Welcome to Antigua ... a viable and visibly vibrant island.
Antigua (click for map) as an island is both historically rich and magnificently beautiful, its 108 square miles doesn't just market itself as a luxury Caribbean escape with an exotic climate, crystal clear waters and a beach for every day of the year, and you can fforget the likes of the early nineties 'Bounty' chocolate Advertising campaign, as this beautiful little bounty of paradise goes one further; it captures your heart.
Antigua, an independent nation, traditionally considered as the preserve of the rich and famous is the largest and sunniest of the Leeward Islands, located in the Caribbean Sea about 30 miles south of its sister island, Barbuda and is in fact one of the most prosperous islands in the Caribbean chain due to its upscale tourism industry and perhaps its best natural resources; the beaches and myriad of coral reefs that shape its outline.
Protecting the island and providing calm and clear swimming holes many of the reefs offer excellent visibility and underwater shows for both divers and snorkelers alike. A north-western lagoon only accessible by boat contains over 170 species of birds and is home to over 5,000 frigate birds.
The remnants of the vast power of the British Navy, is situated in Nelson's Dockyard National Park, located in English Harbour on the southern tip of the island. Originally developed as a base for the British fleet, the harbour served as the headquarters for the Leeward Islands during the turbulent years of the late 18th century. Although the dockyard was greatly expanded at that time by Horatio Nelson, it was gradually abandoned in the nineteenth century and was finally closed in 1889. Today Nelson's Dockyard has been completely restored, and is now the only Georgian dockyard in the world.
If 365 beaches, secluded harbors, old forts, stunning beachside homes, hidden coves, a plethora of luxury hotel resorts, private islands and secret inlets isn't enough, the Parliamentary democratic Government have sought to diversify Antigua's economy by encouraging secure growth in transportation, communications, offshore banking, Internet gambling and financial services, transforming itself into a constitutional monarchy, enjoying one of the highest per capita incomes in the western hemisphere and reopening the market; attracting an increasing number of visitors and buyers to it's shores.
Although the government is fierce in protecting the future of the island, it's varied resources, and it's policies, they have lessened its vulnerability to natural disasters and economic shocks and are pro-active towards evolving in future foreign investment.
The Caribbean is one of the most desirable places on the planet, most of us can appreciate the finer qualities in life, and on any island the opportunities for furthering and fulfilling ones dreams, are enviable, to say the least.
Antigua continues to inspire not only it's residents and the neighbouring islands with intuitive concepts and plans in place for sustainable development but with a renewed interest in attracting visitors and opening up the doors to a mass of excitement and being a part of the accessible and wide world, we live in today.
You only have to look around you to notice the consistent presence and undulating force of this exotic island to know that Antigua stands alone as a diverse and individual island with all the charm, sun, sea and sand you could ever wish for.