So nice to escape the cold winter by heading down to the Caribbean! After about a three and half hour flight, we arrived in Antigua of Antigua and Barbuda, an island in the West Indies. Christopher Columbus discovered the island in 1493 and named it Antigua in honor of the Virgin of La Antigua in the Seville Cathedral. Antigua means “ancient” in Spanish and to the locals, it is called Waladi which means “our own”. Antigua and Barbuda was part of the British Empire before gaining sovereignty in 1961. Antigua emerged from the Hurricane season of 2017 relatively unscathed whereas Barbuda was almost completely destroyed. We stayed at the Sugar Ridge Resort near Jolly Bay which is one of the newest boutique resorts in Antigua for our short visit.
There is a famous saying in Antigua which is there are so many beaches here that you can have “one for every day of the year”. Here in Antigua, life really is a beach. Imagine white sand beaches, turquoise waters, and swaying palm trees. Best time to visit is between mid-December and mid-April when the weather is coolest and driest. However, with global warming and changing weather patterns, it was unusually wet during our visit. One of the most famous beaches is Dickenson Bay which is a mile long beach with many hotels and beach bars. Another popular beach is Jolly Beach set in a bay with white sand and palm trees. As you head further south-west down the island, there are several beautiful white sand beaches such as Ffrye’s Bay, Darkwood Beach, Crab Hill Bay etc. These beaches are most busy when the Antiguans come on the weekends or when cruise ships arrive for their land excursions. Our resort has beach attendants on both Turner Beach and Valley Church Beach where they will set you up with a lounger and umbrella and serve you lunch and drinks. We spent an afternoon at the Nest Beach Bar at Valley Church Beach. It was relatively busy until all of a sudden most people left around 3pm. I guess they were probably rushing back to the cruise ships. The following day, because our day trip to Barbuda was cancelled due to rough seas, we parked ourselves at Jacqui O’s Beach House. It is definitely one of the nicer beach clubs on the island with cocoon loungers for the guests. The food was excellent too, probably the best we had on the island.