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Situated just a few nautical miles apart from one another, Antigua and Barbuda lie at the heart of the Leeward Islands in the Caribbean Sea. Once under British rule, the twin-island country gained its independence in 1981 and boasts so many pristine stretches of sand that it earned the nickname "Land of 365 Beaches." Visitors to Antigua and Barbuda will find themselves surrounded by a tropical paradise of verdant forests, reef-rimmed inlets, and cerulean lagoons. The islands hold their fair share of history, too-crumbling English fortresses and restored 18th-century buildings testify to the islands' colonial past. Whether you're craving adventure or relaxation, this Caribbean destination holds plenty of possibilities, both on land and sea.
Most of Antigua and Barbuda's visitors come to Antigua, home to the islands' colorful capital of St. John's. To the north, Barbuda offers a quieter slice of island life to enchant those seeking seclusion or an escape to nature.
Life on Antigua centers around St. John's, a candy-colored port city with shopping destinations, museums, and colonial-era buildings. In English Harbour, Nelson's Dockyard National Park beckons travelers with a peek into maritime history at the UNESCO-listed British Naval Dockyard and a network of beautiful nature trails.
Home to only a tiny fraction of the islands' combined population, secluded Barbuda is sprinkled with chic resorts and pink-tinged stretches of sand like the utterly serene 17-Mile Beach. Avian enthusiasts will find themselves in heaven at the Frigate Bird Sanctuary, which contains one of the Caribbean's largest nesting colonies of frigate birds.
Antigua and Barbuda's tropical scenery offers a true feast for the eyes. Among the islands' countless beaches, spots like Half Moon Bay and Dickenson Bay showcase some of the most breathtaking stretches of white sand and clear aqua waters to be found anywhere in the Caribbean. For unforgettable island views, gaze out from the hilltop ruins of Fort Shirley in Nelson's Dockyard National Park. The terrain has been shaped by remarkable limestone formations such as Devil's Bridge, a rock arch carved by the sea, and the massive sinkhole known as Darby Cave. History buffs can delve into the islands' heritage at the Museum of Antigua and Barbuda, or stroll Barbuda's beach at River to scope out the British-built Martello Tower.
Choose between a variety of activities and adventures that let you unlock the natural splendor of Antigua and Barbuda. Swim and snorkel among graceful rays at Stingray City, a crystal-clear pool surrounded by coral reefs. If you're eager to explore the islands' lush forests, hop on a Jeep tour for a spectacular safari, or soar through the tree canopy on a thrilling zipline course. Catamaran cruises offer the chance to spend the day at sea, roaming the sparkling Caribbean waters in search of idyllic snorkeling spots and incredible sunset views. Shopping lovers can head out in search of the perfect souvenirs on a guided tour of artisan craft markets and duty-free shopping areas.