Visiting Antigua is FUN. Terrific beaches. Year round sunshine. Happy Caribbean reggae vibes. Plus it’s a small island so nothing is too far from where you are staying. Chances are you will be able to do most activities listed here during your vacation.
I have been here for 8 months now and yeah, I think it is a great and unique place. The people are friendly, the resorts are beautiful, and most ‘systems’ are caught in a time warp, which definitely gives you an escape from the real world.
Here are my top 10 fun things to do!
Visit the beaches, as many as you can! Supposedly there are 365 beaches – that means it would take a lot to see them all, but you won’t want to miss out on at least some of these slices of paradise. You can see my post about the Top 10 beaches in Antigua for further inspiration. IF you like white sandy beaches with crystal clear water gently lapping, you should stick to the Caribbean side and visit Darkwood Beach or Galleon Beach. If you want some more blustery beaches with fun waves rolling onto the coral sands, then try Half Moon Bay or Rendezvous Beach. Curious about kitesurfing? Then Jabberwock Beach or Nonsuch Bay have the best winds. Most beaches have idyllic cafés where you can continue to feast your eyes on the turquoise water whilst celebrating your appetite and quenching your thirst in the endless warmth.
Can you imagine having the opportunity to be in the water with these beautiful sea creatures? At Stingray City Antigua, you will be amazed. Even to touch them and feed them, all the while being in their natural habitat where they are free to come and go. They CHOOSE to be here every day! The short speedboat ride is a treat and you get to see the aquamarine, azure, turquoise, cerulean, cobalt explosion of colours from the surface of the sea as the sun enhances the magic of the crystal clear waters. The sea bottom is shallow where the stingrays converge so you can walk along the silken sand and feel the velveteen skin of the stingrays as they brush gently past. Have no fear! The guides are jovial and helpful – they are doing this every day so they have experienced most characters and will easily show you a good time. If they don’t manage to, the welcome home RUM PUNCH certainly will! Be sure to get a photo and a T-shirt as souvenirs of this great outing.
Antigua’s Rainforest Canopy Tour shows you the tops of the trees at high speed and with lots of flair. Try your hand at ‘The Screamer’ and feel the breeze whoosh by your ears as you listen to the sounds of the rainforest below. The guides speak in Antiguan English which makes it even more fun as you try your best to understand the simple guidelines!
It may sound like a strange activity for a Caribbean holiday but if you take me up on this, you will find it truly rewarding. Endless sunbathing and flopping into pools, sipping Pina Colada’s and reading the latest holiday reads will leave you feeling that something in your life is missing. Take an early morning hike on one of the many marked trails in Antigua and you can soak up the view, appreciate nature and enjoy a sense of rejunvination. Upon your return to your resort you can lapse into the breakfast buffet, read a chapter or two and then take on a new challenge until lunchtime. Afternoons tend to be more mellow here so enjoy some free time and a visit to the spa to massage away the tensions and ask where the next best walking trail is for tomorrow morning.
5. Steel Bands, Dancing and Rum
Night or day, it is a celebration in Antigua. A mojito goes down nicely before lunch and a rum punch before dinner in the evening. Why stop there? Rum and ginger is a much loved local drink, with ginger ale being the ‘ginger’. Shirley Heights is a fun filled party night every Thursday and Sunday overlooking English Harbour. Grab a taxi up the hill to the best view on the island and watch the sunset to the sounds of a real Caribbean Steel band playing all the best songs – you will quickly realise who has the best rhythm here.
6. Sailing and Snorkelling from a charter boat
Antigua is an island nation, therefore one of the best ways to see the country is from the sea – why not tour all 365 beaches in one day?! There is a great selection of boats to choose from, whether you are looking for more of a party cruise or an eco tour. Adventure Antigua combine a bit of both and are a great place to start. The crew are knowledgeable and share their genuine love of Antigua and her oceans with you. Choose from one of their 3 tour options to get the best that suits you. Antigua has 3 main ecosystems to discover – rainforest, reef and wetlands. Whether you choose to take a kayak tour or a romantic picnic, there is a boat for you!
7. D-Boat Antigua
Water activities, slides, swings, trampoline, a blob (if you don’t know what this is, you have got to go and see it!), great fun, food and booze. Families are welcome too, of course! Many TripAdvisor reviewers quote it as their best day in Antigua, so go see for yourself and prepare to wear a very big smile.
8. Bring the Heavenly Views home with you!
Ok, so here is an unusual one: buy a camera in duty free at the airport – just a small one, but one that you can focus manually as well as automatic (or bring your camera from home, as long as you have the instruction manual still…why?). Use the instruction manual as your holiday reading and try out all of the camera’s functions – really learn how it works and what all of the buttons do. Basically, everywhere you look in Antigua is a feast for your eyes and the long hours of sunshine are a photographers dream. You can practise techniques on bugs close up, artistically on peeling paint, portraits of your loved ones and great seaside views for wider angle practise. Chances are, you have a camera already and you only use the one ‘click and go’ button. Digital technology means that you can take hundreds of pictures too – save the best and make a holiday book when you get home. The completion of a project will be fun and inspiring, giving you new exuberance when you return AND your holiday snaps will be way more interesting to look at than your friends – yours will be more than just snaps anyhow, they will be ART!
… SO WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? BOOK YOUR TRIP TO ANTIGUA!
There is lots more information on antiguanice.com about accommodation, restaurants and what’s on. Daily direct flights into Antigua are from London Gatwick (British Airways and Virgin Atlantic), Miami (American Airlines), New York (Jet Blue), Toronto (Air Canada) and many other Caribbean islands (Liat). Of course, if you are on a cruise ship you will be arriving straight into St John’s for the day.
Have you visited Antigua before? Let me know how you got on!
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