Antigua

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Getting There

Scuba Diving

FLIGHTS: Air Canada, American Airlines and BWIA offer scheduled services from North America and Caledonian Airways, British Airways, BWIA and Lufthansa offer scheduled services from Europe. LIAT provides connecting flights from nearby Caribbean Islands.  Flights from New York and Toronto take between 4-5 hours, flights from Miami  take 3 hours and flights from London and Europe take between 8-9  hours

Both Antigua and Barbuda are almost completely surrounded by well-preserved coral reefs, walls, and shipwrecks. The southern  and eastern coasts of Antigua and virtually the entire coast of Barbuda are  surrounded by shelfs, providing excellent conditions for spectacular shallow  diving and snorkeling. There is little or no current in most places, and the  water temperature averages about 80 F (25 C). Underwater visibility ranges from 50 to 140 feet, and tropical marine plants and animals are diverse and  plentiful. Snorkeling is possible at many of both islands' most beautiful beaches; one of Antigua's best-known offshore sites, Cades Reef, is now partly contained in a designated underwater park. Another popular destination is the wreck of the  Andes, a three-masted merchant ship that sank in 1905 and now rests in less than thirty feet of water in (ironically enough) Deep Bay. Antigua's dive facilities are far superior to those available on smaller Barbuda, and so most of the sites that have been established as dive destinations are Antiguan. The southern and eastern coasts are considered to offer the most consistent diving; for more advanced divers, the ledge of Sunken Rock on the south coast is a popular site. Dive depths generally range from 25 to 80 feet and can reach 180 feet; distances  from shore to site are in some cases no more than five minutes and at most 40  minutes away

Beaches

There are 365 beaches on Antigua, one for each day of the year. The great majority rest inside the calm, protected waters of the island's Caribbean side. All are open to the public, and so the challenge posed to a visitor is not how to gain access to the best of them but simply how to  locate the beach that suits one's taste. Exploring on your own is the best way  to do this, although it is wise to bring a companion along to particularly isolated locations. Antiguans are understandably reluctant to divulge their own  favorites, so here are a number of good starters. Be sure to acquire specific  directions before you go.

Northwest Coast:
Dickenson Bay and Runaway Bay, located along the island's developed northwestern coast, are the place to go for  those who want the fully-loaded resort beach experience. The beaches most convenient to St. John's are Fort James, a locally-popular public beach, and Deep Bay. Galley Bay attracts surfers during the winter months and a joggers during the evening. The series of four crescent beaches at Hawksbill are also highly regarded, one of which is nudist.

Southwest and South Coast:
The beaches of the hilly southwest corner of Antigua are generally less developed than those around St. John's further north. On the road that winds along this coast are Fryes Bay,  Darkwood Beach, and the beaches around Johnsons Point. Rendezvous Bay and especially Doigs Beach, both located on the central southern coast at Rendezvous Bay, are especially quiet beaches worth the rough travel necessary to reach them. Pigeon Point, near English  Harbour Town, is a convenient balm after a day at Nelson's  Dockyard.

East Coast:
 On the southeast corner of the island is Half Moon Bay, now a National Park and a good choice for a family outing. Long Bay, on the easternmost point of the island, is another good choice for families, as it is completely protected by its reef.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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