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Things to do in Antigua and Barbuda

Things to do in  Antigua and Barbuda

Welcome to Antigua and Barbuda

Nicknamed the Land of 365 Beaches, Antigua and Barbuda are a sun-and-sand destination for travelers worldwide. Part of the Leeward Islands in the Lesser Antilles, these twin islands are located between the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. They are popular destinations for cruise travelers, and shore excursions that guarantee on-time return to your ship can help you make the most of your time in port. For travelers who plan to linger longer, tours that include hotel pickup and drop-off minimize planning and maximize convenience. Antigua remains strongly influenced by its past British colonization; nowhere is this more apparent than in the capital of St. John’s, where colorful colonial buildings line the streets. A sightseeing tour of this city combines a visit to the local produce market with duty-free shopping at Heritage Quay shopping complex. Or go more in-depth with a sightseeing tour of the entire island: An island tour hits all the highlights of Antigua, including a stop at English Harbour, the historic district that houses Nelson’s Dockyard and where salty seagoing vessels and luxe yachts bob in cerulean waters. With bird’s-eye views over the whole island, Shirley Heights is a great place to catch the sunset. Barbuda, a string of pristine sandy shores located just a few nautical miles away, has a mellower vibe than Antigua. On both islands, opportunities to get out on the water abound, from yachting excursions to snorkeling (Cades Reef is a popular spot), swimming, and beachcombing.

Top 15 attractions in Antigua and Barbuda

#1
Fort James

Fort James

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If you want to see fantastic views of the Caribbean waters, one of the best places to go on Antigua is Fort James, which sits in an ideal position overlooking St. John's Harbour. Built by the British in 1706, the fort was intended to prevent the French from invading the island. Today, see its remains including the cannons, gunpowder magazine, and foundation of the wall.More
#2
Nelson's Dockyard National Park

Nelson's Dockyard National Park

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One of the best historical sites on Antigua, Nelson's Dockyard National Park has been at the center of Antiguan activity since the first settlers arrived in 500 BC. Today, the centerpiece of the park is the actual dockyard itself, originally developed as a base for the British Navy in 1725. It is now home to old ships and numerous historical artifacts.More
#3
Devil's Bridge National Park

Devil's Bridge National Park

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Despite its ominous name, Devil's Bridge National Park is one of the most unique must-see sites, a natural arch carved by the sea out of the soft and hard limestone ledges of the cliffs along Antigua. As enormous breakers from the Atlantic repeatedly hit the rocks throughout the years, the ocean waters eventually eroded away a soft part of limestone to create a bridge-like arch.More
#4
Heritage Quay

Heritage Quay

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If you’re in the mood for duty-free and high-end shopping on Antigua, Heritage Quay is the place to find good prices on luxury items. This shopping complex has dozens of shops selling everything from Rolex watches and diamond jewelry to duty-free cigars and liquor, not to mention designer clothes, cosmetics, electronics and more. Throughout the shopping center you’ll spot troupes of local performers playing steel pan music. You’ll need to show a passport and travel documents to take advantage of the duty-free shopping. There is also an arcade where vendors sell T-shirts, souvenirs and local arts and crafts, and can negotiate deals if you’re willing to haggle. A food court features a wide-range of bars and restaurants, from pizzas and island dishes, to seafood.More
#5
Shirley Heights

Shirley Heights

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With panoramic views of the small island and the vast Caribbean, Shirley Heights is Antigua’s most popular lookout point. Visitors often go up for views of the sunset and stay for live music and drinks at the on-site bar and restaurant.More
#6
St. John's Anglican Cathedral (St. John the Divine)

St. John's Anglican Cathedral (St. John the Divine)

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Finished in 1848, St. John's Anglican Cathedral, an impressive freestone structure, serves as a reminder of Antigua's European roots. Built in the neo-baroque style, the cathedral seems out of place on the Caribbean island, with its iron fence, stained-glass windows, and two lofty towers with cupolas on top. The cathedral remains an active place of worship, with services taking place throughout the week.More
#7
Museum of Antigua and Barbuda

Museum of Antigua and Barbuda

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Located in Antigua's capital city, the Museum of Antigua and Barbuda is the place to learn more about the nation's history and cultural legacy. The museum is housed in the Colonial Court House, built in 1747, making it the oldest building still in use in the city. Through its numerous engaging exhibits, the museum tells the story of the nation, from its geological birth to political independence.More
#8
Betty's Hope Historic Sugar Plantation

Betty's Hope Historic Sugar Plantation

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On the Caribbean island of Antigua, Betty’s Hope is a former sugar plantation established by Sir Christopher Codrington in the 1600s. Now a museum and historic landmark, the site is dedicated to the memory and lives of the slaves who endured inhumane hardships on the island.More
#9
Cades Reef

Cades Reef

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Just off the coast of Antigua sits Cades Reef, an underwater park and one of the island’s best snorkeling and diving spots. With clear visibility and a wide variety of sea creatures, a trip to the reef makes an exciting family-friendly break from the beach.More
#10
Stingray City Antigua

Stingray City Antigua

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With hundreds of gigantic stingray gliding amid vibrant coral reefs and schools of tropical fish, Stingray City is the best place in Antigua to spot wild stingrays in their natural environment. Dive into the warm Caribbean waters to swim and snorkel in an area known for its southern stingrays and learn more about the magnificent creatures and their conservation.More
#11
Dickenson Bay

Dickenson Bay

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The blazing-white sands of Dickenson Bay are home to a handful of Antigua’s larger resort hotels, including Sandals, Halcyon Cove and Antigua Village. Along the beachfront you can also find a hub of restaurants, beach bars, and water sports operators renting kayaks, windsurfing boards, snorkeling gear and more. The bay is known for having consistently calm waters, which makes it a great place for families with kids to play in the water, or for snorkelers who want to visit the mile-long stretch of reef that runs along the shore. The one thing you won’t find at Dickenson Bay is a secluded stretch of sand, as it’s one of the most popular beaches on the island, but if you want get away from the crowd, head south to the next beach over along Runaway Bay.More
#12
English Harbour

English Harbour

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Situated at the southernmost point of Antigua, English Harbour is one of the island’s oldest and most historic landmarks. Buildings along the waterfront date back to the colonial era, while the harbor itself is an internationally acclaimed sailing location.More
#13
Prickly Pear Island

Prickly Pear Island

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You can spend a day on an uninhabited Caribbean isle with a boat tour to Prickly Pear Island. This tiny islet sits off the northeast corner of Antigua, and it’s a popular destination for day-trippers and cruise-shippers looking to lounge on its sugar-sand beaches. Beneath the crystal-clear waters lie fields of shallow reefs loaded with tropical fish, and you can grab snorkeling gear to fin your way among the fishes. The only man-made structure on the island is a shack beach bar and restaurant where you can satisfy a craving for rum drinks at the open bar, and have a lunch of chicken, conch and lobster. Snorkeling equipment and a guide are usually included in the trip, and when it’s time to relax, you can find beach chairs, umbrellas and picnic tables on the beach.More
#14
Antigua Cruise Port (Heritage Quay Terminal) Tours

Antigua Cruise Port (Heritage Quay Terminal) Tours

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Located in the West Indies, Antigua is the main island that makes up the Caribbean nation of Antigua and Barbuda. The region’s history and geography have made it internationally known as a sailing and yachting destination, and Antigua Cruise Port is one of the most popular stops on cruise itineraries. Ships dock in the capital city of St. John’s.More
#15
Frigate Bird Sanctuary

Frigate Bird Sanctuary

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Antigua and its neighboring island Barbuda are total opposites—while Antigua is rugged, mountainous and populated, Barbuda is low-lying, non-descript and practically deserted, except for the frigate birds and many other species that flock to Barbuda’s lagoons. The Frigate Bird Sanctuary can be found in the lagoons at the northwest of the island and is home to more than 5,000 frigate birds, as well as members from about 170 other bird species. Birdwatchers can visit during the fall to watch the frigate birds’ mating displays, and hatching occurs around the end of the year. To see the frigate birds at their best, look for them in the sky. They are known for their large wingspans and light frames that let them soar for long periods time. They got their nickname “man-o-war birds” because they use their superior flight ability to pester other birds into dropping whatever food they’ve hunted, and stealing it like pirates.More

Trip ideas

How to Spend 1 Day in St. John’s

How to Spend 1 Day in St. John’s

How to Spend 3 Days in Antigua

How to Spend 3 Days in Antigua

Top activities in Antigua and Barbuda

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Recent reviews from experiences in Antigua and Barbuda

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Sean is the perfect host and tour guide!
Kathleen_K, Feb. 2022
Antigua VIP Tours - Private Gold Tour
We loved seeing Shirley Heights and English Harbor.
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Simply must do!
Will_T, Jul. 2022
Turtle Beach Power Snorkeling Adventure
They take photos during the whole tour for you and upload them via Dropbox for you to see and download, all free of charge which is a brilliant addition.
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Eagle Discovery Transfers & Tours only way to go when in Antigua.
Francisco_S, May 2022
Round-Trip Transfer between Antigua Airport and Antigua Hotels
Desnie Charles, the driver who picked us up at the airport, was very amicable and informed us of many points of interest to visit during our stay in Antigua.
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You've got to try this!
Michele_B, May 2022
Turtle Beach Power Snorkeling Adventure
It was wonderful to see the sea turtle in their natural habitat along with some nurse sharks, a baby stingray, a moon jellyfish, and other colorful fish.
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Amazing tour and great tour guide!
Natalie_S, May 2022
Scenic Tour of Antigua
The tour did not feel rushed and the tour guide took us up close to see the new stadium, which wasn’t on the list.
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2 hour jet ski review
Gabriel_J, Mar. 2022
2hr Jet Ski Antigua Guided Jet Ski Tour with Snorkeling
This adventure was definitely worth it and a very nice way to get to see the many beaches and other beachfront resorts.
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Sunshine, sea and snorkelling.
Clare_P, Dec. 2021
Adventure Antigua - Eli's Original Eco Tour
It was a really enjoyable trip with enough time at the stopping places to decide what to do.
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Great transportation experience
Michelle_F, Jul. 2021
Round-Trip Transfer between Antigua Airport and Antigua Hotels
All the staff were wonderful and welcoming, ask them for recommendations on what to do while in Antigua!
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Antigua tour
Derek_C, Oct. 2020
Antigua VIP Tours - Private Platinum Tour
The bad news was lots of attractions were closed.
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Wonderful Antigua Outdoor Adventure Tour
Seaycollins2, Feb. 2020
Biking, Kayaking and Hiking Activity in Antigua
A nice assortment of outdoor activities expertly led by Giles and Mark.
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Wonderful tour!
Sarah G, Jul. 2019
Outback Antigua Tour
She made sure we saw the sights we wanted to see while getting a taste on Antiguan culture!
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We were lucky to get Gregory as our...
michael_M, Jan. 2018
Antigua Shore Excursion: Round Island Tour
Loved English Harbor.
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You get to see alot of the island...
Peter D, Sep. 2012
Island Safari 4x4 Discovery Tour from St John's
You get to see alot of the island from this tour.
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It felt like a VIP trip.
Clare_P, Dec. 2021
Biggvee Bus Adventure
The driver / guide, known on the island as 'The Crabman' was really good, taking me to the places that I wanted to visit (the Cricket stadium) and telling me lots about life on Antigua.
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Fantastic day out 🐢
Alice_L, Nov. 2021
Adventure Antigua - Eli's Original Eco Tour
We got to see some turtles and snorkelled with an Eagle ray.
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Amazing!!!
Justin_H, Apr. 2022
Turtle Beach Power Snorkeling Adventure
I would recommend this trip to anyone looking to see the natural beautiful of Antigua.
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What an adventure!
Kathryn_D, Aug. 2021
Antigua Reef Riders Self-Drive Boat and Snorkeling Tour
The trip turned out to be 2 hours instead of 3 but we were able to see quite a bit a the reef.
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BEST. EXCURSION. EVER!
Erin_W, May 2021
Snorkeling and Sightseeing Tour of Antigua
Turtles are such unique and majestic creatures and it can be very rare to find them so we couldn't be more thrilled considering it is never a guarantee to see them but Johnny definitely had an eye for spotting them!
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Perfect day!
Larry_T, Apr. 2021
SoCoHo Half Day Jeep Safari- Mangrove Kayak & Reef Snorkeling
I would highly recommend this tour to anyone who wants to see Antigua outside of the "resort".
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St John‘s visit
MarieChristine_G, May 2020
City of St John's Sightseeing Tour
My husband and I decided to book this tour to visit Antigua’s capitol with a guide who could tell us about the city’s history.
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All about Antigua and Barbuda

Currency
East Caribbean Dollar (EC$)
Time Zone
AST (UTC -4)
Country Code
+1-268
Language(s)
English
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