Watch Where You Put Your Feet
Our Nelson's dockyard tour took us first to two overlooks for the views. Our guide thought we might be caught in one of the local rainstorms so we hustled (and Charley the driver was driving REALLY fast - I'm sure over the speed limit) out to the first place which was an overlook at the Blockhouse Ruins. The Blockhouse was built in 1787 and stands 46ft above the sea atop a sheer cliff above the mighty Atlantic Ocean. We looked at the view more than at the ruins
Then we visited Shirley Heights, the most southerly point in Antigua. This was the principal fortification of the British fleet stationed at English Harbor and named after Sir Thomas Shirley. Here there is a commanding cliff top view over the Atlantic Ocean and English Harbor 487ft above sea level. From, we could see Monserrat - at least we could before it rained. We all took shelter in a pub there - our guide was correct that it was going to rain.Related to:
- National/State Park
- Hiking and Walking
If you are in town or by the cruise pier there are tons of Taxi guys wanting to take you on a tour or to the beach. There are literally groups of twenty of so miling around each corner; all of them asking the same question despite you saying no to the five previous. It's very exhausting but they have to make a living.
Our last visit to Antigua in 2013 was the first time we encountered any jelly fish. There were large swarms of them in the water which made it a necessity to avoid the beach on some days. We encountered many guest at the resort who had been stung by the jellyfish or met someone who had. We'd rather be cautious and stay out of the water to avoid a painful sting.
Hurricane Season is something to consider when booking a trip to the Caribbean. Hurricane Season begins in June and lasts until the end of November. If you plan on travelling during Hurricane Season you might want to consider travel insurance or experiencing some wet weather.
During our October 2012 trip to Antigua we landed right into Tropical Storm Raphael. The storm created two days of extreme weather; rain, floooding, thunder and lightning. Afterwards the storm moved on to Bermuda as a hurricane. We were fortunate during our 2013 visit to have no tropical storms just some seasonal rain showers.
I have to say that in St. John the vendors are the most aggressive I have encountered in the Caribbean. They swarm around you hawking their wares and a good majority of them do not take a "No Thank You" as an answer. My wife just ignores them and walks through......
On the beach they hover over your chair....looking to sell you a necklace, a hat, a tee shirt and even some drugs. My wife just pretends she doesn't speak english and they go away.
As always, protect your skin and wear sunblock. We always wear sunblock and hats to avoid getting burned. Bring sunblock with you and make sure to re-apply.
We always weart hats to protect our head, face, ears and neck from the sun.
Mosquitos and Other Biting Insects
Mosquitos, sand fleas and other biting insects can be a problem here. we saw many a person with horrible welt like bites on their bodies. My wife came prepared with some bug spray she bought from Avon which worked like a charm. We were bug bite free the entire trip.
St John's - Parking hell
The capital of Antigua, St John's is awful for parking - the centre is actually great to visit but I advise either taking the bus (not sure what number) or getting a taxi (its worth it - be advised though - don't go on the days when the cruise ships are in). If you do go into town in a car the people are so friendly and will always give you directions.Related to:
- Road Trip
Crime and Corruption
Well I live on Antigua and can confirm the level of violence and corruption has escalated beyond belief in the last 2 years.
Most forums remove any negative comment regarding the island, one site in particular that ensure no negative comment is tolerated is the "antiguaforums.
There is a blog that collates news paper reports and other facts regarding the island that will probably give you a better perspective of what Antigua is really like.
- Luxury Travel
- Spa and Resort
Camouflage pattern clothes
While in many european countries, camouflage pattern has become something usual to be seen on normal people, it is not so in some countries of the East Caribbean. Some nations even don't permit such clothes to be worn by any civilian, including children. While Antigua is not among them, you may be regarded as something unusual by wearing something with military pattern. The best is just to put on something else, especially if you plan a daytrip to another Caribbean nation (for example Barbados), where it is strictly prohibited.
Grand Princess Casino
DO NOT....DO NOT I can't stress enough
DO NOT play the Rainbow Game!!!!! Unless you want to loose a lot of money!
Besides NOT Playing the Rainbow game, this is the strangest Casino I've even been in...Its pretty much empty and a lot of the slot machines do not work in one way or another and the staff really didn't care.
The bar wasn't bad- Good band the one night and we got to watch the Pens Sweep the first round for the Stanley Cup!Related to:
- Casino and Gambling
Drugs and other annoyances
Long-haired males are not only likely to get special treatment at the shoe-control lane in Stansted, but are also seen as potential costumers to buy drugs. That's probably the reason, why I was asked so many times, if I want to buy some Ganja or whatever you may call it. I don't know about the legal status of cannabis products in Antigua, but I am surely not interested in them. Fortunately, a friendly "no, thanks" works quite well.
In addition to that, avoid to be close to a cruise ship when its passengers are disembarking. Locals will aproach you trying to get you into a taxi for a day tour. Some others are trying to give you a special offer on braiding your hair (Back home, I wouldn't have the slightes idea how to explain that to my boss...). And of course, also the drug dealers are looking for potential costumers. So, if you do not want to feel like a wounded gazelle in the Serengeti, look for your taxi or go shopping at any other time.Related to:
- Budget Travel
This Hurts Like Hell!
And is ridiculously expensive in my opinion ($2/braid...look at them, they're tiny -- I thought they would be long braids). I told her I didn't want more than 20, and she proceeded to do 33 without telling me until they were done. Also, she seemed to get increasingly frustrated as she braided my hair, growling about how thick my hair was (though I'd warned her) and talking in broken English to her friend, right in front of me, about me, as if I couldn't understand!
All I can say is -- and I am no wimp by any means -- I had to take these things out after 3 days due to constant headaches, inability to sleep, nausea, and just general pain. I'd gotten my entire head braided a few years ago in Jamaica (for $25 U.S.) and it didn't feel like this. This is disgusting, but almost two weeks later I have scabs on my head!
So it may have looked kind of cool, but not worth the money or listening to the complaining angry beach lady, and especially not worth the pain!Related to:
Take care when photographing
I was filming a delightfully mis-spelt sign at a petrol station while my husband was filling the car. A group of youths approached from the road and demanded money for photographing them - which I most certainly was not. Seemingly under the influence of substances they were very threatening and we had to pay and leave in a hurry. The only downside of otherwise friendly and hospitable people.
Attention with Rental Cars
When taking a rental car check the tires and look if there are any tools in the car. Our car had a flat tire after crossing the second bumper and there was no tool in the car which could enable us the help ourselves.
Also the complete absence of traffic signs on the whole island makes it difficult to find your way.Related to:
- Road Trip
- Budget Travel
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We always celebrate my Birthday with a trip of my choosing and October 2012 was Antigua. We chose to...more
Five Islands P.O. Box. 305, Antigua Island, ag
Good for: Business
Indian Town Rd, Saint Philip, Caribbean
Good for: Couples
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