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Things to do in Antigua

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Antigua Attractions and things to do in Antigua

Antigua (pronounced An-tee'ga) has warm, steady winds, a complex coastline of safe harbours, and a protective, nearly unbroken wall of coral reef. In 1784 the legendary Admiral Horatio Nelson sailed to Antigua and established Great Britain's most important Caribbean base. The Brit's still visit this charming island but most come to its golden shores by plane direct from the UK. The islands beaches and its year-round warm weather are its main attraction but if you visit try to find time to wander away from the beach and explore the lush vegetation and rainforest that rises to the steep farmlands around Fig Tree Hill (figs are what Antiguans call bananas) before descending to the coastline again. Along the way are banana, mango, and coconut groves, as well as a number of old sugar mills and pleasant little churches.

Shopping

Duty Free Shopping is available in stores in St. John’s within the Heritage Quay Shopping centre. Tourists should visit the duty-free malls in Redcliffe Quay, which is excellent for local arts and crafts like palm-frond bowls, pottery, batik, woodcarvings, designer brands, fragrances and jewellery. More duty-free bargains such as island-aged rum, handicrafts and beachwear are available from Heritage Quay. There are numerous souvenir shops in St. John’s center and visitors can take home passion-fruit soaps, handmade jewellery, Antiguan rum and Susie's Hot Sauce. In order to be eligible to buy duty free goods the purchaser must now show a valid airline ticket. The shops are obliged to include the actual ticket number on the receipt in order to be able to sell the goods to you duty free.

Nightlife

There are many places in St. John’s which is a short drive from Long Bay where tourists can enjoy their night hours. At the Spinnakers Beach Bar & Restaurant, tourists can enjoy Continental and Caribbean food. At Shirley Heights, which is a hilltop, steel drum bands are organized and dancing and great food is organized. There are many casinos too in Antigua and Barbuda. 18 Karat is a hotspot for dancing with a wide variety of Caribbean and International music. It is usually frequented by locals but attracts foreigners as well. Kings Casino is the largest casino where live music is played and the prices of drinks are reasonably priced.

Head to the beach

Long Bay Beach is located about 15 miles from St. John’s and 5 minutes from the village of Willikies at Long Bay on the east coast of Antigua, West Indies. It's excellent powdery sand and blue waters make it a great place for snorkeling. It has great coral reefs that can be explored and a variety of water sports such as kayaking and sailing.

Attractions

There is plenty to see and do whilst in Antigua and we have listed a few ideas below. Several of these attractions can be booked at discounted rates to our customers who use our holidays search option. If you're only booking the hotel with us then most attractions can be booked from your hotel or via a local agency but the cost may be higher


Tour of Caribbean Coastline Travel by way of The Island had warm, and enjoy the steady winds, a complex coastline of safe harbours. The beaches of the hilly southwest corner of Antigua are generally less developed than those around St. John's further north. This side of Antigua beaches is especially quiet worth the rough travel necessary to reach them, then stop in St. John’s for Duty-free shopping at Heritage Quay and Vendor’s Mall. Heritage Quay, Antigua’s premier shopping Centre, where all of our stores are completely Duty & Tax FREE for travelers! Heritage Quay is conveniently located in the heart of St. John’s, where major cruise lines make port, and passengers from around the world stop off to explore what our island has to offer. Meeting/pick-up point: Main lobby of your hotel Duration: 3 hours Start/opening time: At 9am.


Historical Sightseeing Travel through the centre of Antigua by way of a number of small, quaint villages, enroute to the historic Lord Nelson’s Dockyard. At the Dockyard you will visit the Nelson’s Museum after which one will have a close up look at a number of modern-day most expensive sailing yachts. Amidst the relics of the Dockyard’s interesting, old buildings; then travel to Shirley’s Heights once used as the lookout to protect the Nelson’s Dockyard. It’s a view you would not like to miss. Also, visit the Interpretation Centre where you will experience the Antiguan culture and heritage in movie style. While at Shirley Heights you can see, on a clear day some neighbouring islands—to name a few, Montserrat and French Guadeloupe. Make sure to take a camera. After Shirley’s Heights you will be taken to the tropical side of the island where you will be shown a number of different kinds of vegetable and fruits cultivated on the hillside of the rain forest. The Antigua black pineapple is grown on that side of the island. Drive on the Caribbean Coastline and see some of the most beautiful beaches enroute to final destination Meeting/pick-up point: Pick up at the hotel. Duration: 4 Hours.


St. Johns Shopping TourVisit to the Antigua/Barbuda Museum. Drive up to the St. John’s Cathedral which was erected in the 1800’s. Visit the Antigua & Barbuda Archives. Enjoy a panoramic view of the City from Mount St. Johns. By way of some of Antigua’s Villages visit the Botanical Gardens in Bendals Village. On the way back stop by the St. John’s Vegetable Market and Vendors' Mall. In the City of St. John’s you will be delighted with the variety of shops at the Heritage Quay and Redcliffe Quaywhere you will enjoy duty-free shopping. Meeting/pick-up point: Pick up at the hotel. Duration: 3 hours. Start/opening time: At 9am. -End/closing time: At 12am.


Tour of North Coast Dickenson Bay and Runaway Bay, located along the island's developed northwestern coast, are the place to go for those who want the fully-loaded resort beach experience. The beaches most convenient to St. John's are Fort James, a locally-popular public beach, and Deep Bay. Galley Bay attracts surfers during the winter months and a joggers during the evening. The series of four crescent beaches at Hawksbill are also highly regarded, then stop in St. John’s for Duty-free shopping at Heritage Quay and Vendor’s Mall. Heritage Quay, Antigua’s premier shopping centre, where all of our stores are completely Duty & Tax FREE for travelers! Heritage Quay is conveniently located in the heart of St. John’s, where major cruise lines make port, and passengers from around the world stop off to explore what our island has to offer. Meeting/pick-up point: Main lobby of your hotel Duration: 3 hours Start/opening time: At 9am.


Shirley Heights Tour Definitely the place to be on Sundays. Celebrate the most dramatic sunset in Antigua and the brightest moonlight nights. Dance to the sounds of steel band music while you socialize and meet friends both visitors and locals. Enjoy the latest Caribbean rhythms from one of our best local bands. Spectacular sunsets are standard party fare and the much talked about green flash really can be seen! At 7.00pm the entertainment changes and some of the island's finest party bands are featured until 10.00pm. We are happy to share what we consider a "proud Antiguan institution" with you, our visitor. Meeting/pick-up point: Pick up at the hotel. Duration: 3 hours. Start/opening time: At 4pm. Others: Minimum age: 18.


Island Safari Adventure Tour This is a fun-filled trip explores Antigua’s many off-road trails with some of the best views the Caribbean has to offer. The route will take you through some of the island’s villages where your guide describes island life. Stop at Dow’s Hill, where there are breath-taking views of English and Falmouth Harbours with all the yachts in their moorings. On a clear day you can see over to Montserrat and its active volcano. Visit the National Parks and hear a knowledgeable guide narrate Antigua’s famous history. We will then wind our way down the hill and into Fig Tree Drive (the rain forest), past the South West Coast with its beautiful white sandy beaches and warm turquoise waters. Stop for a delicious local lunch at Turner’s Beach Restaurant, after which you’ll have time for a refreshing swim before going back to your hotel. Meeting/pick-up point: Hotel pick-up. Duration: 6 hours. Start/opening time: 9am. End/closing time: 3pm. Languages: English.


Excellence Circumnavigation Cruise We welcome you aboard for a full circumnavigation of our island’s magnificent coastline. Think you’ve seen all that Antigua has to offer? Wait till you experience the views by sea! The sensation you will feel, as the alluring coastline glides by with its rolling hills shimmering in the distance, is one you will never forget. See areas such as the Pillars of Hercules, Jumby Bay, Bird Island and the natural spectacle of Devil’s Bridge, up close and personal. Be at peace with the world as you gaze at slender coconut palms swaying in the crisp breeze and listen to rhythmic calypso and reggae music as we sail along. We will whisk you away to a secluded and uninhabited Green Island, where you can relax on the beach, explore the nearby reef or swim in the warm turquoise waters. Back on board the friendly crew will cook you a delicious lunch of chicken or fish accompanied by salad and local vegetables. Drinks are served to you by our crew from the open bar. Next we will cruise across the Falmouth Harbour Marina the home of many great events during the year. Before we return to port our journey will take us passed the exotic western coast of Antigua in crystal clear waters, where virgin white sandy beaches and pristine bays can still be found. Excellence is not just our name; it’s our way of life.


Safari Halfmoon Bay Tour See and learn about the history and culture of beautiful Antigua from this guided tour, whilst visiting the most stunning scenery on our island. Take advantage of amazing photo opportunities as we drive along the coast and look down onto Falmouth Harbour. This fun filled day will lead you to the south west coast, the rainforest and the south-eastern side of Antigua, where you will enjoy some spectacular stops, including a unique visit with the friendly donkeys at the sanctuary. A Caribbean lunch is served at the Roadside Café in Newfield Village, and then it is onto isolated Willoughby Bay with its stunning crystal waters and coral reefs. The mystique of Half moon bay will entrance you while we stop for a refreshing swim in the calmer side of this world famous beach and its warm turquoise waters. Meeting/pick-up point: Pick up at the hotel. Duration: 6 hours. Start/opening time: Daily at 9am. Languages: English.


Excellence Catamaran to Barbuda Enjoy a 90 min sea voyage with all that cruising has to offer. Allow the ‘Excellence’ to take you across to Barbuda, whilst you take in the vistas of the ocean, relaxing back with a cool drink of your choice. Seeing Barbuda by boat is the best way to enjoy the nature island and its beaches. We cruise up along Low Bay, a 17 mile beach, where in season, turtle tracks will be visible, as some species may return every two weeks or so to lay up to 30 nests of 300 eggs. At Low Bay, the Excellence will come up on the beach, and lower a beach ladder to allow disembarkation. At this point you are free to bask in the warm turquoise water or come with the group across to ""Codrington Lagoon"". Here Barbudan guides will be waiting with their small boats to whisk you across the lagoon and into the heart of the mangroves to see the world’s largest Frigate bird colony. You will get very close to these huge birds and the Barbudan guides will enchant you with their local knowledge and observations of the life of the “Man ‘O’ War” bird, and maybe entice you to hold a jelly fish in this natural haven. Once back to the beach a delicious Caribbean style lunch will have been prepared by the crew on board the Excellence. After lunch work on your Golden suntan. Swim in the warm water and allow your mind to drift away in this idyllic paradise


Mystic Sunset Cruise Be our guest on the lovely ‘Mystic II’ Catamaran as we set sail on a ‘one of a kind’ Tropical Sunset Cruise. Antigua is blessed with some of the most majestic and stunning sunsets in the Caribbean, and undoubtedly the best away to experience this natural spectacle is aboard a catamaran at sea. Upon boarding the Mystic you will be welcomed with a glass of sparkling wine, from the open bar, to sip on as you browse this sleek vessel. You can lounge on the sun deck or find a cosy little spot for you and that special someone. . The mood is romantic and relaxing, music will serenade you as the Mystic cruises through calm blue waters. Watch Antigua’s fabulous coast line glide by; palm trees waving in the cool evening breeze and strips of dazzling white-sandy beaches, all set before rolling green hills. As the golden sun begins it’s decent below the distant horizon you will be overcome by its blissful splendour. This is the perfect opportunity to seal a toast with a kiss. Delicious hors’doeurves will be served as the Mystics drifts back to port. Meeting/pick-up point: hotel pick-up. Duration: 2.5 hours.


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