3 14 5 740362687 Simon Dannhauer 72

Frigate Birds

Antigua & Barbuda

Shirley Heights Sunday Party



The biggest event on Antigua is held at the Shirley Heights Lookout bar and restaurant, which has a phenomenal view overlooking both English Harbour and Falmouth Harbour, dotted with yachts, and faces due west for the sunset.

On Sunday an excellent foot-tapping steelpan band plays 1600-1900, followed by an equally good reggae band 1900-2200; it’s very loud, very busy, very infectious, and everyone gets up to dance on the outdoor paved area in front of the historical battery. It’s touristy; buses bring guests from resorts around the island, it’s heaving during big yachting events, and is drunken and rowdy after the rum punch has flowed for a while. But it’s also one of Antigua’s must-dos and tremendous fun for both visitors and locals, who usually come up later to see the reggae band as it attracts some of the best performers in the Caribbean.

Entry is US$7.40, and food is a barbecue, from US$9 per plate, with a choice of burgers (meat, vegetarian or fish), jerk chicken or saucy ribs. To get there independently, you’ll have to get a taxi up to Shirley Heights; about US$11 from Falmouth Harbour. Plenty of taxis wait at the top to take people down (though you may have to locate the drivers on the dancefloor).

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