Antigua – the island with enough beaches to visit a different one every day of the year. With its warm climate it’s no wonder people escape to the Caribbean when it’s our coldest months.
Whilst we were staying at Cocobay Resort we decided we should get off our sun beds for the day and see a little more is the island. Doing a coach trip with everyone else is my idea of hell so when I stumbled across Tropical Adventures who offered private tours (for not much more) we booked them up.
Our driver Barry collected us from our hotel at 8.30am and gave a brief outline of the day ahead. As it was just the 4 of us, we had the ability to adapt it if we didn’t like somewhere or wanted to stay longer. With a carboot full of soft drinks and rum punch we were in our way!
Betty’s Hope was a sugar plantation that was established in 1650 and flourished over the year’s. It was the first large scale plantation in Antigua and was spread over 700 acres. Unfortunately we visited on a Sunday and the small museum was closed where there is more information on the slavery side.
The beautiful windmill that was used to deal with the sugar canes and to make rum has been restored.
Quite a sad story behind this site. This is where the slaves would try to escape to so that they could jump in the waters and swim back home. The bridge is on the Atlantic side of the island so the water is really choppy. If you didn’t drown, you probably ended up being smashed against the rocky shoreline.
Shirley Heights Lookout
Just across from Dows Hill is the lookout point which is on the most southerly tip of Antigua. The Lookout, part of the Shirley Heights military complex, offers breathtaking view over the whole of English Harbour.
We missed out on was the Sunday night party which has become a notorious evening event. There are food vendors, a bar and plenty of music to celebrate the day as the sun goes down. If we ever find ourselves in Antigua again, we’ll make sure we go back!
This was probably the highlight of the tour for me. The harbour is lined with huge beautiful yachts and has the colonial buildings that I associate with the Caribbean. The dockyard is home to lots of yachting events throughout the year and it’s the arrival point of those doing the Atlantic Rowing race. We were lucky to be there on a Sunday as apparently it’s a bit of a hotspot for those getting off the cruise ships!
Our final stop for the day was Turners Beach. It was here that we had some late lunch at the aptly named Turners Beach Bar. We had a couple of hours here to just eat some good food and relax for a while on the beach. With its glistening clear blue waters and white sandy beaches it was the perfect way to end an amazing day trip.