Last Minute Vacations To Antigua and Barbuda
This twin-island nation is not only made up of its two main islands, Antigua (‘ancient’) and Barbuda (‘bearded’), but it also consists of a number of smaller islands (Great Bird, Green, Guinea, Long, maiden, York, and Redonda Islands). Nicknamed ‘the Land 365 Beaches’ and separated by a few nautical miles, Antigua and Barbuda both have magnificent snow-white beaches protected by coral reefs. Antigua is a more popular tourist destination with many mega-resorts on its beaches while Barbuda has little tourism-based infrastructure.
Getting There, Getting Around & Other Transportation
Flights land at the V.C. Bird International Airport (ANU) which is located on the island of Antigua. Car rentals as well as taxi and limousine services are conveniently located close to the VC
Bird Airport as well as in the main Antigua city of St. Johns. The Barbuda Express is a fast and comfortable ferry service between Antigua and Barbuda. To spice things up on your vacation, rent a scooter or take a helicopter ride to experience the islands from a new perspective.
Hotels & Places to Stay
In Antigua, most hotels and resorts are small but certainly do not lack in excellent customer service. Here are a couple choices from most pricey to least:
In Barbuda, as mentioned earlier, there are fewer places to stay due to the fact that most tourism is directed towards Antigua. There are however a few great places worth mentioning.
Coco Point Lodge
This hotel is a unique all-inclusive resort, secluded on its own 164 acre peninsula, bordered by miles of pristine pink/white sand beaches.
Each guesthouse surrounds the kidney shaped pool and overlooks the flat turquoise water of the Caribbean Sea. Their high-ceilings are accented by Mahogany wood beams and luxurious furnishings. Lighthouse Bay is also an all-inclusive resort.
Dining & Nightlife
In Antigua, check out these restaurants which serve up local seafood and Caribbean dishes:
The Commissioner’s Grill
Although fewer and further between, Barbuda’s restaurants have a more relaxed and private feel. Check out local specialties at theses beach restaurants:
Green Door Tavern
Pink Sand Beach Bar
Uncle Roddy’s Beach Bar and Grill
As far as nightlife goes, most hotels have plenty of nightlife activities as well as some of the best steel drum bands in the Caribbean. If wandering away from your resort appeals more to you, try gambling at Grand Princess Casino, St. Jame’s Club or King’s Casino. At night in Antigua, there is always something to do. Between the street shows and the bars, you will not be searching too long for a fun time. Check out these bars:
Rush Nightclub & Connors Sports Bar
Abracadabra Restaurant & Disco-Bar
The Life Bar
In Barbuda, the choices are of course less than Antigua, but for a fun night, try house-made fruit punches and other local drinks like soursop and passion fruit with Antigua’s own rum – Cavalier. Friday to Sunday nights feature reggae and dance music at the local Lyme Bar.
Attractions & Things to Do
Attractions in Antigua are never ending. From St. John’s Saturday morning market to the St. John Cathedral to the museum of Antigua and Barbuda, there’s much to do if you want to take a day away from the beautiful beaches. Go for a hike in Nelson’s Dockyard National Park or Shirley Heights. If you’re a history buff, check out Fort Barrington, Fort James and Fort James Bay which once protected the St. John’s harbor.
In Barbuda, aside from its unspoiled and generally secluded beaches on all sides of the island, explore around Two Foot Bay where huge caves with ancient drawings and in some cases require underground and underwater expeditions. Take your enjoyment of the Caribbean Sea to the next level by scuba diving or deep sea fishing.
Currency, Culture and Language
The official language is English, but many of the locals speak Antiguan Creole (derived from British and African languages).
The official currency in Antigua and Barbuda is the Eastern Caribbean Dollar (EC). Most places accept US dollars as well.