Then you definately’re in the suitable place!
The Caribbean island of Antigua is a superb place to go should you’re seeking to unwind with a tropical fruit-laced cocktail, swim in calm blue Caribbean sea and overlook life’s issues.
And whereas I did plenty of that whereas there — additionally take a look at the total travelogue about my travels to Antigua — I additionally craved some energetic journey.
I’ll admit Antigua made “doing nothing” simpler for me than common, however in between the spa therapies, backyard strolls and seaside chillin’ I wanted to get my legs transferring, ideally uphill.
Which is how I got here to do one of the scenic hikes I’ve ever skilled, the 5.4-mile “Pillars of Hercules” loop.
For my part, it’s the most effective day hikes on this planet because of its attractive surroundings.
The difficult trek was full of attractive aerial views, a mixture of Atlantic and Caribbean Sea paths and even historical past; whereas traversing dry jungle and tall cacti laced grasses we additionally handed British gravestones relationship again to the 18th century, historic cistern ruins and a guard home that’s now a vacationer attraction (with bar) relationship again to 1791.
However let’s not get forward of ourselves.
Learn on for full particulars — with images — on the expertise so you are able to do it, too. On this Antigua journey information, I’ll additionally provide full data on guides, pricing, what to pack and extra.
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Desk of Contents
- Getting To The Antigua Hike Trailhead
- Advisable Antigua Climbing Information
- My Climbing In Antigua Expertise
- What To Carry When Climbing In Antigua
- Information or No Information?
- Antigua Path Highlights
- Health Degree:
- Hike Distance:
- Selecting A Climbing Path:
- Different Antigua Journey Excursions:
- Finest Locations To Keep In Antigua
- Antigua Journey Insurance coverage
- Issues To Do In Antigua [Trip Video]
- Love Offbeat Journey?
Getting To The Antigua Hike Trailhead
You’ll head to Galleon Seaside.
You’ll see an indication that claims “Galleon Seaside Membership Personal Property”; go this signal and proceed on the principle highway.
A bit farther there are an array of trailheads with small parking areas to select from.
The “Jones Path” (white path markers) trailhead the place you start your journey to the Pillars of Hercules is marked with an indication. You may park proper in entrance of it.
The start of the hike
Advisable Antigua Climbing Information
My superior information was an area named Rodney Baltimore, who owns the corporate Adventurous Hikes.
You may e-mail him at [email protected] if you wish to do that hike or one other.
My Climbing In Antigua Expertise
The trek begins with Rodney and I being enveloped in aromatic tamarind timber earlier than starting our ascent up.
I’m undoubtedly comfortable to have sturdy sneakers on as we maneuver over boulders and tough terrain, typically needing to make use of each palms to securely transfer ahead.
There are some large boulders to navigate
It’s additionally shady to start with half of the hike as we’re enveloped in dry jungle, which helps with warmth and sunburn.
Antigua is likely one of the driest Caribbean islands, so that you received’t have to fret a lot about humidity.
In about 20-Half-hour we come to a fork within the path.
You may actually take any of the paths you go as they’ll all lead as much as your halfway vacation spot of Shirley Heights; nonetheless, Rodney takes us towards Whitestone (to the suitable).
On the subsequent level the place there are indicators pointing in numerous instructions we go for “Graves & Cistern.” Not surprisingly, we proceed up and rapidly come to an unlimited headstone relationship again to the 1700s — proper within the woods.
Lots of the headstones we see are so weathered it’s unimaginable to make out their inscriptions.
It’s a tragic and unusual view into the previous.
Strolling by means of the woods After which we emerge into the solar Cistern ruins alongside the path
Lastly, we attain our first main viewpoint:
Shirley Heights, a restored navy lookout and gun battery providing vistas of the English and Falmouth Harbours from 490 ft!
It’s beautiful, and I be taught from Rodney that locals drive up right here on Sundays for a weekly barbecue social gathering.
From 4pm you possibly can expertise metal drum bands, scrumptious smoked meats and different reside leisure (with a view!).
Views from Shirley Heights
From there we exit the white marked “Jones Path” and swap to “Carpenter’s Path” for wonderful views of the Atlantic and otherworldly rocky outcroppings.
Your complete time we’re strolling alongside cliffside earlier than descending towards the ocean, zigzagging by means of yellow cacti-dotted grass.
This hike is a superb place to do some contemplation and soul looking out Climbing alongside the Atlantic Simply breathtaking Getting greater Beautiful flora alongside the path Shot of me strolling alongside the coast
Lastly, after bellying over some boulders and wading by means of ankle-deep water, we attain the secluded spot the place most individuals won’t ever discover the Pillars of Hercules.
These limestone rock pillars are naturally carved into the cliffside with Atlantic waves crashing into them for an brisk scene.
As you possibly can see under, one pillar just lately broke off, although fortunately no person was damage.
Due to this, although, you’re not presupposed to stroll previous them.
When you convey your snorkel gear, you’ll be additionally capable of see attractive coral reefs and tropical fish like stingrays, trumpet fish, and blue tangs.
It takes a bit of labor to get to the Pillars of Hercules Pillars of Hercules with the sunshine bouncing off the highest Pillars of Hercules
From the pillars we flip again, which means extra ocean wading and boulder bellying.
I actually can’t say I thoughts although, as from Shirley Heights on there’s barely a second the place my jaw isn’t hanging open in delighted shock on the magnificence surrounding me.
Lastly, we attain what should be one in every of Antigua’s most lovely seashores, a small plot of shell-lined coast assembly the tranquil clear English Harbour.
We stroll alongside the seaside in silence, taking in a Bob Ross-esque vista bordered by a brilliant blue sky and daring white clouds.
Some individuals come to Antigua and by no means go away their inns; and whereas serene properties make that straightforward, I extremely suggest you complement your stick with some native adventures that take you throughout this attractive island.
There’s additionally one thing about working arduous on your reward that makes it a lot sweeter.
This hike helped me really really feel like I deserved my afternoon Mojito, too!
What To Carry When Climbing In Antigua
- To get to the Pillars of Hercules you’ll doubtless get your sneakers and socks soaked if it’s excessive tide (I did!). Both cope with it or convey water sneakers for this half. You received’t wish to stroll this barefoot as you would possibly get lower.
- The path will get sizzling and also you’ll have alternatives to swim! Carry a showering swimsuit, snorkel gear and an underwater digicam/GoPro.
- Fellow glasses-wearers: put on your contacts! Despite the fact that I hiked in Antigua’s “winter” (it’s nonetheless sizzling) my glasses have been slipping off my face from sweat and sunscreen the complete time.
- There are plenty of prickly crops on the path, so take into consideration sporting light-weight pants and lengthy sleeves.
- A backpack is important. Fortunately, there are some nice reasonably priced climbing backpacks for underneath $100!
- Know what to put on if you go climbing, like moisture-wicking clothes!
Information or No Information?
Personally I beloved this path specifically and would have been fully misplaced with out Rodney.
It’s marked, however there have been many occasions when the paths have been complicated or we have been in vast open areas and it appeared Rodney was selecting the journey as we went alongside.
Not solely that, however there are lots of steep elements and areas the place you’ll have to climb over big boulders or navigate tough terrain. For the most effective — and most secure — expertise I like to recommend a information.
Moreover, should you’re like me and love solo journey within the Caribbean, it’s a secure transfer to rent a information. I appreciated having one when touring solo in Antigua.
Taking within the view from Shirley Heights
Antigua Path Highlights
- The aerial water and shoreline views. Breathtaking!
- Strolling alongside the sandy shell-filled seashores hugging English Harbour and feeling whole Caribbean calm
- The Pillars of Hercules are very spectacular!
- Spending the day with an area. Rodney was nice!
It took me two hours whole as a loop. Anybody with respectable health can full the path, however simply be prepared for some technical sections, some steep ascents, and descents (which might be slippery), and climbing over rocks.
5.4 miles whole
Selecting A Climbing Path:
This isn’t your solely choice for trails; however out of the varied trails within the Galleon Seaside community of trails this offers essentially the most variety of landscapes and views, in line with Rodney.
Different Antigua Journey Excursions:
- Antigua Zipline Cover Journey from St John’s
- Antigua Reef Riders Self-Drive Boat and Snorkeling Tour
- Bike, Kayak, Hike Excursions Antigua
Finest Locations To Keep In Antigua
On the lookout for inns in Antigua & Barbuda?
Click on right here for a listing of native inns!
Desire self-contained stays?
Click on right here to take a look at distinctive native leases!
Antigua Journey Insurance coverage
Issues To Do In Antigua [Trip Video]
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