“I’ll have a mojito, please,” I mentioned to the bartender, who smiled earlier than turning to make the drink.
I’d realized just a few nights prior that regardless of all the things being included, the employees at The Verandah Resort & Spa in Antigua didn’t skimp on alcohol.
After one too many Rum Sizzlers, I discovered myself grabbing the microphone from the resort band and channeling my internal Beyonce.
Effectively, liquid braveness made me assume I appeared like Beyonce, although iPhone footage proved in any other case.
It wasn’t an enormous deal, although. Nothing was if you had been at an all-inclusive within the Caribbean.
Every thing was simply…straightforward.
At this luxurious Caribbean resort, there have been a number of seashores, eating places, and bars, in addition to stay leisure and every day actions. Renting kayaks, paddle boards and paddleboats was a breeze, and there was no have to ever pull out your pockets.
Whereas I’ll admit this wasn’t my standard model of journey, I may undoubtedly see the attraction.
The reality is, whereas I journey rather a lot I’m hardly ever on “trip”.
This, nonetheless, was the epitome of an escape from actuality, from sipping espresso paired with sea views on my balcony to ingesting native beer whereas dancing to a calypso band.
It was a blast, although after all, it’s additionally vital to depart the resort and discover the island, one thing I believe many vacationers to an island like Antigua miss out on.
To assist guarantee you’ve got an unimaginable trip whereas additionally experiencing Antigua journey and tradition, I’m sharing an itinerary you gained’t wish to miss.
Psst, don’t neglect to pin this publish for later!
Desk of Contents
- Antigua Journey Video
- Antigua Historical past
- Antigua Tradition
- Is Antigua Secure?
- Antigua Journey Experiences
- 1. Hike The Pillars Of Hercules
- 2. Trek Sign Hill For A 360-Diploma Antigua View
- 3. Go “Scooter Snorkeling” In Antigua
- 4. Hike Up The Center Floor Path
- 5. Spend Time Doing Water Sports activities In Antigua
- 6. Bike, Hike & Kayak Antigua
- 7. Different Lively Journey Antigua Excursions
- Culinary Adventures In Antigua
- 8. Eat Native At Ruth’s
- 9. Celebration At The Shirley Heights Barbecue
- 10. See A Present & Chow Down At The Outhouse
- 11. Take A Cooking Class In Antigua — With Rum
- 12. Attend A Seafood Pageant
- Accountable Tourism In Antigua
Antigua Journey Video
Earlier than we dive into this Antigua journey information…
Be certain to look at my journey video above!
You’ll actually see what makes this Caribbean island so particular, and why Antigua ought to completely be in your listing.
Whereas I took a lot of the footage for the video myself, I wish to thank just a few unimaginable content material creators who let me use a few of their clips, together with Michael Ball of Traverse Occasions (drone photographs), Damon of Scooter Snorkeling (underwater snorkeling photographs), Nina Ragusa of The place within the World is Nina? (biking shot), Patrick Muntzinger of German Backpacker (just a few of the boat social gathering clips), and Daniel James of Dan Flying Solo (mangrove kayaking clip).
Furthermore, the Antigua companies featured within the video embrace:
- The Verandah Resort & Spa
- The Elite Dancers (aka the Sebastian Household)
- Scooter Snorkeling
- Wallings Nature Reserve
- Shirley Heights Sunday BBQ
- Island View Restaurant (baked rooster and beer with a view)
- Tropical Time Out Ice Cream Parlor & Deli
- The Copper and Lumber Restaurant (seafood pasta)
- Tropical Adventures (sundown cruise)
After watching, proceed studying.
What would you do with one week in #Antigua? Take a look at these unforgettable native adventures! #CaribbeanTravel Click on to Tweet
Antigua Historical past
Earlier than researching issues to do in Antigua, it’s vital to know the historical past of the vacation spot.
The settlements of the unique Amerindian inhabitants date again to 2900 BC, with the British colonizing Antigua in 1632.
As British settlers moved to the island, they introduced their slaves with them to assist work the land, significantly the sugar plantations. In accordance with the BBC, inside 4 years half of the island’s inhabitants was made up of African slaves.
Slavery was abolished in 1834, although sugar manufacturing continued to be an vital financial export. The BBC notes that within the Nineteen Sixties tourism turned the important thing business, which it nonetheless is at present.
On November 1, 1981, Antigua and Barbuda gained their independence.
The federal government is about up as a constitutional monarchy, electing its personal native authorities. That being mentioned, it’s a part of the Commonwealth, and Queen Elizabeth II is the reigning monarch and head of state.
The view from Shirley Heights at sundown
One factor I didn’t notice earlier than visiting:
Antigua is definitely one most important island that contains the nation of Antigua and Barbuda. These two most important islands are surrounded by smaller islands which are a part of the nation too, just like the uninhabited Redonda.
Apparently, the names got to the islands by Christopher Columbus, who should have thought Antigua appeared historical ultimately (as a result of Antigua means “historical” in Spanish), and probably noticed some bearded locals on Barbuda or the Bearded Fig Bushes (as “Barbuda” means “bearded” in Spanish).
Some additionally be aware that Columbus could have named Antigua after an outdated church in Seville.
As we speak Antigua additionally has a brand new identify, or no less than a brand new nickname:
“The Land of 365 Seashores”, a nod to the actual fact the island has a comfortable white sand seaside for day by day of the 12 months.
Practising my dancer pose on a white sand seaside in Antigua at The Verandah Resort & Spa
These seashores completely assist herald tourism.
However there’s one downside:
As said above, many vacationers to Antigua by no means go away the resort or stand up from their seaside solar lounger.
And whereas it is a nice recipe for a soothing getaway, it may be argued that should you haven’t interacted with the native individuals, tried the native meals and explored the tradition you haven’t actually visited a spot.
A number of methods to infuse some native tradition into your Antigua journey:
- Attempt the Antiguan Black Pineapple, touted because the world’s sweetest pineapple.
- Savor a neighborhood dish like ducana — form of like a candy potato dumpling — and salt fish. I truly noticed two locals argue whether or not ducana ought to have raisins or not, so apparently, there’s some room so as to add your individual spin.
- See — and dance to — stay native music, like soca, calypso, reggae or dancehall, amongst different kinds.
- Participate in out of doors actions. The beneath listing of adventures in Antigua will assist. Antigua is thought for its pure magnificence and dramatic surroundings, so it’s really helpful to get to understand it up shut.
- Have a neighborhood drink. Go to the Antigua Distillery, recognized for making Cavalier Muscovado Rum, in addition to the Antigua Brewery, well-known for the Wadadli Gold beer.
That is only a small sampling of how to expertise the native tradition in Antigua.
Don’t miss the native rum when visiting Antigua
Is Antigua Secure?
The explanation for my go to to Antigua this time round was a press journey, so I used to be in a gaggle; nonetheless, as somebody who primarily travels solo, I at all times make it a precedence to search for as a lot as I can about native security.
Fortunately, Antigua could be very secure. I even have visited alone on a earlier journey and assume it’s probably the very best Caribbean island for solo feminine journey. I actually get pleasure from Antigua solo journey and advocate making an attempt it for your self in some unspecified time in the future.
One native information instructed me that violent crime, particularly homicide, is extraordinarily uncommon on the island. For those who encounter crime, it should extra possible be pickpocketing.
In fact, you at all times wish to be cautious whether or not you’re dwelling or on the street, so keep conscious of your environment.
I like to recommend buying journey insurance coverage in addition to packing these journey security gear objects, significantly:
- pickpocket-proof clothes
- TSA-friendly private safety alarm
- and these pickpocket-proof scarves.
These pickpocket-proof scarves are available in kinds for each season.
Whereas I used to be in a gaggle, I did go to Antigua solo in 2017 and had an unimaginable expertise.
Particularly in comparison with Caribbean locations just like the Bahamas and St. Lucia, each of that are unimaginable however very couples-centric, Antigua made me really feel secure and proper at dwelling, even by myself.
Antigua Journey Experiences
Among the best methods to discover the island:
By Antigua journey experiences like climbing, biking and even one thing known as “scooter snorkeling”. Extra on that beneath!
1. Hike The Pillars Of Hercules
For those who’re eager about Antigua journey, don’t miss this beautiful trek.
Climbing in Antigua is an effective way to get to know the native panorama, particularly the beautiful views of the Caribbean and Atlantic.
This average 5.4-mile path begins at Galleon Seashore, weaving collectively woodland and historical past as you go historical graves and cistern ruins courting again to the 18th century.
On the midway level, you’ll come to considered one of Antigua’s greatest viewpoints:
Attractive view from Shirley Heights
This restored navy lookout showcases beautiful views of the English and Falmouth Harbours from 490 ft — and can also be the place a full of life native barbecue with stay music takes place on Sundays.
From Shirley Heights descend down towards the Atlantic to stand up near the dramatic limestone Pillars of Hercules, naturally carved into the cliffside by Mom Nature.
The Pillars Of Hercules
Strolling alongside a white sand seaside touching the crystalline waters of Antigua’s English Harbour.
Antigua’s English Harbour
Your jaw will damage from hanging open all the time!
2. Trek Sign Hill For A 360-Diploma Antigua View
One other unimaginable Antigua hike is Sign Hill inside Wallings Nature Reserve.
The reserve options 1,680 acres, with a distinguished function being the historic reservoir.
It was initially constructed between 1890-1900 to carry 13 million gallons of water for native villages; nonetheless, after a protracted drought from 1912 it was reforested.
Nonetheless, as you hike by way of the rainforest you’ll see the reservoir together with ruins of dams, pumping stations, and trenches.
Whereas there are a selection of trails to select from — together with a five-hour hike that takes you to Rendezvous Bay Seashore — I go for Sign Hil.
This Antigua hike is a average 2.24-mile trek that takes you thru the rainforest.
Sign Hill was as soon as a navy lookout that might ship a sign out when bother was approaching.
As we speak it presents a 360-degree view of Antigua, with views of reefs, mountains, seashores and extra. In actual fact, on a transparent day you’ll be able to see Barbuda!
Attractive views alongside the Sign Hill Hike in Antigua.
Whereas the ending is noteworthy, the trek itself is beautiful, too.
After strolling up a big hill, our group ascended a set of root steps often known as the “Freeway to Heaven”. Close to the highest, we turned enveloped in lemongrass, the scent filling the air together with blowing cotton from the silk cotton tree.
From a mid-way vista, it’s doable to see Cades Reef together with the Caribbean islands of Montserrat, Redonda and even Guadeloupe, the place I’d not too long ago traveled.
Having our unimaginable information Refica Attwood, who additionally occurs to be Wallings’ Government Director, additionally meant gaining a ton of native plant information.
For example, do you know elephant ear leaves can be utilized as an umbrella, fan and even as a container for meals?
On the prime of Sign Hill in Antigua
Moreover, Attwood shared the story of the “naughty” sandbox tree, the place Antiguan dad and mom threaten to take badly behaved youngsters and go away them there. On a happier be aware, the fruit of the tree is commonly used for jewellery.
Then there’s the strangler fig tree, which, because the identify suggests, makes for a foul forest neighbor should you’re a tree.
Do you know #Antigua has unimaginable #climbing? Take a look at these beautiful island treks + different native adventures! Click on to Tweet
3. Go “Scooter Snorkeling” In Antigua
This Antigua journey is certainly quirky.
Truly, I’d by no means heard of a scooter snorkeling tour earlier than.
Our snorkeling group met Damon, the proprietor of Scooter Snorkeling, at Galleon Seashore, the clear waves of the English Harbour lapping up towards the shore.
Whereas I anticipated the scooter to look considerably like what supply individuals in New York experience, this truly resembled a small vacuum.
Scooter snorkeling — a novel Antigua journey. Photograph taken by skylork.com.
After making an attempt to determine find out how to sit on it after which realizing that was unattainable, I got here to seek out that maneuvering the scooter was truly very easy.
There are begin buttons on each side, and also you merely maintain one down at a time to begin shifting. That is so you’ll be able to usually give every finger a break — as a result of they may get drained.
There are three gears, and the scooter can transfer as much as 4 miles per hour, both ahead and even down towards the underside of the ocean ground.
Tropical fish seen on the scooter snorkel tour. Photograph taken by skylork.com.
Damon led our group by way of the water, declaring sea turtles, lobster, manta rays and faculties of tropical fish within the reef. We even noticed a shipwreck and the well-known Pillars of Hercules talked about above.
When requested why he began the corporate, Damon famous that he wished to create an expertise for individuals who had bother swimming however who wished to snorkel.
How lovely is that?
Watch the journey video right here to see what this expertise is admittedly like:
4. Hike Up The Center Floor Path
I used to be completely not anticipating to go on a hike once I stumbled upon up this path.
In actual fact, I used to be heading to The Copper and Lumber Restaurant at Nelson’s Dockyard, a cultural heritage website and marina in Antigua’s English Harbour.
Arriving early, I joined just a few of the ladies on my press journey in going to take a look at a close-by viewpoint.
Whereas on the path, we instantly noticed a household of goats…
And started following them up the hill in our open-toed sneakers, as a result of, effectively, how may we not?
Lovable goats = I comply with.
Making our approach as much as the lookout level on the Center Floor Path
This Antigua journey took us up the Center Floor Path, which I later realized is called after the Center Floor Army Advanced constructed between 1791 and 1793 that stood there till 1854, when the British military left Antigua and it stopped getting used.
Curiously, the path itself was as soon as utilized by troopers because it linked a variety of navy outposts.
It’s a surprising path, with a variety of viewpoints and, after all, lovable goats.
Our solely downside was we had been all in sundresses and sandals. At one level, we wanted to carry a rope to make it up the steep incline.
Fortunately, we arrived safely to the highest and had been in a position to soak up this view:
A stunning lookout on the Center Floor Path in Antigua.
Seeing goats on the Center Floor Path
From there, the path extends to Pigeon Level Seashore, touted as considered one of Antigua’s most lovely seashores.
On this #Antigua hike, you’ll be able to see goats! How cute are these candy creatures?! #CaribbeanTravel Click on to Tweet
5. Spend Time Doing Water Sports activities In Antigua
Antigua is a prime wellness vacation spot, particularly with all the lively choices.
Most properties, whether or not you’re staying at a small boutique lodging or all-inclusive resort in Antigua, supply onsite watersports.
At The Verandah Resort & Spa, snorkeling, kayaking, paddleboarding, windsurfing, and Hobie Cat crusing are all included at their onsite seaside.
Kayaking in Antigua at The Verandah Resort & Spa
If you wish to get offsite, there are a selection of common excursions, together with:
- Sail & Snorkel In Cades Reef
- Antigua Reef Riders Self-Drive Boat and Snorkeling Tour
6. Bike, Hike & Kayak Antigua
For those who’re in search of a three-in-one journey in Antigua, you’ll be able to e-book a Triflexcursion.
Together with studying about Antigua’s historical past and tradition, you’ll discover the island by biking, kayaking, and climbing.
The 2-hour tour begins with biking by way of St. John’s, earlier than hopping in a kayak to discover Antigua’s mangroves.
To complete, you’ll do a brief leisurely hike round Fort James or Fort Barrington, two vital Antigua landmarks offering perception into Antigua’s previous.
Climbing round historic forts on an Antigua Triflexcursion. Photograph by way of The place In The World Is Nina?
One other spotlight is getting to go to a restaurant owned and run by a former Miss Antigua.
For those who’re nervous about biking by way of a metropolis, Sunday mornings are typically quieter as many locals head to church.
That being mentioned, the tour actually is ideal for all expertise ranges on any day.
The corporate house owners, Mark and Giles, will be sure to have a good time.
7. Different Lively Journey Antigua Excursions
I didn’t partake in these excursions personally, however they’re well-reviewed and on my bucket listing for subsequent time:
- Antigua Zipline Cover Journey from St John’s
- Antigua Reef Riders Self-Drive Boat and Snorkeling Tour
- Sail and Snorkel in Cades Reef
- St. Mary’s Mud Buggy Expertise
- SoCoHo Half Day Jeep Safari- Lagoon Kayak & Reef Snorkelling
- Horseback Seashore Expertise Antigua
Culinary Adventures In Antigua
I’ll admit on this journey I spent fairly a little bit of time eating on the all-inclusive Verandah Resort & Spa, in addition to its sister property, The Pineapple Seashore Membership.
That being mentioned, I did take a while to eat across the island.
8. Eat Native At Ruth’s
After I requested the native tourism board the place a pleasant native place to eat was, they talked about Island View Restaurant.
After pointing the placement out on Google Maps to my taxi driver, nonetheless, he nodded his head and mentioned, “Ah, sure, you imply ‘Ruth’s’.”
A scrumptious lunch at Ruth’s in Antigua
Apparently, Ruth is the proprietor of this scrumptious institution, which additionally presents an elevated deck showcasing beautiful views of surrounding islands.
There is no such thing as a paper menu. As an alternative, a person named Invoice instructed me I may order baked rooster or stewed rooster with callaloo rice, shredded carrot, and roasted potatoes.
“Baked, please,” I smiled. “Can I even have a neighborhood beer?”
Invoice nodded and took me into the hooked up comfort retailer, pointing to a fridge within the again.
I grabbed a chilly bottle of Wadadli, the condensation cooling my scorching pores and skin, and proceeded to savor the very best meal of all the week-long journey.
Sipping a Wadadli Beer at Ruth’s
On the best way again to your resort, cease at Tropical Time Out Ice Cream for a cone of rum raisin ice cream or ardour fruit sherbert.
The ice cream parlor is walkable from the resort, and so they serve meals like burgers, rooster nuggets, and fries, too.
9. Celebration At The Shirley Heights Barbecue
As said above, on Sundays you’ll be able to be part of get pleasure from a neighborhood barbecue at Shirley Heights.
Together with native meals, stay metal drum bands and locals promoting scorching sauces, you’ll soak up beautiful views, significantly beautiful at sundown.
It is a good spot to savor native delicacies like Grilled Antiguan Lobster paired with a rum punch.
Is that this #Antigua’s most lovely view? I believe so! Take a look at these pictures to see why. #CaribbeanTravel Click on to Tweet
10. See A Present & Chow Down At The Outhouse
This Antigua restaurant is a part of The Pineapple Seashore Membership.
The open-air eatery presents beautiful sea views in the course of the day, whereas string lights add ambiance at night time.
Seeing a stay efficiency at Pineapple Seashore Membership’s “The Outhouse”
Plus, you’ll love the planks of wooden nailed to the deck partitions and ceiling, signed by previous company with names, dates, and notes.
After I visited The Outhouse I bought to see an open-air efficiency, which was adopted by a scrumptious all-you-can-eat barbecue.
11. Take A Cooking Class In Antigua — With Rum
That is one other Antigua journey for my subsequent go to.
I heard so many unimaginable issues about Nicole’s Desk – Cooking With Rum.
Photograph by way of Nicole’s Desk
The Caribbean has a wealthy historical past of rum that dates again to the seventeenth century when sugar plantations found that fermenting and distilling molasses — a byproduct of sugar refining — produced alcohol.
As we speak rum is the spirit of alternative within the Caribbean, whether or not you’re in a seaside hut hangout or resort cocktail bar.
This four-hour class performs on that, and every native dish infuses the spirit in a scrumptious approach.
You’ll learn the way each gentle and darkish rums can improve meals in numerous methods, whereas additionally attending to prepare dinner with a neighborhood in her dwelling.
12. Attend A Seafood Pageant
Each Friday, the Copper and Lumber Restaurant at Nelson’s Dockyard hosts a seafood buffet.
You’ll dine exterior proper on the water, having fun with heaping plates of seafood pasta, entire fried fish, grilled mahi-mahi, stir-fried shrimp and extra.
There may be additionally a bar serving, beer, wine, and rum punch should you’d wish to imbibe.
Chatting with a neighborhood chef on the Copper and Lumber Restaurant’s weekly seafood buffet
One other bonus to this expertise, no less than once I went, was how pleasant the cooks had been. You’ll be able to be taught rather a lot about native life in Antigua simply ready in line on your meal.
It’s value noting the importance of Nelson’s Dockyard, as effectively.
Together with being Antigua’s largest nationwide park, it’s additionally the world’s solely repeatedly working Georgian dockyard, in keeping with Nationwide Parks Antigua.
Within the 18th century, it was the one dockyard within the East Caribbean that might deal with giant ship repairs.
As we speak, quite a lot of yachts and boats use the dockyard, which retains its historic allure — there are even historic forts — whereas showcasing trendy facilities.
The dockyard is called after British Hero of Trafalgar, Horatio Nelson, who was captain of the H.M.S Boreas from 1784 by way of 1787. He spent a variety of time in Antigua making certain British legal guidelines had been adopted within the colonies.
One purpose to go to #Antigua: The meals! Take a look at these scrumptious native meals — + adventures for working off these energy. #CaribbeanTravel Click on to Tweet
I wish to finish this publish by speaking about accountable tourism in Antigua.
The island is stuffed with moral adventures, permitting guests to satisfy and help locals and benefit from the beautiful landscapes with out inflicting hurt. Most bars and eating places don’t robotically provide you with straws, which is nice.