Antigua: The Perfect Caribbean Holiday

by Brenna Holeman

I’ll admit it: I knew very little about the Caribbean nation of Antigua and Barbuda, two sister islands, before getting the chance to visit at the beginning of the month. After what felt like a very long, very grey winter, I couldn’t wait to sink my feet into white sand, the sun on my face, the ocean in front of me. I wanted the perfect Caribbean holiday, the one you see in the magazines, the one you see splashed on billboards.

And oh, how Antigua delivered.

Sun-drenched, palm-fringed, and dotted with paradisal beaches, Antigua is the Caribbean island that dreams are made of. And that water! I’m not sure that I’ve ever seen water that looked like it, the purest aquamarine you ever could imagine.

I hadn’t been to the Caribbean since 2012, when I spent a bit of time in Cuba and then travelled along the Caribbean coast of mainland of Central America, sometimes spending time on islands like Nicaragua’s Little Corn and Honduras’ Utila. I was worried that I had built up this vision of the Caribbean in my mind, and that Antigua might not be the island utopia that I was so hoping for.

And despite visiting during a busy period for Antigua – Sailing Week – I was still very much able to find quiet, secluded beaches, where I’d while away the hours with a piรฑa colada in hand, taking the occasional respite from the sun by diving into waters of turquoise and jade. It was everything I could have hoped for and more.

But Antigua has more than just beauty to offer. From its history to its nightlife, its food to its people, the island ensures that you can easily fill your holiday with not only relaxing beach time but lots of fun activities. I’ll be writing about what to do in Antigua soon, but for now I just wanted to share these photos with you, because it still all seems like a dream. I finally splurged and got a new Olympus mirrorless camera as well as some new lenses (most of these photos were taken with this lens; please note those links are affiliate links) which means that I was able to capture some of the true colours of the Caribbean, all sapphires and emeralds and azure blue.

antigua and barbuda 3

antigua and barbuda

Would I go back to Antigua? Absolutely, in a heartbeat. I’d love to go back to explore more of the island and get to see Barbuda, too. Although it’s a small island, it certainly packs a punch… and I for one can’t wait to see what else it has to offer.

Essentials: Getting to Antigua is easy, with direct flights from London that take just over eight hours. There are also direct flights from many major North American cities including New York, Philadelphia, Charlotte, Toronto, and more. Antigua uses the Eastern Caribbean dollar or USD. The best time to visit Antigua is from December to May, when the weather is driest (and the temperatures still high). For more, please check out the official Antigua and Barbuda tourist site.ย 

antigua and barbuda 2

I was a guest of Visit Antigua and Barbuda for the six days that I was in Antigua, but all opinions, as always, are my own! I stayed in the gorgeous Verandah Resort and Spa, which I would highly recommend.

Have you ever been to Antigua? If not, would you like to go?

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25 comments

Melissa May 14, 2017 - 10:58 pm

These are gorgeous photos, those new lenses were a great investment! What an amazing opportunity, I’m now following the Antigua Barbuda tourism board in Instagram. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Brenna Holeman May 15, 2017 - 6:27 pm

Thank you so much, Melissa! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Cate May 14, 2017 - 11:25 pm

Omg this Island looks incredible. I knew Antigua and Barbuda existed but I never knew much about it. Your pics look amazing, that camera was definitely a worthwhile investment. Can’t wait to hear more!!!!!

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Brenna Holeman May 15, 2017 - 6:27 pm

Thank you so much, Cate! ๐Ÿ˜€

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Marie Landry May 15, 2017 - 2:15 am

Gorgeous photos, Brenna! I’ve never been to the Caribbean and to be honest it’s never appealed to me all that much because I don’t like hot weather and I’m not really a beachy person (terrified of open water for starters!). Buuut after seeing these pics and the videos you posted in your Instagram stories, I’m thinking Antigua needs to be on my list!

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Brenna Holeman May 15, 2017 - 6:28 pm

I would DEFINITELY recommend Antigua! There is so much to do, even if you’re not a beach person. More coming soon! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Beatrice May 15, 2017 - 2:34 am

Beautiful photos that speak for themselves! Antigua looks like a paradise!

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Brenna Holeman May 15, 2017 - 6:27 pm

Thank you so much, Beatrice! It was indeed paradise ๐Ÿ™‚

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Brigitta May 15, 2017 - 10:33 am

This looks like a dream! Definitely added to my bucket list ๐Ÿ™‚

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Brenna Holeman May 15, 2017 - 6:29 pm

I was indeed a dream, I still can’t believe I was there ๐Ÿ˜€

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Katie May 15, 2017 - 12:29 pm

Looks glorious! I tried to book a last-minute Caribbean holiday this month, but I live nowhere near a good airport hub and flight costs killed it. ๐Ÿ™ Love that baby pineapple, and if I could snap my fingers and be anywhere right now, it’d be floating in that gorgeous turquoise water.

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Brenna Holeman May 15, 2017 - 6:28 pm

I hope you get to the Caribbean soon, Katie ๐Ÿ™‚

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Victoria @The British Berliner May 17, 2017 - 9:40 am

Antigua looks very nice.

I’ve only been to the Caribbean once, and I didn’t like it!

p.s. It was to the Dominican Republic, but perhaps, I’ll give it another try. I’d love to go to Cuba!

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Brenna Holeman May 19, 2017 - 12:48 pm

Yes, perhaps you should give it another try. I definitely suggest Antigua! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Ifunanya May 18, 2017 - 6:08 am

I have always known about the sister islands I just didn’t know they were this beautiful. The beach reminds me of the time I spent in Lome.
Your photos are so pretty….xxxx

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Brenna Holeman May 18, 2017 - 2:46 pm

Thank you so much! It is indeed a very beautiful place. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Jennifer at Beach Gorgeous May 19, 2017 - 12:30 am

This beautiful article is so inspiring. You definitely convinced me to visit Antigua, looks like a peaceful destination. That baby pineapple is so cute.

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Brenna Holeman May 19, 2017 - 12:49 pm

Thanks a lot, Jennifer! I hope you get there soon. ๐Ÿ˜€

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Charlotte May 24, 2017 - 2:07 pm

Wow! All your photos are so beautiful. Now I’ve added Antigua to my long list of places I’d love to visit, how can I not?!

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Brenna Holeman June 3, 2017 - 8:09 pm

Aw, that’s great, Charlotte! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Zalie Holeman May 31, 2017 - 3:07 am

It looks absolutely incredible there! As always, your pictures are amazing! xoxo

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Brenna Holeman June 3, 2017 - 8:08 pm

Thank you so much, Zalie!! xoxo

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Rekha Rajan July 11, 2017 - 2:43 am

Wow what a beautiful place for a vacation. I just love your pics. Esp the ariel view of the boats and you in white. Great going gal!

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Annalisa July 31, 2017 - 12:32 pm

I’ve been to Antigua while I was working on cruise ships… and yeah, I still remember that water like it was yesterday. Hard to find a similar colour somewhere else. The funny fact is that locals don’t really go to the beach, as we (Europeans) would obsesively go. I remember my guide told me that the last time he went to swim and enjoy the beach was 4 years ago. WHYYYYYYYY????? I was very surprised to hear that, but then I realised that this happens in many other countries. Still shocked.

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Kareem Anthony January 21, 2018 - 9:00 pm

My wife and I visit Antigua often. It’s a really beautiful country and we love the hospitality of the people. I personally enjoy the Mango Festival and have recommended it to most of my friends. Antigua is sort of like my second home now.

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