Antigua has so many places to explore – and all of them are best done by boat. The island is an ideal location for a yachting holiday, and by exploring by boat you can visit multiple islands and discover secluded beach spots that aren’t accessible by foot.
You need only two things to have the most fantastic vacation: a boat (see here for yachts to charter) and a list of places to visit. That’s it!
So, what are the best things to do to make the most of your yachting adventure in Antigua?
The term sailing off into the sunset can be a reality if chartering a yacht in Antigua. While watching the sun go down from the shore is beautiful, there is something truly surreal and life-affirming about experiencing a sunset as you float on the water.
If you choose a boat with a skipper, all you’ll need to do is bring a few snacks and some drinks to enjoy as the sun goes down.
And if you want to double up the enjoyment, make sure you’re up early enough for the sunrise too!
In total, there are 51 different islands off the coast of Antigua to explore – in fact, you should make it a priority to do so.
Each island is different and the diversity of activities on offer is incredible, from spotting rare birds and marine life to indulging in stunning cuisine or sipping a tropical cocktail at a relaxing beachside bar. No matter what type of day you want to have, there is an island for you.
Antigua is said to have 365 beaches – that’s one for every day of the year. All are open to the public, so you can move from one stretch of sand to another without hassle. Some are great for relaxing and reading, while others are better for snorkeling.
If there is one thing that you should drink when you’re in Antigua, it is rum punch. It is the island’s national drink, and is best enjoyed ice cold with sugar, ice and lime. No matter which hotel, restaurant or beach bar you go to, you’ll find a different take on the cocktail – and that is all part of the fun.
If you want to try a rum punch with a twist, then visit Sheer Rocks. This beach bar on the west coast adds a little nutmeg and cinnamon to their version, and pride themselves on using the freshest ingredients too.
One of Antigua’s five national parks, Devil’s Bridge is reached via a mile-long, potholed road – which means getting there is all part of the fun.
What makes this place such a fascinating sight is that the bridge has been naturally created over thousands of years. The limestone rock has been worn away by the crashing Atlantic waves into the shapes we see there today.
From time to time, when the water hits it just right, the small holes in the rock act just like a whale’s blowhole and water shoots upwards.
Antigua is home to a vast array of beautiful rainforests, each boasting a tapestry of deep rich greens that look like they’ve come straight out of a movie.
There are plenty of well-marked trails to explore, so all you need to do is put on your best hiking shoes and hit the road.
And depending on how adventurous you are feeling, there is an option to explore the canopy of Wallings Nature Reserve on a zipline tour.
If you want to treat yourself or friends and family to some incredible gifts, then head to the Redcliffe Quay mall in the capital, St John’s. It doesn’t matter what you are looking for – from one-of-a-kind earrings to those little bits we all forget like shampoo, sarongs and more – they’ll have here.
With so many different boutiques and plenty of places for your skipper to dock your boat, you can spend as long as you need here. And be sure to check out the cafés and restaurants for a bite to eat that will blow your mind before you head back out to sea.
Antigua is only one half of the Antigua and Barbuda island duo, and the latter is just a 90-minute boat trip north. What makes Barbuda a little piece of paradise is that it is less crowded and much smaller than Antigua – a perfect location for a little relaxation.
It is also a birdwatching paradise, particularly known for being home to about 5,000 giant red-throated frigatebirds – the largest colony in the western hemisphere. Located in Codrington, the island capital, the frigatebird sanctuary is also home to another 170 bird species – though to visit, you’ll need a specially licensed boat.