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Antigua

by , SmarterTravel Staff
Hammock at Curtain Bluff Hotel, Antigua (Photo: Josh Roberts)
Editor's Note: This story was originally published on May 12, 2008. To see the most recent SmarterTravel articles on related topics, please click on any of the following links: adventure travel, Antigua and Barbuda, beach, Belize, culinary travel, destination, Jessica Labrencis, low season, New Orleans, Phoenix, Scottsdale, shoulder season, St. Maarten/St. Martin, summer.

Like the rest of the Caribbean islands, Antigua experiences its low season from June to September. Though visiting the Caribbean during summer inherently comes with risk of hurricanes, Antigua has largely been spared the devastation other islands have experienced in recent years. Trade winds cool the island's hot temperatures, making 80-degree days quite pleasant.

Antigua's biggest summer event, Carnival, runs from July 24 through August 5 this year. Festivities include live calypso and steel drum music, colorful costumes, food fairs, and the annual Parade of Bands and Miss Antigua beauty pageant. Though hotel prices may jump a bit during Carnival, it's worth paying more to experience the celebration.

If you'd prefer a peaceful beach escape, however, Antigua has 365 white- and pink-sand beaches —one for every day of the year, and plenty for a summer getaway. Besides playing on the beach, sailing and diving are popular pursuits, and adventurous types can even swim with stingrays at Stingray City. Barbuda, Antigua's sister island, is a mere 15-minute flight or 90 minute ferry ride away, making a day trip easy.

Travelocity is currently offering up to $300 off Antigua air-and-hotel packages when you stay at least six days at an Elite Island Resorts property. Several resorts and hotels are also offering summer specials, including free nights and kids-stay-and-eat-free packages.

Off-season hotel rates in Antigua are much cheaper than peak-season prices, and I found savings of $414 in summer.

Hotel Room type Off-peak rate Peak rate
Blue Waters Superior Hillside $349 (April 24 to December 18) $763 (December 19 to January 6)
Carlisle Bay Ocean suite $840 (May 31 to August 29) $1,050 (March 29 to May 30)
Siboney Beach Club Standard room $150 (April 15 to December 19) $190 (December 20 to April 14)
Trade Winds Hotel Deluxe room- ocean view $217 (May 7 to October 11) $353 (December 19 to January 2)

Prices are per night based on double occupancy and were found on each hotel's website.

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Delta will introduce service to Antigua from New York (JFK) on June 12.

Our Antigua and Barbuda Travel Guide and the Antigua and Barbuda Department of Tourism website are good resources for planning a trip.

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