Return to Caribbean

St John's, Antigua
St John's, Antigua

Antigua (pronounced An-tee'ga) is part of the country of Antigua and Barbuda located in the Leeward Islands of the Eastern Caribbean.  To the south are the islands of Montserrat and Guadaloupe, and to the north and west are Nevis, St. Kitts, St. Barts, and St. Martin.  Antigua is British, founded by Admiral Horatio Nelson in 1784.  Antigua is about 14 miles long and 11 miles wide.  Its highest point is Boggy Peak (1319 ft.).  Most of its 69,000 inhabitants live in the capital St John's (not to be confused with St John in the US Virgin Islands).  Antigua is a center for online gambling.  Barbuda is a flat coral island with an area of only 68 square miles that lies approximately 30 miles due north of Antigua. 

Attractions in Antigua:

Things to see and do:

  • Nelson’s Dockyard – Visit the biggest British naval yard in the Caribbean with a museum, boutiques and restored buildings that are now part of a national park.

  • St John's Cathedral

  • Shirley Heights – Catch views of English Harbour and Nelson’s Dockyard from this historical site, originally built as a signal station to alert troops of approaching ships.

  • Dow’s Hill Interpretation Centre – the history of Antigua is presented, including grounds with historic ruins and a display of 18th century artifacts collected from the island.

  • Fig Tree Drive – This picturesque road winds lush vegetation, rainforest foliage and fruit groves. See sugar mills and churches, but there aren’t any figs on Fig Tree Drive.

St John's, Antigua

St John's, Antigua

  • Stingray City – Swim with Southern Stingrays in a safe, aquatic adventure. Calm, clear shallow water and guides to teach you how to feed these hungry rays that eagerly congregate when the tourists arrive.

  • Beaches –  Antigua has enough white sand beaches to visit a different one every day of the year.  Try Half Moon Bay Beach on the south east coast, which has is less frequented and has nearly a mile of sandy beach, palm trees, excellent snorkeling and parasailing.

  • Great Bird Island – This islet, three kilometers northeast of Antigua, is very small.

  • Antigua Rainforest Canopy Tour – A zipline tour give through Antiguan rainforest.

Antigua Tours:

Hotels in Antigua:

View Antigua map

Stingray City Excursion

Antigua Visit with Tim Anderson
This was one of my most favorite excursions. We traveled a half hour by bus from St John’s to the small village of Seaton. At the beach there was a tourist facility called Stingray City. There were change rooms and picnic tables under shady trees where you received instruction about the Southern Stingrays we were going to see. There were several skiffs and a pontoon boat to take us on a 5 minute ride through some small cays to Barge Reef. At the reef, there was a small dock and the water was 3 – 4 feet deep with a sandy coral substrate. As soon as our tour arrived, the rays came to greet us. The males are very small and the females are very large. It is important to shuffle your feet to avoid stepping on them, which might stress them and cause them to shoot their tail barb. In 9 years of operation, no one had ever been hurt. We were assisted in holding the rays and we were instructed on how to hold squid and feed them. The important point was to keep your thumb and fingers tucked tightly in. When they grabbed the squid, their strong suctioned mouths felt powerful against your hand. There were also a few tropical fish at the site and one medium sized barracuda regularly patrolled nearby for scraps. The site and the stingray viewing were prefect and everyone had a great time. Back at the shore there were freshwater outdoor showers, change rooms, shade, free rum or fruit punch and pictures for purchase. Highly recommended.

Southern Ray, Stingray City, St John's, Antigua

Female Southern Stingray

View Antigua Pics