Travel Date: June 26 – July 3, 2022

Antigua is known as the island with 365 beaches. It has mountains and rainforests, giving the island more character which provides outdoor activities such as hiking and ziplining. However, even though there is a rainforest, you won’t find exotic birds or land animals in the forest. 

We went in late June 2022 for a week, and it was considered the beginning of their hurricane season. The temperature was in the high 20s to low 30s (Celcisus). 

Driving along their narrow roads to get to the resort, it didn’t have the beautiful fauna and flora like Bermuda. It was mango season and there would be a lot of mango trees with ripened fruit on the ground. Air plants only need the atmosphere to bloom, so they were found everywhere, including on the electrical lines. Many homes and cars are also abandoned all over the country. 

Overall, the country is not as beautiful and luxurious as other islands such as St. Lucia, but Antigua provides a safe country full of friendly people, great hiking trails, and an abundance of water activities. 


During our trip, we had the opportunity to do a three excursions, with a mixture of both land and sea. 

Shirley Heights

Shirley Heights is a very popular place to be on a Sunday night when the restaurant is open. It’s got great views of Antigua, especially during the sunset. According to locals, it’s a lot of fun with lively music and dancing. 

We didn’t go on a Sunday evening but did a morning hike up to Shirley Heights. Our tour guide, Rodney, suggested we start as early as possible because with the driving and hike, it can take 4 hours, making this hike a very hot excursion. 

We started our hike early at 7:30AM. The excursion was fun and we hiked up a forest and down the coastline. The climb up through the forest was shaded and relatively easy. Once you arrive at the top of Shirley Heights, you’ll see magnificent views of Antigua. 

In my opinion, hiking down Shirley Heights was the best part. It’s sunny and can be difficult for toddlers and seniors but the view is totally worth it. As you hike down the coastline, at times it can become quite steep. Along the side of the trail, you’ll find funny looking cactus plants that have fruit on them. The fruit is small as a kernel of corn and tastes a bit like a tangy dragon fruit.

Private Catamaran Charter

Our family of 11 charted a private 50’ catamaran through Creole and sailed on the Caribbean side of the island. The 3 staff on board were all very knowledgeable about Antigua and kept the boat spotlessly clean. It was amazing to see that even the bean bag chairs were in tip top shape and not faded due to sun exposure. 

We were supposed to snorkel in the Cades Reef and a shipwreck, but the weather was not cooperating, making it too dangerous to snorkel that day. However, just cruising along the coast of Antigua and having the boat all to ourselves was very enjoyable. The kids connected their own music to the boat’s speaker, danced and ran around the boat. We saw Giorgio Armani’s house (which he stays at twice a year) and also anchored just outside the Royalton resort. According to the crew, on the days that Royalton has their foam party, there’s so much foam that it trickles into to the ocean! Pretty crazy. 

The catamaran we were on has approximately 45 guests on average and a maximum of 55. This cruise generally serves lobster for lunch but it was lobster mating season when we went, so it’s illegal to fish for lobster. The onboard meal with grilled fish and chicken, along with salad and sides were tasty. 

Hiking Mount Obama

Our departure flight was at 2PM so we were able to squeeze in one last hike to Mount Obama. They renamed this mountain after Barack Obama became the first black president of the United States. However, he still has not visited the island. This is the highest point in Antigua and it was a tough hike! The path is paved and shaded, however, the incline is extremely steep. 

Because it was surrounded by trees on both sides, hiking up and down didn’t provide any nice views. Even at the peak, the view was not comparable to Shirley Heights. However, we can say we completed it! 

About Author

Bonnie Ta has been a Travel Advisor since 2015 and chose to move into the travel industry instead of returning to corporate life because travel has always been her passion. An avid traveller herself, having travelled to 5 continents and 30 countries, Bonnie devotes the same amount of care and attention to helping her clients as she would, if she were planning her own trip.

She is very detailed oriented (PMP certified professionally) and takes the time to understand her clients “travel wish list” and takes that into consideration along with their travel style, interests, age group of travellers and of course, budget to curate memorable travel plans. Bonnie has developed deep relationships with world-class travel partners and that helps ensure her clients have the best travel experience each time.

She has experience planning intimate getaways to big group excursions and have taken her clients all around the world seeing the northern lights in Iceland, tulip fields in Amsterdam, countryside of Tuscany, beaches of Maldives to the safaris in Africa, just to name a few. In her own words, “My husband and I want to see the world with our kids and it makes me happy when I can help other families do the same because the memories we have from travelling together will bring us a lifetime of happiness.”

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