The Caribbean is known for having great weather throughout the year and Antigua is one of the sunniest islands in the region. Temperatures are usually in the 80s in the summer, and when it is cold in some parts of the world, Antigua is continuing to warm up, with temps in the mid-70s. Though it can get hot in this part of the world, the northeast trade winds cool things down significantly in Antigua, which equates to low humidity most of the year.
Many years ago, Christopher Columbus discovered Antigua. He thought he had finally reached Japan! Not quite, Christopher! He originally named the island Wadadli, which is now the name of a local beer. Horatio Nelson ended up building a dockyard on the island and today a cultural heritage site and marina, Nelson’s Dockyard National Park in English Harbor, is a popular venue for sailing events in Antigua. Sailing is a popular pastime in Antigua, and if you are into the sport you will want to visit the island during Sailing Week. This annual event is known to be one of the best-known regattas in the world. Each year this event attracts between 150-200 yachts, with around 1,500 participant and 5,000 spectators on average.
Measuring 108 square miles, ad 13 miles across, it is quite easy to drive around the island,
whether you decide to hire a local cab or rent a car. You can explore Antigua and Barbuda, its neighboring island, where hills and valleys abound. The first time I visited Antigua I was shown the highest point of Antigua, Mount Obama. It was originally named Bogey Peak but was renamed in 2009 after U.S. President Barack Obama to recognize the successes of black people. Also, along your drive you will see many remains of the old sugar mills, which was the main industry for years in Antigua.
While in Antigua you can take a short boat ride to Barbuda to visit that island’s bird sanctuary. It is here that you will find the largest nesting colony of frigate birds in the entire Caribbean. These large sea birds are usually found in tropical oceans and are a huge attraction here. There are also as many as 150 bird species that can be seen here, including cormorants, pelicans, and herons.
Antigua also has one of the largest Carnival celebrations in the Caribbean. This is held between July to early August and it is quite a spectacle. Steel bands, fancy costumes, parades, and live music is everywhere and spreads over 10 days of festivities.
Some of my favorite resorts in Antigua are Sandals Grande Antigua, Curtain Bluff, Hermitage Bay, Galley Bay, Hammock Cove, Blue Waters, St. James Club, and for the ultimate splurge, Jumby Bay.
If you have a week to spend on vacation, Delta has one non-stop flight per week. For shorter visits you will need to take other combinations of one-stop or more flights. There are many reasons to go to Antigua but the ones that come to mind first are: its beautiful white sand beaches, Nelson’s Dockyard, sailing, fishing, culinary delicacies, and the largest colony of frigate birds in the Caribbean!
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