The versatility, resilience and beauty of the 365 beaches of Antigua can draw tourists from afar. Saying that it has other treasures to offer which include its tasty cuisine coupled with its vibrant cultural scene and historic sites. It takes pride in the magnificent setting of its colonial relics and pastel façade streetscapes beneath its volcanoes.
Growth brought primarily by the Spanish-language schools has turned the island into a global hot spot. Its Guatemalan heritage is preserved through the various activities that take place on its plazas and markets as well as within its churches. Antigua’s coffee plantations and indigenous communities outside the city can also offer exploration opportunities for adventure junkies.
But, resilience could be the real miracle of Antigua’s historical existence. It was able to re-emerge with a vengeance due its inhabitants despite its volcanic eruptions, floods and earthquakes.
When you’re on the island, never let your vacation end without visiting all or most of the following:
The Catedral de Santiago Ruins
The roofless ruins of the 1545 cathedral are said to be haunted but impressive with the reproductions of its plasterwork moldings and figures between its arches.
Rock-climb, trek and mountain bike around and beyond the island to unleash your high-energy self. There are responsible operators like Old Town Outfitters to cater to your needs in relation to adventure sports as they work with local guides to give you the best experience.
Serene Hawksbill Beaches
Though privately owned, the secluded Sea Grape Beach, Eden Beach, Honeymoon Cove and Royal Palm Beach are open for tourists. These palm-fringed beaches lure visitors with their clear waters and powder-soft sand. Their quietness and peacefulness make them a prime location for newly-weds and mature vacationers.
Saturday Morning Markets at St. John’s
Be prepared to immerse yourself within some spices, fresh produce and even souvenirs and crafts at the colourful market of St. John’s. There are a variety of goods from local vendors sold here. The bustling energy of the busy crowd only reflects the island’s enthusiastic Caribbean lifestyle.
Bars on the island serve as a point of reference for the budding young Kerouacs and Burroughses. Enjoy your night with a lively music as musicians wail from a corner on most evenings.
Go for a challenging hike from its English Harbour to the Shirley Heights summit to see its panoramic scenery on a clear day. It is also great for an awe-inspiring sunset with a party on Sundays until 10 p.m.
The bay is notable for being the main beach among Antigua’s 365 sandy stretches. It offers beachgoers clear waters for swimming along with dolphins, and watersports for adrenaline-savvy travellers.
Day Trip to Barbuda
Barbuda is the sister island of Antigua which is often associated with its tour packages. Both islands are just an hour and a half boat ride or 20 minutes flight from each other. Visiting them at once is popular and highly recommended. What you can see in Barbuda are its caves, the Codrington town, exotic birds, pink and white sand and wild deer.
When Best to Go
Just be guided by what you can do and see in specific months. Travel season in Antigua starts from December to April when snowbirds flock to escape winter. Summer is when rates drop due to hurricane risks. Sleepy, low season starts from August unto October when properties are closed. The Sailing Week happens in late April or early May while the August Carnival is celebrated in the early part of the month.
Use this information to guide you in mapping out your own trip to Antigua. Enjoy your adventure!