HomeIsland InsiderIsland Insider | Aaliyah Tuitt, Lifestyle and Travel Expert, Antigua and Barbuda

Island Insider | Aaliyah Tuitt, Lifestyle and Travel Expert, Antigua and Barbuda

by Anjali Datwani

Antigua and Barbuda is a twin-island nation located in the Eastern Caribbean and has 365 beaches! Imagine living on an island where you could visit a different beach every day of the year.

As one of the hosts of the ICC T20 Men’s T20 World Cup 2024, and because of the leap year, Beach 366 is to be revealed at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium during the Cricket World Cup madness. But there is so much more to discover about these beautiful islands and we’ve made it our mission to do so.

Get curated recommendations for Antigua and Barbuda in our Ultimate Destination Guide for the Cricket World Cup 2024

Aaliyah Tuitt, Travel and Lifestyle Expert in Antigua & Barbuda, speaks to Anjali Datwani, Founder of Urban Journey

Aaliyah Tutt

I had the opportunity to speak to Aaliyah Tuitt, a travel and lifestyle expert in Antigua and Barbuda, who works alongside the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority. She shares what she’s most excited about during the Cricket World Cup, her favorite restaurants, hidden beaches, and more. Find her on Instagram at @astoldbyali

With Antigua and Barbuda being a host venue for the Cricket World Cup, how do you think this event will impact the island’s atmosphere?

With the increased tourism, I believe locals will be excited and are looking forward to showcasing their various products during this time. I suspect the island will also have a lively atmosphere similar to one experienced during Carnival or independence celebrations. Cricket is a part of our culture and we’re all looking forward to hosting the Cricket World Cup.

What makes Antigua and Barbuda special to you personally?

Antigua is home, it’s where I grew up and spent the majority of my life. There’s honestly no place like it. Having the option to visit a beach after work or multiple to choose from on a weekend is impeccable.

What’s your favorite festival on the island and why?

Definitely Carnival! Dubbed as the Caribbean’s Greatest Summer Festival, the atmosphere/vibes around the carnival season are top-notch, from soca music to parties. My favorite experience is playing mas and the freedom felt parading through the streets of St. John’s.

Can you share your top 5 favorite restaurants? (in no particular order)

casa roots by the beach

Image source: Casa Roots by the Beach

    • Rokuni: The steamed dumplings from Dim Sum selection are always a great selection. For main dishes, the Tuna & Sesame Maki Roll and the Thai-style local clams are divine! It has just closed its current location but will be moving and re-opening soon.
    • Garden Grill: One of the best burgers on the island, my go-to is the House Burger or a new fave is the Goat Cheese Burger. P.S. Have deep-fried Oreos for dessert.
    • Casa Roots by the Beach: Fish croquettes, Grilled beef ribeye & the vanilla lime zest creme brulee
    • Trappas: Breaded calamari or beer-battered shrimp to start then the creamy seafood pasta
    • Paparazzi Pizzeria: It’s between the Americana and Quattro Formaggi pizza

Can you share some lesser-known spots or activities that you believe every visitor should experience and not found in the guidebooks?

  • Head to Carpenter Rock trail in English Harbour for a beautiful hike. You can soak in panoramic views of the harbor along with the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea.
  • Hell’s Gate Island is a small, beautiful uninhabited island. Visitors can explore through a boat tour and explore sea caves, hike, and go snorkeling.
  • Swim with pigs (Pigs in Paradise Tours)
  • Rum experiences where you can make your bottle of rum, learn about our local rum, and indulge in a rum tasting. (Academy of Rum or Antigua Rum Experience)

What are your favorite local dishes and restaurants?

  • Ducana and Saltfish
  • Johnny Cake / Fried Dumpling
  • Curry Conch
  • Wood Oven bread, butter & cheese

Most restaurants prepare local dishes on different days of the week. Some spots where you can find some of my favorite dishes are:

Antigua and Barbuda is known for its beautiful beaches, but are there any secluded or less crowded ones that you’d recommend?

  • Half Moon Bay
  • Hermitage Bay
  • Galley Bay
  • Morris Bay
  • Pearn’s Point

Are there any hidden historical or cultural sites that visitors often overlook?

Antigua and Barbuda

Dow’s Hill Interpretation Center, image source: Antigua and Barbuda

  • Betty’s Hope Sugar Plantation one of the island’s earliest and largest sugar plantations, was established in 1651. It is a historical site and a reminder of Antigua’s past. Today, it’s an open-air museum, offering visitors a glimpse into the island’s sugar production history and the lives of those who worked there.
  • Clarence House is a historic mansion and has hosted several dignitaries and historic guests over the years. Built between 1804 and 1806, Clarence House in English Harbour is a historic mansion with deep ties to British royalty and the Royal Navy. Originally intended for the Commissioner of the Dockyard, it later became the residence of the Governors of Antigua. After extensive restoration efforts, including significant contributions from Sir Peter Harrison, it now functions as a living museum and event venue, showcasing the craftsmanship of Caribbean tradesmen. The house was formally reopened by Prince Harry in 2016.
  • Fort Barrington or Fort Berkeley, which are both historic military outposts.
  • Dow’s Hill Interpretation Center is where you can immerse yourself in the heritage and history of Antigua and Barbuda.

Can you suggest any unique ways for visitors to immerse themselves in the local community and culture?

  • Eat n’ Lime Food Tours
  • Rum in the Ruins Tour
  • Visiting historical sites with a tour guide
  • Attending a cultural festival or fete (party)
  • Eat at local restaurants or cookshops and have conversations with the owners (see local restaurants above)
  • Stay at smaller boutique hotels or Air BnBs (see below)

What are some outdoor activities or adventures that showcase the island’s natural beauty?

  • Hiking trails – Signal Hill (2.4 miles) or Carpenter Rock Trail (2.6 miles)
  • Hiking Boggy Peak, the tallest point on the island of Antigua
  • Pillars of Hercules for stunning views
  • Ziplining through the rainforest
  • Eco tour with Adventure Antigua / go snorkeling, swimming, beach-combing through the gorgeous islands of Antigua

Are there any hidden gems in terms of accommodations, such as boutique hotels or eco-friendly resorts?

Image source: The Inn at English Harbour

Lastly, what advice would you give to travelers looking to discover the authentic Antigua beyond the typical tourist experience?

The best way to discover an authentic Antigua is to connect with locals, whether it’s through a tour, a restaurant, or an excursion. Simply talking with people and asking them about the island is a great starting point. Most importantly, visit with an open mind. Antigua is a small country, but it has something for almost every type of traveler.

Get curated recommendations for Antigua and Barbuda in our Ultimate Destination Guide for the Cricket World Cup 2024

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