If you are thinking about going on a Caribbean cruise for this years vacation then a stop to Antigua is one of
the highlights, as this stunning island is packed full of idyllic tropical beaches and warm turquoise waters.

Antigua also has a fascinating history and was once an important colonial base for the British Empire, with
the Royal Navy operating strategic Head Quarters out of English Harbour, and the remains of this impressive
naval past can be seen in the historic Nelson’s Dockyard and the old quarters and forts of Georgian Harbour.
You can also see the remains of the great sugar empire that was once run out of the Caribbean on Antigua,
and old plantations and mills are dotted around the islands.

Antigua beaches are many and are wonderful

Antigua beaches are many and are wonderful

In modern times Antigua is an independent country, and English Harbour is famous for its sailing facilities,
with the Antigua Yacht Show and Antigua Sailing Week being two of the highlights of the international
yachting and sailing community’s annual calendar, and over 30,000 visitors come here every year just for the
wonderful sailing alone in the winter months. The main bulk of Antigua’s wealth now comes from tourism and
with duty free shopping, year round sunshine and beautiful tropical surroundings this really is a lovely
destination with lots to offer visitors.

Language
Mainly because of its colonial past and huge influx of Western tourists the main language on the island is
English, but you will also find Spanish spoken in many of the smaller villages and towns.

Sailing in Antigua is a must do if you are there

Sailing in Antigua is a must do if you are there

Currency
The currency of Antigua is the Eastern Caribbean Dollar (E.C.), but as with many Caribbean islands the US
dollar is also welcome in most shops and restaurants. There are plenty of ATMs in the main towns and ABIB
and Scotia both have banks near the Heritage Quay in St Johns.

Top Souvenir Ideas
If you are looking for some great souvenirs to take home for both yourself and your friends and family then
check out Antigua’s many shops and stores which sell a huge range of local crafts, hand made clothing,
contemporary Caribbean art, pottery and much more. The local market in St Johns on Saturday is also a
great place for a bargain and it takes place at the junction of Market Street, Valley Road and All Saints Road.

Antigua Harbor by the capital St John

Antigua Harbor by the capital St John

Getting Around
One of the easiest ways for day trippers to get around the island is by taxis, and there are plenty available
just outside the Heritage Quay, and it is best to negotiate a fare to your destination before you set off. You
can also rent cars from leading international companies such as Avis, Hertz and Dollar in St Johns. If you
have not already arranged a tour around the island with your cruise operator then Island Safari offer half day
excursions around the lush tropical forest and hills of the island for very reasonable prices.

Things to Do
There are lots of things to see and do in Antigua and some top activities include:
* Jabberwock Beach – this beach has a number of water sports but is a particular favorite for kite
surfing and you ca take lessons and hire equipment here, or just sit back and watch the energetic
acrobatics of others in the water.
* Betty’s Hope – this 17th Century Sugar Plantation has been restored, and here you can see the
unique heritage of the sugar trade at work, as the plantation is a ‘living museum’ with fully working
mill machinery on display, and fascinating exhibits including maps, pictures and plans.

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