How does a tropical destination with access to 365 beaches sound? An Antigua vacation puts you on an island that gives you that. There are 365 beaches on this Caribbean island. That alone is enough to bring people to this incredible tropical paradise from all over the world. But Antigua has a lot more to offer than just beaches. The culture is rich, the food is world-class and the activities are numerous and tons of fun.
Antigua is located right in the middle of the Caribbean region. It sits 1,000 miles east of Jamaica and about 250 miles southeast of Puerto Rico, with its sister island Barbuda. Antigua has 95 miles of shoreline that is covered in white and pink sand to make up the hundreds of beaches for travelers to take in. The island has 108 square miles to explore that include the coastline, some hills and mountain peaks and towns. Close to 80,000 people call Antigua home. The Antiguans are known for being warm and welcoming, as is the weather on this island.
On Antigua, you really can visit a different beach for every day of the year. There are tons of other activities to keep you busy too though. You can go on an adventure ride and do some off-roading, take cooking classes, go zip-lining through the rainforest, take a soothing horse-back riding trip or visit the capital city of St. John’s for the day. There are hiking tours, water sports, boat trips, snorkeling trips to take, helicopter tours, scuba diving programs and much, much more to experience on your Antigua trip.
While you’re planning your Antigua vacation, think about the things you’ll want to do when you get there. Are you going to be taking lots of hikes through the rainforest checking out its amazing canopy, or will you just be wanting to lounge around on the beach all day? If you know there are certain things you’ll want to be doing most of the time you’re on the island, then look for Antigua villas that are close to the activities you’ll be taking part in the most. We have luxury Antigua vacation rentals in different areas of the island so you’re sure to find the perfect spot for your trip.
Things to Do On Antigua
Antigua is an amazing destination for people who like to have choices for activities on their vacations. It’s also perfect for those who just want to relax. Whether you’re feeling adventurous or just want a lazy day to do nothing, you’ll find what you’re looking for on Antigua.
Snorkel with Stingrays
Stingrays are native to the Caribbean region. One of the most memorable experiences you’ll get on any tropical vacation is to go swimming with some of the sea life that lives in this region. Companies like Stingray City Antigua Snorkel Adventure let you get in the water with stingrays that swim the Caribbean waters. You can get on their level, swim with them and pet them in their natural habitat.
Spend Each Day at a Different Beach
With 365 beaches to choose from, your toughest decision is really just which beach to hit on which day. Some beaches are better for lounging than others. There are beaches that will be better for water sports like kite surfing or paddle boarding. Choose your beaches based on what you want to do while you’re there. Also, look into what food and drink sources are around because not all of the beaches have restaurants and bars that are accessible.
Take a Hike
There’s lots of good hiking to do on your Antigua vacation. There are many tour companies that will take you on guided hikes and treks up into the parts of the island that are scenic and overlook the beautiful coastlines of Antigua. You don’t have to be a professional athlete to go on these trips, but make sure you’re ready for some good activity and wear your walking shoes. Oh and don’t forget your camera, you’ll get photo opportunities you won’t find anywhere else on the island.
Snorkel the Day Away
There are coral reefs all the way around this island. You’ll get snorkeling conditions in Antigua that you won’t find anywhere else in the Caribbean. It’s a snorkelers dream destination. The waters are so calm and clear that you’ll see things you wouldn’t in other places. There are plenty of companies offering snorkeling trips every day of the week so you can go out whenever works for you.
Go For a Sunset Cruise
Cruise out on a catamaran and enjoy the sunset in the most unforgettable way possible, on the water. You can find charter companies all over the island that have different boat trips to choose from. Experiencing the island from the land on your Antigua trip is one thing, but being able to experience this tropical paradise from the water is a whole different way for you to make memories on your vacation.
Points of Interest On Antigua
The island of Antigua has a lot of history and culture for visitors to immerse themselves in on their visits. There are some really interesting places that you should check out while you’re on the island. Vacationers can get out and explore different areas for the day and then relax in their Antigua vacation rentals at night.
Nelson’s Dockyard National Park
This is in the English Harbour that has been restored and gives visitors a place to step back into history. The dockyard housed the British fleet in the late 1700s. This park is pretty big and has a lot to see. If you plan strategically, you can see a lot of what there is in the dockyard, but you would be hard pressed to see everything in just one visit.
Betty’s Hope in St. Peter’s Parish
Betty’s Hope was the very first sugar plantation on Antigua. It was built in 1674. It’s not an active mill anymore and there are a lot of old ruins to explore at the plantation. You can go out and wander around Betty’s Hope on your own or choose to hire a tour guide to give you all of the historical facts about the plantation and its working days.
St. John’s Saturday Morning Market
St. John’s is the capital of Antigua. On the city’s Market Street, there is a Saturday Morning Market where many local vendors set up to sell their wares to the masses. This is where you’ll find some of the best deals on the island. You can get authentic souvenirs, island fresh produce, native spices and more. It’s a great way to spend a morning. You’ll want to get there pretty early because it can get crowded as the day gets going.
Take time on your Antigua vacation to check out Devil’s Bridge. This is a reef formation that’s made of limestone that formed naturally over millions of years. It’s in the eastern part of Antigua where the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean come together. The bridge is surrounded by blowholes where the sea water blasts up through a vertical cave in the rock. You’ll want to proceed through this area with caution but it’s something that for adults and older kids will make very unique memories.
Antigua’s Best Restaurants
ABHTI Atlantic View Restaurant
This is a training institute where students are learning to cook for the tourism industry. The views are stunning and the food has the Caribbean flair that you’ll be looking for on your Antigua trip. You have to be on your vacation at the right time to catch the open seasons for this restaurant. They open for 6-8 weeks each trimester during the school months.
Bay House Restaurant & Bar
The Bay House Restaurant & Bar is a great place for hosting functions. Whether you’re looking for a place to have your wedding reception, or you need somewhere for a business function, this restaurant is a good option for events like these. The food is Caribbean in nature with international influences added. There are some amazing salads and seafood dishes to satisfy your palate at this restaurant located on Dickinson Bay in St. John’s.
Akropolis Steakhouse & Pizzeria
Located on Jolly Harbour in the St. Mary’s Parish of Antigua is this beautiful open-air steakhouse. The menu is full of delicious steak dishes and pizzas that are all made with the freshest local ingredients. The restaurant sits right on the water’s edge so diners can enjoy the island while they eat some amazing local cuisine.
Another jewel found in Jolly Harbour is Basilico Antigua. The restaurant serves Italian food that is authentic and full of flavors that are traditionally Italian. Diners can sit under the large gazebo and take in the fresh island air while they experience some amazing dishes inspired by the cuisine of Italy.
This is a gourmet restaurant that is located at the top of Sugar Ridge. The windows of the restaurant go from the floor to the ceiling and give diners an all-around view of all of the colors of the Caribbean that are on the island. Those going for dinner can get spectacular views of the sun setting from Carmichael’s. The food served is traditional Caribbean and seafood. There are vegan menu items as well. Top your meal off with an exotic drink from the bar.
Where to Stay on Antigua
The Tamarind Hills neighborhood is a good place to look for Antigua villas that face the sunset. If you like to sit out on a patio and watch the sun go down, this is a great option for you. This area is located right between two beaches that are possibly the island’s best. Our Villa Barracuda B7 Antigua is literally right on the sand. It’s close to St. John’s, the rainforest, the Jolly Harbour Marina and more. This Antigua vacation rental has four bedrooms to sleep eight guests and children are certainly welcome.
Nonsuch Bay is a good location for families and couples. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking to just relax on your Antigua trip or you want to get in lots of different activities, Nonsuch Bay has it all. This side of the island overlooks the Caribbean Sea. The Antigua Villas in this area are located up on the side of a hill so you have gorgeous views. Villa Turquoise is one of those villas. There is an age restriction for this location. Guests must be 11 years old or above. There are three bedrooms and three bathrooms for housing six guests.
If you want to get out and experience the real historical part of the island, pick an Antigua holiday rental in English Harbour. This is where Nelson’s Dockyard National Park is located. This area has a lot to take in for history buffs and the like. The Dockyard has been restored and has a lot of sights to see. There’s a lot of greenery lining the harbour and the properties here overlook the gorgeous water.
The Jolly Harbour area has some very good restaurants and shopping areas. The harbour is the sailing hub of the island. This is the perfect spot if you want to be getting out on the water every day. The harbour is split into two different “fingers”, the north and the south. All of the properties here are very Caribbean in style. Jolly Harbour is an active area for the entire Antigua vacation season.
This beach is on the northwest coast of the island. This is where you’ll get the resort-style beach experience. There are a lot of activities to do and the sand is usually pretty well loaded with people in the peak season.
For those looking for the nude beach experience on their Antigua trip, try out the four Hawksbill Beaches. One of them is known for being the place for basking in the sun in your birthday suit or topless. The beaches are impressive and with beautiful sand and vibrantly colored waters.
If you’re looking for somewhere to get away to that’s quiet and peaceful, try getting to Rendezvous Bay. It’s not accessible by normal roads though. You have to choose either 4-wheel drive or a footpath to get there. Take a picnic with you and plan for a nice private day with your special someone.
Long Bay is a great choice for families who are looking for a good beach for small children. The beach is protected by a reef on the east side of the island. You’ll pass Indian Town on your way out to Long Bay. This little town is worth a stop also. You’ll find Devil’s Bridge in this area as well.
Pigeon Point is a pretty popular beach on Antigua. There’s a great local beach bar here for sipping cocktails with your friends. You can dip into the calm waters and cool off before you layout in the sun. Not far away there is another good spot for hanging out, Turner’s Beach Bar and Grill in St. Mary’s parish.
Antigua Beach Guide
Antigua Vacation Planning Tips
When to Travel to Antigua
Like the rest of the Caribbean, the season for visiting Antigua is from November to mid-August. You can find really good deals if you travel between May and November. This is considered more of the off-season. More people travel to Antigua in the winter months.
The temperature in Antigua ranges from the 70s to the 80s and not much more. Average temps are around 86 degrees Fahrenheit. There is a dry season that starts in January. The days are usually sunny and warm in Antigua. You’ll get an occasional rain shower every once in a while.
Antigua Weather Forecast
How to Get to Antigua
Getting to Antigua is pretty easy. International flights all land at the Antigua V.C. Bird International Airport (ANU). It’s on the north side of the island right next to a town called Osbourn.
How to Get to Antigua
Our concierge services are here to help you make your Antigua vacation the best it can be. Please let us help you with the following services:
Antigua Rental Cars
Activity and Excursion Booking