Though Antigua and Barbuda may pride itself on its 365 superb beaches, sun and sand are truly only the beginning in this dynamic Caribbean destination. Antigua, the larger sibling, is known for charming coastal towns, UNESCO heritage sites, and inspired cuisine. Secluded Barbuda is a wild beauty, encircled by teeming reefs and resplendent with natural attractions. Across both islands, one will find no shortage of things to do and things to see: the people of Antigua and Barbuda keep quite the schedule of festivals, celebrations, competitions, and special events - and are always happy to have visitors get in on the fun.
Planning your trip to Antigua and Barbuda in 2024? Below, we break down the highlights from what is shaping up to be a banner year of can’t-miss activities on the islands. We’ve organized each section in its own chronological order - read through with your calendar at the ready to mark off the events that speak to your tastes and preferences.
Yoga at Sugar Ridge Resort, Antigua
Wellness Month kicks off in January of 2024. During each week of the month, visitors can immerse themselves in wellness activities in nature ranging from dance workouts, meditative yoga in the countryside, various hikes in lush hills and a variety of spa treatments. Visitors will enjoy healthy dining options utilizing local produce in addition to other wellness offerings by providers throughout the country.
The Antigua and Barbuda International Kite Festival is a vibrant and cultural event celebrating the art of kite flying, featuring a colourful display of kites from various countries. This April 1st festival offers a blend of entertainment, workshops, and kite-flying contests, making it a lively and family-friendly celebration in the Caribbean.
For more information: www.facebook.com/CPKites
Antigua and Barbuda Restaurant Week is an annual culinary event that celebrates the diverse and delicious flavours of the islands. During this “week” (which runs from May 7 through the 21st), participating restaurants offer special menus at fixed prices, allowing locals and tourists to explore the vibrant food scene. It's an opportunity to experience a wide range of traditional and international dishes, showcasing the rich culinary heritage of Antigua and Barbuda.
For more information: www.antiguabarbudarestaurantweek.com
Love is in the air in June of 2024 with Romance Month, when the twin islands of Antigua and Barbuda will feature various romantic events, wedding specials, and activities designed to promote the islands as a top destination for weddings, honeymoons, and romantic getaways. It aims to showcase the romantic charm of the islands and attract couples seeking a romantic escape.
For more information: www.visitantiguabarbuda.com
Antigua and Barbuda Art Week (November 27 - December 3) is an annual event celebrating the vibrant art and culture of the islands. It features art exhibitions, workshops, and cultural performances, showcasing the talents of local and international artists and fostering artistic appreciation and engagement within the community.
For more information: www.visitantiguabarbuda.com/antigua-and-barbuda-art-week/
Antigua Sailing Week
The Antigua Yacht Club Round the Race Island Tour, set for Jan 20, 2024, is an annual sailing event held in Antigua and Barbuda. It is a highly anticipated race in Antigua, offering sailors a challenging and scenic course. The event typically attracts a diverse fleet of yachts and sailors from around the world, making it a prominent fixture in the Caribbean sailing calendar.
For more information: www.antiguayachtclub.com
From February 9 through 11, the annual Jolly Harbour Valentine's Regatta unfolds in Jolly Harbour, Antigua. Known for its festive and romantic atmosphere, the regatta is a popular event for both competitive sailors and those looking to enjoy a fun, coastal celebration. The regatta features various race classes, social events, and vibrant parties, making it a significant highlight in the Caribbean sailing calendar. For more information: www.hycantigua.com
The Antigua 360° Race is an exhilarating sailing competition that encircles the entire island of Antigua and Barbuda. This challenging race offers sailors a unique opportunity to navigate a full circumnavigation of the island, showcasing their skills and enjoying the stunning Caribbean coastline.
For more information: www.antigua360race.com
From February 19 to 23, The Royal Oceanic Race Club Antigua (RORC Antigua) will host its Caribbean 600 Race. This club is known for its involvement in organizing and hosting offshore racing events. It serves as a hub for the sailing community, supporting and promoting oceanic racing in the Caribbean and beyond.
For more information: www.caribbean600.rorc.org
The 13th Superyacht Challenge in Antigua is a prestigious and competitive sailing regatta exclusively for superyachts, known for its thrilling racing and luxurious atmosphere. The action unfolds over four days from March 13-17.
For more information: www.superyachtchallengeantiguasom
The Antigua Yacht Club Annual Laser Open is a popular sailing competition held in Antigua focused on the Laser class of boats, which are known for their single-handed racing. This event, held on March 23 and 24, typically attracts sailors from various skill levels and is a notable fixture in the local sailing calendar. For more information: wwwvisitantiguabarbuda.com
Ending a packed slate of sailing competitions with a bang, Antigua Sailing Week is one of the premier yacht racing events in the Caribbean, attracting a diverse fleet of sailboats and sailors from around the world. Held annually between April 27 and May 3 in Antigua, it features a week of competitive racing in various classes and a lively social program. Known for its stunning sailing conditions and festive atmosphere, Antigua Sailing Week is a highlight in the international sailing calendar. For more information: www.sailingweek.com
Fans of sailing the seas in comfort won’t want to miss Antigua Charter Yacht Week from December 4-9. This annual event in the yachting industry showcases luxury charter yachts and services in Antigua. It allows potential clients, industry professionals and enthusiasts to explore and experience the finest charter vessels, creating connections and promoting the island's reputation as a premier yachting destination.
For more information visit: www.antiguayachtshow.com
Deep Sea Fishing, The Verandah Resort, Antigua
The Annual Antigua & Barbuda Sports Fishing Tournament (May 16-19) is a popular fishing competition held in the twin-island nation, attracting anglers from near and far to test their skills in catching various fish species in the waters surrounding the islands. It's known for its festive atmosphere and prizes awarded for the biggest catches, making it a significant event in the local fishing calendar. For more information: www.antiguabarbudasportsfishing.com
The Francis Nunes Jr. Memorial Fishing Tournament & Seafood Festival (September 27-28) is an annual event in Antigua that features a fishing competition, showcasing the island's marine resources. The festival also offers a variety of freshly caught seafood dishes, live music, and entertainment, providing a fun and delicious experience for both participants and visitors. For more information: www.antiguabarbudasportsfishing.com
Carnival in Antigua, Photo courtesy of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority
Barbuda's Caribana (May 20-24) is an annual cultural festival held on the island of Barbuda in Antigua and Barbuda, celebrating the rich Afro-Caribbean heritage of the community through vibrant music, dance, and traditional performances. This lively event features colourful costumes, parades, and various activities that showcase the island's unique culture and history.
For more information: wwwvisitantiguabarbuda.com
Run in Paradise (May 26) is an annual running event held in Antigua, offering participants the opportunity to race through the scenic and tropical landscapes of the island, including beaches and historic sites. It includes various race distances and is popular among both locals and tourists for its picturesque course and the chance to enjoy the beauty of Antigua while staying active.
For more information: www.runinparadise.com
Starting in late July until August, Antigua's Carnival is a vibrant and energetic celebration featuring colourful parades, music, dance, and various cultural performances. It typically includes pageants, calypso and soca music competitions, and a lively J'ouvert morning where travellers cover themselves in paint, mud, or chocolate, making it a festive and spirited event.
For more information: www.antiguacarnival.com
Whilst celebrations begin in October, 1 November is the official Antigua and Barbuda Independence Day. The Independence Food Fair on the 1st of November marks the occasion, offering some of Antigua’s best dishes for locals and travellers alike to sample. The celebrations include festivities, parades, cultural performances, live music and various events highlighting the nation’s heritage, patriotism and unity. It’s a vibrant and joyful celebration of their sovereignty, showcasing the rich culture and history of the twin island nation.
For more information: www.visitantiguabarbuda.com
The Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Week, running from the 1st to the 7th of December, promotes the islands' tourism industry. Travellers can expect various events and activities to display the destination's attractions, culture, and hospitality, drawing locals and visitors to participate in festivities and learn more about the country's tourism offerings.
For more information: visitantiguabarbuda.com
Hosted in Nelson's Dockyard in English Harbour, the Nelson’s Dockyard Christ Day Party is a lively celebration featuring live music, entertainment, and a joyful atmosphere, allowing locals and visitors to come together and enjoy the holiday spirit in a historic and picturesque setting.
For more information: www.nationalparksantigua.com
Like the Christmas Day party, the Old Year’s Night Party (December 31) is a vibrant celebration with music and entertainment celebrating the new year. The evening will offer attendees a festive atmosphere with local food vendors, bars, and entertainment, making it a fun night out in Antigua for travellers and locals. Visitors can enjoy live music, dance, and sample delicious Caribbean cuisine in a historic setting. For more information: www.nationalparksantigua.com