The best time to go to Antigua is between mid December through to mid May, here it is at it’s driest and coolest. The temperature does get hotter from June onward but is still bearable. May is a very good month to getaway to Antigua as prices are less expensive compared to the peak season and the weather is still very warm and dry.
Hurricane season begins around August through to October. Resort, villa and hotel prices tend to drop around this time as the demand is simply not there due to the weather so you may be able to pick up a bargain.
Antigua or Waladli, known by the locals, is a beautiful island situated in the lower eastern area of the Caribbean just north of Guadeloupe. It is surrounded in coral reef and makes it home to many types of colourful fish, so snorkelling or scuba diving is a must when visiting Antigua.
The 365 sandy beaches are pristine white so you can literally visit a different beach everyday of the year but there are a few that stand out so read on to find out more.
Capital City: St.Johns
Currency used in Antigua: Eastern Caribbean Dollar with most places will accept the US Dollar. It may be worthwhile to exchange to the Eastern Caribbean Dollar as your money will go further.
Airports in Antigua: V. C Bird International Airport | Barbuda Codrington Airport
Visa & Entry Requirements: Must have both a valid passport and return ticket. Most countries don’t require a Visa. You can check out any further requirements here.
Average temperature in Antigua: June through to September are the hottest months with an average temperature of 28C (82F) and coolest in January at 25C (76F).
Antigua is a beautiful Caribbean island ribboned in dazzling white sand set against a spectacular aquamarine sea soaked in the warmth of the golden sun above. Antigua and her smaller sister island Barbuda, are one of the Caribbean’s most visited islands that attract the rich and wealthy.
The shores are lined in luxurious resorts, villas and yachts with an abundance of things to do here, so isn’t it time for your Antigua getaway.
What to do in Antigua
- Visit the historic Nelson’s Dockyard
Culture & Festivities
The people of Antigua and Barbuda are inviting, warm and vibrant. They celebrate many festivities throughout the year, whether it be cultural, historical or simply to have a good time. However, no celebration is as big and larger than Carnival, similar to the other Caribbean islands.
A 10-day celebration commemorating the 1834 abolishment of slavery on the island. It begins in late July right through to early August and is filled with dancing, calypso music, colorful costumes and plenty of partying. Take to the streets where you can see parades around St. Johns. It’s an occasion for everyone to see and get involved with.
An annual celebration that takes place every February at St John’s Botanical Gardens. Here you can see participants compete in the festival’s warri games (a strategy board game). You can also attend the outdoor fair where food, drink and handmade crafts can be purchased. Listen and dance to the music of the live acts as the play throughout the day.
Antigua Sailing Week
Held between late April and early May, the Antigua Sailing week attracts more than 200 vessels to the south coast of the island. This annual race is one of the worlds most prestigious sailing regattas and is celebrated throughout the week filled with live music and dancing. This event also includes a formal black tie ball allowing you to experience a glamorous evening.
Celebrating being independent from Great Britain on November 1st, 1981. Antigua and Barbuda celebrate a week leading up to the date with fairs, parades, music and galas that everyone can enjoy.
Antigua and Barbuda International Cricket Fest
Cricket is the national sport of the islands but this festival goes all out with a four-day event that attracts master levels from all over the world. It is accompanied by lively music and local food so you can enjoy a nice meal after a very entertaining day.
Annual Seafood Festival
Held at Urling’s Wharf every April, this event is definitely one for the seafood lovers. Here you can taste locally caught fish and crustaceans and was first founded to promote the fishermen of Antigua and Barbuda. It has grown into a much larger event with live music and fishing competitions for children. Visitors can also enjoy boat rides around Carlisle Bay and take in the surrounding scenery.
Best beaches in Antigua
Antigua is home to 365 beaches that stretch around the 20 kilometre long island, that has luscious greenery, towering palm trees and the most white powdery sand you can see. Whether you are a person of relaxation or adventure, there is plenty to do on these beautiful beaches when you go to Antigua.
Located just 10 minutes drive away from St. John’s, Deep Bay is a beach that is usually quiet from the hustle of all the tourists. This beach is perfect for swimming and snorkelling as the waters are calm and the bay is protected from the rough waters further out. Here you will be able to see a shipwreck, right in the middle of the bay. The Andes, a ship from Trinidad sank here almost 100 years ago and the mast still pokes out of the water to this day.
Located on the south coast of the island, Carlisle Bay is one of the most beautiful beaches of Antigua. The water here is a mix of stunning blues as it is here that Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean meet. There is no better place to snorkel as this beach is protected by a cove that keeps the rough waters out. Grab your snorkeling gear and explore the sea with the amazing colors of the fish or sit back in relax and bathe in the warmth of the sun.
Located directly north of St. John’s, Dickenson Bay is one of the favorites of Antigua. This popular beach is perfect for everyone whether water sports is your thing or relaxing on a sun lounger. Due to the location and the calm waters, there are a number of water sports and vendors here. Why not try out jet skiing, parasailing or banana boating or take a walk down the beach with a loved one and take in all the surrounding views. There are also a number of restaurants and beach bars where you can grab a drink or a quick bite to eat.
Half Moon Bay
Highly rated as one of Antigua’s number one beaches, Half Moon Bay which is situated on the south-eastern coast and a 5-minute drive from Freetown. It stretches around 1.5 km with the most beautiful pink sand and turquoise waters. It is here the Atlantic Ocean can be surfed as the waves tend to be more rough outside of the reef, it is perfect for any windsurfer. Staying within the reef, swimming and snorkeling is mostly okay as the reef protects from the rough seas beyond it. There is a concession stand here where food and drink can be purchased.
Located just west of St. John’s, Hawksbill is actually made up for 4 different beaches, one being open to the public and the other three can be reached through the Hawksbill Resort. The first beach has onsite parking and is just a 20-minute drive from St. John’s. The 3rd beach has a choice of clothing being optional, so if going in the nip is your thing, by all means. These beautiful beaches have stunning white sand with towering palm trees where you can stroll along the beach or take a dip in the water, a place that really is paradise.
Where to stay and relax in luxury
Antigua is a place of both luxury and beauty, why not fully envelope yourself in the experience and stay and relax where your every need can be catered for. The island has some very beautiful villas and all-inclusive resorts to stay in that will surely make your getaway to Antigua unforgettable.
Sandals Resorts offer incredible all-inclusive packages whether your are planning a family holiday or a couples getaway. Their resort is based in the capital of St. Johns so you are right in the lively centre of Antigua.
The Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa has been voted ‘World’s Most Romantic Resort’ year after year so is an excellent spot if you are planning a wedding, honeymoon or celebrating an anniversary.
- Two unique village experiences
- Exotic Rondoval Suites-in-the Round
- Luxury Ocean Villa One Bedroom Suites
- Set on one of Antigua’s best beaches
- Butler Service included in top-tier suites
- Unlimited fine dining at 11 restaurants
- 7 full-service bars
- Unlimited premium brand drinks
- Unlimited Robert Mondavi Twin Oaks
- 6 pools with the Eastern Caribbean’s largest and 6 whirlpools
- Unlimited land and water sports
- Complimentary Scuba diving
- Red Lane Spa
- Free non-stop round trip airport transfers
- Free Wi-Fi in all rooms and public areas
Click for Special Offers
Where to dine
Antigua has some very beautiful restaurants and beach bars to wine and dine at. It has a mixture of cuisine that will cater for everyone from Mediterranean, Italian, European and French.
- Catherine’s Cafe (located at Pigeon Point Beach, English Harbour) (French, Seafood)
- Sheer Rock’s (located at Cocobay Resort, Saint Mary’s) (Caribbean, Mediterranean, Seafood)
- Jacqui O’s Beachhouse (located at Love Beach Crabb Hill, Saint Mary’s) (Caribbean, Seafood, International)
- The Cove Restaurant at The Blue Waters Resort (located at Soldier’s Bay, St. John’s) (French, Caribbean, Seafood)
- Sun Ra (located at Dockyard Drive, Falmouth Harbour) (Italian, Mediterranean)
- Le Bistro (located at Country Club Road, Hodges Bay) (French)
- Carmichaels (located at Sugar Ridge Hotel, Bolan’s) (International, Caribbean)
- South Point Restaurant & Lounge (located at Yacht Club Drive, English Harbour) (Sushi, Seafood)
- The Hideout (located near Saint James’ Club, English Harbour) (Seafood, International)
- East Restaurant (located at Carlisle Bay Hotel, Saint Mary’s) (Asian)
in 1684, Sir Christopher Codrington arrived on the island of Antigua. He saw opportunity here and decided to start a large scale sugar cultivation that was already introduced elsewhere in the rest of the Caribbean. Within 50 years, the sugar cultivation had flourished and there were more than 150 cane processing windmills throughout the island. Today, there is still around 100 of these stone towers remaining but have mainly been converted into house, bars and restaurants.
In 1784, Horatio Nelson, the head of the Squadron of the Leeward Islands arrived to Antigua. Here he decided to develop the British naval facilities at English Harbour and to reinforce stringent shipping laws. During his time, Nelson’s Dockyard was constructed, one of Antigua’s best place to see.
Most of Antiguan’s are of African lineage, they are descendants of slaves who were brought to the islands to labor in the sugarcane fields. In 1834, Britain abolished slavery throughout the empire and Antigua instituted immediate full emancipation. It wasn’t until 1981 that Antigua achieved full independent status and celebrations are still held to this day as a result of it.
Any questions, please do not hesitate to ask and I will get back to you.