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Did you know that Antigua means “ancient” in Spanish? This describes the island perfectly since it was born about 30 million years ago and considered a young island in geologic time. Antigua boasts an impressive 365 powdery beaches – locals tell you that there’s one for each day of the year. But for tourism, the “unofficial” count was about 52 – one for every weekend. You’ll have plenty of options for fun in the sun! But if you’re worried about the heat, don’t be. Trade winds cool the days and nights. Read on to learn the reasons why people visit Antigua. Get ready because you’ll want to book a vacation with your travel agent today.
3 Top Reasons to Visit Antigua
Antigua is filled with historic sites that are sure to delight any history lover. Start by visiting Nelson’s Dockyard, a top sightseeing attraction. In operation since 1745 and once home to the British Royal Navy, Nelson’s Dockyard has been completely restored to its Georgian-era marina glory. At the Dockyard Museum, you’ll learn about the history of Antigua, life at the forts, and the dockyard.
Another site to see is St. John’s Cathedral. The first twin-spired cathedral was built in 1681 and constructed out of wood. The second was built around 1720 out of English stone. But it fell into disrepair and was too small. In 1843, an earthquake heavily damaged the cathedral. It was replaced with a stronger structure and consecrated on July 25, 1848. Since the cathedral continues to undergo renovations, you may set up a special guided tour through the deanery.
Housed in a grand 1750 courthouse, the Museum of Antigua and Barbuda is a must-see. You can trace the history of Antigua from its geologic beginnings to its political independence in 1981. Objects include an Arawak canoe, cricket bat of hometown hero Viv Richards, and models of sugar plantation.
Whether you take a cruise or land vacation to Antigua, you’ll be impressed with the abundance of white sandy beaches. But keep in mind that a beach (one of them) may be clothing optional, so use discretion if you choose to sunbathe topless or do not feel comfortable visiting this type of beach.
Want to see pink sand? Head to Half Moon Beach! It’s about a five minute drive Freetown village on the south east coast of Antigua. It’s known for an active surf and cooling breezes.
Carlisle Beach, located on the south coast of Antigua, has clear waters and fine sand. Bring your snorkeling equipment and jump into the waters where you’ll see a variety of tropical fish.
You may choose to spend your day on the West coast of Antigua at Jolly Beach in Jolly Harbour. You’ll discover a powdery white sand beach and warm waters of the Caribbean Sea. You could spend your entire Antigua vacation here as there are plenty of restaurants, watersports, shopping, and amenities nearby.
Not only will you find the scenery above the sea of Antigua breathtaking, but you’ll also discover its beauty below the surface. The eastern and southern coasts of the island offer outstanding conditions for shallow diving and snorkeling. You’ll find coral reefs, shipwrecks, and walls with depths ranging from 25 to 80 feet, with a maximum of 180 feet. Dive sites can be reached within five minutes or at the most, 40 minutes.
While most people enjoy scuba diving and snorkeling in Antigua, these water activities may not appeal to you. Don’t worry. You can fish, jet-ski, surf, water ski, and windsurf. You can kayak and sail, too. There’s something for everyone, no matter your skill level.
Go to Antigua Now
The high season for Antigua is from mid-December through April, and the wet season is from July through November. Keep in mind that many restaurants and properties close between August and October. If you haven’t taken an Antigua vacation, now is the time to contact your Travel Planners International agent and discuss your travel to the island. He or she can design an itinerary that works with your (and/or family’s) interests. Before you know it, you’ll find yourself relaxing on a pristine beach and swimming in the warm ocean waters. You may even channel your inner Robinson Crusoe by going on an adventure hike or sailing excursion.