Antigua is one fabulous Caribbean Island! With nearly endless sunshine, shimmering beaches, lush rainforests, towering volcanoes, rich culture and history, and the options for outdoor adventure are almost infinite. And I did them all! My favorite? I got very down and dirty in my Antigua mud buggy trek through the island!
With almost 100 miles of pristine sandy white coastline lying mostly on the beautiful Caribbean Sea, it’s no wonder that Antigua boasts having 365 crystal-clear turquoise beaches – enough to visit one a different one of these palm-swaying paradises every day of the year, and an almost unlimited number of things to do in Antigua.
Yet there is more to this quintessential Caribbean island; lush tropical rainforests blanket the interior, rich colonial historic sites, charming candy-colored villages, a plethora of outdoor pursuits to suit solo travelers, families, and couples, and an overload of garlic-and-butter drenched lobsters and tasty rum. Add to that reggae music and steel drum bands, friendly locals, and vibrant culture, and you have the makings for a fantastic Caribbean holiday.
While not as well-known to Americans as Jamaica, the Virgin Islands, or the Bahamas, Antigua is every bit as beautiful, and arguably even more so.
Let the Wild Ride Begin!
On my third day on the island, after I’d had my fill (for now) of exotic tropical beaches, I could not have been more excited to start my mud-buggy adventure! I grabbed the driver’s seat before my companion, Ty could blink an eye and strapped myself in, ready to get views of the island from an angle no other excursion offered.
Off we went in our off-road 4×2 on what can only be described as a rollercoaster ride into areas often missed by visitors.
What a fantastic way to discover the island of Antigua off the beaten trails.
I had no idea the natural beauty of the interior of Antigua was this amazing. With the mountains on the horizon, I steered us towards the blue skies and rolling hills. We drove underneath a natural canopy made of thin trees and vines all meeting at the rounded top. It was so magical!
Into the Mud…
When we got to the first deep mud puddle, I couldn’t help myself…I gunned it and mud flew into our jeep, onto my face.
I was laughing so hard, I’m pretty sure I got mud on my teeth! Here’s to mud in your eye…literally!
Check out this short video of the GINORMOUS mud splash and my reaction! Hilarious!
We continued, through farmlands and fields, over knolls and swamplands, and past Antigua’s oldest living tree.
When we came to gorgeous Orange Valley, I had to put on the brakes, stop and get out because the scenery was so incredible, I thought I might drive us off the road. Vivid orange blossoms of Flamboyant trees were everywhere. Locals call them “shak-shak” trees because they are used to make shak-shaks – an instrument similar to maracas.
Don’t worry, I jumped back into the driver’s seat before Ty could even consider taking over. I can be evil like that.
More mud puddles. More speed. More filthy water on my body and in my face. I’m pretty sure I ruined my favorite sunglasses. I’d gotten them in Gdansk, Poland, so it’s not like they could be replaced. Still, it was worth it.
Oops, I got a little too close on the passenger side and almost wiped Ty out in the long, sharp acacia bush thorns. Sorry, Ty!
Soon, we emerged from the green valley and onto a back street through the lovely historic village of Bolans, with its charming pastel homes and colorful landscaped gardens.
Our Antigua mud buggy adventure culminated at one of Antigua’s most secluded and untouched beaches. Placid Hermitage Beach was the perfect refuge to rest, take a dip, and of course, photos.
The mud buggy experience was so much fun…and I didn’t even have to pay extra for the mud facial!
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Disclosure: The author was honored to be the guest of Visit Antigua during her stay, but as always, the opinions, reviews, and experiences are her own.
About the Author
Patti Morrow is a freelance travel writer and founder of the award-winning international blog Luggage and Lipstick and southern travel blog Gone to Carolinas. TripAdvisor called her one of “20 Baby Boomer Travel Bloggers Having More Fun Than Millennials” and she was named one of the “Top 35 Travel Blogs” in the world.
Patti is the author of the book “Girls Go Solo: Tips for Women Traveling Alone,” and has over 150 bylines in 40 print and online publications, including The Huffington Post, International Living Magazine, Washington Post Sunday Travel, Travel Girl, Travel Play Live Magazine, and Ladies Home Journal. She has traveled extensively through six continents looking for fabulous destinations, exotic beaches, and adventure activities for her Baby Boomer tribe.