Located on the eastern fringes of the Caribbean Sea, Antigua and Barbuda is a popular twin-island destination in the Americas. It’s a place that perfectly exemplifies the ideal tropical paradise, with the island of Antigua nestling the picturesque town of St. John’s, while the other island, Barbuda, draws the attention of visitors with its undeveloped splendor.
Topping the list of things to see in this country are its seaside attractions. Travel advertisements from the islands proudly publicize Antigua and Barbuda’s magnificent beaches—all 365 of them. As the locals say, there’s “one for each day of the year.” Indeed there’s no shortage of sand, sea, and sun in the country, and it’s true whether you are looking for luxury resorts to indulge in or a deserted stretch of beach for a true taste of coveted solitude.
The country’s capital, St. John’s, is tucked away into a sheltered bay northwest of the island of Antigua. Showcasing a charmingly rustic nature, this quaint town of 82,000 people is actually one of the most developed municipalities in the Lesser Antilles. As the country’s commercial center, it is home to a collection of cafés, restaurants, local shops, and lavish boutiques, which attract customers from many of the high-end resorts and luxury villa rentals around the island, as well as from the cruise ships that visit every few days. It is also the location of the Museum of Antigua and Barbuda, which is housed in a colonial courthouse built in 1747, as well as St. John’s Cathedral, whose white baroque towers dominate the cityscape.
When going out of St. John’s, make sure to visit Dickenson Bay, which is home to many luxury beach resorts and is one of the country’s most popular destinations for swimming and other aquatic activities. South of the island is the English Harbour, where you can find Nelson’s Dockyard. Formerly home to the British Royal Navy, the dockyard has previously fallen to disrepair but is now beautifully restored to host the posh sailboats and yachts of locals and visitors.
In your itinerary, also include a hike up Monk Hill to visit the historic Fort George and to see spectacular views of the port of Falmouth. For a walk back to the country’s past as a sugar industry center, visit the restored Betty’s Hope Sugar Plantation near the village of Pares, where two old stone windmills and a distillery can be found.
If you’re hoping to see more of the country in its undeveloped glory, head to the island of Barbuda where you can find the sleepy village of Cordington, a beautiful place that is home to less than 2,000 people. From here, you can enjoy the island’s pristine white and pink-sand beaches and its reef-encrusted waters. Also book a tour to see the Cordington Lagoon National Park, which hosts a frigate bird sanctuary. Northeast of the island is the Indian Cave, where you can find Arawak-carved petroglyphs.