Antigua is the primary island of the nation known as Antigua and Barbuda, positioned in the northeast Caribbean. This 108-square-mile island is most well-known for its pristine white-sand seashores, with a couple of for daily of the 12 months!
But don’t assume that Antigua is all simply mendacity round, working in your tan. While that’s definitely an possibility, I discover myself becoming bored of sitting on the seashore fairly rapidly – you too? Luckily, there are many enjoyable and adventurous issues to do in Antigua past the seashores. These are just a few of my favourite issues to do in Antigua:
1. Embrace the Sailing Culture
If you’re in crusing, then Antigua is the perfect Caribbean island to go to. With calm harbors and a gentle Atlantic breeze, it affords excellent crusing situations, and its many harbors are residence to among the most costly yachts in the world.
Many aspiring sailors come right here to practice and discover work on boats. In truth, as a younger traveler, the second query you’ll probably be requested after assembly somebody is what boat you’re employed on. If you’re in simply making an attempt it out, although, you possibly can take a one-day crusing class with the National Sailing Academy.
Antigua even has a Sailing Week, the occasion of the 12 months, throughout which sail lovers and professionals collect to compete in races. Of course, there are additionally plenty of events and gatherings throughout the week too. (While it didn’t occur this 12 months, it often begins the final week of April.)
2. Walk Around Nelson’s Dockyard National Park
Nelson’s Dockyard was as soon as a British maritime hub and has since been absolutely restored as a working dockyard residence to a whole bunch of crusing boats, in addition to eating places and outlets.
The naval dockyard is the one UNESCO World Heritage Site in Antigua! Although it has been up to date with trendy amenities, its historic really feel has been effectively preserved, making it an enthralling place to discover.
It’s a part of Nelson’s Dockyard National Park, which additionally incorporates Clarence House and Shirley Heights. The park occupies 15 sq. miles of shoreline and is Antigua’s heart for heritage and crusing. It’s an incredible place to go for a stroll and dream about what life on a yacht can be like. The boating tradition right here makes this the most effective Caribbean islands to go to in my guide.
3. Hike with Goats
If strolling amongst goats feels like your type of day, then you definately’ll positively need to try Middle Ground Trail. While that’s the official title, it’s recognized regionally as “the goat trail” due to the pleasant animals you’re certain to encounter alongside the best way.
It’s a one-mile path that takes about an hour to hike, ranging from Pigeon Point Beach and ending at Nelson’s Dockyard (or vice versa). It climbs steeply at first after which ranges out earlier than descending down towards Fort Berkeley and the dockyards. At the highest, you’ll be rewarded with attractive panoramic views of each Falmouth Harbour and English Harbour.
Stretching greater than 15 sq. miles alongside the shoreline, the park is the island’s heart for crusing and heritage. It’s an incredible place to go for a stroll and dream about what life on a yacht can be like.
4. Watch the Sunset at Shirley Heights
Shirley Heights is a retired navy lookout 490 toes above the ocean, providing an unimaginable view of English and Falmouth Harbours. It’s well-known for its Sunday events on the restaurant with a BBQ and dwell reggae music.
Although the events usually are not at the moment taking place due to COVID-19 restrictions, it’s nonetheless value heading up right here, because the views are among the greatest on the island. It’s the proper place to watch the sundown. On a transparent day, you possibly can see so far as the neighboring islands of Montserrat and Guadeloupe.
You can drive straight to the perspective, however many guests and locals stroll or hike up from Galleon Beach. If you propose to do this, purpose to go early in the morning or at sundown to beat the Antiguan warmth.
5. Go Diving
Given that Antigua is surrounded by the ocean, it’s no shock that the most effective issues to do right here is discover the underwater world.
The major attraction of diving in Antigua is the well-preserved reefs, that are residence to an abundance of marine life. What you’ll see depends upon the placement and time of 12 months, however chances are you’ll spot sea turtles, eagle rays, barracudas, moray eels, and reef sharks. Antigua can be residence to some shipwrecks you possibly can discover!
Most diving excursions depart from English Harbour or Jolly Harbour and can take you out to the nice and cozy Caribbean waters in the south of the island, with floor temperatures by no means dropping beneath 78°F (26°C). If you aren’t licensed to dive but, Antigua is the proper place to be taught, with 5-star PADI dive colleges available to educate you.
6. Visit the Pillars of Hercules
The Pillars of Hercules are fairly the deal with for geology geeks. These are naturally occurring limestone columns on the shoreline that guard the doorway to Freeman’s Bay and English Harbour.
These pure rock formations have been carved out by a long time of rain, wind, and waves. The greatest means to recognize them is from the ocean. If you take a diving tour from English Harbour, you’ll probably go the Pillars alongside the best way, as a lot of Antigua’s high dive websites are close by.
They may also be reached from a climbing path from the tip of Galleon Beach after which scrambling over massive boulders.
7. Snorkel at Half Moon Bay
Half Moon Bay is a beautiful white-sand seashore that’s so named as a result of it’s formed like a large half-moon. As you drive down to the seashore from the street and see it out of the blue seem, you possibly can’t assist however cease and take a photograph.
While this pristine seashore is without doubt one of the hottest on the island, it additionally occurs to be one in all Antigua’s greatest snorkeling and windsurfing spots. This is as a result of it’s positioned on the jap facet, dealing with the Atlantic. The seashore is protected against the ocean’s sturdy waves by a reef simply off the shore, naturally making a spot the place you possibly can simply stroll off the seashore and snorkel in calm and clear water. There isn’t anybody renting snorkeling gear on the seashore, so make sure that to convey your individual.
8. Walk on Devil’s Bridge
One of essentially the most distinctive locations in Antigua is Devil’s Bridge National Park in the northeast a part of the island. It’s the place the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea meet, and highly effective waves have carved a big limestone rock right into a bridge. Natural blowholes encompass the arch, making for a spectacular scene because the waves splash up.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you possibly can stroll throughout Devil’s Bridge, however be warned that the rocks could be very slippery, and it may be harmful if the ocean is tough!
9. Join a Catamaran Cruise
One of essentially the most enjoyable methods to spend a day in Antigua is to be a part of a catamaran cruise.
From Dickenson Bay, you’ll set off for a 360-degree circumnavigation of the island, stopping at among the most stunning seashores. Along the best way, the catamaran will go by Long Island, the place you would possibly spot some celebrities, because it’s residence to a number of million-dollar residences, together with Oprah’s!
From there, the boat will anchor for snorkeling, adopted by a scrumptious lunch served close to Green Island, the place the water right here is crystal-clear. The seashores on Green Island are full of soppy, white sand to loosen up on. It’s among the nicest I visited throughout my time in Antigua.
On the cruise again to Dickenson Bay, there will likely be loads of rum included.
10. Rent a Car and Get Lost
Renting a automotive and driving round is one in all my favourite methods to discover a rustic, and Antigua isn’t any exception. You can drive across the island in a single day, though there are such a lot of stunning locations to cease that you just’ll want no less than just a few.
Since most of the sights are unfold out throughout the nation, renting a automotive is without doubt one of the greatest methods to get round. Besides, native transportation shouldn’t be that dependable, and the surroundings alongside the coastlines is spectacular.
Be certain to drive alongside Fig Tree Drive, which works by means of the center of the island, supplying you with an opportunity to see the attractive inside landscapes.
11.Take in the Views at Signal Hill
If you’re in search of a rewarding hike, climb to the summit of Signal Hill. Starting from Wallings Nature Reserve on Fig Tree Drive, this path takes you up by means of the plush rainforest. Along the best way, you’ll go by Walling’s Dam, a historic Victorian-era dam that’s residence to many sorts of plants and wildlife.
The path is steep, however in lower than an hour, you’ll be standing on the second-highest level in Antigua. From the highest, you’ll get to get pleasure from beautiful 360-degree views of the island, together with Carlisle Bay, Rendezvous Bay, and the capital metropolis, St. John’s. The path is one-way, so plan to spend no less than two hours on this hike.
Note: Several different trails minimize by means of the rainforests from Fig Tree Drive, together with one to Rendezvous Bay.
12. Explore St John’s
St. John’s is the capital metropolis of Antigua and value spending a day exploring. Its streets are lined with colourful homes, outlets, and eating places serving scrumptious Antiguan delicacies.
Be certain to cease on the Saturday market, the place you could find a wealthy assortment of fruit and veggies. Keep an eye fixed out particularly for the well-known tiny pineapples — they’re cute and as scrumptious as those you’re accustomed to. The market can be an incredible place to go purchasing for groceries if you happen to’re renting an condominium.
If you’re in studying extra concerning the island’s historical past, cease in on the Museum of Antigua and Barbuda, which is in a historic colonial home.
13. Glamp on the Beach
If you’re in search of a singular place to keep, try Wild Lotus. It affords six glamping tents set on a secluded seashore close to Jolly Harbour.
Staying right here is an expertise in itself — and also you gained’t need to go away! The inside the tent is furnished with a snug queen-sized mattress and sofa, together with a beautiful out of doors bathe surrounded by tropical crops. Everything right here is fully off-grid and sustainable, but it nonetheless seems like you’re staying in luxurious. There are additionally yoga courses in the morning and campfire dinners, including to the expertise.
Of course, the perfect half is having the ability to step exterior onto a beautiful white-sand seashore anytime you need. Yes, you possibly can even go swimming beneath the celebs!
14. Explore the Beaches
With crystal-clear turquoise seas and rolling hills because the backdrop, having fun with the pristine, comfortable white-sand seashores is undeniably the most effective issues to do in Antigua. The sunsets are at all times spectacular, so that is one in all my favourite methods to finish a day there.
With over 365 to select from, it may be laborious to know which to go to. Some notable ones are Dickenson Bay and Jolly Bay, which provide facilities like eating places, seashore chairs, and umbrellas. Dickenson Bay can be residence to a British phone sales space, which makes for one of many cutest photographs in Antigua. If you favor to get away from the crowds, journey over to Rendezvous Bay, which is simply accessible by four-wheel-drive or a footpath.
If, like me, you get simply bored of mendacity on the seashore, lease a stand-up paddleboard (SUP) or kayak to discover the water. Or you possibly can merely soar in for a swim!
When I first went to Antigua, I wasn’t certain if I would love it as a lot as the opposite close by Caribbean islands, however after just a few days, I began to fall in love with its pleasant individuals, spectacular surroundings, and lively adventures. If you’re planning a visit to the Caribbean, make certain to add Antigua to your record!
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About the creator: Lora is a solo feminine journey journey blogger residing nomadically all over the world. Raised on a rock in the center of the Atlantic Ocean, she has a deep love for nature and wildlife. Lora has traveled to over 55 nations and is on a quest to go to all of them, in search of out the perfect adventures each has to provide. For extra out of doors journey journey inspiration, go to her weblog at Explore with Lora or on Instagram and Facebook.