The Caribbean is among the world’s top tourist destinations. Still, it is faced with a challenge that will drastically affect the region if not addressed early on: climate change. As such, many Caribbean nations started developing sustainable tourism initiatives that aim to save the people’s livelihood and protect Mother Nature, too.
Antigua and Barbuda is one such destination. Lonely Planet awards it as an emerging sustainable vacation spot. The country launched the Green Corridor in 2017, where the environment is prioritized. Here, businesses related to tourism strive hard to reach sustainable goals while giving guests an enjoyable Caribbean vacay.
Plan The Visit To Antigua And Barbuda
Tourism is a significant economic driver for Antigua and Barbuda so expect a premium when visiting this destination. Thanks to its pristine beaches, luxury resorts, and other Caribbean wonders, it’s always a good day on its islands. Here are some reminders before embarking on a journey to this paradise.
- United States citizens should have a valid passport (180 days following the departure date).
- No visa is required, but travelers should present an onward or return ticket and accommodation confirmation.
- All arriving passengers are required to present proof of full-dose vaccination against COVID-19. Make sure to review travel advisories to avoid any inconvenience.
Sustainable Tourist Spots
As the saying goes, when traveling, leave nothing but footprints. How about leaving fewer carbon footprints, too, or none at all? That’s what sustainable tourism is all about, and here are some destinations at the “Land of 365 Beaches.” Worry not; it’s not all about beaches.
Cades Bay Agricultural Station
Visiting this agricultural destination will let travelers enjoy the taste of the sweetest pineapple in the world. That’s one mouthwatering treat to start a Caribbean retreat!
Here, guests can enjoy the views of acres of farms where fruits and vegetables grow. Along the Fig Tree Drive, tourists can take home some produce, which will energize them as they drink in the sights and sounds of Antigua and Barbuda.
Wallings Nature Reserve
For nature lovers, a reserve in St. Mary’s is the place to be. This destination, located within the Wallings Forest area, is the country’s first community-managed national park. It’s always a good time to be with the wilderness, taking it all in and just going with the flow.
The park is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays and from 5 a.m. every weekend. Here are some activities to try for families and friends.
- Self-guided hiking is perfect for trekkers who want to learn a thing or two about the wildlife and the advocacies of the reserve.
- An eco-tour will take guests to the water catchment, where a nearby picnic area is waiting for them. Add a walk across trenches, and it’s a good day.
- A more than two-hour village tour in John Hughes is nothing short of lessons about the history and culture of the place.
- For birdwatchers, the Button Pond is the perfect destination. It’s an easy hike, so anyone can busy themselves spotting some feathered friends.
- A hike to Signal Hill is an exhilarating experience. As the second-highest point of Antigua, it offers views of Guadeloupe, Barbuda, Montserrat, and some islands far away.
- Taking a 3-hour hike to Rendezvous Bay is perfect for hikers who want a challenge. All the sweat will be worth it upon reaching the secluded beach.
- Visitors who want a laid-back experience can try some yoga sessions or a forest massage.
Boggy Peak, also known as Mount Obama, is the twin-island nation’s highest peak. This should not be missed by eager hikers since the lush views of the mountain range are top-notch. Though it has no forest area, it’s still a perfect place to test those legs – taking on the steep hills and taking in the Caribbean breeze.
Want some tan lines? The Darkwood Beach is waving. Thanks to its seemingly endless stretch, the white-sand destination is alluring, matched by panoramic ocean views. Visitors might get lucky from July to September if turtles say hi on the shore.
Aside from Barbuda’s 17-mile stretch of pristine beaches, the island is also home to the largest frigate bird sanctuary in the western hemisphere. There are over 170 species of winged friends in the sanctuary, including more than 5,000 frigatebirds. It’s a birder’s paradise.
Activities On The Water
What else is there to do on an island? Ride the waves, go underwater, and make a splash. Here are some water activities to try in this paradise.
- Boat tours to coastal destinations, with snorkeling escapades on the side.
- Paddlers will have a worthwhile journey with kayak tours that explore some nature spots.
- Underwater friends await if travelers decide to try scuba diving. Find Nemo, and Dory, maybe.
Where To Eat Throughout Antigua & Barbuda
The following are some dining destinations that adhere to the country’s sustainable tourism programs. Expect healthy Caribbean cuisine with majestic views as a companion. Keep those eyes filled, and keep those taste buds busy. Yum!
Dennis Cocktail Bar & Restaurant
At this eatery, the eyes will be satisfied with the views of the pristine seas. Offering modern Caribbean cuisine, this dining spot offers seafood, salads, burgers, and cocktails. Mojito time!
Darkwood Beach Bar & Restaurant
Another seafront eatery, the Darkwood Beach Bar & Restaurant, lets guests cap off their day with good food and relaxing views. Imagine munching on that lobster as the sun sets. It’s a wonderful world.
Jacqui O’s Beach House
The restaurant overlooks the Caribbean Sea, making it ideal for a romantic dining experience. It is secluded, so the vibes here are more relaxed. Roast beef and pudding by the beach with the special someone? Why not?
Turners Beach Bar & Restaurant
If it’s not yet apparent, most restaurants are fronting the sea. Where else should they be located but in a spot where the views are unmatched. For those who want just that, Turner’s got them covered. Here, diners won’t only enjoy spectacular scenery; they can also meet locals. That grilled steak plus beer and new friends is pure bliss.
Sustainable tourism is possible, simply look at Antigua and Barbuda’s efforts. Even small businesses do their best to protect the environment without sacrificing the tourist experience. After all, a paradise is only a paradise if its beauty can be maintained. Coming back to the twin islands is always an option, thanks to the locals’ unique approach to vacationing.
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