Antigua was the first island I visited on my trip and it was definitely an eye opening start. The port town of St. Johns we arrived at was completely catered to tourists and was a wonderful first taste of the colorful wooden houses packed so closely together that is typically associated with the Caribbean.
Although the town is clearly catered to tourists coming off the boat, the island boasts of having 365 beaches: one for every day of the year. So we decided the best way to see the island was by bike. and that was definitely the best decision!
There are plenty of cycling tours but I would recommend booking in advance to avoid getting ripped off by the seller’s waiting to ambush tourists as soon as you get off the boat.
Our tour took us through the heart of Antigua and we saw the agricultural heritage of the island, which is Antigua’s second largest industry after tourism. Our tour guide was very informative, an English man but who had lived in Antigua for over 20 years and was extremely informative about the land, the island history, the housing and architecture as well as being a safe and enthusiastic cyclist.
The tour took us through the west side of the island on roads and tracks, through villages and countryside, although we were in for a shock when we came across a headless cow strung up in a tree and being cut up by the local village butcher into cuts of meat for the locals, as long as you’re not too squirmish it definitely added to the overall cultural experience as young children ran alongside our bikes to try and keep up and old men waved at us from their house verandas as we passed by.
Our route ended at a beautiful white beach further along the coast with white sand, crystal clear blue sea and a fantastic caribbean beach bar for food and refreshments before we cycled back to the port.
I would definitely recommend cycling around as the best way to see he island. Although the ride was fairly easy, it was very hot and with a few hills and harder bits I wouldn’t recommend it for young children, older people or those who struggle with exertion in the heat. However, it was by far the most efficient and exciting way to see as much of the island as possible. Incorporating exercise, sightseeing and a little beach time made it well worth paying for a trip rather than trying to make your own way around the island.
– lots of water!!
– hat to protect head from the heat whilst cycling
– money for tip. It is considered polite to tip and I thought this excursion was well worth it, especially considering how informative our guide was.
– suncream (all the time, anywhere you are)
-comfy exercise footwear.
Anyone else been to Antigua? Let me know your thoughts!