Introduction To Antigua

365 beautiful beaches in Antigua (one for each day of the year) will give you an indication of the popularity of this island for a vacation. Swimming with the dolphins, scuba diving, sailing—these are just a few of the activities to be enjoyed. The world famous English Harbor and Nelson’s Dockyard are of great historic interest and should be visited if possible. Cricket plays an important part in the lives of Antiguans, watch a game being played if possible. Enjoy exploring St. John’s –the capital of Antigua.

History of Antigua

In the beginning Antigua was inhabited by the Ciboney Indians and later by the peaceful Arawaks and then by the war-like Caribs.

Christopher Columbus discovered the island in 1493 but met resistance from the Caribs and it was not until 1632 that the first European settlement was established by Sir Christopher Codrington.

Sugar then became the mainstay of the island and it was a vitally important sugar colony for the British. Because of it’s strategic position it was considered very important and was thought of as the “Gateway to the Caribbean”.

Horatio Nelson became an important figure at this time and Nelson’s Dockyard remains today as a monument to his achievements. Naval battles made him a true heroic figure.

Slavery was abolished in 1834 and unlike many of the other islands, the slaves were given immediate full emancipation. Today, the island is an independent nation within the Commonwealth.

Antigua’s Natural Attractions

Antigua is blessed with beautiful beaches. In fact, there are 365 beaches – one for each day of the year!!! All are open to the public.

Eco tourism is becoming increasingly important Mangrove swamps are well worth visit and try to watch the many varieties of birds. Take an eco-tour off the beaten track.

The beautiful ocean around the island makes yachting and many other waters related activities popular. Antigua has several beautiful natural habors.

Activities Available On The Island

Lots to see and do in Antigua. Visiting places of historical significance is a “must do” for those interested in the country’s exciting past.

For military buildings be sure to visit Shirley Heights, where in addition there is a magnificent view to be had. Go to the Nelson’s Dockyard at English Harbor for a fine experience of the naval history of the area.

The old sugar plantations are worth a visit for example the famous Betty’s Hope Plantation.

The beaches provide a never-ending array of activities, yachting, kayaking, scuba diving etc and a Swim with the Dolphins is highly recommended.

Many land-based activities include hiking and birdwatching etc. Antigua has many excellent hotels and the after dark entertainment is recommended.

Things To Do On Antigua

Antigua has many fine dining establishments offering a variety of cuisine. Antigua is well known for their spicy and piquant sauces, do try them!

Sightseeing:

Explore Antigua”s surrounding waters. Several day cruise trips are available. Boats and catamarans are popular. A helicopter ride to see the island is another popular choice. Explore the island by Jeep tour or safari tour. Take a horseback ride –another great way to see Antigua. Taxis and buses are another means of transportation on Antigua.

Nature:

The beautiful waters surrounding Antigua is a natural attraction. The natural harbors which abound make it a haven for yachtmen. Antigua has many old sugar plantations which are well worth a visit. Mangrove swamps offer opportunities to see the variety of birds on Antigua. Take an eco-tour.

Family Vacations:

Antigua is a suitable holiday spot for people of all age groups. The beautiful beaches can be enjoyed by children and adults alike. Special child rates available at many hotels.

Health and Wellness:

Many hotels feature fitness and wellness activities. At the Blue Waters Hotel for example there is a spa for the guests to enjoy.

Romance:

Weddings are easily arranged in Antigua. Many hotels offer several wedding packages and honeymoon specials. Imagine a romantic stroll along the gorgeous beaches on the island, the after dark romantic atmosphere of the island with its tropical breezes. Relax and enjoy the romance.

Business:

The business traveller will find hotels in Antigua which offer facilities to accommodate his needs e.g. internet access, direct dial phones etc. Some hotels offer conference facilities e.g Jolly Beach Resort which can accommodate up to 500 persons for such an event.

Activities:

Enjoy one of the 365 beaches or water related activities including sailing, snorkelling, diving, swimming with the dolphins etc as well as windsurfing. Take an eco-tour, go hiking or birdwatching. Be sure to watch a game of cricket if you can. Play a game of golf. There is such much to see and do in Antigua. Explore the historical sites like Nelson’s Dockyard for a taste of history.

Party:

Night life available at the many hotels in Antigua as well as the local bars and establishments. Carnival time is party time in Antigua–be sure to come and enjoy.

Other Islands

Discover more islands of the Caribbean here: –

Montserrat Island
Trinidad and Tobago
Tortola Island
St. Thomas Island
St. Maarten Island
St. Lucia Island
St. Kitts Island
Barbados Island
Grenada Island
Nevis Island
St. Croix Island
Dominica Island
Anguilla Island