The easiest way to divide a day of sightseeing in Antigua would be to use the cardinal points. If you get lost (try…we dare you!) feel free to stop and ask. Who knows what you’ll encounter or who you’ll meet along the way.
It is most practical to start in the west and work your way around. As you travel through the villages of Jennings and Bolans appreciate the simplicity of seeing grassy knolls and grazing livestock. Keep an eye out for Mount Obama (formerly Boggy Peak) Antigua’s highest point. It is part of a group of hills, the Sherkley Mountain range, so identify it by the large big antenna on top. As soon as you pass the Jolly Harbor Marina get your trigger finger ready to snap. The coastal drive offers majestic views (on a clear day) of Montserrat’s volcano puffing away. For the next 10-15 minutes it’s all you and the captivating views of Caribbean Sea. By the time you enter the village of Old Road, Antigua’s true countryside, complete with donkey crossings, and roadside fruit stalls you would have begun to enter the south.
Coming up next, Antigua’s only rainforest! The temperature cools, vegetation lush and green, drive winding and ascending; this is the famous Fig Tree Drive. During mango season this area abounds with fruit vendors and the intoxicating smell of fresh mango. Begin making your way to the English Harbor area via Liberta, the island’s first and largest village. After reaching the edge of the village, retrieve your camera again. English Harbor is home to beautiful vistas, the world’s only operating Georgian Dockyard and a National Park. Take a break, you can spare a few minutes here.
Notice the gradual changes in landscape, more open space, as you enter the east through the quiet village of Bethesda. Bethesda is rich with history, a tamarind tree at the end of the village is where the Antigua Trades and Labor Union was formed in the post colonial days. This trip will take you out to the village of Freetown a peaceful, charming village, home of Half Moon Bay. This beach is a well sought after excursion by many visitors, and for good reason: its brilliant white and and gentle waves make it a paradise for body surfers on one end and an oasis for the serene on the other. The road ends here so you will have to backtrack to see the rest of the east. Special highlights of this side include Betty’s Hope, an old plantation with a fully restored sugar mill, and the Devil’s Bridge, a natural bridge formation with blowholes. Legend says that if you throw an egg over it is returned boiled. Don’t know where you’d get an egg, but go ahead, test the theory, and have an interesting tale to tell. Double backing once again, you’ll pass through the fishing village of Parham, which was Antigua’s first capital.
The city of St John’s is an attraction on its own ranging from the quintessential Caribbean marketplace to high-end duty free shopping areas. Spanning further to the northern coast another gorgeous drive, the blue sea on one side with upscale living on the other.
Congratulations you are back at the airport, this was Antigua in a nutshell.