Our UNIGLOBE One Travel Caribbean expert, Joan, gives her recommendations for a stunning vacation in Antigua.
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Joan has nineteen years' experience in planning dream Caribbean vacations, and is our resident Caribbean Expert. She has travelled to this part of the world so many times, she has lost count! Joan has numerous favorite islands in Eastern Caribbean with a special focus in Jamaica, Antigua and St Lucia. In addition to being a certified Jamaica and Sandals specialist, Joan has vacationed at ALL the Sandals resorts! Nothing can compare to her personal experiences and industry training. In the past few years, with the high demand for Weddings abroad, Joan is also an important member in our Destination Wedding & Honeymoon department. Her years of experience in arranging these special events always ensure that the Bride & Groom’s Dream Wedding & Honeymoon come true!
Read what Joan has to say about the Caribbean destination of Antigua!
One of my favorite islands in Eastern Caribbean is beautiful Antigua (pronounced an-tee-ga). This small island is located in the West Indies which is part of the Leeward Islands in the Eastern Caribbean region. Although this island is very small in comparison to Canada, it is the largest English-speaking Leeward Island with a population of 82,000.
Antigua and Barbuda is said to have 365 beaches - a different beach for everyday of the year! Many islanders claim that the beaches in Antigua are the closest thing to heaven on Earth. I believe Antigua truly offers the best beaches in the Caribbean with white sand and crystal clear waters.
Not only does Antigua offer stunning beaches, it offers a variety of restaurants for casual dining or first class chefs for the sophisticated palate.
Antigua is suitable for all ages; this creates the perfect destination for families, couples, singles, honeymooners and seniors. Antigua has a huge selection of all-inclusive or self catering accommodations, which makes it easy for budgets of all sizes.
Destination weddings are very common in Antigua. You can easily allow Mother Nature to assist by decorating with exotic local flowers, or you may wish to consider a sunrise or sunset ceremony with stunning photo opportunities behind you and allow the gentle waves to become your own private symphony.
Although driving is easy in Antigua, I would suggest hiring a private driver. This way you can sit back and enjoy real Antigua and slowly familiarize yourself with this stunning island. If you chose to self- drive, driving is on the left hand-side in the British fashion; drivers should proceed with caution and drive slowly until you get the rhythm of the traffic flow. You won’t want to miss the opportunity to explore English Harbour and Shirley Heights; Devils Bridge is another favorite of mine. St John’s is very popular on Saturday mornings when the locals bring their goods/crafts to town to sell.
Being surrounded by water, sailing has been one of the most popular sports for years with Antigua Sailing Week and Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta being two of the most reputable sailing competitions; hundreds of yachts from around the world come to Antigua the end of April and beginning of May each year to compete.
Sport Fishing is very popular with several big competitions held yearly. Kitesurfing or kite-boarding are very popular at Jabbawock Beach. Paddle Boards are a great way to enjoy the calm crystal blue waters. Antiguans are also very devoted to cricket.
For the diving enthusiast Antigua and Barbuda have hundreds of ship-wrecks and coral reefs to explore; you can be reassured to know Jolly Dive is staffed with both PADI and NAUI professional scuba diving instructors.
Tips - Antigua has a 28.00 US (70.00 EC) airport departure tax. The official currency in Antigua is EC’s but US dollars are welcomed. All Canadian passports must be valid for 6 months beyond entry. Tipping is the same as in North America, 10-15% depending on service levels. Antigua is on Atlantic Standard Time Zone.
Memories of a visit to Antigua stay with every traveller. The experience is somehow deeper and more captivating than any other Caribbean Island. A longing develops deep inside that is curable only by a return visit.
Air Canada Vacations and West Jet Vacations offer packages with simple stress-free connections via Toronto.
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