Antigua is one of the most popular countries in the Caribbean. The island receives hundreds of newcomers daily, and majority of these people are tourists. However, there are also a number of individuals and families that arrive here ready to be permanent residents since they already have Antigua citizenship by investment.
But whether you are going to this Caribbean nation on a holiday or you will be staying here for good, there are seven places you have to visit immediately once you arrive. These are:
1. St. John’s
The capital city of Antigua, St. John, is where you will most likely arrive via the airport or port.
Once you’ve gotten some rest from your long journey, begin your adventure by exploring this colorful city. Visit St. John’s Cathedral, one of the most popular local landmarks which is famous for its white neo-Baroque towers.
To know more about the island nation’s history, traditions and culture, visit the Museum of Antigua and Barbuda. The building, which is the city’s former Court House, is already fascinating in itself since it was constructed in the 18th century.
If you love boats and everything related to the maritime industry, head to Nelson’s Dockyard National Park. It is home to a naval museum and various souvenir and crafts shops. You can also watch the thousands of international sailing yachts bobbing in the five marinas there.
St. John’s also has several supermarkets, duty free shops and public markets where you can shop for anything you need and want. You also won’t be disappointed by the variety of restaurants and bars on the south coast mostly run by expatriates.
2. Dickenson Bay
In case you can’t wait to hit the beach, go to Dickenson Bay – one of the most beautiful beaches in Antigua.
Dickenson Bay is known for its white sands and calm blue waters. It is home to several large resorts, restaurants, and beach bars.
It is a popular spot for windsurfing, kayaking, snorkeling and other water sports and activities. Dickenson Bay is also one of the safest and family-friendly beaches in Antigua.
3. Half Moon Bay
Considered one of the Caribbean’s best beaches, Half Moon Bay has an amazing reef, powder-white sand and clear azure blue waters.
It is a wonderfully breathtaking place for swimming, snorkeling and other activities. If you want to simply relax and enjoy the natural scenery, you can do this here, too.
Half Moon Bay is on the southeast coast of Antigua and is a five-minute drive from Freetown village.
4. Prickly Pear Island
If you want to spend a day on an unpopulated Caribbean islet, book a boat tour to Prickly Pear Island. It is a popular destination for day-trippers and cruise passengers looking for a secluded coastline with fine white sand and incredible beaches.
The waters are teeming with various species of tropical fishes and, as such, it is perfect for snorkeling and scuba diving. There are plenty of beach chairs, umbrellas and picnic tables on the beach if you simply want to relax on the seaside.
Once you start feeling hungry or thirsty, head to the shack beach bar and restaurant to enjoy scrumptious meals and snacks, and to quench your thirst.
5. Stingray City
Getting up close and personal with mantas is pretty easy when you visit Stingray City. Located half a mile offshore, the clear blue water is shallow with a sandy bottom and tropical reef where you will find hundreds of friendly southern stingrays gliding or resting around.
You can stand in the clear, cool waters to feed the stingrays some squid. If you’re feeling really adventurous, you can also swim or snorkel with these friendly sea creatures.
6. Devil’s Bridge
The Indian Town National Park features the natural limestone Devil’s Bridge, a marvelous natural structure sculpted by the strong hammering surf. During high tide, you can watch incredible geysers of water coming from the blowholes in the nearby rock.
This park also offers incredible hike trails. In addition, it is an excellent spot for bird watching since more than 36 avian species can be found here.
7. Shirley Heights
To see Antigua’s most breathtaking and famous view, visit Shirley Heights. From this area, you will have an unimpeded glorious view of the English and Falmouth Harbors and the neighboring islands of Guadaloupe and Montserrat. And make sure you time your visit before nightfall to watch the spectacular Caribbean sunset.
There are also several restaurant and bars in and near Shirley Heights which makes it one of the most happening spots in Antigua and every Sunday night from 5 p.m., the sunset party with live music is a must-do.
Before you end your vacation or ease into the island life as a new citizen of Antigua, make sure you drop by all these must-visit places first.
Jimmy Webster is the CEO Of Citizens International, a white-glove specialist firm offering private client services necessary for citizenship investment into the Caribbean. A qualified lawyer and corporate financier with 20 years’ experience, Jimmy works directly with many professional partners and provides oversight on all client files.