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Antigua really is all about the beaches - and there's 365 of them, enough for a years vacation. While the interior of the island is a little bit scrubby (it's not like the lush tropical rainforests on other Caribbean islands), the beaches in Antigua really are magnificent with turquoise waters and white sand. The neighbouring island of Barbuda is less developed and offers some wonderful, secluded stretches of typically picture perfect Caribbean beaches.

Best Beaches & Where to Stay?

St. Johns, on the North West coast, is the capital city - here the cruise lines arrive and there's plenty of tourist shops. To the North of St. Johns are Runaway Bay and Dickenson Bay - both are well known for their lovely beaches and are well developed areas. Hawkbill Bay is West of St Johns - there's four lovely beaches here.

The North East of the coast is where the international airport is, and the scenery is a little dry and scrubby.

The East coast of the island (around Betty's Hope) is rugged, beautiful and battered by the incoming waves from the Atlantic.

The South shore of Antigua is particularly popular with yachties and sailors. The heavily visited English Harbour is on the South coast, along with the historical site of Nelsons Dockyard National Park. Rendevouz Bay is on Antigua's Southern coast - a lovely beach good for those seeking some solitude.

The largest resort on the island of Antigua is the Sandals resort - which remains hugely popular.


30 miles North East of Antigua lies the sister island of Barbuda, which is less developed and with wonderful pink sand beaches. It's well known as being one of the top jetsetter destinations in the Caribbean. Barbuda has a secluded feel to it, and is a very special place to visit on vacation. There's some the the Caribbeans's best beaches and a range of luxury resorts catering to an upmarket clientele. Barbuda is also a nature lovers paradise and a great place for birdwatching tours. It's possible to visit on a day trip from Antigua - many visitors experience Barbuda in this manner.

Things to Do in Antigua

Honeymoons are very popular in Antigua - so to are weddings (you can fly in and get married the same day, without making and prior arrangements!).

Antigua is also very popular for hiking of all standards. Likewise scuba diving - there are a range of diving sites, and visibility is usually very good.

Constant winds mean that Antigua is a great island for a windsurfing vacation. Dickenson Bay is the most popular windsurfing spot in Antigua.

You'll certainly need a hire car if you plan on exploring even a small percentage of Antigua's 365 beaches. Fig Tree Drive is a well known route that winds it's way around some of the volcanic regions of the island.

When to Visit

Antigua is a year round holiday destination, seeing fine weather all year round. The hottest months are the summer months, whilst the hurricane season (normally July to November) sees increased chances of rain. One of the busiest weeks is Sailing Week, which is very popular with boat owners, and can get extremely busy to the extent that it's impossible to find a hotel room. Sailing Week is usually in April. Carnival, at the end of July, is celebrated with calypso music, street bands, partying and beauty shows...

Antigua photo, taken near the Sandals resort.

Antigua Beaches
Antigua's beaches are splendid as demonstrated by this picture.

Barbuda has beaches devoid of people with stunning transparent waters - ideal for a more relaxed vacation. - travel guide to the Caribbean Islands - All rights reserved.