Temperatures in Antigua generally range from the mid-seventies in the winter to the mid-eighties in the summer. Annual rainfall in Antigua averages only 45 inches; making it the sunniest of the Eastern Caribbean Islands, and the northeast trade winds are nearly constant, flagging only in September. There is low humidity in Antigua year round. August and September tend to be the hottest months while January and February, the coolest months. The average rainfall in Antigua is about 42 inches per year. Rainfall in Antigua is heaviest during the summer.
ANTIGUA ISLAND POPOURI
Antigua is located in the middle of the Eastern Caribbean, about 17 degrees north of the equator. It is an English-speaking island one hour ahead of Eastern Standard Time and is about 14 miles long and 11 miles wide. There are a total of 365 beaches on the island of Antigua. Barbuda is it's neighboring island available by ferry only, would make a nice excursion trip while staying at Sandals Antigua Resort and Spa. The official currency is the Eastern Caribbean dollar, which is fixed to the US dollar. Recent exchange rate was US$1.00 = EC$2.65. U.S. Dollars are welcomed on this island. Antigua is a major yachting center and every year hosts one of the world's major yachting competitions. The annual Antigua Sailing Week Competition, which is held at the end of April each year, attracts hundreds of yachts.
ANTIGUA SNORKELING & DIVING
Antigua & Barbuda has hundreds of wrecks to explore and good shelf diving. Both Antigua and Barbuda are almost completely surrounded by coral reefs, walls and shipwrecks. The southern and eastern coasts of Antigua are best for shallow dives and snorkeling. There is little or no current in most places, and the water temperature averages about 80 degrees. Once underwater, you can see the many tropical marine plants and animals and your visibility will range from 50 to 140 feet. Snorkeling is possible at both of the islands beautiful beaches. One of Antigua's offshore sites, Cades Reef, is now partly contained in a designated underwater park. The wreck of the Andes, a three-masted merchant ship that sank in 1905 and now rests in less than thirty feet of water in Deep Bay, is a very popular dive. Antigua's dive facilities are better then those available on smaller Barbuda. Most of the sites that have been established as dive destinations are Antiguan. For more advanced divers, the ledge of Sunken Rock on the south coast is a popular site. Dive depths generally range from 25 to 80 feet and can reach 180 feet; distances from shore to site are in some cases.
There are two golf courses on the Antigua: an 18-hole, 70-par course at the Cedar Valley Golf Club and Jolly Harbour. Both are members only golf courses.
You can fly to Turks and Caicos via American Airlines with 2 connections from Milwaukee. If you can leave from Chicago O'Hare's Airport, American Airlines will have only one flight connection either thru San Juan or Miami. There is a Departure Tax that must be paid in cash at the airport ticket counter in Antigua. The Departure Tax is approximately $20.00 per person U.S. Dollars.
ANTIGUA ENTRY REQUIREMENTS
For U.S. Citizens, either a passport or an original birth certificate and a Government issued photo I.D. (ex. Driver's License).
Antigua's cuisine is very similar to a lot of islands. They also are known for their pepperpot soup (which is a stew made of beef, pork, dumplings, different spices and vegetables including okra. It is sometimes served with "fungii" (fun-JEE), which is a mixture of cornmeal and okra, with a consistency similar to grits. You will also find an array of seafood to choose from (mostly depending on the catch of the day).
ANTIGUA TOURS AND ATTRACTIONS
Many people visit the St. John's Cathedral, which was built in 1845 and is now in its third incarnation, as earthquakes in 1683 and in 1745 destroyed the previous structures. For those who would like to shop, visit the town of St. John's, which is also the capital of Antigua. For those interested in the early history of the island, there is the Museum of Antigua and Barbuda, housed in the colonial Court House (1750). The museum displays both Arawak Indian and colonial artifacts recovered on archaeological digs on the islands. On Friday and Saturday mornings, be sure to visit the farmers market on the southern edge of the city, featuring folk crafts and colorful tropical fruits. The Jolly Rogers Cruise is the perfect mix of sea, sun and all-around fun. With her distinctive red sails and skull-and-crossbones flags, the Jolly Roger welcomes sailors of all ages, for cruises throughout the day and into the night down the west coast of Antigua. The Jolly Roger was built in 1944, as the last wooden sailing ship for the Swedish Navy. Remodeled as a passenger ship, she now seats 120 on the main deck and 100 on the top deck. There is shaded seating under the main awning and plenty of room for sunbathing on the fore deck. Jolly Roger cruises have it all--fine food, tropical drinks, and festive Caribbean music. The sumptuous buffets of lobster, steak, and island specialties are guaranteed to make the mouth water. An open bar is stocked with premium whiskey, gin, vodka and fine wines, but don't forget to try their famous Rum Punch onboard. Relax on deck, soaking up the sun and scenery. Take a turn at the wheel with the skipper. Go for a swim in the warm, tropical waters. Dance to reggae tunes on the upper deck. Swim with the Dolphins allows participants the opportunity to experience up close and personal playtime with dolphins, while gaining an understanding of these fascinating mammals. Housed in a 5.5 million gallon lagoon at Marina Bay, these precious animals are sure to make your vacation unforgettable. Take the opportunity to explore the wild side of Antigua and Barbuda. Mangrove swamps, bird watching and reef snorkeling are available on-island. This tour takes small groups of people to areas of the beaten track. Islands Magazine recommends this tour above all in Antigua. If you enjoy bird watching, then visit The Frigate Bird Sanctuary on Barbuda. It is accessible only by boat and is the largest bird sanctuary in the Caribbean and contains over 170 species. Horseback riding, hiking, biking, sailing boat tours, Caribbean Helicopter tours, swim with sting rays, and playing cricket are other activities/tours that you can do in Antigua.
ANTIGUA WEDDINGS IN JAMAICA
For those who would like to get married in Antigua, you will need the following:
- If either of you have been previously married, then bring along the original divorce decree or, in the case of a widow or widower, the original marriage and death certificates.
- Ensure that all marriage documents are in your legal name, and provide affidavits in cases where you are known by another name.
The charge is $225.00 U.S. Dollars for Government Fees.