If you’re heading off to Antigua on holiday or just deciding which Caribbean island to visit, check out the letsgo2 team’s top things to do in Antigua…
Top up your tan at the beach
If there’s one thing worth visiting Antigua for, it’s the beaches. They come in all shapes and sizes to suit every kind of beach connoisseur. If you need bars and eateries within stepping distance, head to buzzing Dickenson Bay, one of the most popular golden sandy beaches on the island. It faces the calm, warm Caribbean sea on the West Coast and there are plenty of places where you can hire watersports equipment. If you’d rather have the beach to yourself, head to Half Moon Bay – the sand is a lovely shade of pinkish white. It’s on the East Coast – facing the rougher Atlantic ocean, but it’s protected by a reef meaning the waves are blunted and it’s safe to take a dip. There’s not much else here (bring your own snorkel gear) – there is a fab beach-bum bar, but the opening hours are changeable!
Wander round Nelson’s Dockyard
This 18th century dockyard is top of the guidebooks’ list of things to do in Antigua. If you’re into sightseeing, naval history, sea forts and the like, it’s a must. For everyone else, it’s worth a visit just to ogle at the million-dollar yachts moored up in the dock. The buildings have been well treated during restoration, and there are some decent eateries scattered about – the aroma of fresh bread wafting through the air from the bakery is particularly enticing!
Go deep sea fishing
Even if you’re not normally into fishing, this is a good excuse to take a boat trip whilst you’re on holiday in Antigua. When the fish bites, you can’t help but get wrapped up in the excitement as the (potential) whopper is pulled onto the deck. And if the thrill of the catch is not enough, at least you can look forward to dinner that day knowing it can’t get much fresher!
Party at Shirley Heights Lookout
Go on Sundays for the near-legendary Sunday BBQ parties above the dockland. Starting at around 4pm, you get a spectacular view of the sunset whilst a steel band plays, before the mood changes around 7pm as local reggae bands take the helm. If all this sounds a bit too… loud… you can visit at other times and take in the flabbergasting vistas of English harbour below.
Sail to neighbouring island Barbuda
Whilst Antigua’s economy is fuelled by tourism, Barbuda by contrast is far less developed. Take a day trip there to experience the unspoilt breathtaking pinky-white sandy beaches. The most luxurious way to get there is by chartering a yacht so you can enjoy a day’s sailing (for which Antigua is famed). Some beaches are only accessible by boat; moor up at one of these for some very special snorkelling experiences that you just can’t get at the more developed beaches. There’s not much else in the way of tourist attractions on Barbuda – the main entertainment is bird watching, chatting to locals and exploring the caves and rock pools along the coast.
Take a photograph at Devil’s Bridge
A natural beauty spot with a rather humbling history… Legend has it that this limestone arch got its name because slaves from surrounding plantations would come here and jump into the violent waters below to escape their cruel masters. The people used to say the devil had to be there, hence ‘Devil’s Bridge.’ Nowadays, it is popular with tourists seeking good photo opportunities of the crashing waves, which have carved the bridge and blowholes surrounding it over hundreds of years.
Hire Quad Bikes
Get off the beaten track and explore Antigua’s rugged side by hiring an All Terrain Vehicle (ATV). We recommend taking part in an organised tour rather than going it alone; you’ll be accompanied by experienced guides who know their way around all the goat tracks and can take you from tip to tail without going on any roads. Definitely a memorable way to see the island and highly recommended for anyone remotely adventurous!
Go Bird Watching
Believe it or not, there are about 150 known species to spot on this small island. From herons to hummingbirds – grab your binoculars and see how many Antiguan feathered friends you can tick off your list whilst you’re on holiday here.
Have you been on holiday to Antigua recently? What other things to do in Antigua would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments below!
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