The hawksbill turtle is the official marine animal representative of the island of Antigua, and with good reason. The island is a small slice of paradise, gripping with unique culture and surrounded by crystal clear waters, and the best thing to do when you’re in the area is follow the current as the hawksbill does. The small, 281 square kilometer island has an impressive 87 kilometers of coast just waiting to be explored. It’s highest point, Mount Obama, offers a view of the surrounding landscape from a height of 402 meters. From here, you can strike out in any direction and find a great number of spots to hop into the water. You know where this is headed, so let’s just take a look at a few for inspiration.
Mary Kay Reef
Quite possibly the most famous and lush of the dive sites surrounding Antigua, Mary Kay Reef is home to hundreds of species of marine life. Here you can see rays, sharks, hawksbills, trigger fish, trumpet fish, and more as you explore a vast ecosystem below the sea.
Ridge and Junior’s Reef
These spots are convenient to lump together because they’re right next to each other, in fact, close enough that you can see them both in one dive. Hopping in at ridge and going with the flow over to the reef makes for a great afternoon.
If you’re looking for a chill pace and a spot where there are hardly any other divers, head to the south of the island and check out Nanton Point. Here you’ll find what one could describe as the scuba equivalent of being alone in a calm, pleasant field.
Pillars of Hercules
The “Pillars of Hercules” are actually pillar-like natural rock formations above the surface, but due to their proximity to the shore dive next to them, it has also received the same way. This is one you’re certain to not forget the name of, and all of the locals know it, so you’ll have no problem finding your way to the pillars.
But That’s Not All
Antigua is a small gem of a getaway, technically British, closer to America, and uniquely Antiguan, you’ll find both the comforts of home and new adventures all packed into this small island. While you’re not diving, you can try a culinary tour and sample fresh vegetable and seafood combinations found nowhere else on Earth. There’s also a vibrant music and party culture to be found on the island at night, and when you wake up and need to drift, sailing tours are available.
Oh, and when you can, catch a cricket match. It’ll be totally worth your time.
– Todd Allen Williams, Senior Editor