Antigua and Barbuda, two former British possessions in the Eastern Caribbean, with some of the world's most beautiful beaches. Antigua boasts that it offers "a beach for every day of the year," while Barbuda, Antigua's quiet sister island, has some beautiful lengths of pink-tinged sand dotted with elegant villas. Many movie stars and business moguls go to the islands to swim, surf, sunbathe, and swoon on the stunning beaches.
The bulk of tourists come to Antigua. Many passengers disembark in the vibrant capital of St. John's, where shopping, museums, and historic buildings are the main attractions. Animal lovers may swim with friendly stingrays, and the island's heritage as a vital naval harbor is preserved.
Discover the Best Tourist Attractions in Antigua and Barbuda
Barbuda has a population of less than 2% of the total population of the islands. The serenity is prized by seclusion seekers and environment enthusiasts, while birders like the legendary frigate refuge.
Diving, swimming, fishing, sailing, and windsurfing are all popular water activities on both islands, while golfers can find a couple of beautiful courses in Antigua.
With this list of the best attractions and places to visit in Antigua and Barbuda, you can plan the ideal Caribbean vacation.
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1. Antigua's Half Moon Bay
Half Moon Bay, on Antigua's southeastern coast, is home to one of the Caribbean's finest beaches. This beautiful strip of fine white sand and blue water, surrounded by natural vegetation, is protected by a reef and provides great snorkeling on calm days. The surf may be rough when the wind is blowing.
Just off the beach, a tiny café offers refreshments, and you may also rent chairs and umbrellas.
It's worth noting that the beach is tough to locate, therefore a GPS will be useful.
2. Stingray City, Antigua and Barbuda
If you've had a lifetime phobia of stingrays, this exciting face-to-face experience should put an end to it. Stingray City is a small lagoon with a sandy bottom among a tropical coral a five-minute speedboat ride off the island's east coast, where hundreds of friendly southern stingrays float through the crystal-clear waters eager to be fed by tourists.
You may stand, swim, or dive with them according to your comfort level, and then explore the nearby coral reefs thereafter. A highlight of this thrilling experience is feeling their silky, satiny bodies brush across your flesh.
One of the most popular things to do in Antigua is visiting Stingray City.
3. Barbuda's 17 Mile Beach
Those who visit Barbuda's 17 Mile Beach will almost certainly never witness a more beautiful length of coastline. The beautiful length of pink-tinged sand that divides the Barbuda Lagoon from the Caribbean Sea is lapped by light turquoise waves and amazes even the most jaded of beach aficionados.
One of the most popular things to do in Barbuda is to stroll along these beautiful beaches. The sand is as soft as wheat, and the setting is so isolated that you may walk for kilometers without seeing another person.
You may either reach the beach by boat or fly over it in a helicopter for a birds-eye perspective. Wonderful lunch on the beach is often included in tours.
A visit here may easily be combined with a stop to a neighboring frigate bird colony. These are two of the most popular Antigua day excursions.
Insider's Tip: Because this beach has no amenities - and no shade - you should bring your own food and drink, as well as plenty of sun protection if you're not on a guided trip.
4. Antigua's Dickenson Bay
Dickenson Bay, located in Antigua's far northwest, is one of the island's most popular and picturesque beaches. You'll find everything you need for a peaceful - or energizing - day at the beach right here.
This mile-long length of pure white sand is lined by resorts and restaurants, and you can participate in a variety of water sports. The bay is excellent for swimming since it is protected by an offshore reef, and there are activity booths along the beach where you can hire everything you need for various aquatic sports like jet-skiing, snorkeling, and kayaking. Antigua's windsurfing activity is likewise centered on the bay.
You may hire sun loungers and umbrellas if you simply want to sit on the beach and gaze out at the breathtaking blue water. The famous red phone booth, which is featured in many a tourist's Instagram picture ops, is also located at Dickenson Bay.
After a day in the sun, dine on fresh seafood at one of the beachfront restaurants or schedule a soothing massage along the beach. Alternatively, if food is a big part of the reason you have travelled, you could even book onto a street food tour and enjoy exploring favorite places in Antigua. With a knowledgeable local guide on hand, you're sure to discover dishes and places that you would not have found otherwise.
Some of the island's most prominent resorts, including Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa and Siboney Beach Club, are located near Dickenson Bay.
5. Antigua's Nelson's Dockyard National Park
In English Harbour, Nelson's Dockyard National Park is a popular tourist destination with a variety of activities. Its major claim to fame is that it is home to Antigua's old 18th-century British Naval Dockyard, which was placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in July 2016.
The Dockyard Museum, located in the old Admiral's House, is a great place to learn more about the dockyard's rich history. However, you can take in the atmosphere by wandering around the marina's wonderfully renovated stone warehouses, which contrast sharply with the flashy superyachts. The majority of these historic structures are now hotels, restaurants, boutiques, and galleries.
If you wish to go a bit farther out, the region has some of the finest nature paths on the island, leading to ancient forts with breathtaking vistas. Fort Shirley, perched on a hilltop at Shirley Heights, provides the finest views (bring your camera), and you may also walk to Fort Berkeley, near the harbor's west entrance.
The park also has the 18th-century Clarence House, which was constructed for the future King William IV, and the Dow's Hill Interpretation Centre, which is located near Shirley Heights along the Lookout Trail, which offers a unique multimedia display of the island's history.
6. Antigua and Barbuda
St. John's, Antigua and Barbuda's main city and cruise liner port, is a rainbow of candy-colored colonial homes and market stalls heaped high with tropical fruits and flowers.
The white neo-Baroque spires of St. John's Cathedral, one of the city's most recognizable structures, loom over the skyline. It is presently being restored to its former glory.
Take a walk around Betty's Hope, the 17th-century remains of the island's biggest sugar plantation, for a taste of Antigua's past. The lives of the slaves who constructed it are commemorated in a modest museum here.
It's no wonder that shopping is one of the most popular things to do in St. John's, Antigua, given that the city is a frequent cruise ship stop. On Fridays and Saturdays, the bustling harborside public markets are the place to be, with duty-free stores enough at Heritage Quay, souvenir booths beckoning from touristic Redcliffe Quay, and duty-free shops aplenty at Heritage Quay.
Hike the steep path to Fort Barrington, which was constructed to defend St. John's from the French, for the stunning city and harbor vistas.