Antigua and Barbuda: Introduction
Life is a beach
A beautiful, laid back, island in the sun. Antigua and its sister island Barbuda, is the largest of the Leeward Islands in the West Indies, 8 hours flight away from the U.K. When you land at V.C. Bird International Airport and you are on your way to your hotel, you will start to relax as the warm climate, day and night and the pervading ambiance of the tropics weaves its magic. Antigua will enhance your expectations as there is something for all tastes to enjoy.
There is a lovely island to explore from the sea and from the land. Antigua is blessed with lovely white sandy beaches set in sweeping bays nestled in rocky coves, many deserted to claim as your own. There is a wide range of water sports available from the hotels and sport centres. Windsurfing is very good on the Atlantic side of the island where winds and sea conditions are best suited. You can sail, kayak, bike and hike, play golf or take a sailing cruise around the island or simply relax on a beach and take in the Caribbean sunshine and enjoy an Antiguan juice or a rum punch.
Antigua has an interesting history. Admiral Nelson chose Antigua to establish a naval base in the 18th century to protect the Eastern Caribbean. Nelson's Dockyard and many other military sites on the island have been fully restored and are popular visitor attractions. Antigua is a friendly island. It is easy to get around by land and sea and also by air to the neighbouring islands. Spare time to take a helicopter trip to Montserrat to see the sleeping volcano and the devastated remains of its capital city, evidence of the last eruption. Eco tourism is a new market in Antigua. Do visit the nature parks, aqua parks, reefs and mangrove nurseries by 4WD Jeep, kayak or shallow draft boats. The rainforest canopy tour suspended from cables and walking across rope suspension bridges is very popular. Antigua offers plenty of comfortable accommodation to suit all budgets. Hotels and resorts are mainly on the beaches.
There are also self catering apartments and bungalows, bed and breakfast guest houses and rental villas. Most rooms have air conditioning or ceiling fans and full board rates generally include meals, drinks, taxes, service charges and transfers. The cuisine is truly international, however may we suggest you try the local dishes. The seafood is plentiful, fruit is abundant and vegetarians will be in their element with all the local produce. Wines, beers are all available, again do try the local rum cocktails and punches, but be warned Antiguans are renowned for being heavy handed with their rum. Entertainment is low key. Resorts and most of the hotels have floor shows and live bands in the summer months. Sunday afternoon and evening be sure to visit Shirley Heights, above Nelson's Dockyard to enjoy a local barbeque and party to the steel bands and reggae music.