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Beaches in Antigua

Dickenson Bay

Dickenson Bay in Antigua has 2 beach bars and restaurants. Coconut Grove Restaurant and Bar offers really nice pina coladas which are known to be the best on the island and they serve an authentic Caribbean menu. Dickenson Bay is know for a few things and one of them is having the best sunsets. Also, Dickinson bay is known for having the biggest parties so if you plan to spend the night or longer you want to check out this place at night. there is a water-sports operator that rents jet skis and wake boarding and is one of the most visited beaches on the island by cruise ship tourist.

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Mar 09, 2011
went horseback riding there. it was really nice. we took the horses in the water and they were very friendly. you can set up the ride at the beach for about $40.

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Runaway Bay

Runaway Beach in Antigua has soft white sand beach along the west coast. There are some rocky section of land which are known as The Corbinson Point. At the end of Runaway beach there is a salt pond. The water by the beach at Runaway Bay are usually very calm and along the Beach you will find many Hotels with restaurants and bars. Runaway Beach is one of the Most visited Beaches on Antigua.

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Half Moon Bay

Half Moon Bay in Antigua is one of the beach that is located on the Eastern side of the island and has some ruff waters with some under toe. The beach has waver most of the time so is not the best for young children or if you just want to relax in calm waters. Also if you are on a cruise then Half Moon Bay is a little bit to far as it could take up to an hour to get there. Cruise Passengers are advised to stay on the western side of the island when going to the beach. Along with most beaches in Antigua half Moon bay offers amazing white sand beaches with crystal clear blue water.

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Aug 15, 2011
Antiguas beaches are some of the nicest in the caribbean, beautiful white sand and blue clam waters.

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Jolly Beach

Jolly Beach in Antigua is located on the West coast of Antigua at Jolly Harbour. Jolly Beach offers over 1 mile of White powdery sand and has clam turqouise blue waters. Some days if it is windy there are small waves that have a strong undertoe so keep your kids safe during these times. there is a restaurant and beach there as well. If you take a taxi to Jolly beach make sure to set a time with your driver to pick you up as there are not many taxi drivers in that area.this is a great place to spend a day while on a cruise or your entire holiday on Antigua if you are staying in a resort.

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Mar 09, 2011
nice beach, friendly service at the restaurant. the water is very calm. great place to relax and sunbath.

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Darkwood Beach

Darkwood Beach in Antigua is located on the Southwestern side of the island. Darkwood beach is another amazing Antigua beach with white sand and clear blue water. On a clear day from Darkwood beach you can see Montseraat which is another island. Darkwood's beach bar has great food for lunch and drinks at good prices.

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Ffryes beach

Ffryes Beach in Antigua is located at Ffryes point on the West Coast of Antigua. Ffryes beach has a white powder sand beach and has amazing views of Montserrat when it is a clear day. Ffryes Beach is popular with the locals and is not as busy as some of the other beaches in Antigua.

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Reviews on Beaches in Antigua Post a Review

The beaches in Antigua are some of the nicest in the Caribbean. I love Jolly beach especially. The water is so crystal clear blue and it has white powdery soft sand. It is about 15 minutes from the cruise terminal. you can find a taxi driver around the ship to take you there. I recommend you set a time for the driver to pick you up and only pay the driver after he picks you up.

Jun 10, 2014

the Cruise Port of Antigua doesn't have to much out by the port. There are some shops like every other port and a few restaurants. I think the real beauty of Antigua are the Beaches. The water is so Blue and the sand is so soft. I have been there many times and i always go out for the beaches of Antigua

Apr 22, 2014

when you visit antigua on a cruise. go to the beach. dont just walk around town and go back to the ship. antigua has some of the nicest beaches in the caribbean. get out there and enjoy. your on vacation. check out Jolly beach

Feb 04, 2013

In st thomas you might prefer to go downtown. unlike some other place where there is a lot in the port. havensight is a little crowed and the selection isnt as good as downtown. plus it is nice to just get away from the ship for a bit and explore. the walk is about 15 minutes and a taxi is about $5. =)

Oct 11, 2010

Jolly beach was so nice and relaxing. Miles of white sand and warm caribbean waters. One day was just not enough of this paradise.

Jun 22, 2010
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Info on Antigua

Antigua is the largest of the British Leeward Islands in the East Caribbean 17deg north of the equator, with Montserrat and Guadaloupe to the south and Nevis, St Kitts and St Maarten to north-west. A main business and communications center of the Caribbean. Once dependent on sugar, now relies on cotton and tourism. Capital is St John's.

The islands' main attractions are relaxation, historical sights, deep-sea fishing, golf and tennis, sailing, scuba diving and snorkeling, windsurfing, beautiful beaches, bicycling, horseback riding, cricket, yachting, casinos and friendly people. If you enjoy excellent beaches, food and water sports - and are not on a strict budget - Antigua and Barbuda are for you.
In fact, Antigua has 365 beaches - one for every day of the year!


Antigua's St John's Harbour has been dredged in a US $22million project to upgrade the area and accommodate the new generation of bigger cruise ships calling since October 2001. Passenger arrivals expected to increase from 460,000 in 2001 to 600,000 in 2002.
Other plans for this project include building a new pier, upgrading and renovation of Heritage Quay dock to handle even larger vessels, extension of the boardwalk from Heritage Quay to Redcliffe Quay, a new waterfront shopping complex and an upgrade of shoreside facilities, such as parking areas and taxi stands.


Antigua & Barbuda comprises three islands - Antigua, Barbuda and Redonda. They are low-lying and volcanic in origin.
Antigua's coastline curves into a multitude of coves and harbours. Barbuda lies about 40km (25 miles) north of Antigua and is an unspoiled natural haven for wild deer and exotic birds. Its 8km-long (5-mile) beach is reputed to be among the most beautiful in the world.

The island's village capital, Codrington, was named after the Gloucestershire family that once leased Barbuda from the British Crown for the price of 'one fat pig per year if asked for'. There are excellent beaches and the ruins of some of the earliest plantations in the West Indies. The coastal waters are rich with all types of crustaceans and tropical fish.
Redonda, smallest in the group, is little more than an uninhabited rocky islet. It lies about 40km (25 miles) south-west of Antigua.

When To Go

Temperatures are usually warm in Antigua and Barbuda. Daytime range 75-80F/25-30C and nights about 10F/5C cooler. Summer temperatures are a bit hotter.
The islands are among the driest in the Caribbean and it's often sunny and arid with a pleasant breeze blowing. Exception to this is hurricane season (July-October), when it's cloudier, hotter and more humid.


If you're unfamiliar with Antigua, know this: Robin Leach of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous has a home there. Needless to say, the island has some of the most luxurious villas and exclusive resorts in the Caribbean and is a favorite destination for yachters.

Those who have yet to be either rich or famous will find that Antigua has more moderately priced hotels than its high-end neighbors, Anguilla and St. Barts.
And there's more to do than just luxuriate because Antigua boasts two first-rate historic sights - Nelson's Dockyard and Betty's Hope Estate - and Barbuda is more a bird sanctuary than a lavish resort isle.

The Siboney Indians originally inhabited Antigua and Barbuda and were succeeded by the Arawak. In turn, they were forced out by the cannibalistic Caribs. Christopher Columbus named Antigua in 1493 but attempts by the Spanish and French to colonize the islands failed.

They remained unsettled by Europeans until the 1630s, when the British established a colony on Antigua. Famous British Admiral Horatio Nelson figures large at tourist spots but it all really began with another Briton, Sir Christopher Codrington, who arrived on the island in 1684 - 100 years before Nelson - to see if it could support the sort of large-scale sugar cultivation already flourishing elsewhere in the Caribbean.

He soon proved it could. Over the next 50 years the industry exploded on the island and, by the mid-18th Century, it was dotted with more than 150 cane-processing windmills, each supporting a big plantation.
Nearly 100 of these picturesque stone towers still survive today serving as houses, bars, restaurants and shops across the island. At Betty's Hope - Codrington's original sugar estate - visitors can see a fully restored sugar mill.
Unlike many Caribbean Islands, Antigua and Barbuda were not subjected to numerous changes of government in the colonial period. Except for a brief period of French rule, they were held by the English from the early 1600s until they achieved independence in 1981.

By the end of the 18th Century, Antigua had become an important strategic port as well as a valuable commercial colony. It became known as "The Gateway to the Caribbean" offering control of major shipping routes to and from the lucrative colonies.

Thus the arrival of Britain's Horatio Nelson in 1784 to develop naval facilities at English Harbour and build what's now known as Nelson's Dockyard - a major turning point in the island's evolution.
By all accounts, Nelson was not too fond of Antigua. But serving under him was Britain's future King William IV who seemed to like it so much Clarence House was built for him!

It was during William's reign, in 1834, that Britain abolished slavery in its empire. Then the sugar market declined and the islands went into economic decline.
Though unproductive, the large plantations were not redistributed after slavery ended, as they were on many Caribbean islands. This helped create desperate conditions for the former slaves, which led to unrest in the early 1900s.
Today, the island nation is inhabited primarily by the descendants of the slaves and tourism has helped ease the economic hardships of some of the residents. Antigua and Barbuda remain part of the British Commonwealth.
For many years, the Bird family have dominated the country's politics. Vere Bird Snr. (known as "Papa Bird") has been powerful since the 1940s and was prime minister from 1981 to 1993, when he was succeeded by his son, Lester Bird.
Facts At A Glance

Area: Antigua: 280sq km (108sq miles); Barbuda: 161sq km (62sq miles); Redonda: 1.6sq km (0.6sq miles). Total: 441.6sq km (170.5sq miles).

Population: 64,612 (1996).
Capital: St. John's (pop: 22.342 at last count in 1991)
Economy: Tourism, manufacturing.
Government: Constitutional monarchy. Gained internal full independence in 1981. Head of State: HM Queen Elizabeth II, represented locally by Governor-General Sir James Carlisle since 1993.
Head of Government: Prime Minister Lester Bird since 1994.
Language: English is the official language. English patois is widely spoken.
Religion: Anglican, Methodist, Moravian, Roman Catholic, Pentecostal, Baptist, Seventh Day Adventist and others.
Currency: Eastern Caribbean dollar (EC$). U.S. dollar widely accepted. Most major credit cards and traveler's checks accepted in urban and tourist areas.
Time Zone: Atlantic; 4 hours behind GMT. Daylight Saving Time is not observed.
Telecommunications: Country code 1 268. No city code needed. Outgoing international code 011.
Electricity: 220/110 volts AC, 60Hz. American-style 2-pin plugs. Some hotels also have outlets for 240 volts AC; in this case European-style 2-pin plugs are used.
Airport Departure Tax: Yes.

Antigua's most-famous writer is Jamaica Kincaid - now a U.S. resident - but she didn't rise to that position by praising her homeland. Her book A Small Place takes a critical view of the island's government, its colonial legacy and its reliance on tourism. She has called Antigua a "monument to rottenness".

Antigua was one of the islands hit by a hurricane in 1995. About 60% of the buildings were damaged and 10% destroyed. Another hurricane struck in 1998, causing more damage.

In the waters off Barbuda, the graceful spotted eagle ray, sometimes 6ft/2m wide, may swim right up to you. Don't panic - it's just curious.

Carnival is held during the 10 days preceding the first Monday in August with great steel-drum bands, calypso music, parades with floats and dancers in colorful costumes.
Columbus named Antigua "Santa Maria de la Antigua" after a miracle-working saint whose statue graces the Seville Cathedral in Spain.
Antigua Sailing Week in late April is the Caribbean's most important yachting event and draws a world-class field.
The national game is warri, which is similar to chess. It requires considerable strategy.
Public Holidays: New Year's Day (1 Jan), Good Friday, Easter Monday, Labor Day (first Monday in May), Whitmonday, Queen's Birthday (second Saturday in Jun), Caricom Day (3 Jul), Carnival (first Monday and Tuesday in Aug), Independence Day (1 Nov), Christmas Day (25 Dec) and Boxing Day (26 Dec).

Shopping Hours: Most Monday-Saturday 8 am-4 pm and closed on Sundays.
The cruise terminal at Heritage Quay has a shopping center with 40 duty-free stores offering clothing, perfumes, jewelry, linens, china, local artworks, liqueurs and gift items. Another hotspot is the restored Georgian-era buildings at nearby Redcliffe Quay.
Bargaining in stores is not an accepted practice on the island but street vendors are almost always willing to negotiate.


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