GUIDE TO ANTIGUA
Antigua, renowned for its wonderful beaches – there really are 365 of them! – but like all Caribbean islands it has a charm and character all of its own.
The climate is at its best from November to May – temperatures around 26 degrees Celsius all of the time and lots of cooling breezes especially when close to the ocean. There will always be the chance of a tropical rain shower but the sunshine will dominate your holiday.
With 365 beautiful white and pink sand beaches, with sparkling turquoise waters to explore – one for every day of the year, visitors to Antigua are truly spoilt for choice! The soft-white sand beaches are among the most attractive in the West Indies. Its sister island, Barbuda, is blessed with a swathe of white sand stretching for 17 miles down its empty west coast – except where its pink from crushed shells.
The most fascinating history in Antigua is centred around Nelson’s Dockyard in the south. This is still a working facility but with restored historic buildings and a museum.
Internationally famous Nelson’s Dockyard has now been proclaimed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Named after Admiral Horatio Nelson, this is Antigua’s most prized possession. The Dockyard is a monument to the past and a focus of yachting activity year round.
Shirley Heights is a famed look-out spot and location for great sunsets! Named after General Sir Thomas Shirley, governor of the Leeward Islands from 1781-91, the fort was built in the 1780’s to protect the dockyard and English Harbour from French and American attack. One of the original buildings has become Shirley Heights Lookout, a popular café and restaurant. There is an outdoor seating area at the back with stunning views across English and Falmouth Harbours. The Lookout is a great spot for a meal or a drink at any time, however on Sunday afternoon locals and visitors alike join in one of the most famous parties on the island! Live steel bands play whilst everyone enjoys delicious barbeque ‘fast food’ washed down with local rum punches, watching the sunset! Afterwards the music turns to reggae and the party goes on into the night!!
In 2017 Barbuda was badly damaged by Hurricane Irma. There was serious damage to all the buildings on the island. In true Caribbean style the recovery of the island is now well advanced. Schools have re-opened and restaurants, shops and hotels are getting back to normal operation. We encourage our guests to pop over on the express ferry to see this incredibly beautiful island with its 17 mile pink sand beach and amazing birdlife – including the amazing frigate birds. Barbuda is one of the few unspoilt islands left in the Caribbean. Enjoy miles of pristine white and pink sand beaches, a wild East coast, some of the best diving and snorkeling, caves to explore at Two Foot Bay and the largest Frigate bird colony outside the Galapagos.
St John’s Cathedral , National Museum & Fort James
St John’s Cathedral is visible from all around the capital, it was originally constructed in 1683, replaced in 1745 and then was completely rebuilt of stone in 1843 following an earthquake.
The National Museum interprets the rich history of Antigua and Barbuda through interactive displays and exhibits from the Arawaks and Caribs, the earliest settlers.
Fort James stands at the entrance to the harbour of St. John’s and was built to guard St. John’s harbour, it is one of the many forts built by the British in the 18th century.
Antigua Adventure Eco Tour
The emphasis of this trip is on the ecology and history of the island. The warm, clear waters, protected by over 20 tiny islands, countless reefs, flats and mangrove nurseries, are always calm and there are perfect opportunities for spotting some of the local residents, including turtles, frigate birds, herons, pelicans, spotted eagle rays, sting rays, barracuda, osprey, turns, noddies, laughing gulls, and beautiful tropical birds. Lunch and snorkeling lessons are also included.
Antigua Rainforest Canopy Tour
A unique eco-tour through Antigua’s lush rain forest where you embark on an unforgettable journey through the verdant forest, high above the trees. There are a series of zip lines, some in excess of 200 and 300 feet long, criss-crossing the gorge, varying from 200 – 350 feet high. The tour also comprises short trails and suspension bridges, which are completed with a unique, absolutely safe, ‘Leap of Faith’, a controlled 36-foot vertical descent!
Catamaran Circumnavigation Cruise
This cruise takes you all the way around the island where you will see the rich history of the island and the beauty unfolds before your eyes. Take one stop at Green island for swimming, snorkelling, lunch and open bar.
The adventure starts out on land, among the resident monkeys and parrots, followed by a short speedboat ride to a shallow pool with a white sand bottom, surrounded by a beautiful coral reef. Enjoy the unique experience of touching and feeding a stingray, together with snorkeling amongst magnificent coral reefs and colorful tropical fish.
Enjoy an exhilarating and fun-filled tour of the island. See the rain forest, the countryside, stop at many of the beautiful beaches and learn about the folklore, culture and history of Antigua. Lunch at a secluded beach is included.
Snorkelling – Cades Reef
Snorkel and swim in emerald waters at the best snorkelling site in Antigua. The west coast of Antigua is blessed with majestic rolling hills and stunning white sand beaches. Float your worries away as you swim amongst colourful tropical fish and coral fauna before lounging on a stunning white sand beach for lunch.
This half-day tour package includes an exciting kayaking journey through a mangrove lagoon, which leads to a private beach. Enjoy a short boat ride out to Antigua’s most vibrant barrier – Cades Reef, where you are guaranteed some of the best snorkeling you’ll ever experience during your stay. The tour will finish with a light lunch, relaxing on the beach, soaking in the sun and cool breeze.