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Every one of the 365 beaches on Antigua, which is the largest of the British Leeward Islands, hosts pristine, white and pink sand and magically warm, aqua-marine water. With an assemblage of impeccable coral reefs, a light breeze, and laid-back island-style attitude, Antigua is an ideal tropical vacation escape. The locals of the island, whose population is 67,000 are laid-back; merchants tell ample stories in St. John and various harbors, while the markets offer hand-made goods and fresh pineapple juices and rum. Antiguans’ history of slavery remains a clear and important part of Antiguan culture, with plantations still set up for visitors to see and names of towns such as Freetown and Liberta to remind all of the past. Most Antiguans are of African lineage, descendants of slaves brought to the island centuries ago to labor in the sugarcane fields.
At night, the beaches are hushed with the sound of lapping waves and the population collects at Shirley Heights to enjoy fresh grilled fish and dance to the local drum beats. The main activities are centralized around the water- with opportunities to sail, charter boats for deep sea fishing, dive and windsurf. The tropical fish that call these waters home are ornately decorated with impressive day-glo coloring. Meanwhile, Barbuda is smaller than Antigua with a population of 1,100; it is natural paradise with tropical birds and wild deer. Its bird Sanctuary attracted bird watchers from all over the world.