Antigua Area Map - Hawksbill by REX Resorts - All inclusive
Antigua -- part of the nation of Antigua and Barbuda -- is the largest of the British Leeward Islands in the eastern part of the Caribbean Sea. The island is about 250 miles southeast of Puerto Rico and about 40 miles north of Guadeloupe, and it's divided into six different parishes: St. John, St. George, St. Peter, St. Philip, St. Paul and St. Mary.
St. John parish
Antigua's capital, St. John's, is located in St. John parish around the largest of the island's natural harbors and is home to most residents. According to Dickenson Bay, one of Antigua's best beaches. Professional travelers warn that some St. John beaches are clothing optional., St. John's is a mixture of the old and the new with several historic sites, including the Anglican Cathedral and the ruins of Fort Barrington and Fort James, which were built to protect the city from opposite sides. St. John's is also home to the Museum of Antigua and Barbuda, but most who visit forgo the history and culture for
St. George parish
Heading east from St. John parish is St. George parish, where V. C. Bird International Airport is located. Sitting on the edge of Fitches Creek Bay is St. George's Church, which was constructed in 1687 by British colonists.
St. Peter parish
Farther along the east coast is St. Peter parish, which houses the island's first British Settlement, Parnham. Parham is also home to St. Peter's Church, which dates back to the 1840s and was constructed in an (unusual for the time) eight-sided shape. St. Peter's offshore reefs around the Crabs Peninsula and Maiden Island make it a regular stop for divers. Between May and December, Antigua's Environmental Awareness Group organizes turtle-watching at St. Peter's Pasture Bay.
St. Philip parish
The easternmost parish of St. Philip features some of the best boating opportunities, the most popular resorts and one of Antigua's best-loved beaches: Half Moon Bay. You can also visit St. Philip's for the Devil's Bridge at Indian Town Point, a limestone arch carved by the rough waves of the Atlantic Ocean. The natural bridge affords a good view of Long Bay.
St. Paul parish
St. Paul's English Harbour, and specifically Nelson's Dockyard, were once the hub of British maritime power in the Caribbean's Leeward Islands. Today visitors frequent the dockyard, explore the area ruins of Fort Berkeley, or even enjoy a night on the town at one of the town's bars or clubs.
St. Mary parish
Located southwest of St. John's is the scenic St. Mary Parish, along with Boggy Peak, the highest point on the island. Taxis will take you here for the beautiful views of Guadeloupe, St. Kitts, Nevis and Montserrat. Keep the taxicab fare going with a trip to Cades Bay, a popular site for scuba diving. On the western side of the parish is Jolly Harbour, home to a popular beach, hotel development and casino.
Crime is rare on Antigua, but you should still exercise common sense. Your valuables should be kept in the hotel safe, not resting unattended on a beach blanket.
And speaking of the beach, writers suggest you take it easy on shore-time your first day on the island. The Caribbean sun can be sweltering, especially in summer, and there are not many beaches with lifeguards to assist you should you feel unwell. Drink plenty of water while outside, and apply sunscreen at regular intervals.
Don't attempt scuba diving until you've received proper training, and even then, never dive alone. Decompression sickness is a potential risk with deeper dives. Also known as "the bends," decompression sickness' symptoms include joint pain, itchy, swelling skin, loss of balance, and shortness of breath, all of which could occur from rising to the surface too quickly. To avoid illness, make sure to ascend at no more than 30 feet per minute. Should you feel ill, experts recommend that you seek immediate medical attention.
The best way to get around Antigua is by car, preferably the friendly taxis. Having a car can save you money, especially on longer visits, but the island can be difficult to get around with its bumpy dirt roads and hilly areas that flood easily. A handful of rental agencies have locations in the arrival hall of Antigua's V.C. Bird International Airport (ANU), located on the northern part of the island just outside of the town of Osbourn. Charter planes provided by LIAT, Caribbean cruise lines and ferry services are available to several of the neighboring islands as well.Getting To & Around Antigua»
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