Top 10 Things to See and Do
1. Surrounded by the crystal blue waters of the Caribbean Sea, the island of Antigua is a water lovers paradise. Diving and snorkelling among the colourful coral are, of course, popular options, while banana boating, jet-skiing and water-skiing are also among the activities on offer for those who prefer their water sports a little more fast-paced.
2. With its swathes of dense rainforest, rolling hills and the majestic Mount Obama (the 402 metre remnant of a volcanic crater), hiking and trekking in Antigua is always an adventure. Forge your own path, or enjoy the islands breathtaking scenery on a guided tour.
3. Dating back to 1745, Nelsons dockyard is the islands most popular tourist attraction and its main port of entry for yachts; lined with restaurants, souvenir shops and inns, the two-floor Dockyard Museum housed in a former officers residence is also a must-visit.
4. Providing the perfect playground in which to channel your inner Tarzan and let loose, the Antigua Rainforest Canopy Tour boasts a diverse array of zip lines (including the appropriately name 328ft ‘Screamer’) and suspension bridges, and offers treetop tours ranging from one hour to the two and half hour Full Canopy Tour.
5. The quiet majesty of its scattered 18th century ruins and astonishing spectacle of its generous hilltop views make Shirley Heights a compelling place to visit. Including the remains of officer’s quarters dating from 1787 and an excellent museum, there is also a restaurant and bar which affords sweeping panoramic views from its rear.
6. Visit the Museum of Antigua & Barbuda for a more cohesive exploration of the islands fascinating and colourful history, from the slaves and the British plantation owners to indigenous tribes and pirates and buccaneers. Upstairs the Environmental Awareness Group of Antigua & Barbuda not only provide information about sustainability and conservation on the islands, but can arrange workshops and guided hikes.
7. Antigua’s public market is one of the most vibrant you are likely to find anywhere – piled high with fresh bananas, limes, mangos and eggplants, it also boasts more unusual produce such as black pineapple and the reddish flowers of sorrel (rich in antioxidants). Visit on Friday or Saturday morning to catch it at its most lively.
8. The most prominent landmark of Antigua’s charming capital, St. Johns twin-spire cathedral rises regally above the city. With a neo-baroque stone structure and unique pine interior, access is sometimes limited but can be seen on special guided tours set up through the deanery.
9. Located near Indian Town in Eastern Antigua, the Devils Bridge is one of the islands most striking landmarks. A natural limestone arch whose unusual shape has been formed over decades by the relentless onslaught of the ocean waves, the view is a remarkable reminder of the potent power of the elements.
10. Awe-inspiring, gorgeous, sublime – just a few words that first spring to mind when trying to describe the breathtaking beauty of Antigua’s beaches. Adding to the attraction, some of the islands most stunning stretches of white-blond sand and sapphire sea are also its most remote – these include the four secluded Hawksbill Beaches (Royal Palm Beach, Sea Grape Beach, Honeymoon Cove and Eden Beach) and the acclaimed Randezvous Bay.
Culture in Antigua
Antigua’s cultural heritage is richly diverse: an amalgamation of African Heritage, colonial influences and home grown Caribbean flavour, the passions of this small island include cricket (which is treated as more of a religion than a sport), music, rum and carnival.