Choosing between traveling to Antigua or Anguilla for vacation? If so, this article is for you!

I have visited each island and they both have beautiful beaches, but vary quite widely in terms of tourist activities.

So, which place should you visit?

Put briefly, Antigua is the destination for you if you enjoy exploring nature, visiting historical sites, and strolling through the marina. Anguilla is the best destination for you if you want to stay in a luxurious resort, relax on the beach, and try exceptional seafood. 

But, that’s just scratching the surface.

I have put together this guide on the differences in tourist activities, beaches, cost, and much more, to help you choose which destination suits you best. 

Read on to find out how Antigua compares to Anguilla!  

Antigua vs Anguilla
Antigua vs Anguilla
(Photo by: Cory Bjork | Rick Jamison)
Antigua vs Anguilla

Antigua At A Glance

Antigua is a small island located in the West Indies in the eastern Caribbean. Unlike Anguilla, Antigua consists of two islands, Antigua and Barbuda. 

Antigua is known for it’s picturesque beaches, incredible local cuisine, and breathtaking natural attractions. It’s landscape consists of mountains, forests, and tropical beaches.

Shirley Heights
Shirley Heights, Antigua
(Photo by: Phil Hauser)

Antigua and Barbuda have 365 pristine white sand beaches, so there’s a beach to enjoy every day of the year. Whether you’re looking to snorkel, do watersports, or simply lounge, there’s a beach in Antigua for you. 

Jolly Beach, Ffryes Beach, and Dickenson Bay Beach are some of the most popular beaches in Antigua that have gentle, crystal clear waters for swimming. The drive around Antigua is scenic and the roads are surrounded by tropical fruit trees and lush greenery. 

English Harbour, Antigua
English Harbour, Antigua
(Photo by: Natalia Zuritta)

You can stroll around the marina in English Harbour to explore Nelson’s Dockyard which has bakeries, restaurants, shopping centers, and a museum. While in English Harbour, you can stop by the Shirley Heights restaurant and bar for breathtaking views of the harbor. 

Another must-see attraction in Antigua is Devil’s Bridge, where you can watch waves crash over a beautiful natural arch made of limestone. Besides the beaches, Antigua has farmer’s markets, shopping centers, historical sites, bakeries, and many incredible restaurants. 

Antigua’s cuisine is a blend of African, British, and Caribbean foods so there are many unique local dishes to try. Additionally, Antigua is known for growing the black pineapple, one of the sweetest and rarest varieties of pineapple in the world!

Compared to Anguilla, Antigua has a more lively nightlife with bar-hopping and parties being more common. English Harbour and Jolly Harbour are surrounded with bars, restaurants, nightclubs, casinos, and more. 

Antigua and Barbuda
Antigua and Barbuda
(Photo by: Patrizia Berta)

Where To Stay In Antigua

When considering the should I travel to Antigua or Anguilla? question, a large part of the decision comes down to where you stay.

If you’re looking to spend time on the beach, Carlisle Bay has the calmest beach, and abundant coral reefs. Carlisle Bay resort has private beach access, spas, breakfast, pilates, yoga, and more. 

If it’s your first time visiting Antigua, Saint John’s is the most developed area with shopping centers, museums, restaurants, historical sites, and many tourist attractions.

The best resort in Saint John’s is Cocobay Resort, an adults-only, all inclusive resort with free breakfast, spas, water sports, yoga, and more.

English Harbour is near Nelson’s dockyard, museums, restaurants, and is a hotspot for nightlife. The Inn at English Harbour is a luxury boutique hotel with tennis courts, gym, spa, library, garden, and more. 

And if you’re traveling with family, Jolly Harbour is a resort town with shops, bars, restaurants, boat tours, a national park, and golf courses. Jolly Beach resort is an all inclusive family-friendly resort with a gym, tennis courts, restaurants, pizza shop, water sports, arcade rooms, and more. 

Where To Stay In Antigua

Top Pick: Carlisle Bay Resort

Carlisle Bay Resort, Antigua
Carlisle Bay resort (Photo by Expedia)

Whether you’re traveling for a honeymoon or family vacation, the Carlisle Bay Resort is one of the best luxurious resorts to stay at in Antigua. It is in a prime location for those looking to swim, snorkel, and relax on vacation.

Carlisle Bay is the calmest beach in Antigua with the perfect conditions for snorkeling. 

This resort has private dining areas, gyms, water sport activities, yoga and pilates classes, spas, restaurants, and more. It also has a children’s club, arcade room, basketball, and plenty of kid-friendly amenities so there’s something for the whole family to enjoy. 

The resort is minutes away from Carlisle Bay Beach and Fig Tree Drive, in one of the most scenic areas of Antigua.

Things To Do In Antigua

Whether you’re looking to swim with stingrays or go ziplining through the rainforest, Antigua has something for everyone. 

Head to Nelson’s Dockyard to explore a resorted naval yard with historical buildings, a museum, and scenic views of yachts in the marina.

For unbeatable views of the marina, stop by the Shirley Heights Lookout for food and drinks.

Shirley Heights Lookout, Antigua
Shirley Heights Lookout, Antigua
(Photo by: Rick Jamison)

The Shirley Heights restaurant and bar is one of the best places to watch the sunset while overlooking the harbor. 

If you want to go snorkeling on vacation, Antigua has much more opportunities than Anguilla. Dickenson Bay Beach, Cades Bay National Park, and Galles Bay Beach are just a few of the many beaches that are excellent for snorkeling. 

St John's, Antigua
St John, Antigua
(Photo by: Lawrence Eaton)

An activity you won’t want to miss while in Antigua is visiting Stingray City to feed and swim with large Southern stingrays. Tours to Stingray City are one of the most unique and popular experiences in Antigua. 

If you want to spend time on the beach, the capital of Antigua, St John, has some of the most beautiful beaches.

Devil's Bridge, Antigua
Devil’s Bridge, Antigua
(Photo by: Martin Hayes)

Another place you won’t want to miss visiting is Devil’s Bridge, a natural rock arch made of limestone. You’ll get breathtaking views of the bridge as waves crash over, and it makes for great photos. 

For a scenic drive through Antigua’s rainforest, pass by Fig Tree Drive to see roads lined with mango trees, banana trees, and a pineapple farm. 

Other popular tourist attractions in Antigua include the Betty’s Hope Sugar Plantation, Museum of Antigua and Barbuda, and Fort James. 

Here are the top tourist attractions in Antigua and Barbuda. 

  • Stingray City
  • Nelson’s Dockyard National Park
  • Devil’s Bridge
  • Dickenson’s Bay Beach
  • Shirley Heights Overlook
  • Fig Tree Drive
  • Betty Hope’s Sugar Plantation
Antigua vs Anguilla

Anguilla At A Glance

Anguilla is a small island in the northeast Caribbean that’s situated to the east of Puerto Rico. Anguilla has a relatively flat landscape and slightly dry climate. 

Anguilla is most known for its picturesque beaches, exceptional seafood restaurants, and upscale resorts. If you want to spend vacation snorkeling, lounging, and relaxing on the beach, Anguilla’s the place for you. 

Four Seasons in Barnes Bay, Anguilla
Barnes Bay, Anguilla
(Photo by: Cory Bjork)

One of Anguilla’s most prized beaches is Shoal Bay East, which is considered one of the world’s most beautiful beaches. Shoal Bay is lined with luxurious resorts, restaurants, bars, and spas. Anguilla has 33 beaches with powdery white sand and crystal clear waters for swimming.

Other notable beaches worth visiting in Anguilla are Rendezvous Bay, Little Bay, and Sandy Ground Beach. On many of Anguilla’s beaches, there are watersport rentals and beach shacks for food and drinks. 

Besides the beaches, Anguilla has golf courses, spas, art galleries, yoga studios, and a heritage museum. 

Anguilla is not as ideal for hiking as Antigua, but there are plenty of long stretches of white sand beaches to stroll along. 

Aerial View of Anguilla
Aerial View of Anguilla
(Photo by: Ramon Kagie)

One of the most notable aspects of Anguilla is it’s excellent seafood restaurants. There are numerous fine-dining restaurants where you can try everything from traditional Caribbean foods to fresh seafood.

Some dishes you won’t want to miss trying while in Anguilla are grilled lobster, curried goat, and johnnycakes. 

Although not as lively as Antigua, Anguilla has plenty of lounges and beach bars playing live music to enjoy a night out. 

Where To Stay In Anguilla

When choosing where to stay in Anguilla, Shoal Bay, Rendezvous Bay, and Mead’s Bay are the best options. The best places to stay in Mead’s Bay are the Quintessence Hotel, Malliouhana Resort, or the Four Seasons.

These resorts are near Anguilla’s best restaurants, and have gyms, spas, tennis courts, and direct beach access. The Quintessence Hotel and Malliouhana offer free breakfast, while the Four Seasons has a free Children’s club, rock climbing, and many kid-friendly amenities.

If you plan on golfing, the best resort to stay at is the Aurora Anguilla Resort and Golf Club in Rendezvous Bay. This resort has golf courses, a gym, spas, tennis courts, yoga, pilates, pools with waterslides, and more.

It’s right on Rendezvous Bay Beach near Bankie Banx’s Dune Preserve bar, Anguilla’s most popular bar. 

The best resort in Shoal Bay is Zemi Beach house, which is just minutes away from Shoal Bay East. This resort has infinity pools, tennis courts, yoga, water sports, spas, gym, and spectacular views of the beach.

Where To Stay In Anguilla

Top Pick: Four Seasons Resort and Residences 

Four Seasons Resort and Residences
The Four Seasons Resort and Residences (Photo by Expedia)

The Four Seasons Resort and Residences is in a prime location on Meads Bay Beach that has some of the most stunning beachfront views. The resort has private beaches, infinity pools, restaurants, gyms, tennis courts, yoga, pilates, and more. 

It’s also family-friendly and has a free Children’s club, rock climbing, arcade rooms, and more. 

It’s right on Meads Bay Beach so you can enjoy water sports and dine out at one of Anguilla’s best seafood restaurants.

Things To Do In Anguilla

Anguilla has 33 pristine beaches with watersports, beach bars, and boat charters. Whether you’re looking to go on a sunset cocktail cruise or snorkel, there’s no shortage of beautiful beaches to enjoy.

Head to Shoal Bay East to relax on one of the most stunning Caribbean beaches with powdery white sand and bright turquoise waters. You can rent out lounge chairs, snorkeling, parasailing, and scuba diving on the beach. 

Shoal Bay Beach, Anguilla
(Photo by: by Robert L from Pixabay)

If you’re looking to avoid crowds, visit Little Bay Beach, a small cove that’s only accessible by boat. This little beach is one of Anguilla’s hidden gems, and it’s an excellent spot for snorkeling.  

Other notable beaches worth visiting are Rendezvous Bay Beach, Sandy Ground Beach, and Mead’s Bay Beach. 

Shoal Bay, Anguilla
(Photo by: Steve Adams)

Anguilla has a few off-island cays that are worth a visit as well. You can take a short boat ride to Prickly Pear Cays or Scilly Cays to relax on a tiny private island. Prickly Pear Cays has abundant coral reefs and is the best spot for snorkeling in Anguilla. 

Scilly Cays has a restaurant that serves some of the best grilled lobster and rum punches you can try in Anguilla. 

Besides the beaches, Anguilla has spas, golf courses, shopping centers, art galleries, and a heritage museum. Some of the most popular places to stay in Anguilla are Mead’s Bay and Rendezvous Bay, which have luxurious resorts, bars, and fine-dining restaurants.

Infinity Pool at Beachfront Resort in Anguilla
(Photo by: Steve Adams)

On the weekends, the beaches have local barbecues where you can try out barbecue ribs and chicken. 

To enjoy drinks and live music during the sunset, visit the Elvis Beach Bar, Bankie Banx’s Dune Preserve, or Johnno’s. 

And if you’re looking to shop on vacation, Anguilla has boutiques, art galleries, and gift shops throughout the island. 

Here are some of the best places to visit in Anguilla. 

  • Shoal Bay East
  • Little Bay Beach
  • Mead’s Bay
  • Rendezvous Bay
  • Bankie Banx’s Dune Preserve
  • Scilly Cay
  • Prickly Pear Cays
  • Aurora Anguilla Golf Course
Antigua vs Anguilla

Which destination is better?

Antigua and Anguilla both have picturesque white sand beaches, delicious food, and stunning landscapes. 

If you’re looking for a blend of relaxation and adventure, Antigua’s the destination for you. Whether you’re looking to stroll along English Harbour or feed stingrays at Stingray City, Antigua has something for everyone. 

If you’re looking to stay at an upscale resort, relax on the beach, and try exceptional seafood restaurants, Anguilla’s the place for you.

Hotel in Anguilla
Resort in Anguilla
(Photo by: Cory Bjork)

Although Anguilla has fewer beaches than Antigua, it has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. 

Overall, Antigua offers more unique experiences whereas Anguilla offers more luxurious experiences. 


Antigua has 365 beaches, whereas Anguilla only has 33. Antigua has a greater variety of beaches, but Anguilla has some of the world’s most beautiful beaches. 

The most popular beaches in Antigua are Dickenson’s Bay Beach, Ffryes Beach, and Darkwood Beach. Dickenson’s Bay Beach and Ffryes Beach have gentle crystal clear waters and are perfect for swimming and snorkeling. If you’re looking to avoid crowds, Darkwood beach is a serene beach with soft powdery sand and calm waters. 

Anguilla has pristine white sand beaches that are lined with upscale resorts, spas, bars, and seafood restaurants. Shoal Bay East is considered one of the world’s most beautiful beaches. Little Bay Beach, Rendezvous Bay Beach, and Sandy Ground Beach are some of Anguilla’s most remarkable beaches. 


Antigua is known for it’s delicious local cuisine, whereas Anguilla is known for it’s exceptional seafood and fine-dining restaurants. 

Antigua’s cuisine is a fusion of African, European, and indigenous foods. Some unique foods you won’t want to miss trying in Antigua are fungi and saltfish, black pudding, and tamarind balls. Also, make sure to try Antigua’s Black Pineapple, the world’s sweetest variety of pineapple! 

Anguilla’s cuisine isa blend of Caribbean, Spanish, French, African, and Spanish influences. Some dishes you won’t want to miss in Anguilla are johnnycakes, pigeon rice and peas, and grilled lobster. 


Antigua and Anguilla have warm weather year-round with Anguilla having a drier climate.

Antigua’s average temperature ranges from 72 F to 88 F throughout the yea, whereas Anguilla’s climate ranges from 76 F to 87 F throughout the year. 

Cost to Travel

Anguilla is generally more expensive to travel to than Antigua since it has more upscale accommodations.

The average price for a hotel in Antigua is $344, whereas the average price for a hotel in Anguilla is $823


Antigua and Anguilla both have plenty of bars and nightclubs to enjoy the night out. Bar-hopping and partying is more common in Antigua, with English Harbour being a popular nightlife hotspot.

The nightlife in Anguilla is more laid-back, with sunset cruises and beach bars playing live music. 


Antigua and Anguilla are generally very safe destinations to travel to. Like any other destination, always be aware of your surroundings, avoid walking alone at night, and read about the areas before visiting. 

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Antigua and Anguilla are from December to April, during each of their respective dry months. 


Is Antigua or Anguilla better for a honeymoon?

Antigua and Anguilla are both ideal for a honeymoon, but Anguilla has more noteworthy beaches and upscale restaurants.

However, both Antigua and Anguilla have luxurious beachfront resorts that offer amenities for couples.

The Four Seasons Resort and Residences in Anguilla has infinity pools, couples spas, private dinners, and boat charters to nearby islands.

In Antigua, the Cocobay Resort is one of the best places to stay for a honeymoon. They offer private beach dinners, couples massages, and romantic packages with special discounts.

How far is Anguilla from Antigua?

Anguilla is roughly 116 miles away from Antigua.

How do you get from Antigua to Anguilla?

The only way to get to Anguilla from Antigua is to take a flight, since there aren’t any ferry services that travel between the islands.

Multiple airlines offer connecting flights between the islands, including Windward Islands Airways, Anguilla Air Services, Silver Airways, interCaribbean Airways, and American Airlines. 

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