How many beaches does Antigua have? What & Where Are The Top Beaches?
You may have heard that Antigua has more than 365 beaches, one for every day of the year. That is a list we want to see. Even if it’s folklore it’s impressive as they clearly have a lot. We show you here some of the most beautiful beaches in Antigua.
Click on the names of the Antigua Beaches to scroll quickly to them in this article
What are the Best Beaches in Antigua? What beaches do we LOVE?
Depending on what you are looking for in your ideal Antigua Beach, chances are Antigua has it covered. There is no surfing here unlike in Barbados, yet you can have a lot of fun in the waves at half moon bay for example. The waters are mostly pretty calm (some storms at sea can create waves on certain days. Please take reasonable care on the day) the calmest beach is maybe Pigeon beach.
Beaches For Snorkeling
The best beaches of Antigua for snorkeling are Pigeon beach and Galleon Beach and the far end of Dickenson Bay. Antigua is a very sandy island so it is very hard to find non stirred up bottoms! The sand causes less than perfect visibility. If you can go around to the pillars of hercules it’s also a great spot and an actual dive site. There is always Cades reef but you will need a tour to get out to it.
It is unfair to compare Luxury across islands places and budgets.
Luxury is a very easily used word (especially online) and we become somewhat immune to it. Luxury is also very subjective so we took a risk using it for the title of this sample resorts guide. Nevertheless consider the following reports as Luxury for Antigua.
Antigua Luxury Resorts
You can expect:
Top top uncrowded beaches with clear inviting turquoise water High levels of customer service High levels of comfort (air conditioning and furnishings) Excellent pools restaurants and watering holes Space (time for Zen) Fantastic choices of cuisine and beverages created by world class chefs
You might expect:
In resort fast service yet relaxed and attention to the details that count Outside, slow travel
Think of Antigua differently
However you still would not visit Antigua on the basis of Luxury alone. An Antigua luxury resort would not compete with New York, Paris, London or Dubai. Antigua has a unique culture and some say time zone! Here the business is relaxation and enjoyment to the fullest. What Antigua offers is a charm and delight way beyond luxury and different- therefore no competition.
We look at 5 options; Jumby Bay, Carlisle Bay, Cocobay, South Point and Admirals Inn at different price points all befitting the word luxury in one way or another.
The most exclusive resort on the island. In fact it is located on it’s own island.
Jumby Bay Suite
Jumby Bay Island
Jumby Bay Style
For this reason celebrities like it– those not wanting their own luxury villa or owning their own property.
Price range: USD. 1500-2300.
It is a 300-acre private island located two miles off the coast of Antigua. It boasts of a variety of wildlife amidst tropical foliage and white sand beaches. The resort has 40 rooms and suites. There are some privately owned residences also.
This all-inclusive resort provides amenities which include seamlessly arranged airport transportation, breakfast and free wifi.
They have a pool, outdoor pool, fitness centre, restaurant, bar/lounge, spa, business centre, tennis court, among other things.
The main attraction is water skiing training provided to guests.All other water sports too are available such as deep sea fishing, scuba diving and snorkelling. Hobie Cat sailing is very good at all resorts in Antigua.
Cocobay Resort is an adults-only, all-inclusive resort, located at valley church, Antigua.This resort sits on a bluff between two southwest-coast Antigua bays. Cost ranges approximately between USD.400 to 720.
The package includes meals, snacks, local beverages (restrictions apply) and beverages in the in-room mini-bar.
They have a spa, two restaurants, free wifi, outdoor swimming pools including infinity-edge pool, onsite hiking and kayaking, snorkelling, skydiving, and live music entertainment.Also available are tennis facility, marina, scuba diving and casino at nearby locations. Also, nearby is the big Ffryes bay, with its 1000 ft beach, with furnished thatch shades.
A special attraction on offer by the hotel is the adult-only and honeymoon getaway.
This hotel is situated adjacent to the Antigua Yacht Club Marina in Falmouth Harbour.
Balconies of rooms afford a view of moored yachts.There is a large terrace with a waterfront view across the bay.Apart from Mediterranean and middle eastern cuisine on offer, they boast of sushi bar too.Entertainment options are available within walking distance.
ADMIRAL’S INN AND GUNPOWDER SUITES
This Resort is located at St. Paul Parish, English Harbour, Antigua.
Pricing is around USD. 180 – 600
This is a boutique type of hotel and is a part of the UNESCO heritage site and steeped in history.
It is at a secluded section of nelson’s dockyard at a distance of 100 yards from the bay. The buildings face waterfront and provide a breath-taking view of Nelson’s Dockyard.However, the beach offered with the Admiral’s Inn and Gunpowder Suites is of the non-swimming type.
Easy transportation through their shuttle service is available at the entrance of the Resort, to go to the swimming beach in freemans bay and other places.Kayaks are available to explore the harbour.Also, many bars and restaurants are available within walking distance.
Planning a trip to Antigua with your family and need something that you feel that everyone in the family can enjoy while being safe? Finding these attraction is not always easy. Here are five Antigua family attractions that everyone can enjoy.
Nelson’s Dockyard – Nelson’s Dockyard is one of the most popular Antigua family attractions. Located on the southern end of the island, Nelson’s Dockyard boasts of being the only continuously working Georgian Dockyard in the world. It was initially built in 1725 as a base for the British Navy to guard against neighbouring colonial powers, particularly the French. It gained it’s name from the famous naval commander Lord Horatio Nelson, who was stationed in Antigua for various periods from 1784-1787.
A boat heading towards the restaurants
Boats English Harbour
English Harbour Museum
English Harbour Yachts
English Harbour Museum
After the decline in the threat from invasion, the dockyard slowly declined and eventually became abandoned. Efforts to restore the area began in 1950’s, and is now the centre of a vibrant yachting and sailing industry. Much of the history has been preserved, and the Dockyard now includes a small museum featuring local historical and archeological artefacts, as well as gift shops, hotels, and stores.
Museum of Antigua and Barbuda
Museum of Antigua and Barbuda – Located in the heart of St. John’s on Long Street, the Museum of Antigua and Barbuda has a long and storied history. Originally built in 1747 as a court house on the site of the first city market, the building survived several major earthquakes before being converted to a museum in 1985. The museum features a number of artefacts such as a life sized replica of an Arawak house and the bat of Viv Richards, one of Wisden’s Top 5 cricketers in the 20th century. In addition, the museum also hosts a reference library and a computer database holding thousands of records.
Stingray City – Stingray City is one of the top Antigua family attractions. Located just outside of Seatons on the eastern end of the island, your journey starts off at the Stingray City base, a lush garden paradise with a number of wildlife including lovebirds, parakeets, parrots, and even iguanas. After a short briefing the real journey begins as you board the boat to take you to a naturally shallow area in the middle of the ocean.
Antigua, a place where you can swim with stingrays. How cool – #instagood
Stingray City Tour Antigua
Swim and interact with Stingrays safely
These clear waters are home to the friendly Southern Caribbean stingrays, which are completely safe once you follow the guidelines set out by your guides. Feel free to hold, pet, and even feed these lovely creatures as they whiz by you. There is also a coral reef where you can snorkel and observe a wide range of other marine wildlife.
Wadadli Nature Park
Wadadli Nature Park is one of the only true nature parks on the island. Located at Lyons Estate in the centre of the island, your guided tour will take you around the park to see some of the animals which are familiar on a local and regional level. These include the playful green monkeys, iguanas, parrots, peacocks, and the majestic fallow deer, which is Antigua and Barbuda’s national animal. In addition there is also a petting zoo with familiar animals such as goats, sheep, turtles and cows, which are always a hit with the young children.
Monkeys in Antigua
Antigua Wildlife Park
Along the trail are a number of different trees and plants which are signposted and form part of the Nature Park’s arboretum.
The Donkey Sanctuary
The Donkey Sanctuary – The Antigua and Barbuda Humane Society provides a home and a safe place for donkeys in Antigua and Barbuda. Due to the number of stray and abandoned donkeys, and the issues that donkeys can have both on the environment and road traffic, this sanctuary was set up with the intention to reduce the stray population and provide care for these once popular beasts of burden. Visitors have the opportunity to feed and pet these gentle creatures, who all love the interaction with people. Each of the donkeys having a short bio and history written up for visitors to learn more about them. Donations are encouraged, and you can adopt a donkey for only $25.
Donkey Heaven ?
Hot work this !
Where do you take your family when you’re in Antigua? Do you have any other Antigua family attractions that you enjoy visiting while here? What’s your favourite local family attractions? Share your secrets below!
Day Two started by the pool, after a lavish cooked (buffet style) breakfast. To offset the guilt of the rum punches from the previous evening and the recently devoured breakfast, we decided to do the Aqua aerobics at the resort. It was tough, but we threw ourselves into it and gave it everything we had. It was really good fun, made even better by the sun and the serene setting and of course the playful banter of our co-splashers! After a wander down the beach, looking at a washed up boat just abandoned on the sand like a discarded toy, we headed back to the resort via the local shops lining the beach. (Pic) The interesting thing that struck me at this point was that the sellers honestly didn’t hound you to view or buy their wares. You could look and touch, have a small conversation and then simply move on without any pressure. I personally found that really refreshing.
We had lunch al fresco at the beach bar, but unfortunately that was where my day pretty much ended, as I succumbed to what we now believe was heatstroke. Not good. Really quite scary in fact and very scary for Cal too, as you take for granted the ease of coping with being unwell when in familiar surroundings. Here we were faced with a $200 USD call out charge for a Doctor and Cal had to ascertain all of this with anxious visits to the Reception desk, as our phone in the room turned out to be broken. If you’ve never experienced heat stroke before, firstly well done for being sensible and taking precautions in the first place and secondly, avoid it all costs if you can. It started with mild palpitations and a racing pulse averaging 130 beats per minute, dizziness, joint pains and a headache. Then came the fever, an inability to get warm (I was in Antigua remember) despite turning the AC off and opening the doors to allow the warm air in, plus wearing leggings, a top and cardigan under the bed sheets and throw. Then came the shakes and the constant threat of blacking out. I eventually fell asleep late afternoon and awoke to my fever having broken, being drenched in sweat and feeling clammy and disorientated. All very scary and humbling and not at all how I had envisaged our day going. From start to finish the serious symptoms lasted 6 hours before they gave me some hope of coming out the other side. I even showered and joined Cal for an attempt at dinner, before I realised I was probably pushing my luck as my dizziness and racing pulse returned. So it was off to bed for me and what I imagined was a very restless night for Cal too. (I’ve since learned he actually slept like a baby!).
It’s day 7 of Antigua Holiday. I had been driving quite a lot this vacation and wanted to chill out and enjoy the Halcyon Cove experience. Fenton the resorts activity manager was around now and it was good/funny to see him around entertaining the guests with aqua aerobics, beach cricket and volleyball. He went and found us the volleyball and at request put up the net across the pool and we had a fun game before lunchtime with some Canadian folks. Yes aqua aerobics had not been skipped either so we were burning calories too. Today was to be a mega burning day. Aqua aerobics does that great thing getting the oxygen back into the body after the alcohol of the night before seems to drain it all away. Alcohol has no good effects apart from the reason why we do it. We were all enjoying very early cocktails I like my rum runners but hadn’t had any lately and couldn’t recall why I think the last may have been in key largo. It was a Saturday, my most recent one. Today was going to be about enjoying the sun as well and my shuffle and reading a bit too. With that mix of morning activity lunchtime came and it was over to the outdoors lunch area.
I have been on a couple of Sunset Cruises in my time and of course the actual style of cruise can vary greatly depending on the target customer. This particular cruise couldn’t be labelled a booze cruise though the all inclusive bar exists there is a clientele of respect mostly because it’s Antigua and not Mallorca. So you will be safe booking this tour at any age as it did attract a wide range. If you are looking for a booze cruise then you may well struggle in Antigua.
Private sunset Cruise Antigua ?
This is not a private sunset cruise please note for that check out this private sunset cruise by miramar. Getting to the cruise from Dickenson Bay couldn’t be easier – it actually departs the sandy shores – you will wade out as the waves go out (if you’re smart) to keep your crotch dry ! The ladder descends the catamaran to the beach and it easy to get on and of course the staff are there and helpful. I think this cruise appeals for people especially from Sandals and the Halcyon Cove and the other Dickenson Bay Accommodation options. It leaves from just in front of Sneaky Pete’s at 4:30 pm I believe but check at time of booking. You will have time to settle on the cat and get your boat brief in the calm waters. At no point was this tour or this cruise rough. There was a slight normal light bobbing but it didn’t seem to make anyone feel sea sick. We got a boat briefing and set off around past the north west corner. You could hang out on the webbing area at the front but you mustn’t jump into it. Strangely some people must be doing that in the past £$^%& ???
A life on the ocean wave – or a sunset cruise.
For me I had been brought down to earth (in a good way) by Sanchia. You see I have been used to going on quite a few boats in the Caribbean but for her it was a first and she was really looking forward to this I saw in her eyes the way I used to look at the Caribbean (I guess my only cure will be abstinence), and she really enjoyed it so much it made me feel so good too. Because sometimes you forget. We actually had some really quality talk in part aided by the freedom the ocean gives the mind I believe. We did tuck into a couple of rum punches a speciality on Antigua you should really try them. Part of the joys of a tour is people watching – where are they from ? What are they doing? did they get married in Antigua ? One such couple looked to have been married a while but the key thing that struck me was that his hat appeared glued to his head. There was the trade wind blowing its normal amount and you might make a grab for the hat blowing into the bushes but here how dare he allow his hat to blow into the sea. I think for a moment I was more bothered than he ! It did the dirty deed but he was lucky and it blew in my direction so I was able to trap it for him. After that I turned my attention to his go pro selfie stick I made some small talk but got the impression they weren’t that kind of people (the extroverted talker kind). At some point during my daydream Sanchia had stopped chatting and I asked her if she wanted another drink. I was on a bit of a mission this trip to make me so sick of the rum punch that I could last until the next trip…
Leaving the fun tour – sad face 🙁
Beer ma Deer
Green flash ?
The Sunset Cruise Antigua Photos
Sanchia and Calvin
Hoisting the Mainsel
Antigua Sunset Cruise
The departing cruise ships
Bruno Mars serving drinks
Set Sail Antigua
Typical Antigua Sunset
I estimate that the initial line out we were a couple of hundred meters out from the shore and we cruised up towards Blue Waters resort we turned at some point there and headed back down the length of Dickenson Bay. It was a lovely evening in terms of the temperature too one could really enjoy the sounds of the twin hulls slicing through the water and the birds from the shore. Antigua is a green and verdant island. When the conditions allowed the sails did come down as right they should. The crew were all happy and good fun and they all got into the whole getting the sail up. Beyond Dickenson Bay is Runaway Bay and then Fort James beach. All are worth of further exploration if you are staying longer. After Fort James that was there to protect one half of the entrance to St Johns. It was a magical time everyone was enjoying the ride and view. St Johns had some cruise ships still in dock they were readying to leave. Onwards we sailed closer again to the shore where there were some funny out crops of rock and resorts and beaches. Oh yes the crew brought us out some food which was very nice finger food and well appreciated by all. A good variety of fruit cooked meats etc…but no johnny cakes 🙁 I love that Antiguan speciality) It was getting to what we thought would be the best part of the cruise, the sun set. The boat steadied and set us up for the green flash… Yet again no green flash for me or at least not convincing – I think some people convince themselves. But still a great sunset.
Another day in paradise over awaiting the fun of the Antigua night and the rest of the cruise. At this point we were quite merry and happy to film our own evidence of such fun. We started back from our holding point towards St Johns again and the return. Well that could have been it the end of a vey enjoyable tour indeed but it was far from over. This is something Antigua does to you with alarming frequency – it gives you an out of the blue experience you didn’t expect and that you enjoy. It started as the cruise ships started to depart were we going to make it in front of them the race began….in the distance we could make out cruise ships that had already passed by like aeroplanes waiting to land in the distance these cruise ships held the sky’s orange to the sea, leaving the ones come right in front of us. We all took pictures of the magnificent beast and we could hear the cheering too of the passengers on the ship and see their flashes going off on their cameras as they took pictures of the cute catamaran below… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Ariog0RrKA You can book this exact same sunset cruise here it is called a lovers rock cruise but it is the same one. Click on the link below to be taken to the expedia website and direct to this sunset cruise.
Did you notice the very weird speedboat water craft at the end of the video? [editors note: This is the glass bottom boat in Antigua] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fGJg2ncgtVY
Booze Cruise Antigua ?
The crew cranked the music up a notch, as we were ALL in a much more animated state it’s still not a booze cruise trust me 🙂 I don’t know maybe that’s what they go by now the music was party style and some dancing begun down below – a conga ? You must simply try one of these cruises and if your in Antigua I recommend this one. Details after the article. If you want to check out a video for an Antigua Booze Cruise then this is a good one, it was slightly different to ours this one was the wadadli cats booze cruise. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C3U4cZg98fM
I had 72 hours to reconcile the fact that I was heading to Antigua, with my partner, on Sunday morning. Sure, we had discussed this being a possibility as he needed to return to the island and nurture relationships for his evolving website, which was launched 2.5 years before while he was living there.
We had a bottle of sparkling wine ‘Antigua champagne’ given to us you see I had had a big bitch about the resort! – I keep coming back so they do a lot right but still I was very annoyed they had not got the phone fixed in the room and I bitched when we needed the phone most. I had to leave Sanchia at her worst when she was ill to go get a doctor because they had let the phone sit..on top was the non existing wifi and leaving the room door open all day prior after cleaning! I was so happy to find we hadn’t lost anything or at least we didn’t find anything was missing. So we had the Champagne and I had the following vision to be realised… We didn’t do valentines day 2016 because I am THIS romantic normally !
In short the morning was going to be one on my favourite beach Darkwood Beach. We set off on the 30 -40 minute drive through St Johns. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8eFlNQuTS0 I decided to stop at Dennis beach bar and restaurant first to get a bathroom stop and show San FFryes beach. I also got interest from Dennis himself for doing some aerial filming another visit. Ffryes was quite rough and also quite busy.
The above shot was taken with the Sony HX60V again we can see here how well the zoom works. This is the best sub 200 USD camera for all round ease and purpose out there IMO. A rare good shot of the author – well done Sanchia !
A morning at Darkwood Beach
We finally arrived to find Darkwood quite busy but still very much spacious. All went well and Marlon negotiated loungers and umbrella this is from the ideal restaurant at the far end coming from JH direction. There was an asian family arrived shortly after from a cruise ship. This is way nicer than turners (which seems too contrived for cruise shippers) and I also prefer this beach to Ffryes and Valley Church beach. I wanted to get the champagne shot early but pressing is that horrid job first world problematic sunscreen application. It’s a bit easier for me these days since San is around. As a young man I have approached the nearest pretty girl but can spare this cheesy cumbersome tactic these days. I will allow you a moment to cringe. We both couldn’t resist the water and I don’t think to this stage I had yet been fully into the sea. My back was being cooperative and all in all the day was set up nicely. After a quick dip in the exciting surf – yes El Nino was providing much fun in the waves. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nCtNold1qOc I got the shot I came for it felt a bit embarrassing setting it up but in the end it was way worth it and even had someone else come by to take their own photo of the bottle and glasses ! Would love to find that -its probably lost buried in social media somewhere. My version is the photo at the top of the page. We also tried a couple of selfies..then it was onto plain enjoyment and what a great morning it was too. Families were certainly enjoying the sea and both of us wished we could have had ours there. 5 kids at full price airfares is pretty limiting 🙁
The Asian americans were having an especially good time. The kids loved the waves but I am sorry to report that one of them lost their sunglasses as the surf smashed her over…I write this as a warning to you if you get fortunate. We had some time to enjoy reading too and catching up with self. I eagerly confess that I spent most of the time in the sea it was such fun. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejAI9xb6bpM Such a good morning that it was I regret somewhat that we had to leave in order to be good for the sunset cruise that we had booked. All good things must come to an end…
Antigua Sunset Cruise
See the fun we had in the Sunset Cruise post (under construction) – here is a teaser image
What an epic day we had ! I guess just having 7 days makes you cram it all in. Be careful to make sure you don’t do too much of that !
Dinner outside to a steel drum band
We simply don’t have much of a market for air con in the UK. There are various signals that remind me I am in a happy place I dare say that exists for you too. Audio signals for example in the form of things that I don’t hear at home. Just open the door of your resort and listen to the cacophony of animal life – the specific sounds of the Caribbean immediately put me in a better place. Strangely similar the hum of air conditioning units also do the same thing. There is a historic importance as I always chose warm destinations backpacking many times earlier in my lucky life AND crucially these sounds DO NOT exist back home. We simply don’t have much of a market for air con in the UK. The other sound is that of a good Steel Band unit. I am not sure if I have heard a bad one yet ? It’s an immediate de – stressor and indicator that you are in a place of bliss and relaxation. It’s family friendly and easy to dance to. Strangely I didn’t dance that evening but many of course did it was sweet to see older couples enjoying life. That’s something many young people fail to be able to do. It was always easy to forget that we were going home in a couple of days and the contract we accept is to do just that. Thankfully as I said you forget quite quickly as there is life happening right now and you simply don’t want to miss it. In it’s arrogance and indifference to the rest of the world it may simply be laziness the twin island country of Antigua and Barbuda has kept hold of a charm that I have seen only glimpses of in other islands. Westernisation has changed Barbados to the degree that it feels very different to Antigua. I think I was saying I enjoyed the steel band. It was time though to scratch the fear of missing out (FMO) and head up the beach for some nightlife. It was Friday night after all.
Down the beach nightlife at the Coconut Grove
It’s always nice to walk by Sandals, I really don’t think that I would want to stay in the cheaper rooms there they are set well back and high up in the main block (I assume they are the cheaper ones). There are a controlled amount of beach vendors but the best thing about walking up Dickinson Bay at Sandals is that they always have something cool on show I don’t mean like a show inside the grounds, but flames and small designer tents or something for the romantics to hang out by the beach and be waited on; it must be great I will give them that one. On days where the beach ‘has wind’ there are these shielded loungers that allow you to be on the beach shot blast free. Though from my position on my towel on the sand I am imagining the best exfoliation I ever had in years is taking place for free. If its innovation and related to the beach or the first world beach problems in general I imagine there is some guy working for them somewhere designing a fix. If you want to take a look at Sandals Antigua in more depth take a look here. Such places exude the very best conversation I also find its simply inspiring walking down a beach with light clothing on. It’s no wonder the Antiguan’s live long and wrinkle free. I am told black don’t crack ! Well Ana’s has failed to hit home – there were people having a nice dinner in the ibiza-esque style decor and so we didn’t even stop for a beer. If there is an art form practised very well in Antigua then it is that of the barman and no better is the example than the resident barman Jermain at Coconut Grove. Jermain and I had a couple of topics of interest that of dancehall music and quads aka drones. Coconut Grove is frequented by some regulars too and the restaurant is recommended by many. We had a fun change of scenery and I introduced Sanchia to Guinness again just in case she forgot from the nights before at Putters bar. Of course we tried the rum punch never two the same on the island ! It was a fun time of course and in parting J gifted us a couple of beers. Of note there was this older guy who really needed to sleep or eat and was being chatted up by a woman whom I did not see as her back was to me but I just was thinking oh my you may end up being disappointed but then again what do I know ! As we were leaving a big bowl of pasta arrived.
It was already Thursday day 5 of our Antigua Holiday…our week was moving along. You really shouldn’t miss St Johns and a fishing tour had fallen into my hands through the luck of happenstance so the morning happened to be free. It was time to journey in and visit the easy capital. There are not many capitals in this world that offer free parking and a relaxed atmosphere yet keep their vibrancy. I have seen many in the caribbean and I can’t think of better sized ones. Not too small not too large. Let me be picky for a moment they could use some more buildings that are as beautiful as St John’s Cathedral.
A closer look at Shirley Heights and English Harbour
I was very happy to get to work with my jobby and new toy my 30x optical zoom camera from sony during the whole trip. Today promised an amazing opportunity to test the zoom magnification out from Shirley Heights lookout. Indeed I wonder what magnification they had back then telescopes history for spotting attacking ships? Here is what you can do with a tripod mounted 30x optical zoom…
The question is: should you rent a car? Take a taxi? Or a bus? Relying on “official” handbook information often provides little help or assistance for the average driver coming to Antigua for the first time. Here’s everything you need to know about driving in Antigua:
Road conditions and hazards
Generally speaking, driving in Antigua may present a bit of a challenge for the inexperienced driver who isn’t used to Caribbean road conditions. While many of the main roads and highways are relatively comfortable, the conditions on a few of the main roads and lesser roads may be a bit more difficult. Be on the lookout for potholes which may cause damage to the car and/or tire. Also be on the lookout for Antiguan livestock which sometimes roam the streets, such as donkeys and horses. Expect the odd cat or dog to run across the road in urban areas.
While there have been recent efforts to put up road signs and directions on some of the main intersections, there are still many roads which have no signage. Most car rental companies provide maps – so get familiar with them, and always keep one handy to get an idea of where you’re going. If you do get lost, don’t be afraid to stop and ask locals questions.
Should I Rent a Car in Antigua? Yes.
The short answer is a resounding YES- Have a look at Best Antigua as one of the best car rental companies – https://bestantigua.com/car-rental Or ask us to find you a quote from all the car rental providers with this quick form:
There are a few main factors that will make a difference as to whether or not you should rent a car:
How long you will be staying in Antigua – In general, the longer you rent a car, the cheaper your rental will be. Most car rentals start at roughly $50 US per day, not including 15% tax and a $20 US temporary driver’s license. There are usually discounts for 3-6 days rental, and then even lower prices for week-long rentals. Ask us who we recommend or fill out this quick form and let us send them all the details saving you from doing it.
Where you are staying – the availability of transportation to and from the main accommodation areas differs around the island. In general, the bus system is most efficient for those on the southwest and south of the island – areas such as Ffryes, Jolly Harbour, English Harbour and Falmouth have relatively good coverage and beaches and attractions in this area can be accessed via bus. On the other hand, attractions and beaches on the east and north of the island, such as Long Bay/Grand Pineapple, Nonsuch Bay, Harmony Hall, Blue Waters, etc have far less frequent bus service and often have little bus service going all the way out to those exact locations. If you stay at one of these hotels and plan to travel often, then it may make more sense (financially) to rent a car rather than a taxi, which may cost up to $45 US return. For more information on taxi fares, visit this TAXI RATES ANTIGUA page.
Things to remember when considering car rental in Antigua
There is a mandatory $20 US fee for a temporary license.
Don’t forget insurance! Usually $12 US per day for 3rd party coverage. Most won’t tell you but you still have a liability to cover on average $2500 on the car which is a bit of a scam considering the value of the car.
The local insurance often doesn’t cover tires – so if you have a flat you will either have to take it to be repaired later or pay for it when you get back to the car rental agency.
Driving is on the LEFT, similar to the UK but opposite to the US.
Best rates and deals can be found online with international car rental agencies. Most do not require a deposit in advance and money is only paid when you’re picking up your car. However, service is not as good as local companies who pride themselves in supporting your needs – breakdown and you need to be certain you are getting some help. A big international rental company is not as service-orientated.
A 15% sales tax in the form of ABST is added to car rentals. When renting a car, check to ensure that the ABST has been included in the price.
Most car rental agencies will deliver their car to you, while several hotels have rental agencies right at their desk.
Bus prices usually range from around $2.75 – $5 EC, which is about $1-$2 US, although prices may be slightly higher for evening buses and if you request a bus driver to go beyond the normal bus route
There are NO fixed time/schedule for buses, which leave usually only when full or ready to go.
If you’re coming to Antigua, then chances are good that you are staying at one of the resorts located on the scenic Dickenson Bay. Home to some of the best resorts on the island, Dickenson Bay boasts a beautiful, wide, mile long beach. More
and as it was quiet I decided it would be ok to get some aerial video from up above. Check out the image while it will take me longer to process and edit the aerial video. An example of the water quality – the dark patches are turtle grass not reef so the snorkelling is ok but its not reef. Still enjoyable.
Hot work this !
Donkey Heaven ?
Also made it to the donkey sanctuary and they have a nice brief explaination tour – you can buy the tshirt or make a donation please to support their good work. Visit the Donkeys Website Today I also got introduced to the backyard it’s only open on friday and saturdays and its first come first serve on their excellent menu – they chalk it off the board as it gets nailed. I met up with a friend John who teaches at the Medical University.
It may have been a different day but here anyway are a few photos of my old haunt in Jolly Harbour and the beach. The crows nest has really gone down hill and its a shame. A slam dunk as this bar should be easy to get and keep people drinking.
With a variety of accommodation types available Nonsuch bay offers an excellent ‘beach hotel experience’ in their secluded bay on the eastern side of Antigua. Antigua is small enough that it doesn’t really matter what side of the island you are on. More