Latest News from Antigua and Barbuda
ANTIGUA DAY TRIPS: THE ULTIMATE ISLAND ADVENTURE
ANTIGUA, West Indies— Water babies, land lovers and adventure seekers will each find Antigua and Barbuda offer a variety of activities and excursions to meet their expectations for the perfect vacation. Seeking a respite from the hectic pace back home? The sister islands’ uncrowded beaches, uncongested roadways and rolling hillsides set the stage, while visits to museums and historic sites, or indulging in spa services adds a touch of relaxing and restorative interest. For those who are invigorated by non-stop activity, day sails, hikes, off-road adventuring and eco-tours are just a few of the “must try” offerings to stimulate and refresh.
WATER EXCURSIONS: Antigua is almost completely surrounded by well-preserved coral reefs and walls, making their southern and western coasts ideal for deep sea diving and snorkeling. Whether you’re a novice or seasoned diver, there is much to discover under the warm waters of Antigua and Barbuda, home to a multitude of colorful marine life, including reef fish, sea turtles and sharks.
Chartering a private yacht, either with crew, or bare-boat, is a first-class way to sail the Leeward Islands for a week; while a full or half-day pleasure cruise provides a chance to discover deserted beaches, go shell collecting, snorkeling or relaxing on deck with a gourmet lunch and a glass of wine. Many charter operators will also arrange champagne sunset cruises, weddings, romantic getaways or provide sailing lessons.
For those seeking something a bit more strenuous and fasted-paced, the excitement of a deep sea fishing charter offers opportunities to reel in such trophy fish as marlin, tuna, king fish, dolphin, wahoo, shark and barracuda. Others may prefer to enjoy the water with a windsurf.
Also, not to be missed is enchanting Stingray City -- a calm, crystal-clear reef where visitors swim alongside the rays.
LAND LOVER: Traversing 108 square miles of Antigua is remarkably easy when enjoying the sporting life.
Two golf courses, Cedar Valley Golf Club and Jolly Harbour Golf Club, offer 18 holes with glorious views. The K-Club on Barbuda also has its own nine-hole course.
The best hiking on Antigua is a well-tended footpath traveling up the hill from English Harbour to Shirley Heights, beginning at the Galleon Beach Hotel. With a summit of nearly 492 feet, this easy hike rewards visitors with a breathtaking panoramic outlook.
Those looking to get off the beaten path can rent a four-wheel drive vehicle and explore the many untouched areas of Antigua. Explore the back roads and search for the celebrity home of Eric Clapton and bump along Fig Tree Drive through the lush tropical rainforest and along hills dotted with old sugar mills. Horseback riding or mountain biking along the beaches or a shady nature trail are yet two other transportation modes visitors can choose for touring remote and secluded spots on the island. A packed lunch, refreshing beverages, swimsuit and towel are all one needs to take along to enjoy the many secluded beaches and picnic spots.
DAY EXCURSIONS: A catamaran day trip is one of the most comfortable and inclusive ways to get off island and swim, shell and snorkel. Cruise along the glistening water while enjoying an open bar all day, excellent Caribbean buffet lunch and lively music. There are several knowledgeable, reliable and reasonably priced excursion operators from which to choose.
The adventure seeker’s excursion of choice is definitely the eco-tour aboard a high-powered inflatable boat. On this unique trip, visitors observe Frigate birds, brown pelicans, egrets, herons, Hawksbill sea turtles, stingrays, sunfish and more while skimming over the turquoise waters at varying speeds.
Another exciting eco-tour is the new Antigua Rainforest Canopy Tour, which takes visitors through the treetops via a series of zip lines and suspension bridges. The tour culminates with an optional 60-foot controlled parachute descent.
Guests can also choose to catch a bird’s eye view of the island from a helicopter. The topography of Antigua is certainly impressive from this vantage point.
With many excursions to choose from, day trips are meant to show off the unspoiled beauty that Antigua boasts. Customize a tour or join a pre-planned trip. For more information, see or ask for a copy of the Day Trip Operator list.
The Antigua and Barbuda Ministry of Tourism would like to remind travelers of new passport requirements: Beginning January 8, 2007, the U.S. Department of State will require all U.S. citizens traveling via air or sea to present a valid passport for travel and re-entry into the United States. For information on obtaining a U.S. passport, visit the U S Passport Services Web site: http://travel.state.gov/passport/passport_1738.html or contact the U.S National Passport Information Center, (877) 487-2778.
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