Antigua and Barbuda – All the Scoop for Your Trip to the Caribbean Gem


The Caribbean is everyone’s dream destination. Whether it be for a honeymoon, a long-awaited holiday, a cruise, or even just knocking off a bucket list item, a trip here is worth a dream. But not all of the Caribbean is built the same. Antigua and Barbuda is a destination that stands out as a gem amongst its peers.

From beaches that rival the Copacabana to some of the warmest people on earth, Antigua and Barbuda should be on your bucket list. In this 5-minute read, you’ll find the inside scoop on what’s good in the land of 365 beaches, and what to expect on your trip there.

Pack your bags and let’s get rolling to the Caribbean!

History and Culture

Antigua and Barbuda are two islands located on the leeward or eastern sides of the Lesser Antilles. The main islands are Antigua -the largest, and Barbuda, located about 40km apart. There are other lesser islands such as Redonda, Guiana, and Prickly Bear, although these have minute populations. All these have stunning coastlines, with a mixture of gentle hills and rolling plateaus. Barbuda is especially known for its pink sandy beaches with tranquil seas most year-round.

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Back to the islands. The history of the islands is intertwined with colonialism and the indigenous Siboney and Arawak peoples. The British expansionists chose Antigua and Barbuda for its strategic location. By the 18th century, it was serving as a key naval base and sugar-producing colony.

Antigua’s Nelson’s Dockyard, pictured above and once a British Naval base, is where you can find nice remnants of the island’s colonial past. It is the oldest remaining working dockyard from the Georgian Era, and one of the most photographed sites on the islands. Betty’s Hope is another historical site and one of the earliest established enterprises on the island. Originally a sugar plantation worked by slaves, it now remains a museum where colonial artifacts can be found.

Because of sustained preservation efforts, the lush landscapes of the islands have been well-maintained. You won’t miss any greenery here, plus the place is also very clean.

What to Expect in Antigua and Barbuda

Now, let’s talk about why you’re all here! As you step on the tarmac your mind is probably already wheezing past airport security to the nearest beach. The excitement is flavor, but preparation is necessary as well. First, you need to plan your itinerary well.

For cash, expect to use a mix of the U.S. dollar and the Eastern Caribbean Dollar (ECD). If you’re carrying USD, breaking larger bills can be a challenge, so be sure to carry smaller denominations. Though some places do accept credit cards, always have cash on hand for transactions like cab, local markets, etc.

Getting around the island is easy, and you can a local cab if you’re entirely new and stick to the same cab driver throughout your trip. You can also get around on foot or use buses, although the road networks aren’t very extensive. Renting a car for your entire trip is quite costly, but again, budget. Also, keep in mind that Antiguans drive on the left, so beware of the signage if you do plan on driving.

You can choose from a mix of Airbnb’s or local hotels for boarding. The rooms generally vary from as low as $25 per night to as much as $1000 per night, depending on your location and budget. Antiguans are friendly though, so you never have to worry about a place to sleep.

People and Places to See in Antigua and Barbuda

The communities in Antigua and Barbuda are generally laid back, although you can expect modest fun at the beaches. The folks are friendly but generally reserved, and you’ll feel that vibe all the way from the airport to when you leave. Some advice is to not force conversations but just move along with the flow and interact naturally with them. It is often said that if you meet an Antiguan friend you’ve come across a buddy for life.

So, where does your itinerary take you in Antigua and Barbuda?


For your first dining experience, you might want to try a seafood joint Papa Zouk in St. John’s. This is a Caribbean fish restaurant and rum bar that is legendary with tourists here, nestled in a safe alleyway.

If you’re looking for something livelier, you might want to try Sheer Rocks on the west coast, accessed through Cocobay Resort. This is ideal for you if you want a late dinner date with a lot of music afterward. the location is one of the best in Antigua, with an excellent sunset on most days.

For a once-in-a-lifetime pizza experience, the famous Mario Pizzeria in Falmouth is the location you need to visit.

Beaches and Outdoors

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Look no further than Half Moon Bay in Antigua – soft white sands, crystal-clear waters, and dramatic waves. It’s any surfers paradise, also ideal for snorkelers, and sun-seekers.

For a little more luxury, consider staying at Siboney Beach Club, nestled along the shores of Dickenson Bay. With its stunning views and shared amenities, it’s the perfect sanctuary for unwinding after a day of exploration. And, for a truly Five Star experience, be sure to visit Hodges Bay, located North of the island. It has a classy five-start resort and also provides a good choice of restaurants and upscale bars.

If you really need some panorama in your life and fancy some hiking, then go straight top to Mount Obama, Antigua’s highest point. You can also drive to the countryside through Fig Tree Drive with picturesque villages, historic churches, and stunning ocean views along the way.

Final Words

Hopefully, you’re ticked for your trip to Antigua and Barbuda as we are. Expect a blend of culture, laid-back and positive vibes, a chill atmosphere, beautiful coral beaches, and some of the coolest people you’ll ever meet.

Remember to plan your trip early and set your itinerary. Only work with trusted travel agents and visit the Antiguan government’s website for more information on traveling to or living in Antigua and Barbuda. Best of luck!

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