Located in the West Indies in the Caribbean Sea in the Leeward Islands, Antigua is a popular destination for tourists. They promote themselves as a luxury Caribbean escape, with many resorts along the coastline that are very nice. Much of the rest of the island is not so well off, with damaged roads, aging buildings and failing parks. All the typical activities exist to get visitors out of the resorts, beach excursions, scuba diving, snorkeling, boat tours, stingray tours, eco tours, sightseeing tours, nature tours, speedboat tours, helicopter tours, small museums, etc. Most cruise passengers do not go more than 3 blocks in town to the edge of the tourism district. Some small but unique sites to visit in Antigua are:
The island of Montserrat from St Johns, Antigua is a 30 minute ride over water. The volcano has caused significant damage to the island and destroyed the town of Plymouth, which now is the only volcanic-buried town in the Americas.
St. Johns is the capital and largest city of Antigua and Barbuda. Don't confuse this with St. Johns island in the U.S. Virgin Islands. St. John's is the commercial centre of the nation of Antigua-Barbuda. The city's skyline is dominated by the white baroque towers of St. John's Cathedral, which was run down with no access when we were there.
Fort Barrington is a historic site that gets little attention but offers stunning views of Deep Bay, St. John and the hills of Antigua. A short hike up a steep hillside is part of the adventure to reaching this free historic site. It is located just a short drive from St Johns on a coastal rocky perch.
For some history and great views, Fort James could be a huge tourist attraction if the government cared to restore it. For now, it is run down but completely free to visit.
Bettys hope is a restored sugar mill operation where visitors can learn how sugar was once a big part of Antigua. Driving around the island you will see many dilapidated sugar mills.
St. Johns Cathedral
St. Johns Waterfront
Panoramic of St. Johns
Flying over Jolly Harbour
Flying over Five Islands Harbour looking north
Five Islands Harbour looking south
St. Johns from above
Tourist shops near the waterfront
Tourist market takes up an entire city block
Cruise ships at dock
Sailing out at sunset
Party boats that offer day excursions