We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Antigua vs. Aruba

Burlington, Vermont
Level Contributor
1,657 posts
11 reviews
Save Topic
Antigua vs. Aruba

has anyone been to both? I have but I honestly can't remember Antigua as well as I remember Aruba. Plus I went to Antigua with my father and Aruba with my husband, so different experiences...Anyways, is the water in Antigua as clear as I remember it being in Aruba? Are there fun day trip to take yourself in Antigua? We only left the resort (Jolly Harbour) once to go shopping in St. John. In Aruba my DH and I really enjoyed renting a car and driving around to check out the island ourselves. Is that something that is enjoyable in Antigua as well?

I am considering Antigua for next vacation and showed my DH some pictures online but he thinks the water looks cloudy compared to Aruba.

Rhode Island
Level Contributor
164 posts
1 review
Save Reply
1. Re: Antigua vs. Aruba

Let me begin by saying that of all the Caribbean islands we have visited, including the Islands of Hawaii, Aruba is still our absolute favorite.

We visited Antigua last month (St. James Club) and were extremely disappointed with the beaches. Where the St. James is located, there is the ocean side as well as the bay. The sand could not even begin to compare to the sand in Aruba, nor, in my opinion, could the water. On the Atlantic side, the water was rough and not at all clear, and it was quite full of seaweed and not warm either.

Having visited Antigua only this one time, I can't comment on how well one can get around the island. We traveled with other people and became friendly with the staff, who were all fabulous and so much fun. Have to admit that the Antigans were by far the most wonderful, hospitable, warm people that we have ever had the pleasure of befriending while on vacation!! One of the guys, who drove the beverage cart along the beaches, offered to take us around to see the island. We rented a car, just for one day, and Barry took us around to see the highlights. We had a fabulous day of sightseeing as well as shopping in St. John. (Didn't think the shopping was as good as in Aruba, though.)

The SJC is located on a 100 acre penninsula, not like Aruba where one can walk along the beach and see other or visit the other hotels. I'm really unsure if all of the resorts are situated on such huge parcels of land. From what we saw, the resorts do appear to be very spread out. The island itself is absolutely gorgeous, very lush foliage, flowery and tropical, where Aruba is desert. Antigua is somewhat hilly and offers the mountains as well. It truly is a beautiful island, and, while we were there, the weather was very cooperative, sunshine each day, but cooler than Aruba. We thought Antigua is just as safe as Aruba, but some of the sights in St. John were a little scary. I wouldn't want to walk around there at night!

I would still choose Aruba over ANY other destination we have visited. Love those gorgeous, powdery white beaches with the warm turquoise water! Love the easy access to anywhere one would want to go. Love the sunshine-filled days with the trade winds to refresh us! The night life in Aruba is much better than in Antigua -- so much more to do, as it is so easy to get around.

We've just booked our 2-1/2 week September vacation in Aruba. This will be our 16th consecutive visit. We love Aruba!!

Hope this information is of some help to you in planning your next vacation. Whichever island you chose, have a wonderful time!!