Monday, May 27, 2024

15 Must-See Beaches in Antigua and Barbuda

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Discover the best beaches in Antigua and Barbuda for snorkelling, swimming and soaking up local Caribbean culture. Plus hidden beaches rich in natural diversity where you might see more sea turtles than people!

Fort Barrington looming over the beach at Deep Bay.
Fort Barrington stands sentinel over the beach at Deep Bay. (Credit: Sharon Mathews-Stevens)  

As a sailor and travel writer specializing in the region, I’ve been to (and written about) 40 or more Caribbean islands, scouting out culture, attractions, local food and even some history. But beaches are my first love.

I’ve sipped Painkillers on Jost Van Dyke beach in the British Virgin Islands, body-surfed off a Puerto Rico beach, bonded with sea turtles beachside in Trinidad and chilled out at nearly every beach bar in Anguilla.

While Antigua offers many things to do, it’s still all about the beaches.

With 365 beaches on an island smaller than 300 square kilometres (115 sq. ft), narrowing it down to the 14 best may be a fool’s errand.

But during my years of visiting Antigua I’ve come up with some favourites.

Join me on a trip around the island, beginning in the northeast, heading west along the north shore, south down Antigua’s west coast, then east along the south shore.

We’ll stop at the best Antigua beaches along the way. And to wrap up our list we’ll include a jaunt to our favourite pink sand beach in Barbuda.

1. Great Bird Island – Far from the Madding Crowd

Inflatable boat pulled up to the shore.
Great Bird Island is a beautiful natural preserve off of the coast. (Photo Credit: Sharon Matthews-Stevens)

I was skippering a sailboat the first time I saw Great Bird Island, a nature preserve located three kilometres off Antigua’s northeast coast.

I liked it so much we anchored there for two nights, visiting a tiny beach on the south side then trudging through forest to the north beach, a 400 metre stretch of sand we had to ourselves. Far from the madding crowd.

We spent a delightful day lounging on the beach and snorkelling the reef guarding the opening to the bay before going inland.

There we climbed a steep path to a vista offering views of the unique landforms on the island itself and nearby islands lashed by Atlantic waves.

Last time there – just weeks ago – I noticed that a wooden staircase has replaced the path, making that ascent even easier.

While you may have to share the beach with a few others if you’re not a sailboat skipper, you can play castaway on a Great Bird Island Eco-Adventure.

On this full-day experience you can snorkel, bask in the sun, go caving at Hell’s Gate, do some birdwatching or explore the mangroves at Guiana Island.

While on Great Bird Island, you might even see the indigenous endangered Antigua Racer snakes.

Don’t worry – they don’t bite.

Check rates and availability of Great Bird Island Eco-Adventure (including lunch) on Viator.com.

2. Long Bay Beach – A Perfect Beach for Snorkeling

Ocean with views of resort on a hilltop.
White sands and coral reefs make Long Beach a snorkeling destination. (Credit: Sharon Matthews-Stevens)

Lounging in Antigua’s northeast corner, Long Bay is a gorgeous white sand beach. It’s arguably Antigua’s prettiest beach.

Add in a coral reef protecting the beach and creating relatively calm waters, and you can snorkel to your heart’s content.

Long Bay’s beach is widely considered one of the island’s best beaches for snorkelling.

Located less than 50 metres from shore, the reef can be reached by foot.

Given its distance from St. John’s, cruise passengers rarely visit this beach, resulting in few crowds.

The approach is along a somewhat bumpy gravel road, so it’s perfect for people who don’t like people.

Having said that, Pineapple Beach Club occupies one end of the beach so you won’t get it completely to yourself.

But during our recent visit we encountered very few people once we left the hotel behind. 

A pastel-painted row of vendors’ huts is set on a small ridge overlooking the beach itself. So you can pick up that beach towel you forgot.

Considered by many to be Antigua’s most scenic beaches, its north end features lush vegetation and a weather-beaten stone building.

🌟 Insider Tip: Visit Mama Pasta’s Restaurant (Google Map) just above the beach itself for highly rated homemade pasta and pizza. Or opt for more Caribbean fare.

3. Jabberwock Beach – A Thrill Seekers Paradise

Two people preparing to windsurf.
Jabberwock beach is a great place for water sports. (Credit: Sharon Matthews-Stevens)

If you continue west along Antigua’s north coast and you’re a thrill-seeker, Jabberwock Beach (Google Map) is a must-do.

This still-wild Antiguan beach is close to the road but the gentle dunes between the road and the beach itself soon make you forget where you are.

To be fair the beach, though scenic, is open to waves. But that’s the appeal for many of the visitors here.

Jabberwock is the most popular beach in Antigua for kite boarding.

High overhead an orange kite grasped by an adventurer riding a surfboard wheels and soars above the boarder who rides the waves and catches air – sometimes flying three metres above the surface. 

Out on the water another rider hangs off what looks like a huge wing.

“That’s wingfoiling,” says an Aussie named Adam, at the weather-beaten wooden shack that houses Kitesurf Antigua “it’s thenewest thing.”

While this is not Antigua’s calmest beach, Adam praises it enthusiastically.

“Best place on the island,” he says.

Then he offers me a lesson. You can supposedly learn to kiteboard after three lessons.

Maybe next time. More beaches await my pleasure.

4. Dickenson Bay Beach – Where the Action Is

A lady walking along shore with sailboat in the distance.
Dickinson Bay Beach is ideal for water sports and visitors looking for activities. (Credit: Sharon Matthews-Stevens)

Just a few kilometres east of St. John’s, Dickenson Bay (Google Map) and neighbouring Runaway Bay are Antigua’s most popular beaches.

If I needed any further convincing, I get it when we drop the anchor of our sailboat a couple of hundred metres off the beach.

We’re almost immediately buzzed by a trio of waverunners.

Moments later two Hobie Cats slice the nearby waters.

One end of the beach is populated by water sports centres and umbrellas sheltering guests of the Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa.

At first intimidated by the crowds, I eventually make it ashore. I stroll he kilometre-long beach, discovering a wealth of restaurants dotting the shoreline.

A lovely lunch of grilled mahi mahi at one spot – Ana’s on the Beach – washed down with a freezing Piña Colada enhances my relationship with Dickenson.

A visit to a hopping floating bar (a free water taxi ride from the beach) adds to the appeal.

There, we bob in gentle waves, lounging on a wooden deck sipping the Painkiller cocktails. .

It’s not necessarily my favourite Antigua beach but I have yet to meet a beach I didn’t like.

🌟 Pro Tip: If you’re planning a vacation during sargassum seaweed season (May to September), Antigua’s beaches on the northwest coast — such as Dickenson Bay Beach — have historically been some of the best Caribbean beaches without seaweed. 

5. Fort James Beach – A Helping of History

Five kids running along the sea shore.
Fort James Beach is close to the cruise port and a favorite amongst Antiguans. (Credit: Sharon Matthews-Stevens)

Fort James Beach, a white sand oasis roughly a kilometre long and fringed by an unbroken emerald ribbon of vegetation, is almost as popular as Dickenson Bay. 

Cruisers flock here when they’re in Antigua cruise port. The closest beach to the cruise port, it’s a five-minute ride or a relatively short walk from the cruise ship terminal.

Likely due to that proximity to town, on a Saturday morning it’s packed with Antiguans, partying with their families, playing beach volleyball, tending barbecues wafting blue-gray smoke and irresistible aromas of traditional Antigua food.

Since this Antigua beach is sufficiently long you can still find a place to lay your beach towel. Maybe in the shade of a couple of clumps of boulders that remind me of artists’ sculptures at the beach’s west end.

History buff that I am, I’m enamoured of a landmark just up a nearby hill. Take a break from the sand and sea and stroll inside the walls of an eighteenth-century stone fort.

Or take a guided Fort and Beach E-Bike Tour, an excursion that combines a stop at Fort James or Fort Barrington.

Be sure to check out the Treehouse Beach Club (Google Map) with its stained wooden loungers and attractive dining area in a mini-forest of native plants, even a treehouse.

If you brought the kids you’re in luck. This beach club features a supervised children’s play area.

🌟 Insider Tip: Beachlimerz restaurant right beside Tree House, is a Fort James Beach institution. It offers, in addition to a full food and drink menu, loungers, kayak and SUP rentals.  

6. Deep Bay – An Antigua Beach with a View

Bay with ships.
Deep Bay boasts views of the mountains. (Credit: Sharon Matthews-Stevens)

While Fort James occupies a strategic headland guarding the approaches to St. John’s from the east, a hill roughly 200 metres high surmounted by the ruins of another historic bastion – Fort Barrington – stands sentinel over the harbour in the west.  

In the lee of that towering landform you’ll find Deep Bay Beach (Google Map), one of my favourite Antigua beaches.

Leave the sand for a bit, finding the path through the trees and climbing the steep path leading to this erstwhile fortress. Here you’ll be rewarded with a gorgeous view of the mountains marching south along the coast, St. John’s harbour and the beach itself.

It’s a thin strip of land bounded by the sea on one side and a huge saltwater lagoon on the other. 

Look to the south end of the beach. You’ll see the over-water bungalows and the beach umbrellas lined up seaside that are part of the Royalton Antigua Resort.

If the view were the only selling point to this beach I’d still love it. But wait, there’s more.

Both because of its location on Antigua’s leeward coast and because of the shape of the bay itself, waters are both crystal clear and quiet as a Sunday morning.

It’s a regular bath-tub of a place.

But this is also a great place to snorkel. Make your way from the north end of the beach and see lots of marine life and some healthy coral.

Keep going further then cut across to the middle of the bay and snorkel over a historic shipwreck.

A definite Antigua must-see beach in Antigua.

🌟 For another unique adventure hop on a Tuk Tuk Tour of Rainforest and Beaches from Saint John’s.

7. Hawksbill Beach – For That Full Body Tan

Hawksbill Beach from the water.
Secluded Hawksbill Beach is named for a rocking outcropping resembling a sea turtle. (Credit: Sharon Matthews-Stevens)

I’ve sailed Antigua four times now and my favourite stretch of water is that skirting Antigua’s west coast south between Deep Bay and Jolly Harbour.

Lush mountains form the background while verdant forest reaches almost to the sand itself.

Surreal rock formations dot the water, most notably the one that gives this area its name.

It thrusts up from the waves attacking its base, looking exactly like the head and neck of a Hawksbill turtle.

These beaches are almost completely deserted. They’re so isolated I’ve heard taxi drivers don’t even want to take you there.

Somewhere along that stretch you’ll find Antigua’s only nude beach (Eden Beach), the perfect spot for that overall tan.

Accessed through a laid-back resort, all-inclusive (Hawksbill Resort) boasting four beaches, Eden Beach is the most southerly (Google Map), almost completely deserted.

Case in point, last time we sailed past we saw one person (sans bathing suit) and two beach chairs.

How to get to Eden Beach? Entry is through Hawksbill Resort (Google Map). They’re careful to let you know it’s not a naturist resort, then it’s a 5 to 10 minute walk.

Be sure to bring your sunscreen. Lots of sunscreen.

8. Ffryes Beach – My All-Time Favourite Beach in Antigua

Ocean view of swimmers.
Beautiful amber sands and bright waters make Ffryes Beach a picture perfect destination. (Credit: Sharon Matthews-Stevens)

First time I saw Ffryes Beach was from a sailboat anchored maybe 200 metres offshore. 

If ever there was a postcard-worthy beach this was it: Amber sand nuzzled by neon lime waters, an oh-so-gentle surf, palms and sea grapes hugging the beach in the shadow of a 17th century windmill.

Behind, a procession of emerald mountains seemed to march into the distance. And there was no one at all on the beach.

How much did I like Ffryes Beach? After our first visit 20 years ago I asked my wife to blow up a seascape she photographed there. I hung the photo in my office for the next 15 years.

Today, Ffryes Beach is just as gorgeous as I remember it. But it’s much livelier now, thanks to the rows of people lounging on beach chairs, hugging matching blue towels from a Norwegian cruise.

Still my favourite beach in terms of scenery and swim-friendliness, but here’s a caveat.

You can find a beach (Darkwood Beach) almost as pretty a couple of bays to the south. It’s a secluded spot for when cruise ships come in.

Or head north and go for that all-over tan.

🌟 Pro Tip: Dennis Restaurant, one of my favourite beachside watering holes, is housed in a rambling low-lying building overlooking Ffryes Beach itself.

9. Turners Beach – A Perfect Place for Lunch (and More)

Beach lounge chairs on beach with umbrellas at Turners Beach Antigua.
Turners Beach is a great place to stop for lunch. (Credit: Sharon Matthews-Stevens)

Though some may call this gem Crab Hill Beach and it actually occupies the southern reaches of Picarts Bay, it’s easy to find Turners Beach (Google Map) in Antigua’s southwest corner.

One of the most beautiful beaches in Antigua it features a gentle slope from alabaster sand into sapphire waters that are perfectly calm pretty much year-round.

That’s due to its location on Antigua’s west coast and the fact that a little ridge called Fort Johnson’s Point protects it from Atlantic waves out of the south.

For me one of Turner’s main selling points is the restaurant housed in a rustic beachside building surrounded by a white picket fence.

The ambiance is very casual – think bare wood rafters overhead with decorations reflecting its nautical location – and so is the food. But don’t be surprised by its quality and variety.

Last time there I sampled their delicious fish cakes for a starter. My wife went for the whole grilled red snapper. Killer rum punches added to the experience.

Given that there are only two other people doing lunch here and the beach is occupied by only three couples, I ask our server about how busy it gets.

She admits they have a special deal for cruise passengers. So you might want to time your visit. But you won’t get the crowds you might meet closer to St. John’s.

When it comes to amenities, Turner’s Beach boasts both showers and change rooms. And while I’ve seen people snorkelling off the rock formations at Johnsons Point I’ve never snorkelled here myself.

(Cades Reef, an underwater marine park and one of the island’s best snorkelling and diving spots is to the southwest). 

I have, however, basted on the beach, swam in the sea and noshed down on a great lunch several times.

Turners is a must-do for me.

10. Carlisle Bay Beach – Bonding with Turtles

View of beach with lounge chairs and palm trees.
Green hills paint the backdrop to the beautiful Carlisle Beach. ( (Credit: Sharon Matthews-Stevens)

If the view that greets you when you discover the beach at Carlisle Bay on Antigua’s south coast were this oasis’ only selling point, it would be sufficient testimonial to earn it a place on this list of the best beaches in Antigua.

Amber sand graces the north side of this horseshoe bay, hard by a gorgeous resort.

Rising up behind the resort, voluptuous green hills completely devoid of any sign of humanity reach skyward in one of Antigua’s most unspoiled areas.

Two massive hills protect this natural beauty of a bay from Atlantic waves. One of which sports a massive stone cliff.  

Dramatic rock formations across the bay are decorated by spectacular views of crashing surf.

Above that headland itself pastel-painted homes cling to the slopes.

But this stunning Antigua beach (Google Map) has even more to recommend it.

Last time we sailed here, we anchored on its eastern shore. Our crew snorkelled off in search of this spot’s other attraction.

Carlisle Bay Beach is known as the best place on Antigua for encountering – and bonding with – sea turtles.

Our crew returned to the boat without seeing any turtles but they raved about the other marine life they encountered.

And if you stay at Carlisle Bay Resort you can console yourself.

This 5-star resort boasts suites from Garden to Beach Balcony units, so you won’t experience any hardships due to the absence of turtles.

And there’s always next time.

11. Pigeon Point Beach – A Beach For Watching the World Go By

People walking along the shore at Pigeon Point.
Sit back, relax, and watch luxurious yachts go by at Pigeon Point Beach. (Credit: Sharon Matthews-Stevens)

Though it’s not particularly large – likely 200 metres long, if that – Pigeon Point on the south coast is still close to the top of my list of favourite beaches in Antigua.

It’s well-shaded, beach chairs are readily available and it’s popular with both tourists in the know and Antiguans themselves.

Despite that, I’ve never seen it really crowded.

For me its chief appeal is its location.

Just past the village of Falmouth, it occupies an undulating green point jutting into the Atlantic, lounging on the east shore of a fairly narrow channel.

Some of the most luxurious mega yachts in the Caribbean must negotiate that channel, just metres from your beach perspective. Perfect place for watching the world – or at least the haute monde – go by.

Last time I came here I heard I missed seeing Jeff Bezos’ yacht by just two days.

But that’s not the only selling point. A concrete pier juts into the water, pointing toward a fleet of sailboats gently bobbing at their mooring balls. A few people are snorkeling just to seaward of that pier.

Consider doing lunch at the south end of the beach at Catherine’s Café, boasting French-inspired fare and a surprisingly extensive wine list for a beach establishment.  The other end features the purple-painted rudimentary wooden watering hole called Bumpkin’s (they’ve also got a reputation for great jerk chicken).

Even cooler from my perspective, you could take a break from your break and climb the roughly three-kilometre trail leading from here to Nelson’s Dockyard, or just enjoy a twenty-minute walk ( or short drive) along the main road and immerse yourself in an irresistible bastion of history at this UNESCO-designated site.

I am a committed beach bum but I’m also a serious history-lover.

Plan it right, getting the beach and Nelson’s Dockyard in on the same day and you’ve got the perfect chance for a little history and a lot of fun.

One more perfect day in paradise.

12. Galleon Beach – An Even Bigger Helping of History

View of shore from boat.
Enjoy unique views of stone walls at Galleon Beach. (Photo Credit: Sharon Matthews-Stevens)

Maybe the coolest thing about finding your place in the sand at Galleon Beach (Google Map) in English Harbour is the unique – and fantastic – view of the stone walls and powder magazine of an 18th century fortification called Fort Belvedere.

Chill to those views or make your way up cactus-studded hills amid dense vegetation behind the beach.

There you can hike the moderately challenging trail ascending to Shirley Heights, home to popular weekly party and barbecue.

Just south of the beach itself a reef extends from the shore. It’s another prime snorkel spot.

Or just chill on the sand and check out the mega yachts that call this harbour home.

The vistas are just as appealing for wannabe yachters as the views you encounter in Pigeon Point.

After your morning in the sun, step off the water taxi and explore historic Nelson’s Dockyard, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a working Georgian dockyard.

One of the best beaches in Antigua, Galleon Beach is hardly ever crowded in spite of its location near this top Antigua attraction.

A water taxi is one of the only ways of getting here.

🌟 Insider Tip: Looking for a bit of hydration? Check out the Loose Cannon Beach Bar (Google Map). You’ll love its specials from Brunch on the Beach on Saturdays to daybed rentals complete with cocktails or wine.

13. St. James Club Marmora and Willoughby Bay – Two Beaches for the Price of One

Man walking on beach with palm tree.
Enjoy two beaches at St. James Club Antigua Mamora Beach. (Credit: Sharon Matthews-Stevens)

Choose an Antigua base here at a resort called St. James Club & Villas (Google Map) on the south coast and you’ve got yourself a deal – two beaches for the price of one.

Both are easily achieved when you book a stay at this resort.

Admittedly the easterly one – facing Willoughby Bay – is much smaller than the delightful beach located at Mamora Bay on the other side of the resort.

It’s more a spot for gazing than swimming given the strong surf.

The Mamora side is sheltered, calm and downright spectacular. Wonder how pretty this beach is? A gigantic hill dominates the view to the west from this beach.

Pathway leading towards beach with palm tree.
Enjoy the views at St. James Club Antigua Mamora Beach. (Credit: Sharon Matthews-Stevens)

You can’t see the house from here, but that promontory is host to Eric Clapton’s sprawling mansion.

Pretty good taste in real estate.

But there is a caveat if you choose to stay here. Gorgeous and dramatic though their beach offerings may be.

Back from a day of exploring Antigua we stop for a drink at one of the hotel’s pool bars and I chat with a fellow Canadian. Next day he was going home.

“Favourite part of the island?” I ask, curious about his adventures.

He looks sheepish. “Haven’t left the hotel.”

Perfectly understandable. 

Spread across more than a 100 acres, its décor and layout – from the beachside villas to our own room with a balcony no more than 10 metres from a rocky shore – may be the most appealing of any Caribbean resort I’ve visited.

And once we sample the activities from trivia nights, to state-of-the-art pickleball courts, from tennis courts to a 24 hr coffee shop, I’m struck by how apt Antigua’s tourism slogan is whether describing this resort or the island as a whole.

“The beach is just the beginning”.

A very good place to start.

🌟 Pro Tip: Commune with gigantic wild stingrays on a 3-hour tour to Stingray City in Willikies, a 20 minute drive from St. James Club.

14. Rickett Harbour, Green Island – Play Castaway on an Uninhabited Island

View from the ocean looking towards land with trees.
Enjoy fantastic snorkeling and gorgeous views at Green Island. (Credit: Sharon Matthews-Stevens)

Rickett Harbour, on Green Island, a Robinson-Crusoe-worthy spot located off Antigua’s southeast coast, is home to a drop-dead gorgeous beach.

It features cactus, palms, century plants and some great snorkelling inside a reef that juts out from a point at the beach’s south end.

Because this uninhabited island is privately owned by the Mill Reef Club (Google Map) on the mainland you can’t go exploring further than the beach.

But once you get here you’d never want to leave anyway. The waters are crystal clear. So clear you might not even your mask to check out some sea life.

Ironically, despite Carlisle’s reputation as the best place to see sea turtles, when we anchor here on a chartered sailboat we see no less than 10 or 15 sea turtles surfacing just metres from our boat.

There are no facilities here. But that’s probably okay.

Your only way to get here is part of an organized excursion such as the Xtreme Circumnavigation of Antigua. tour with Island Routes. It includes a top at Green Island as well as Stingray City.

15. Pink Sand Beach in Barbuda – The Pinkest Beach of All

Woman walking on pink sand at Cedar Point on Barbuda.
You can find pink sand seasonally on Barbuda. (Credit: Antigua & Barbuda Tourist Authority)

If you have time for just one more beach, then it’s got to be one of the beautiful beaches in Barbuda, located north of Antigua.

Home to just 1,300 full time residents (and accessible by ferry, direct scheduled flights and helicopter charter from Antigua), Barbuda is the smaller and less populated of the twin-island nation of Antigua and Barbuda.

But it’s rich in natural wonders.

While the island’s Princess Diana Beach (once a favourite of Diana, Princess of Wales) is still a gorgeous high wattage stretch of sand that continues to attract celebrities (thanks to Robert de Niro’s Nobu restaurant), you don’t want to miss Pink Sand Beach.

It’s a stunner. While you can find rose-hued beaches in Bonaire, the Bahamas and Bermuda, Barbuda’s Pink Sand Beach is the pinkest beach in the Caribbean.

This is due to the abundance of tiny pink shells washed ashore mixed with luminescent sand. While the intensity of its pinkness is seasonal (the sand can be almost fuschia from November to February depending on the tides) the pinkest beaches are at Low Bay, Palmetto Point (Google Map) and around the Barbuda Belle Boutique Hotel.

Open seasonally, the Barbuda Belle (Google Map) is located on the west side of Barbuda near Cedar Tree Point between the beach and Codrington Lagoon. It has the added advantage of swimmable water (without seaweed) in addition to pink sand.

🌟 Insider Tip: Don’t miss exploring Codrington Lagoon National Park, a diverse ecosystem supporting reef fish, hawksbill and leatherback sea turtles, as well as magnificent frigatebirds.

Witnessing male frigatebirds inflating their throat pouches into brilliant red balloons to attract the attention of females during mating season is a bucket list thing to do in Antigua & Barbuda.

Final Thoughts and Map

Swimming at Ffrye's Beach in Antigua.
A personal favourite – Ffrye’s Beach. (Credit: Sharon Matthews-Stevens)

Hopefully this round-up has given you a good start on planning a beach vacation in Antigua and Barbuda.

And be sure to do some independent exploring. You’re certain to discover your own favourite beach in Antigua.

Click to view and download a map of 14 Antigua Beaches on Google Maps.

Where to Stay in Antigua

Tamarind Hills

Enjoy your choice of two beaches at Tamarind Hills. (Credit: Michele Peterson)

This newly built upscale villa development near Jolly Harbour features stellar views of Darkwood and Ffryes beaches. The villas also offer full kitchens and a contemporary decor making them a great option for couples and families.

Check rates and availability at Tamarind Hills on Booking.com. 

Sandals Grande Antigua

Water fountain surrounded by palm trees.
Enjoy luxurious views at Sandals Grande resort. (Photo Credit: Sharon Matthews-Stevens)

This luxury, couples-only, all-inclusive resort is set directly on Dickenson Bay.

Its mature landscaping, unique design with spread across two sections, the Mediterranean Oceanview Village and the Caribbean Beachfront Village with rondovals, and 11 restaurants are among the many reasons it often gets voted the world’s most romantic resort. 

Check rates and availability at Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa on Booking.com. 

Hodges Bay Resort & Spa

Pretty nice beach at Hodges Bay Resor on a sunny day.
Pretty nice beach at Hodges Bay Resort too. (Credit: Michele Peterson)

Stay where celebrities stay in Antigua! This Instagram worthy resort offers a private, white-sand beach, loads of art and posh rooms.

Plus, unlimited photo-ops with the Boonji Spaceman art installation.

Check rates and availability at Hodges Bay Resort & Spa on Booking.com.

Blue Waters Resort & Spa

Set on a secluded bay on Antigua’s northwestern shore, this refined luxury property is also home to the acclaimed fine-dining restaurant The Cove.

Check rates and availability at Blue Waters Resort & Spa on Booking.com.

Ellen Bay Cottages

A studio and 2-bedroom apartment units near Long Bay Beach in the village of Seatons. A bright and cheerful budget option. 

Check rates and availability at Ellen Bay Cottages on Booking.com. 

Curtain Bluff Resort

Curtain Bluff Antigua and Barbuda Credit Curtain Bluff
Curtain Bluff is located on a beautiful beach on the island of Antigua. (Credit: Curtain Bluff)

Overlooking its own little beach on the south coast, uber-upscale Curtain Bluff Resort bills itself as the longest-running luxury all-inclusive resort in the Caribbean.

Consider this: beachfront suites with private terrace and plunge pool.

Check rates and availability of Curtain Bluff All-Inclusive on Booking.com.

St. James Club

View of boats at St. James Club tucked on a peninsula on the southeastern shore of Antigua.
St. James Club is tucked on a peninsula on the southeastern shore of Antigua.(Credit: Sharon Matthews-Stevens)

Moderate to upscale accommodations would best characterize St. James Club on the south coast, though the property is gorgeous. 

It features a kaleidoscope of pastel-painted villas marching skyward, a swathe of sand boasting a restaurant, two beach bars and every single non-motorized water sport you could imagine.

Book a room, a Junior Suite or even a villa at this all-inclusive resort.

Check rates and availability of St. James Club on Booking.com.

Getting Around

You’ll need a car (or a boat) to go exploring around the island in Antigua & Barbuda. Much as in Nassau, Bahamas, Anguilla, Trinidad and Grenada, driving is on the left-hand side of the road.

We rent our cars on Discovercars.com. It’s an online car rental booking site that compares rates from several companies to find the best deal.

Check for the best car rental rates at Discovercars.com

SVG Airlines

BMN Airlines (with SVG Airlines aircraft) offers two scheduled passenger flights daily, one in the morning and another in the evening, from V.C. Bird International Airport in Antigua to Barbuda Codrington Airport. Flight time is 17 minutes. booknow.antigua-flights.com 


Besides great beaches what else is there to do on the island of Antigua?

Check out our list of top things to do in Antigua & Barbuda for some ideas beyond the beach.

Some of our favourite activities include visiting the UNESCO designated historic site Nelson’s Dockyard, dancing at the Caribbean’s best party at during the weekly party at Shirley Heights) and touring the ruins of a plantation at Betty’s Hope.

What is Antigua best known for?

With 365 beaches, sun, sand and sea are probably Antigua’s chief claim to fame. But sailing and yachting are right up there too. From regattas featuring mega yachts and classic boats to weeklong celebrations like Antigua Sailing Week with races days, shore events and parties there’s lots to do.

Official Antigua & Barbuda Tourism Website

Learn about Certified Tourism Businesses and more at: Visit Antigua & Barbuda

More Antigua Travel and Food Ideas

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A collage of a pink sand beach in Barbuda and a beautiful beach in Antigua for Pinterest.
Collage of two beaches in Antigua, a Caribbean island.

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