Antigua is an island in the eastern Caribbean and is the largest of the British Leeward islands, measuring 14 miles long by 11 miles wide.  Nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, Antigua is 1323 miles from Florida, USA, and approximately a 3 hour and 5-minute flight from Miami to V. C. Bird International Airport (ANU) which is located in St. John’s.


Commonly referred to together, Antigua and Barbuda are sister islands.  Barbuda became separated from Antigua by about 28 miles when sea-levels rose considerably around 10,000 BC.  Antigua was created by a volcano nearly 30 million years ago.  The island is made of limestone rock and is mostly low lying.  Its highest point, Mount Obama (formerly known as Boggy Peak), is located on the southwest side of the island and has an elevation of 1319 feet. The island has some of the world’s most secluded and intimate locations which is why Antigua has been consistently voted by the World Travel Awards as the “Caribbean’s Most Romantic Destination.”


Antigua’s vibrant and spirited culture comes from its mix of African heritage and the influences of British traditions.  Antigua and Barbuda achieved independence from the U.K. in 1981.  While they are an independent nation, they are still part of the Commonwealth of Nations, and remain a constitutional monarchy. English is the official language, however, Antiguan Creole is also spoken in a version that includes words with African roots.  Cricket is the most popular sport throughout the country. Antiguans tend to be naturally hospitable, kind, sincere, and quite religious.  There are many holidays and annual festivals that celebrate the island’s culture.  Carnival is the biggest and loudest celebration, featuring vibrant parades, colorful costumes, and the live calypso music that is distinctive of the region.


Antigua has 365 beaches—a highlight with literally one for every day of the year!  Coral reefs protect the beaches and create the perfect conditions for snorkeling and scuba diving.  Some popular beaches include: Galley Bay Beach which is great for surfing; Half Moon Bay for those looking for something quiet; Dickenson Bay, considered to be the best beach on the island. The climate is very inviting with low humidity year-round, constant northeast trade winds, temperatures that range from the mid-seventies to the mid-eighties, and rainfall averaging only 45 inches per year, making Antigua one of the “sunniest” of the eastern Caribbean islands.


Antigua is known for its food and in recent years has become a culinary destination.  The island was originally established as a location for sugar plantations and rum distilleries, and has drawn from the wealth of seafood available in its surrounding waters.  In fact, cooking classes and rum tours on the island are popular pastimes for “Foodie” travelers.


There are many sites to see on the island.  Take a hike (or taxi ride) up to the summit of Shirley Heights for breathtaking panoramic views overlooking English Harbour on the south side of the island.  On Sundays, catch the Shirley Heights Sunset BBQ—a festive party complete with a live steel band, local food and beverages.  For a bit of island culture, head over to Nelson’s Dockyard National Park in English Harbour for sightseeing, quaint cafes, shops, and a visit to Dockyard Museum.  This naval dockyard has been beautifully restored and was home to the British fleet during the Napoleonic Wars.   On the northwest of the island, take in the colorful buildings on a historical walking tour of St. John’s City, the island’s capital, and visit the impressive St. John’s Cathedral. Explore the ruins of Betty’s Hope, a former sugar cane plantation from the 17th century.  On the eastern side of Antigua, near Indian Town, take a peek at the natural wonder of Devil’s Bridge, a limestone arch formed over hundreds of years by crashing waves at the point on the island where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Caribbean Sea.


Antigua also offers many other options for fun activities: Explore the island in an off-road buggy.  Take in a sunset cruise.  Go deep sea fishing.  Go ziplining over a tropical forest canopy.  Do a Segway tour.  Snorkel with stingrays.  Go wind & kite surfing. Visit a bird or donkey sanctuary.  Take a day excursion to Barbuda.  Enjoy a helicopter tour of the island.  Explore.  Relax.


The small island of Antigua is an authentic Caribbean destination packed with nature-oriented activities, a variety of beaches, interesting history, delicious cuisine, a delightful culture, and an abundance of romantic settings.  It’s the perfect destination for anyone looking for a diverse and romantic tropical vacation experience.

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