British style Caribbean colours
The island of Antigua, a colony of the British crown for over 300 years, has retained the taste for tropical life introduced by her majesty’s subjects.
Arriving to Antigua on an cruise ship and disembarking in the English harbour, along the southern coast of the island, instead of the capital of Saint John, means gaining access to the historical centre of the island.
Here, you will find Nelson’s Dockyard, an old restored dockyard and Royal Navy district. Between April and the beginning of May, it is the site of some of the most important sailing regattas in the world, such as the Antigua Sailing Week. Regular patrons of the Terrace, a refined restaurant in the Inn at English Harbour, prefer the excellent lobster and red snapper. The entire island serves as an example of what it means to spend your holiday in the Antilles.
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Scuba divers prefer Cades Bay, on the southwestern coast. But go as far as the Cades Reef, a 4 kilometre-long barrier reef. Enormous starfish appear just beyond the foreshore, on the private island of Long Island situated in front of the western coast of the island and hosting the luxurious Jumby Bay Hotel. On the same island, in Pasture Bay, sea turtles come every year to lay eggs in the months of April and May. To enjoy the sunset (or the island’s most famous parties), the destination of choice is Shirley Heights, from where you can enjoy a beautiful view of the English Harbour. It has been a party spot where Caribbean cruise goers and locals cheerfully mix for over 30 years.
MUST SEE PLACES IN SAINT JOHN
The spirit of the Caribbean
If you like English style Caribbean islands, you cannot miss a vacation in Antigua and Barbuda. From Saint John, the capital of Antigua, it is worth visiting Runaway Beach; between the sea and the salt lake, home to the large pelicans that live on the island. Dickinson Bay stretches out a little to the north and is one of the best equipped in Antigua.
An excursion into the hinterland, which is like a journey in time, takes you to the village of Pares. From which you can then reach Betty’s Hope; the oldest sugar cane plantation in the country and then proceed to Long Bay where the bay’s waters are protected by the coral reef. In Antigua, the sea has even dug out the amazing Devil’s Bridge.
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In Barbuda, about 20 marine miles north of Antigua. You can admire the largest nesting colony of marine birds in the area and behind it the long, 11 Miles Beach. The old history of the Lesser Antilles also gives us a trace of the pre-Colombian populations. Like the Arawak, the native population of these archipelagos; some artefacts can be admired at the Old Court House in Saint John, while Amerindian petroglyphs are visible in the Indian Cave in Barbuda.