Whether you are arriving in Antigua on a cruise ship, waiting for a flight connection to your next destination, or just want some ideas for a great day out during your holiday - there are infinite possibilities for spending an idyllic day in paradise. Why not spend a wonderful day kicking back, sipping a rum punch, with the Caribbean sun topping up your tan whilst on board a sailing boat or yacht?
There is a huge choice of boat tours on offer ranging from eco tours by kayak to sailing, speedboats and yacht charters. Wadadli Cats Antigua, (www.wadadlicats.com) and Adventure Antigua (www.adventureantigua.com) both offer a variety of day tours around the island on a catamaran with a Caribbean style lunch, snorkelling, calypso music and the famous all-inclusive bar.
For an eco-kayaking trip through mangroves and uninhabited islands with turtles and stingrays try Antigua Paddles Eco Kayak Tour. (www.antiguapaddles.com)
Antigua is a windsurfing haven and in addition to providing this, H20 Antigua (www.h2oantigua.com) offers kitesurfing, sailing, snorkelling, scuba diving and mountain biking. For a great day-out for all the family, try Stingray City which offers the exciting chance to swim with these wonderful creatures.
Antigua’s sister island Barbuda, just 30 miles away is a flat coral island with an area of only 68 square miles. Barbuda’s unique pink and unspoilt beaches are a must-see, as is the Frigate bird sanctuary for all nature lovers. Barbuda is a 90-minute ferry ride away from Antigua making the island a perfect place for a day trip.
Barbuda Express, (www.antiguaferries.com From EC$80 one-way EC$140 return) runs a catamaran service five days a week between the two islands. Alternatively there is a 20-min flight from a number of carriers including Carib Aviation (www.candoo.com/carib/.)
The ideal way to get a sense of Antigua’s geography is by taking a helicopter tour over the island. From the air, visitors will not fail to be impressed by the picturesque landscape, lush rainforest and Antigua’s breathtaking coastline below. Caribbean Helicopters, (www.caribbeanhelicopters.net), offers tours around the island and also to the active volcano on the island of Monserrat.
Whether you plan to spend a day shopping while on holiday in Antigua, or you are arriving on a cruise ship and have only one day to satisfy your urge to shop, you will find a variety of shops and boutiques in the capital St Johns. It should not take you too long to find your own Caribbean treasure to take home with you, be it a hand made Antiguan gift or some cool Caribbean clothing.
To make full use of the warm crystalline water off Antigua, a diving or snorkelling trip is easy to organise as there are numerous dive sites around Antigua that give you the opportunity to explore the underwater world. With Dive Antigua, (www.diveantigua.com), a day’s diving including instruction, a boat dive and all equipment costs from US$85 U.S. per person.
In addition, you could always go for the ‘catch of the day’ since the crystal clear waters are teeming with fish. Overdraft, (www.antiguafishing.com) is a fully equipped 40ft charter sports fishing boat and once onboard anglers can expect to catch marlin, tuna, sharks and barracuda.
But if that all sounds too active and you just want to lie back and soak up the rays, or sit in the shade watching the boats go by, Antigua has 365 beautiful beaches, one for every day of the year so it is easy to find your own piece of paradise.
Whatever you chose to do while you are in Antigua, one thing is for sure: you may only be there for one day but the memories will last a lifetime.