Antigua (pronounced An-tee’ga,) is the largest of the English-speaking Leeward Islands lying between the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. It encompasses 108 square miles of beautiful coastline. Antigua is one of the top Caribbean holiday and vacation destinations with 365 white sand beaches, and a wide array of activities and entertainment. The total island population is about 85,000.
Christopher Columbus named the island “Antigua” in 1493 in honor of the “church of Santa Maria de la Antigua in Seville. Sir Christopher Codrington, an Englishman, established the first permanent European settlement and guided development on the island as a profitable sugar colony. Antigua was considered Britain’s “Gateway to the Caribbean”. Antigua became an associated state of the Commonwealth, and in 1981 it gained independence.
- Temperatures in Antigua range from the mid-seventies in the winter to the mid-eighties in the summer.
- Annual rainfall averages only 45 inches, making it the sunniest of the Eastern Caribbean Islands.
Antigua Things to Do
- Fun Land Activities include Cricket, hiking and bird watching, tennis, golf, bicycling, ziplining, casino gaming, and exploring via car rental, duty free shopping, dining, and musical entertainment.
- Fun Water Activities include diving, snorkeling, boating, fishing, kayaking, swimming with the stingrays or dolphins, windsurfing, and a wide array of non-motorized water sports.
- Fun Excursions include catamaran cruises, eco tours, helicopter rides, zip lines, shopping, historical tours, and more.
Antigua Special Events
- Antigua Sailing Week English Harbour on the south-eastern coast of Antigua is the site of a restored British colonial naval station called “Nelson’s Dockyard” and is famous as an internationally acclaimed yachting and sailing destination. At the end of April and beginning of May, the annual Antigua Sailing Week commences with a world-class regatta.
- Antigua Carnival Antigua’s fun celebration on the streets of St. John takes place in late July or early August each year and brings out musicians, colorful dancers, and entertainers in elaborate costumes. Dating back to 1834, the 10- day Carnival event is a true tribute to Calypso music and the spirit of the Antiguan people.
- Shirley Heights Each Sunday, Shirley Heights becomes a sunset celebration festival with barbecue, rum punch, steel bands and live Reggae music.
Other Antigua Points of Interest
- Devil’s Bridge At the north eastern point of Antigua, Devil’s Bridge is a natural arch carved by the action of Atlantic breakers over countless centuries.
- Heritage Collection This museum has artifacts and exhibits on Anguillan culture history.
Wyland Wall Well known marine-life artist, Wyland created a 120ft wall on Old Parham Road extending up Lady Nugent’s Avenue as a part of his work with the World Society for the Protection of Animals.
How to Get to Antigua
Getting to Antigua is easy! V.C. Bird International Airport (ANU) accommodates International jets and regional carriers. Direct flights are available from many major cities in the U.S., Canada, and U.K.
Elite Island Resorts All Inclusive Resorts in Antigua
For the discerning traveler, Galley Bay Resort & Spa is the perfect all-inclusive retreat. Its secluded setting on the tranquil west coast of Antigua boasts forty-acres of tropical gardens on one of Antigua’s most beautiful stretches of white sand beach.
All the delights of English Harbour, Nelson’s Dockyard and Shirley Heights are just several minutes’ drive from St. James’s Club & Villas. A lush tropical playground that sits on a private 100-acre peninsula with breathtaking ocean views and two white sand beaches.
Searching for the perfect choice for romantic getaways or family vacations, with the perfect mix of activity and relaxation? Look no further than The Verandah Resort & Spa. This eco-friendly island resort offers 30 spectacular waterfront acres with two with sand beaches, on Antigua’s northeast coast overlooking a tranquil bay. The Verandah‘s idyllic Caribbean village ambience is bound to inspire romance and relaxation. It’s totally up to you.