Antigua beaches are some of the nicest in the Caribbean. This tropical island is famously blessed with 365 beaches. It is approximately 14 miles by 11 miles, or roughly 2.5 times the size of Washington, D.C. Funny how so many islands like to compare themselves to DC geographically. 8o thousand souls are resident on this little West Indian island.
In 1493, Christopher Columbus “discovered” these Antigua beaches and choose to name the island after Santa Maria de la Antigua. In English, that is the St Mary of the Old Cathedral from the Seville Cathedral. The word antigua in Spanish means old/ ancient.
Where is Antigua?
Things to do in Antigua
Beach vacations in Antigua or anywhere for that matter are slow. Kick back on the sand slow. Have a couple beers and wait. Build a sand castle. Work on your tan with a paperback. Basically, chill. Lime. Whatever you want to call it.
Unfortunately, you will probably have to find other things to do in Antigua. At the very least because its night. Like the good tropical island in the sun Antigua is, there is a decent Spring Break style nightlife, full of colorful bars and good restaurants to choose from. Wine bars, steel bands, reggae are all available at varying levels of sophistication and pricing. You can’t miss.
Once you are back on the beach… repeat
Antigua Beaches : Elegant Vacation Packages
Chances are that you will not have the good fortune to visit this Leeward Island as frequent as you like. You owe it to yourself to plan some activities. In particular, if you are PADI certified get in the water. It would be sinful, to miss the scuba diving here because you wanted to have a few more beers.
The dives are typically shallow and the water is about 80F, so you will be comfortable. Viz is good and can range from 50 to over 120 ft. The island is nearly surrounded by reefs, so there are tons of spots. The wreck of the Andes is located in Deep Bay at a depth of 30ft. Right. No irony there. In general, the south of the island offers better opportunities as the north is somewhat comparable to La Jolla Cove, ideal diving playground for novices.
Best Beaches in Antigua: Jolly Beach
Go to Jolly Harbour to surprisingly find Jolly Beach. It’s on the West coast of this island a little less than 7 miles from St. John’s. You will find a mile long powder white sand beach and the warm waters of the Caribbean sea. This is the place to be with choices of great beach restaurants, and lots of activities to blow money: watersports and shopping. As far as places to enjoy a day, or even an entire holiday on Antigua, it is highly recommended.
Real Estate / Cost of Living in Antigua
A cursory look at some prices and this exotic Caribbean island appears to be reasonably priced for your next beach spot. Very nice 2BR villas were available from 250,000 USD on the water. Of course, there are properties for 20x that amount as well and some for a lot cheaper. I looked at the long term rental prices also…and for about 1200USD/ month there were a couple nice smaller places. At around double cost that you start to live extremely well.
Thank you for the pics Flaco!
A special thanks to my old friend Flaco aka Michael for the pictures. He has lived in Antigua for a number of years. We once worked together on Margarita Island.