Antigua Caribbean and Atlantic Beaches – For Each Day of the Year!
We travelled down the west side of the Caribbean as far as Cartagena on the first half of our cruise. This would be our first port on the second half of our 26 day cruise and we had picked excursions for excitement this time. The Antigua Caribbean and Atlantic beaches would keep us busy for the day!
The ship entered the port of Antigua and people lined up for the various tours offered on this little island. With 365 beaches on the island, there were lots of options if all you wanted to do was relax on a beach!
After departing the ship we took a short bus ride to the facility for Antigua Paddles. Along the way we went up and down the hills and got a chance to see some of the beaches off in the distance.
Kayaking In Antigua
While they had a stock of kayaks at the main facility, we grabbed our life jackets and set off for a short boat ride to board our kayaks. I managed to not embarrass myself as I boarded the kayak from the floating dock and settled into the front spot of our 2 seat kayak. When everyone was boarded we headed off in a conga line of kayaks. It seemed that most people had some experience with a kayak, perhaps they read the campingfunzone.com kayaking article or are professionals. Only one team were having enough problems that they ultimately had to get towed.
We paddled our kayaks into Mercers Creek Bay along the mangrove trees. Our tour guide set back and watched for things to show us while the Oceania guide Yuliya paddled him around. He brought up a starfish, an interesting jelly fish and a sea cucumber to pass around for people to see.
Our fellow kayakers hurried in to see what the guide was bringing in, often making it feel like we were in bumper car kayaks.
David did a good job of taking pics of not just the kayakers but also caught some interesting water life with the underwater camera.
Antigua Caribbean and Atlantic Beaches
Slowing down at Great Bird Island for pictures, we saw the carve out in the rock which looked like Africa.
The boat captain put the boat up on the sand to give us a chance to walk around. You could climb up the steep hill to catch a panoramic view and stand between the Caribbean on one side and the Atlantic on the other or you could walk across the small island from the Caribbean sea where we had docked to the Atlantic on the other side of the island.
Under the Sea – Snorkelling Antigua Caribbean and Atlantic Beaches
We were able to snorkel just off shore. The water here was quite choppy due to the winds and the proximity to the Atlantic. But we all jumped into the water to see what we could find. There was a reef with a fair amount of smaller fish. The challenge was holding yourself still long enough to see through the sand the novices were kicking up. David managed to dive down a few times to get close up pics and even managed to get some video.
The tiny island had its own make-shift hawker stand with tacky souvenirs. We all ignored the trinkets. Finally, the group piled all their wares into their ramshackle boat and off they went. We could not buy something we didn’t need at every tour stop. What would we do with all of the stuff?
Re-boarding the boat we had another fast boat ride back to the main facility. We were greeted with cold cloths. This was a very welcome treat to get some of the salt crust off my face. We enjoyed a snack of rum punch and banana bread. Our hosts Jennie and Conrad, made sure we were refreshed before we took the little bus back to our ship.
It had been a great active day in Antigua. In a country with 365 beaches, we hadn’t even scratched the surface – except with kayak paddles! Maybe we would get a chance to try the beaches at our next stop in St. Lucia?
What should we plan for our next visit to Antigua Caribbean and Atlantic beaches?