Author: Ekaterina Sergeeva
The islands of Antigua and Barbuda are a wonderful place on Earth with hot gentle sun, gentle sand of free beaches, alluring azure waters, mysterious coral reefs, bird voices in tropical gardens.
Things to do in Antigua and Barbuda
The state is located on three Lesser Caribbean Islands: Antigua, Barbuda and Redonda, discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1493. The only city on the island of Barbuda is Codrington.
The first place in the list of attractions of the island nation is occupied by beaches with clean white sand and azure seashore. The most popular water sports here are windsurfing, diving and spearfishing. Antigua and Barbuda is surrounded by mysterious reefs and underwater rocks that have caused many shipwrecks. The shallows of the shelves are a real paradise for diving enthusiasts.
The gently sloping shores, white sand of the magnificent beaches of Antigua have made the coast a favorite destination for vacationers. Tourists prefer to sunbathe and swim at Dickenson Bay, Hawksbill, Jolly Harbor and other beaches.
Curious travelers are happy to get acquainted with the historical and cultural sites of Antigua and Barbuda: architectural monuments, museums, military forts.
Tourists from all over the world tend to visit local national parks famous for their rare birds. The ecological type of Caribbean tourism is quite in demand here. Many travelers are interested in unique natural monuments: former craters of ancient volcanoes, underground pools, stalactite caves.
Once a year, a noisy colorful carnival is held on the islands of the British West Indies, dedicated to the abolition of slavery. Tourists from different parts of the world come to see the extraordinary show.
Cultural landmarks and architecture
The decoration of the capital is the Cathedral of St. John’s (in Russian — John the Evangelist). It was erected by the British in 1745 from ballast bricks on a high hill. And a hundred years later, instead of the old one, a new temple was built with massive towers of reef limestone. Today, tourists see the third version of it, since the previous building was destroyed as a result of the earthquake.
The beautiful stone structure with stained-glass windows belongs to the Anglican Church and is the center of the Roman Catholic Diocese in the northeast of the Caribbean. On the territory of the cathedral there is an old cemetery — a favorite place for the townspeople for walking.
Museum of Antigua and Barbuda
The museum was opened in 1985 by the Historical Society of Archeology in cooperation with a private non-profit organization. The collection consists of exhibits from different eras and tells about the times of the formation of islands of volcanic origin, colonial history in the West Indies and the political independence of the state.
The museum is located in the center of St. John’s and is housed in Court House, a stone colonial house built in the middle of the 18th century in a traditional English style. Here you can learn how the Arawaks, the indigenous population of the island, lived in ancient times, and see real life-size Indian wigwams.
In 1779, a huge semicircular Fort Barrington was built to protect against the enemy in Deep Bay. The structure is named after the admiral of the British flotilla that defeated the French during the war in the West Indies. Later, it housed the service of escorting ships to the capital’s harbor.
The water area of the bay was clearly visible, and any appearance of guests or enemies was not unexpected for the inhabitants of the island. At the same time, the fort’s defenses remained inaccessible to artillery fire from the sea.
The highest point of the fort is the top of Goat Mountain. Climbing to the observation deck along the preserved walls of the fort will not take much time. In 30 minutes you will have an amazing panorama of Antigua.
Redonda National Park and Township
Redonda Park is located on the eponymous rocky island of volcanic origin. In tropical thickets live hawks, owls, hummingbirds, rare representatives of falcons — caracaras. Pelicans nest on the rocks. There is also a frigate bird sanctuary here.
Redonda is an almost uninhabited island. Mostly it is visited by yachtsmen. The only settlement is the small town of Codrington, more like a village. It revives only on the days of national cricket competitions. Then the small place is filled with tourists, for whom hotels, bars and shops are opened.
Indian Town Point and Devil’s Bridge
Devil’s Bridge is located in St. Philip County within Indian Town Point National Park. This is a miraculous limestone rock, really resembling a bridge over the deep sea. Its length is 9 m.
For thousands of years, the Atlantic Ocean has sharpened the rocks of the deserted coast. And now, when powerful waves crash against the barrier, water, like a geyser, breaks out through the washed holes.
The wild rocky landscape of the park without a single tree is depressing. According to one of the legends, in former times the bridge was a place where black slaves said goodbye to life.
The reserve in Antigua is not like a zoo. It is rather a haven for donkeys and goats, which are numerous on the island. Sick, old or injured animals that have no owners are brought here. Here they are treated and fed.
Farm workers never refuse the help of volunteers, even from another country. You can very well bottle feed a newborn donkey or clean up on the site.
The kids love the farm tour. They can take care of homeless animals and thus show spiritual compassion. Pupils from local schools often come to the reserve for biology lessons.