Antigua and Barbuda Travel Guide
Introduction to Antigua and Barbuda
Situated in the Lesser Antilles portion of the Caribbean, the tiny islands of Antigua and Barbuda attract many thousands of visitors per year due to the abundance of amazing beaches that are found here.
With considerable hilliness in its small area, it is a scenic place, making it a suitable destination for the avid photographer as well.
Currency: East Caribbean Dollars
What To Do in Antigua and Barbuda
Start your time in Antigua and Barbuda by touring Nelson’s Dockyard. Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for being a famous anchorage site for countless tall ships, Nelson’s Dockyard is a protected harbor that has become a favored port over the centuries.
After this quality became evident to British naval authorities, they quickly set to work building a base here for their Caribbean fleet.
These days, Nelson’s Dockyard is Antigua and Barbuda’s #1 tourist attraction, as not only is it home to a marina, hotels, restaurants and bars, but it also hosts regattas such as Antigua Sailing Week.
Situated above Nelson’s Dockyard is a vantage point that produces most of the postcard perfect images that one sees when looking at pictures of Antigua and Barbuda.
That place is known as Shirley Heights, and with its location almost 500 feet above English and Falmouth harbours, it was a natural location for the placement of military gun batteries to help defend this crucial naval asset for the British.
While it no longer functions in its intended purpose, the remains of this fortification have been preserved, so it will give you something to do after taking a panoramic photo of the island below.
There is also an island party that goes on here every Sunday from 4pm in the afternoon until 10pm in the evening, so if you’re looking for some Antiguan style hospitality, this is where you’ll want to come.
Before the tourism industry took off, the sugar business reigned supreme on Antigua and Barbuda. One of the best remaining reminders of this era is the plantation that was once known as Betty’s Hope.
Powered by wind, the remains of its windmill towers are the biggest attraction here, but other aspects of this property worth checking out include the main estate, the boiling house where cane juice was boiled down to produce sugar crystals, and a still that used to produce rum.
Much like a similar attraction located off of the Cayman Islands, Antigua and Barbuda has an area of shallows that attracts a great deal of stingrays.
Local tour agencies have taken advantage of this fact and have marketed their own Stingray City, where tourists can meet with these unique creatures in their own habitat.
When you aren’t petting these docile creatures, there is plenty of excellent snorkelling to be had as well, making it a great outing to go on during your time here.
Like every other Caribbean islands in the Lesser Antilles, Antigua and Barbuda has its share of paradise beaches.
While they all have something amazing to offer, be sure to check out Valley Church Beach, as its powder blue waters and its long overall length will give you the space that you need to find the solace that you have been longing for.
Another excellent option is Galley Bay Beach. Situated in its own protected cove with a fully equipped resort, everything you need for a perfect holiday in the sun can be found here.
What to Eat in Antigua and Barbuda
During meals on Antigua and Barbuda, Ducana is a side dish that you should endeavor to have alongside one of your mains.
A sweet potato dumpling that is made with raisins, ginger, nutmeg and other seasonings, it is most often served alongside salt cod and chop-up (spinach, eggplant and okra) at traditional restaurants on the island. Eaten cold, or chopped up thinly and fried for a short time, it is a wonderful compliment to a traditional meal of the island.
Those looking to have the national dish of Antigua and Barbuda should seek out some Fungi and Pepperpot.
The pepperpot here is a stew that consists of a variety of vegetables and fruits that include eggplant, spinach, okra, papaya, onion, garlic, and many others.
Most pepperpots contain meat in the form of salt beef and/or pig snout, while the fungi portion of this dish is made of cornmeal, and has the same consistency that an Italian polenta would.
When the time comes for dessert in Antigua and Barbuda, Sugarcake is a popular option for children and adults alike.
Made with coconut and sugar, and often colored pink, it is a treat that you will often find in the hands of overactive school children after their day’s lessons have concluded.