Antigua Travel Guide
We recently hopped on a plane for the first time in over a year and headed to the Caribbean! Before we decided to travel during the pandemic, we researched destinations with low infection rates and no quarantine required upon arrival. We also looked for affordable private villa locations, so we didn’t have to stay at a crowded resort or hotel.
We were most curious about what the plane rides would feel like during this unprecedented time and we honestly felt very comfortable and safe throughout our flights. As expected, everyone was required to wear masks for the entire time and the flight crew did periodic checks to ensure everyone was doing so. Passengers were given a beverage/snack & sanitizing wipes in a plastic bag upon entry, instead of the usual inflight cart service. We feel this is a great way to reduce the amount of close contact.
All in all, the travel process went very smoothly. We were required to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test, both when checking in at JFK airport and before proceeding through immigration in Antigua. Besides standard immigration forms, we also had to fill in a health declaration form asking coronavirus-related questions.
There were many safety precautions taken to keep everyone on the island safe. There is an 11 pm to 5 am curfew and temperatures are taken at the entrance of restaurants and masks are required until you are seated. There are also mobile sinks outside of grocery stores with security enforcing hand washing before entering.
Overall we felt so safe; we’re already planning our next trip to the Caribbean. Here is our Antigua travel guide!
Where to Stay
We stayed at Villa Sunset, a luxurious Caribbean style villa located on Antigua’s west coast at the prestigious Sugar Ridge resort. It sits atop a private hillside overlooking white sand beaches and the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea. The views from this home are breathtaking, especially at sunset. Besides the gorgeous views & incredible infinity pool, the house is very clean and well kept. It is also fully equipped with kitchen appliances, perfect for cooking meals to enjoy out on the veranda. The property management went above and beyond to ensure our stay was perfect and arranged all of our taxis. We cannot recommend this place enough and will definitely be returning!
What to Eat
One of the island’s top-rated restaurants, Jacqui O’s is a beautiful oasis on the beach that offers modern Caribbean/French cuisine and the best rum punch. It’s a fun place to eat while taking in the breathtaking views, whether you are sitting at the restaurant/bar area or one of the picnic tables or loungers on the beach. Try the grilled fish or steak from the charcoal-fired oven!
Set the pace for a relaxing day with a great breakfast at the Seabreeze Cafe. This popular spot serves views overlooking the harbor, along with some of the best coffee (and cocktails) in the area. The staff is super friendly & always goes above and beyond to make sure you’ll come back!
Catherine’s Cafe is not to be missed during a visit to Antigua. Stop by for a fantastic lunch & delicious cocktails on the beach while enjoying the live music & wonderful ambiance. Be advised, this gem isn’t cheap but will be money well spent for a fabulous time!
If you’re planning on an all-out fancy dinner during your stay, head to the elegant Cove Restaurant at the Blue Water Resort. Breathtaking views of the ocean & an excellent French & Caribbean menu make this place five-star perfection!
Perched atop a rocky cliff in the center of Antigua’s gorgeous west coast, Sheer Rocks Restaurant is one of the most beautiful dining spots in Antigua. As you make your way to your table, you’ll walk through twinkling lights and lush greenery. In addition to their fantastic tapas lunch or sunset dinner, this restaurant also has two cliff-front plunge pools and linen-draped day beds.
What to Do
When we weren’t sunbathing by the pool at our villa, we ventured out to a few of Antigua’s 365 beaches and explored some insta-worthy spots! We recommend renting a car during your stay to avoid paying for so many taxis. Be sure to rent an SUV because there are steep hills and some roads are not well paved with potholes.
Offering the perfect combination of “chill-vibes” & “always something going on,” Pigeon Point Beach is one of the island’s more popular places. This beautiful white sand beach provides calm & shallow waters and stunning greenery & shade, given that the beach is situated between mountains. You can also find several cafe restaurants in the area.
Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church (Pink Church)
We love Antigua’s beautiful pastel buildings. Head to Antigua’s countryside to visit Our Lady Perpetual Help, a Roman Catholic church that is pastel pink with a red roof!
Shirley Heights is the most picturesque spot on the island with an iconic English and Falmouth Harbours view. At a vantage point about 490 feet above the sea, it’s the perfect photo opportunity, especially at sunset or the early evening when you can see all of English Harbour lit up.
Ffyres beach is on the west coast of the island, and its white sandy beach offers a picture-perfect backdrop of lush green hills to contrast the dazzling sand. It is a relaxed sandy beach that offers scenic views plus a nearby beach bar.
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