When it comes to the destination of Antigua and Barbuda, there is often a perception that one must “pick a side” and stick to it. However, why limit yourself to just one of these remarkable sister islands when you can double the fun and exploration by experiencing both?
With abundant coastal towns, vibrant nightlife, resorts, and historical landmarks, Antigua presents a captivating destination brimming with excitement. Meanwhile, Barbuda beckons as a secluded and quiet sanctuary surrounded by a protective ring of coral reefs, offering a refuge for rare birds and boasting picturesque pink sand beaches. ”
Prepare to be mesmerized as we reveal the extraordinary attractions of Antigua and Barbuda and the fantastic experiences that await you. Of course, we couldn’t feature everything: use the list below for a little inspiration before embracing the power of “And” and forging your own dynamic itinerary!
With sunlight painting the sky above Falmouth Harbour, the true allure of Antigua is splendidly unveiled. As you stand atop the scenic overlook of Shirley Heights, lush hills gracefully slope down to reveal postcard-perfect beaches and inviting azure waters. In the vibrant streets of St. John’s, Antigua’s heart and soul reverberate through its residents’ warm smiles and the timeless charm exuded by its historic churches and art galleries.
Nelsons Dockyard: Nestled in English Harbour, this historic gem dates back to the Georgian Period. This former British naval Dockyard now UNESCO World Heritage Site, was crucial in the Eastern Caribbean, supplying shelter, careenage, and a strategic base for the British fleet. After restoration in the 21st century, the buildings now serve as offices, restaurants, hotels, shops, museums, and government services. The skilled African workers established the Dockyard in 1974 and constructed and maintained the facilities, continuing to contribute to Antigua’s yachting industry, a significant economic force. Nelson’s Dockyard stands as a testament to Antigua’s maritime history and the enduring legacy of its African heritage, creating a captivating blend of past and present.
Sheer Rocks: Located in an unparalleled setting, majestically perched on a rocky cliff in the middle of Antigua’s gorgeous west coast, this restaurant is almost a resort in its own right. Visitors are enthralled by the expansive vistas of the coastline and the blue seas below from this unique vantage point. This ideal setting is perfect for an outstanding dining experience that serves handpicked seasonal ingredients and spices. Whether indulging in exquisite cuisine, savouring handcrafted cocktails, or simply immersing oneself in the magical ambiance with a day pass by the pool, every moment spent here is enchanting.
Dickenson Bay: With its soft white sand, gentle waves, and safe shallow water, Dickenson Bay is known for being one of the most beautiful beaches in Antigua. Dickenson Bay boasts pristine sand where visitors can relax and bask in the sun’s warmth while listening to the rhythmic waves in the background. The shallow water makes it an ideal swimming spot, especially for families with young children. Adventure seekers can experience thrilling activities to partake in. From jet skiing and wakeboarding to parasailing, tubing, kayaking, snorkelling, and scuba diving, there’s something for every aquatic enthusiast. Stretching for roughly a mile, Dickenson Bay offers ample space to explore, unwind, and create cherished memories.
Situated to the north of its sibling, Barbuda presents itself as a pristine portrait of untouched Caribbean nature. Its vibrant reefs and coastal caves contrast a vast inland lagoon, where spirited mating displays of red-throated Frigatebirds captivate onlookers. The allure of Barbuda lies in its sparsely populated landscapes, where pink sand beaches exude otherworldly tranquility.
Robert De Niro-owned culinary venture Nobu: Featuring five private cabanas, one of which is exclusively reserved for VIPs, guests can relish in a lavish lounge area and indulge in private dining. A dedicated team of personal hosts attends to your every need, with an exclusive menu catering to every taste bud. With elevated snacks, towel service, and the option of beachfront massages upon request, the beach club ensures a pampered escape. A Caribbean-style lounge bar beckons guests to witness stunning displays of Nobu-style dishes crafted from the freshest catches of the day, which may even involve legendary Barbudan lobsters. As diners savour their meals, they can sip on sake and tropical cocktails, all while gazing upon the picturesque waters just steps away.
The Cave Petroglyphs at Two Foot Bay: The caves at Two Foot Bay hide a secret tapestry…and an incredible wealth of wildlife. Visitors may encounter bats, crabs, iguanas, and avian species like tropicbirds amidst the diverse flora and fauna. For centuries, Barbudans have utilized these caves for camping, bestowing them with names like ‘The Fridge’ due to their calm and refreshing ambience. One notable grotto, Indian Cave, showcases petroglyphs left by the Arawak or Siboney, the original inhabitants of Barbuda, offering glimpses into the island’s ancient heritage.
Pink Sand Beach: Situated between Spanish Point and Palmetto Point, the pink beach of Barbuda is a captivating sight to behold. Accessible through an exciting boat excursion to the nearby Frigate Bird sanctuary, this stretch of shoreline showcases a stunning pink hue created by tiny shells. Renowned as one of the pinkest beaches in the Caribbean, its intensity varies with the seasons, creating a delightful ebb and flow of brightness. Spanning an impressive 12 km, this beach is ideal for snapping a photographic memento of your time in Barbuda.
Frigate Bird Sanctuary: The expansive Codrington Lagoon National Park is the largest wetland in Antigua and Barbuda. Spanning approximately 16.5 miles, this national park envelops the entire western coastline of Barbuda, containing a remarkably pristine lagoon. Few mangrove lagoons in the Caribbean can rival the preservation witnessed in Codrington, rendering it a site of utmost global significance. Serving as a haven for wildlife, Codrington Lagoon hosts the largest colony of Magnificent Frigatebirds in the Caribbean and the Western Hemisphere, with around 5,000 creatures soaring through its skies.
With the improving infrastructure between the sister islands of Antigua and Barbuda, it has become more accessible than ever for the adventurous traveller to swiftly hop between the two by boat or plane. Whether you enjoy a delectable barbecue lunch in St. John’s before embarking on a day’s excursion to the breathtaking Codrington Lagoon or opt for a rejuvenating stay exploring both islands, visiting both Antigua and Barbuda is a must. These two islands perfectly complement each other, offering diverse experiences from vibrant city life to pristine natural wonders. Capitalize on the opportunity to immerse yourself in each island’s unique charm and beauty, creating memories that will last a lifetime.