm, clear waters and if you are there during one of the world’s most popular maritime events, Sailing Week, you will see innumerable racing boats and yachts taking part. At Jabberwock Beach, you’ll find ideal wind conditions for windsurfing and sailing. At Dickenson Bay, take part in these activities and more, such as jet skiing, parasailing and water skiing.
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When To Go

Antigua and Barbuda has a tropical climate and the islands are a year round destination. The peak season is from December to April which sees the least rain and has cooling breezes. The official hurricane season is June to October although September can often be the month most prone to hurricanes.
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Top Tips

- Keep beach clothes for the beach and change to informal wear for the towns and resorts.
- You can use travelers’ checks and major credit cards everywhere.
- Tips for taxi drivers are between 10 to 15% of the fare.
- Check the visa, entry and departure advice prior to travel to Antigua and Barbuda.
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Classic Itineraries

- Go to Shirley Heights to see an array of military buildings, guns and spectacular views and on Sundays there is a fabulous barbecue with rum punch and reggae music.
- Sea View Farm Village shows how folk pottery was made in the early 18th century and you can buy pottery from the shop.
- The Museum of Antigua and Barbuda has wonderful exhibits including the cricket bat of Viv Richards, one of the world’s most famous cricket players.
- Get active with cricket, hikes, tennis, golf, walks, treks, horse rising and mountain biking your way across the landscapes.
- Get spotting some local birds whilst birdwatching.
- Explore the wealth of water activities such as boating, scuba diving, snorkelling, fishing, kayaking and swimming with Manta Rays. Also go windsurfing and deep-sea fishing.
- Take to the seas on speedboats, cruises, and yachts.
- Go on local excursions such as eco tours, sailing cruises, helicopters, jeep safaris and zip line through the rainforest, all which can b organized using a local specialist tour operator.
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Caribbean Islands Geography

The Caribbean region is actually made up of some 7,000 islands which are commonly known as the West Indies. The 'Caribbean' usually refers to the Caribbean Sea, the actual Caribbean islands and the coasts which sit on the Caribbean Sea. The area was named the West Indies in 1492 after explorer Christopher Columbus thought he had landed in Asia, in the Indies.

The largest island group is the Antilles which is divided into the Greater Antilles and Lesser Antilles. The Greater Antilles is made up of Cuba, Jamaica, Puerto Rico and Hispaniola, which is Haiti and Dominican Republic and in fact the Greater Antilles accounts for around ninety percent of the total land in the whole of the West Indies.

The Lesser Antilles comprise the Bahamas, Cayman Islands and Turks and Caicos. The Windward Islands are made up of these islands; Dominica, Martinique, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada, Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago. Aruba, Curacao and Bonaire make up the Leeward Antilles.

The Leeward Islands are made up of the following islands; US Virgin Islands (Saint Croix, Saint Thomas, Saint John and Water Island), British Virgin Islands (Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Jost Van Dyke and Anegada), Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda (Antigua, Barbuda, Redonda), Saint Martin/Sint Maarten, Saba, Sint Eustatius, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Montserrat and Guadeloupe.
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Public Holidays

January 1 - New Year’s Day
April 18 - Good Friday
April 21 - Easter Monday
May 5 - Labour Day
June 9 - Whit Monday
August 4 - Carnival Monday
August 5 - Carnival Tuesday
November 1 - Independence Day
December 9 - National Heroes Day
December 25 - Christmas Day
December 26 - Boxing Day
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Travel Resources

By Julie Bowman

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