Antigua is one of the eastern Caribbean’s Leeward Islands, and is nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea. It was once under British control, but gained full independence in 1981, along with the small island of Barbuda located 26 miles to the north. This premier tourist destination offers everything from charming, historic towns to hip, high-end restaurants, candy-colored villages, shopping, intriguing culture, endless coastlines and reef-filled waters.
Antigua is famous for having 365 beaches, one for every day of the year. This is a tremendous selection for an island its size, which is only 14 miles long and 11 miles wide. The weather in Antigua is ideal for enjoying these beaches. There is plenty of sunshine, low humidity, warm, steady trade winds, and year round temperatures in the 70’s and 80’s.
History buffs will find several major attractions on the island worth exploring. On the south side of the island, English Harbor offers a scenic reflection of the island’s colonial past, and Nelson’s Dockyard remains as the world’s only Georgian-style naval shipyard. Antigua’s capital and largest city, St. John’s, is located in the northwest and houses pastel-colored buildings, the impressive 17th century Government House, St. John's Cathedral, a museum, and the bustling Public Market.
Antigua has plenty of options when it comes to water activities. The beaches are protected by coral reefs, creating ideal conditions for snorkeling and diving. Plus, there are hundreds of shipwrecks to explore. Other popular water activities include wind surfing, sailing, deep sea fishing, and kayaking. Those who prefer land adventures and the great outdoors can enjoy activities such as rock climbing, zip lining, 4-wheeling, and hiking. The hike to Shirley Heights is particularly popular and offers incredible panoramic views overlooking English Harbor and Galleon Beach.