Antigua and Barbuda is an idyll in the middle of the Caribbean, which particularly impresses as a charter Region
Antigua’s history is intertwined with boating. Not only does the island enjoy a British Royal Navy heritage, but it is also the home of the first yacht charter in the Caribbean and considered to be the central hub of sailing in these islands. The coast is surrounded by rich coral reefs, underwater cliffs, and spectacular wrecks, making it a premier destination for scuba divers. Sandy Island, Cades Reef, and Ariadne Shoal all offer excellent diving opportunities, including the chance to get up close with stingray and barracuda.
The coastline itself is scattered with beaches—365, in fact: one for each day of the year. Most of these beaches are on the Caribbean side, offering tranquil waters ideal for swimming. In the northwest, Runaway Bay offers the full beach resort experience, while the quieter Galley Bay is ideal for surfing and home to nesting sea turtles. Further south the beaches are less developed, and locations such as Darkwood Beach are ideal for snorkeling in the coral that surrounds the island. Barbuda’s beaches have spectacular pink sand and stretch for miles around the coastline on the southwest, while the eastern Atlantic beaches are popular with beachcombers.
Due to the constant trade winds that blow along these coasts, yacht cruising and racing is extremely popular. Boating season lasts from December until May, and sailors from all over the world flock to some of the world’s most spectacular yachting events. The season begins with the Antigua Charter Yacht Show, where millions of dollars worth of luxury yachts dock in English Harbour and Falmouth Harbour for brokers to admire. It ends in late April or May with the famous Antigua Sailing Week—one of the top regattas in the world, which attracts around 200 yachts each year.
With these events playing a large role in Antigua and Barbuda’s calendar, yachting infrastructure around the islands is first class. History lovers can dock at Nelson’s Dockyard Marina, which dates back to the 18th Century and once housed Admiral Horatio Nelson’s fleet. Today, it’s a popular choice for super-yachts. For a more modern choice, the Falmouth Harbour Marina caters to mega-yachts and hosts many of the island’s annual yachting events.
English Harbour (English Harbour Town)
Jolly Harbour (Bolands)
Great Harbour (Codrington)
Falmouth Harbour (Falmouth)
Marina Bas du Fort (Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe)
Port of Guastavia (Gustavia, Saint Barthélemy)
Captain Olivers Marina (Oyster Pond, Sint Maarten)
Lagoon Marina Cole Bay (Cole Bay, Sint Maarten)
Marina Fort Louis (Marigot, Saint Martin)
Marina Anse Marcel (French Cul de Sac, Saint Martin)
Blowing Point Marina (Blowing Point, Anguilla)
V. C. Bird International Airport (Antigua und Barbuda)
Pointe-à-Pitre International Airport (Guadeloupe)
Princess Juliana International Airport (Sint Maarten)
With just 39 inches of rain a year, Antigua and Barbuda enjoy the most sun of all the Eastern Caribbean Islands. They have a tropical climate year-round with very little annual temperature variance, from 23º in the winter to 30º in the height of summer. These islands are notable for their low humidity, which makes them one of the most temperate climates in the world. Rainfall is highest between September and November—which is also hurricane season—and temperatures are lowest between the months of December and February. Antigua and Barbuda enjoy near-constant northeast trade winds, moderating the heat of the tropics.