Each year, numerous content creators make "Best of" travel lists. This year, we were thrilled to see an updated approach by Lonely Planet, which focused on sustainability, community and diversity when creating their 2021 list.
In this post, we're putting the spotlight on Antigua and Barbuda, a dual-island nation in the Eastern Caribbean, named 2021's Best Emerging Destination by Lonely Planet in the Sustainability category.
If you're like most people, when you hear the names Antigua and Barbuda, you imagine swaying palm trees, gorgeous blue water and white sandy beaches ... and you're not wrong. But there's so much more to consider.
Like so many Caribbean islands, Antigua and Barbuda have been devastated by hurricanes. After Hurricane Irma hit in 2017, the country stepped up its dedication to sustainability with its Green Tourism Initiative and has made impressive progress.
Established in 2017, the Green Corridor is a section of businesses on Antigua, including hotels, restaurants and excursion providers, that have agreed to a set of principles that respect the local culture, positively influence the local community, protect the environment, and sustain economic viability.
Conservation of Coral Reefs
As members of Green Fins, Antigua and Barbuda are dedicated to managing the impact of tourism on coral reefs.
Ban on Plastics and Polystyrene
In 2019, Antigua and Barbuda became the first country in the region to completely ban plastic bags and polystyrene products.
Restoration of Frigatebird Habitat
When Hurricane Irma hit Barbuda, one of the world's largest nesting areas for frigatebirds was almost completely destroyed. Thankfully, due in part to restoration efforts, the colony is once again thriving, and Barbudans are committed to keeping it that way.
Beyond their sustainability efforts, Antigua and Barbuda has plenty more to offer.
365 gorgeous beaches
Betty's Hope sugar plantation, which dates back to 1651
Caves with petroglyphs created by ancient indigenous peoples
Snorkeling, diving, kayaking, fishing
Stunning natural beauty
A warm and welcoming culture
And the list goes on ...
For these reasons, we're putting Antigua and Barbuda at the top of our list of recommended tropical beach vacations for 2021 (or whenever you're ready to travel).