Antigua and Barbuda are two of the, if not the two most beautiful islands in the Caribbean. The crystal clear turquoise waters ring the lush tropical island paradise, which is dotted with some 365 white and pink sand beaches. The island has been a converted secret retreat for the rich and famous for many years because of the its stunning beauty, its friendly population and its accessibility.
Antigua and Barbuda has some of the best diving and snorkeling in the region. Off the coast of Barbuda lie the remains of many shipwrecks, while the shores of Antigua are known for colorful tropical fish and calm waters. In English Harbour on Antigua, visit Nelson’s Dockyard National Park, the only Georgian dockyard in the world, and completely restored from its heyday in the late 18th century. At the Saturday morning market in St. John’s you can purchase handicrafts or simply admire the tropical flowers and fruit for sale.
Being surrounded by water, sailing has been one of the most popular sports for years with Antigua Sailing Week and Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta being two of the regions most reputable sailing competitions. Hundreds of yachts from around the world compete around Antigua each year. Sport Fishing is also a very popular sport with several big competitions held yearly.
The beaches are the primary reason to come to Antigua and Barbuda. Standouts include Dickenson Bay, with all the facilities and amenities you could wish for, plus calm water that is great for kids, and Half Moon Bay National Park, regarded as one of Antigua’s most beautiful beaches and popular with windsurfers. Long Bay, whose waters are protected by a nearby reef, is another good choice for families. Barbuda’s beaches have pink sands, like those in Bermuda.
The local currency is the Eastern Caribbean Dollar but the US Dollar is accepted over the counter. The rate is fixed to the US dollar at an exchange rate of US$1.00 = EC$2.6882. Pound Sterling can be changed at the banks.
Antigua and Barbuda is warm all year round with soothing south-easterly breezes. Temperatures do not vary that much throughout the year – they are generally between 24 and 30 degrees in the daytime. The coolest night time temperatures can drop to as low as 20 degrees which can feel very cool and in the summer can be as hot as 27 degrees.
If you check the weather forecast regularly you will see that the forecast is often for cloud and rain. This is usually fluffy clouds which pass through quickly. It does rain and for most of the year the rain is short bursts of tropical rain which are over in 10 minutes. If a tropical wave is passing through during the hurricane season, this can last on and off for a few days. The worst months for heavy rain are historically October, November and December.
The hurricane season is June 1st to November 31st, that said the highest risk months are Mid august to Mid October. The last hurricane to hit Antigua directly was in 1999 and in 50 years there have been only 6 direct hits.