Visit Antigua – by the Compass
A fun way to sightsee in Antigua is do it by the cardinal points – follow the GPS, a simple compass or our map on page 118, west, south, east and north and you’ll discover the treasures we have to offer. It’s hard to get lost, but if you do, a friendly local face will put you on the right road again.
Follow the road through the colourful local villages of Jennings and Bolans and you’ll be on the coast road at Jolly Harbour. The lagoons will give way to fabulous beach and sea views that will make you long for a dip in the emerald Caribbean Sea. Stop for a swim and have a snack at one of the many beach bars/cafes before rounding Johnson’s Point to start winding along the foothills of the Shekerley Mountains. See the highest peak, Mount Obama (head up there on the dirt track if you have a 4 x 4 vehicle), pass (and pop in to) the pineapple plantation and head on to the village of Old Road where you’re now entering the South.
The road turns back towards the hills and you enter Antigua’s rainforest as you travel along Fig Tree Drive with its offerings of lush tropical fruit groves. At the end of the road turn right towards English Harbour. You’ll travel through the island’s oldest village, Liberta, and on to Falmouth where you’re now in the famous yachting territory on the south side of Antigua: take time to explore the many historic sites including Nelson’s Dockyard, the National Park and Shirley Heights and enjoy a meal at one of the fabulous restaurants.
As you head on anticlockwise the landscape changes and becomes more open as you pass through the village of Bethesda. Once you reach the petrol station turn right and follow the road down to Half Moon Bay where you can stop for a swim in the blue Atlantic Ocean and relax on the pristine white beach. This is a great place for a drink or meal at either of the delightful locally run beach bars: Smiley Harry and Beach Bum. Afterwards, continue back past the petrol station and take the right to Long Bay and Devil’s Bridge, a natural rock arch created by the crashing waves. On your return inland is Betty’s Hope, Antigua’s first sugar plantation, founded in 1674 by Christopher Codrington. Its mill is now restored and there’s a small museum. Another short detour off the main road will take you to the fishing village of Parham.
The next main right turn off the highway takes you to the north, past the airport and onto the coast road with its own beautiful beaches, resorts and eating places. Cut through to Dickenson Bay, Runaway Bay and southwards to Fort James. You’re now a short way from St. John’s in the north-west part of Antigua.