What’s it Like to Travel to Antigua and Barbuda?

Traveling to Antigua and Barbuda has been one of the vital greatest highlights of my yr. One of my greatest priorities of past due has been to discover extra of the Caribbean — and I finished up in one of the vital Caribbean’s perfect islands as a visitor of Traverse Events. If you’ll make a selection to talk over with any of the islands within the Caribbean, Antigua is set as forged as you’ll get.

The factor is, whilst numerous other folks know that Antigua is a Caribbean island, it doesn’t have numerous signature reputation past that. But I discovered quite a lot of issues that make Antigua definitely worth the commute.

Kate is in a yellow "water hammock" -- a round hammock-like device in the middle of the turquoise Caribbean Sea underneath a blue sky with a few clouds. Kate is wearing sunglasses and is on her elbows with her legs playfully in the air.

Why go back and forth to Antigua as a substitute of some other Caribbean island?

Plenty of other folks in search of a Caribbean holiday merely need to discover a decently priced flight and hotel, fly down, and spend the following week ingesting piña coladas at the seaside. If that’s all you wish to have, you’ll be at liberty on maximum Caribbean islands. Probably Florida, too.

But the general public need greater than that. So why will have to you are making the hassle to go back and forth to Antigua and Barbuda?

Antigua excels at being a forged all-around island. It’s were given stunning seashores, it’s were given nice hotels, it’s were given an enchanting weekly marketplace, it’s were given some exceptional scenic perspectives, it’s were given numerous attention-grabbing journey actions, the go back and forth infrastructure is lovely excellent, and the island is huge sufficient to have selection however sufficiently small to get round in someday.

(Quick geography word: Saying Antigua by myself refers to its primary island, whilst Barbuda is its small sister island. Barbuda was once seriously broken in Hurricane Irma in 2017 and become uninhabited for the primary time in centuries; persons are simply starting to transfer again to Barbuda now.)

Plus, there’s the benefit issue. The island revolves round tourism. There are lots of flights from the USA, together with flights on more than one airways from New York. English is the primary language right here, a part of Antigua’s historical past as a former British colony. This Britishness is why you pronounce it like an-TEE-gah, now not an-TEE-gwah like the town in Guatemala.

I didn’t in finding Antigua stood out strongly on anybody component — the best way the Cayman Islands stand out for diving or Jamaica stands proud for song. And that’s effective — on occasion the most suitable option for everybody is a sturdy all-around performer. But there have been two spaces the place Antigua stands proud for me: its outrageously scrumptious pineapple and the truth that I skilled just about 0 boulevard harassment.

Kate holds a tiny Antigua black pineapple in her hand. It is the size of her fist. She holds it next to her mouth and pretends to eat the whole thing, a smile on her face. In the background are displays of fruit, including limes and oranges.

Antigua Black Pineapple: the Best Pineapple within the World

Is it audacious to declare that Antigua has the most efficient pineapple on this planet? Maybe it is. They are well-known for his or her black pineapple and I fell in love with it right away.

Antigua black pineapple is a sweeter number of pineapple with golden fruit and decrease acidity than many different pineapples. Honestly, it’s the most efficient pineapple that I’ve ever tasted and I simply want I had simple get right of entry to to it at house!

Several pineapples piled up on top of each other in a weathered turquoise wooden container in front of a yellow clapboard wall.Palms on the side of the road in Antigua. Tiny growing pineapples are springing up from each bush.

You’ll see pineapples rising at the aspect of the street in Antigua (!!) however by no means pick out one who’s rising. Instead, prevent at just about any roadside stand and you’ll in finding any person promoting pineapple. If now not, they’ll direct you to any person who’s.

Fruits and vegetables piled up in purple crates in Antigua. Bananas, ginger, onions, and some unrecognizable green and yellow vegetables.

Visiting St. John’s, Antigua, the capital of the town

I’m now not the type of one that will land on a seaside and keep there all through a commute. I want to get out and see how native other folks reside — even in puts the place the locals provide you with a warning that there’s not anything to do.

For me, that supposed a commute to St. John’s, the capital of Antigua and Barbuda for his or her Saturday morning marketplace. A couple of buddies and I employed a taxi to take us from the hotel to the middle of the town.

Giant colored of the first president of Antigua, from the chest up in a suit coming out of a piece of rock in the center of townDozens of bottled drinks on a table in a market in St. John's, AntiguaA cracked wall on a sidewalk reads "To God Be the Glory" in St. John's Antigua

Like many Caribbean towns, St. John’s isn’t lovely to have a look at and maximum would brush aside it as low tourism worth. For me, I preferred simply getting to stroll round, check out some “conch water” (extra like a conch chowder), chat with locals, and perceive the rustic within the phase the place they don’t cater to vacationers. You will have to surely pass if that is the type of factor that pursuits you.

There is a small nook on the town that turns out designed for vacationers — it’s the place the cruise ships dock. Beyond that, we have been fully surrounded by means of locals.

The back of a brightly painted blue bus with orange palm trees painted on the back in Antigua

Open Side Safari

Another alternative to see extra of the island was once occurring an Open Side Safari. We rode across the island, stopped for scrumptious pineapple, posed in entrance of an attractive crimson church, looked at some cool seashores, and were given to see much more of the island than we might have ordinarily.

A small pink church is perched on a hill in Antigua with a soft blue and white sky in the background.The Devil's Bridge, a rocky formation jutting out into the violent sea in Antigua. Waves are coming high, the sea and sky are both slate gray.View from a cliff in Antigua: a peninsula rises out into the bright teal sea on the right, while a grove of cacti grows on the left.A woman in a red bandana slices a pineapple into a plastic bag in Antigua.

I preferred the conversations I had with native Antiguan girls. Like maximum Caribbeans, Antiguans are open and pleasant. One girl was once telling me how arduous it was once to get a visa to the USA or Canada — now not solely as a result of it’s so arduous to get a visa on an Antiguan passport, however as a result of they have got to fly the entire means to Trinidad to follow for a visa there! It’s like paying for a 2nd commute, she informed me, and the general public can’t come up with the money for that expense.

Two women green each other when walking down the street in St. John's Antigua.

Almost Zero Street Harassment in Antigua (!!!)

My least favourite factor about touring within the Caribbean is the incessant boulevard harassment. While boulevard harassment occurs to girls in all places the arena, it is especially rampant and insidious within the Caribbean.

Which is why it was once outstanding that I skilled nearly none in Antigua.

ALMOST NONE. I’m 100% severe.

Really, the nearest factor to boulevard harassment was once a person who began making a song “Pretty Woman” to me, Cailin, and Ayngelina as we walked down the road. And that cracked us up.

Please word that that is my anecdotal enjoy: I’m now not pronouncing that boulevard harassment does now not exist right here, solely that I didn’t enjoy any in a complete week right here. Your enjoy could also be very other. However, that is this kind of distinction to the remainder of my travels in Caribbean locations that I assumed it was once price citing.

Kate wearing a long yellow and black-spotted gauzy gown over an overlook in Shirley Heights, Antigua. Kate is holding the gauzy outer layer open and smiling. In the background is a view over the White Sea down below, and mountains in the distance.

Shirley Heights: The Best Instagram Spot in Antigua

If you’ve noticed one scenic photograph of Antigua, it was once more than likely at Shirley Heights — this is likely one of the most lovely photograph spots at the island. Which implies that whilst you ship a gaggle of 40 go back and forth content material creators there without delay, we’re going to lose our minds.

Oh, and did we ever.

21 photos of different bloggers doing the same pose in front of a sunset at Shirley Heights, Antigua.

Shirley Heights has a band taking part in Caribbean variations of dad songs and meals and beverages on the market. My recommendation? Wear your perfect outfit and take a ton of footage up right here!

As you’ll see, we didn’t have the most efficient climate to start with — it was once slightly cloudy, and I have been hoping for vivid blue skies. But it in the end became an important red sundown.

View over the English Harbor from above at Shirley Heights -- pieces of land jutting together and several sailboats in the water.Kate wearing a long yellow and black-spotted gauzy gown over an overlook in Shirley Heights, Antigua. Kate is holding the gauzy outer layer open and smiling. In the background is a view over the White Sea down below, and mountains in the distance.View over the English Harbor from above at Shirley Heights -- pieces of land jutting together and several sailboats in the water.Sunset over the overlook at Shirley Heights, pieces of land jutting out. The sunset is purple and pink with lots of clouds.

While we visited right through the week, I’ve heard that Sunday is the most efficient evening to pass to Shirley Heights as a result of that’s when the locals pass. If I went again, I might completely pass on a Sunday.

If there may be any must-do process in Antigua, Shirley Heights is it. Make certain you pass evidently.

Kate paddles herself on a stand-up paddle board over turquoise water in Antigua. The board is bright blue and she wears a life vest over a bathing suit with a straw hat and aviator sunglasses.

Adventure Activities in Antigua

I used to be in fact quite sedate in this Antigua commute — excess of same old. Throw me on a paddle board, although, and I used to be delighted! I cherished how calm the water was once on the Verandah Resort — I used to be ready to stay easiest steadiness and paddle out super-far, testing the brand new hotel being constructed within the distance. Quite a couple of non-motorized sports activities are integrated at no cost on the hotel as well as to paddle boarding: kayaking, snorkeling, windsurfing, Hobie Cat crusing.

But if you wish to have a bit of extra journey, listed here are among the actions my buddies were given in:

Scooter Snorkeling in Antigua — symbol by means of Travel Yourself

Scooter snorkeling with Skylork. Snorkeling is amusing sufficient by itself, however you’ll more than likely be transferring slowly. With a scooter that you just cling in entrance of your self, you’ll zoom super-fast and super-deep! Honestly, that is the only I maximum be apologetic about now not doing…

Biking in Antigua — by means of Where within the World is Nina

Biking, mountaineering, and kayaking with Triflexcursion. If you wish to have to pack a ton of journey right into a unmarried commute, do a motorbike/hike/kayak aggregate! Do know that the phrase “hike” is used loosely right here — it’s extra of a mild walk, however the cycling and kayaking are extra concerned.

Signal Hill in Antigua -- several green pointy hills in front of a blue-gray ocean horizon.

Signal Hill, Antigua by means of Jessie on a Journey

Hiking Signal Hill. One of the nice hikes at the island is to hike to Signal Hill, the place you’ll see 360-degree perspectives of the island. On a transparent day, you’ll see the entire means to Barbuda.

Patrick standing on the edge of a cliff, looking on to the English Harbour in Antigua.

Hiking the Middle Ground Trail — by means of German Backpacker

Hiking the Middle Ground Trail. If you wish to have to take a look at some nice perspectives for your hike, the Middle Ground Trail has one of the crucial perfect perspectives close to the English Harbour (a.okay.a. the ground of what you spot at Shirley Heights).

In a drone shot, a few dozen people, some wearing bright pink t-shirts, pose with their arms in the air on a large catamaran in Antigua. The sea surrounding them is turquoise.

Antigua Catamaran Ride — by means of Brendan van Son

An Antigua Catamaran Cruise to Remember

One process that I like to do on every occasion I’m in a tropical seashore vacation spot is to take a catamaran cruise. I completely love being out at the water, and letting the wind fly thru your hair as you are feeling the mist from the water is the best possible feeling. It’s even higher whilst you’ve were given a ton of buddies and Caribbean dance song.

Tom and Kate Titanic-ing in Antigua — by means of TravelTomTom.

After surviving my shipwreck in Indonesia, it took a number of years prior to I used to be ready to take a ship experience with out panicking. You know what in spite of everything did the trick for me? Catamarans. Specifically, this one in Belize. I like how strong they’re. I like that they’ve nets for lounging. And I like that they incessantly include a beneficiant provide of rum punch!

Kate lying down on a net on the end of a catamaran, wearing an off the shoulder white and blue patterned dress, hair long and curly, leaning on her elbows, holding a plastic cup of rum punch in one hand, and staring off into the distance -- turquoise sea and green land in the distance.Three girls in floral patterned dresses sitting on the net of the catamaran, looking off to the side and making goofy kissy faces.Kate and a group of several friends posing and smiling on a catamaran in AntiguaA pink sunset with lots of fluffy purple clouds in Antigua. At the bottom is the sea, a black silhouette of a boat, and a tiny yellow sun.

This, a ways and away, was once the most efficient remaining to every week in Antigua. If you’re going, you wish to have to ebook a catamaran cruise!

Looking down toward the beach at the Verandah Resort Antigua. You se e a turquoise ocean, white sand, a windsurfing board on the beach, palm trees on one side, and green and red plants on the other.

Reliable Sunshine, Heat and Fun

And in spite of everything…Antigua brings the products when it comes to sunshine and amusing. Want to lie out all day at the seaside? Go proper forward.

I wished that in this commute. More than I let on publicly.

I have been going thru slightly of despair length this spring. Without going into nice element, let’s simply say that on occasion the shit hits the fan a number of occasions in a row. And on occasion you undergo that and assume, “Wow, I did it, I survived!” however the universe says, “Not done yet!” and it’s adopted by means of one particularly impressive drop.

I got here to Antigua short of sunshine. And the light labored its magic.

Kate wearing a hot pink romper and holding a glass of champagne, standing on a pinkish-white beach at sunset.

Let me be transparent — go back and forth by myself won’t clear up your issues. If you pass on a commute since you’re having courting troubles otherwise you hate your task otherwise you’re suffering with psychological sickness otherwise you don’t know what you wish to have to do together with your lifestyles, the ones issues aren’t going to finish simply since you went away.

Know that getting in.

But. BUT. If you’re feeling a bit of down in recent times, some sunshine might be what you wish to have to pick out your self up once more.

And in truth, by the point I left Antigua, I hadn’t made any primary adjustments in my lifestyles — but I used to be feeling happier than I had felt in months. And that feeling has STAYED WITH ME since.

For that explanation why, I will be able to all the time be thankful to Antigua.

Kate plays on a giant chess board in Antigua, holding a white bishop in one hand and a black pawn in another. She is wearing a short green and white patterned dress. Above her are palm trees and a blue and white streaky sky.

Kate Tries an All-Inclusive Resort in Antigua…And Actually Enjoys It

On this commute our complete workforce stayed on the Verandah Resort — an all-inclusive circle of relatives hotel. I had by no means executed an all-inclusive in my lifestyles prior to this commute. As interesting as it sounded to devour and drink no matter you sought after with out serious about the associated fee, I had heard that all-inclusives have a tendency to slash prices on the other hand they may be able to and have an general decrease meals high quality than higher-end hotels. I have a tendency to choose small boutique hotels with nice eating places the place you order à l. a. carte.

But I’ve all the time been curious. Here was once a chance to check out an all-inclusive, and a pleasing one. What would it be like, anyway?

A view over the turquoise Caribbean Sea with white hotel rooms on a piece of rocky land to the right. There are palm trees in one corner.A small White House with picket fencing along the staircase leading upward, surrounded by palm trees underneath a blue sky.Several yellow and red kayaks resting on a white sand beach in front of a turquoise ocean.A long turquoise beach with beach chairs underneath umbrellas lined along the beach. The water is nearly clear.

In a phrase: all-inclusives are EASY. You don’t have to consider it; the whole lot is treated for you. The belongings is very large, however you’ll hop on one of the vital golfing carts that flow into across the hotel and take you the place you wish to have to pass.

The rooms on the Verandah Resort are little cottages, two divided rooms in every cottage — I cherished the glance of the valuables. Much prettier and homier than never-ending constructions with lodge rooms stacked on most sensible of one another.

The primary seaside is FANTASTIC — so calm and pretty. Perfect for removing a stand-up paddleboard! And I will have at ease in the ones water hammocks all day. Only the danger of sunburn were given me out of them!

One of the primary issues I realized is that whilst you order a drink at an all-inclusive, you’ll more than likely be in line in the back of some dude ordering six other difficult cocktails for him and his buddies. That can temporarily get traumatic, particularly when all you wish to have is a pour from the champagne bottle.

But quickly it turns into so releasing whilst you notice you’ll order no matter you wish to have and there can be no additional fees for your invoice. And that is how I realized I will be able to drink champagne all evening lengthy with out getting hungover.

It’s superb how an all-inclusive adjustments your mindset. I were given used to having a “big night out” with all my buddies seven nights in a row. Once I were given off the hotel it hit me that I in fact had to spend cash once more.

Oh, and talking of cocktails, Cailin, Ayngelina, and I determined one morning to check out they all without delay. Key phrase: TRY.

A wooden table topped with 13 various brightly colored cocktails in water goblets, some of them more finished than others.

That was once a amusing morning.

There was once leisure each evening — other forms of bands or performers. Not my same old factor, I couldn’t assist smiling. Is it tacky? Yes. But it’s numerous amusing. It seems that every one I wished to do was once relax slightly.

The primary advantage of going to an all-inclusive is popping off your mind and getting to chill out. I’m so satisfied I did that.

I wouldn’t ordinarily make a selection to keep at a spot just like the Verandah — up to I like children, if I’m doing a hotel holiday, I’m going someplace adults-only. That stated, it wasn’t just about as kid-crazy as I feared. I feel a part of that is that we visited in May, when most oldsters are averse to taking their children out of faculty.

Plus, there’s an adults-only pool on the Verandah. It’s were given its personal bar and one of the crucial breeziest, most beautiful tables at the complete belongings.

A pink sunset over a beach with white hotel rooms and palm trees in the background.

Not solely that — staying on the Verandah manner you’ve got get right of entry to to their sister belongings around the boulevard, Pineapple Beach Club, which is an identical caliber of hotel this is adults-only. Go for the day, opt for the seaside, opt for the beverages, and you’ll experience that kid-free setting.

The Pineapple Beach Club places on cool concert events and occasions and I were given to see an acoustic set by means of British big name Fleur East, which was once SO cool.

And when you evaluate this actual all-inclusive to, say, giant send cruising, it feels other. One the only giant send Caribbean cruise I did, the gang felt very “MAGA At Sea.” Here in Antigua, there have been quite a lot of Brits, quite a lot of black vacationers, and it didn’t really feel like a Trump-loving crowd in any respect. I met numerous superior other folks on the Verandah. In truth, I didn’t meet any person I didn’t like, which could be very odd.

Were a few of my all-inclusive fears discovered? Well, slightly. The meals was once first rate, however not anything to write house about. Imagine moderate wedding ceremony buffet meals. Coming off my 2nd Complete30, I tried to devour smartly however struggled when even maximum meats appeared to be smothered in sugary barbeque sauce. I didn’t benefit from the espresso and saved wishing I had introduced my very own.

Breakfast was once nice, although — I loved having a veggie omelet and blueberry-strawberry-cucumber smoothie for breakfast each morning. And the nacho bar by means of the seaside (whole with faux cheese) was once amusing.

Most puts on the Verandah felt moderately understaffed. The line for the beverages was once all the time lengthy, there have been all the time unfilled trays on the meals stations, and one evening on the Pineapple Beach Club the strains have been horrendously lengthy for meals. It felt like those problems will have been solved by means of having extra group of workers, however once more, it turns out like a cost-slashing alternative.

So sure — a couple of cons, however general an overly certain enjoy and I loved myself immensely. I might completely return to the Verandah.

Kate posing in front of a cottage on the stairs leading up. The cottage has two doors in front and several palm trees around. Kate is holding onto the railing and arching her back so she's falling backward. She wears a straw hat, aviators, and a tropical-patterned bathing suit top that matches her genie-style pants.

The Takeaway

I had the most efficient time in Antigua — and I might completely return! This dose of light, journey, and excellent other folks was once precisely what I wished this spring. It might be what you wish to have, too.

There’s just one factor I might do in a different way — this time I might pass to Shirley Heights on Sunday evening to celebration with the locals.

Pinterest graphic: What it's like to travel Antigua and Barbuda?

Essential Info: I stayed on the Verandah Resort and Spa, which I loved immensely. Low-season all-inclusive charges from $298 in line with evening in keeping with two other folks sharing one room.

You can ebook an Open Side Safari by means of emailing Charlesincharge268@gmail.com. Prices upon request.

Scooter snorkeling is to be had from Skylork. Half-day excursions from $85.

Triflexcursion has aggregate hike-bike-kayak excursions from $60.

Our catamaran cruise was once with Tropical Adventures. The sundown cruise prices $85.

Be certain to get go back and forth insurance coverage in your commute to Antigua. If you commute and damage an ankle whilst mountaineering, or when you get appendicitis whilst at your hotel, or when you’ve got a loss of life within the circle of relatives and want to go back house right away, go back and forth insurance coverage can save your lifestyles and budget. I take advantage of and suggest World Nomads for journeys to Antigua.

This put up is introduced to you by means of Traverse Events and the Antigua and Barbuda Tourist Board, who hosted me in complete in this commute, together with airfare. All evaluations, as all the time, are my very own.

Have you been to Antigua? Does it appear to be your more or less position?

The put up What’s it Like to Travel to Antigua and Barbuda? gave the impression first on Adventurous Kate.

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