My First Travel Experience to Antigua - Halsell | Royalty free photos & videos

My First Travel Experience to Antigua

Things You Might Want to Know about Antigua

By Simply Madeline on Dec 04, 2018

To put it simply, a trip to anywhere in the Caribbean is nothing short of amazing. Every time my feet step on that white sand, I’m instantly relaxed. My recent visit to Jumby bay in Antigua was just that. Upon arrival, they instantly treat you as royalty, snagging your luggage from you and helping you step on to a beautiful white catamaran. We sailed off to the smaller island of 300 acres, called long island. When we pulled up to the dock I knew I would be spending my days laying out in the hammocks I had spotted that were draped between the palm trees.

I think my favorite part to all this was the fact that there’s always food. I mean always. In the morning they set up a breakfast buffet, complete with pastries, coffee and delicious local fruits. As soon as breakfast ends, they roll out the lunch buffet with cheese plate like items, salad bar, and many other main course options. Of course you can always choose to order something from the menu, or hey, do both! (Vacation calories don’t count after all)

 

 

On night number one, dinner was a family style buffet arranged in the sand, with the tables nestled up right next to the water. They laid out beautiful white tablecloths, candles and a delicious selection of food. We all abandoned our shoes for the new island way of life and left them by the edge where the foyer stopped and the beach began.

Dinner was accompanied by the danceable island music of “Da Vibes” which delivered exactly the kinds of island music you would think and gave us all da good vibes. As you can tell most of my first day there was spent eating, but that was mostly due to the fact that I didn’t have a crazy early red eye flight that morning and I arrived in time for pretty much just dinner.

I stayed in one of their 11 beautiful private villas; mine was equipped with a private pool and was walk able distance from the shore. I later learned that all the villas had been recently remodeled, I’m not sure what they looked like before but I can tell you they now look like perfection. I’m a huge fan of the “bright white” look in décor, and the villa fit my taste. The beds were draped with bug white mosquito nets, I have to say I was a little concerned when I saw that these were necessary however I was thankful for it.

 

 

I still managed to suffer some bug bites, but that’s just inevitable sometimes! The villa itself was not the only impressive thing, but the service too.  Every night the housekeepers managed to sneak in unnoticed and perform the turn down service. I was impressed every time I came back to see they had turned down the bed, laid out a fresh robe and left a hand painted shell on my pillow. Yes, handed painted shells left everyday, and each one was different from the next. 

They were fun little souvenirs to take home, especially since the tiny art featured the local wild life on them such as sea turtles, blue pelicans and little bananaquits. What are bananaquits? (I’ll assume you’re curious) The island is filled with these adorable little finch like birds with a yellow tummy and a white stripe down the sides of their faces. The reason I’m so infatuated with these little guys is because they come with such personality. They are so used to the guests, they consider you to be apart of their meals.

I couldn’t have smoothie with out one of these bananaquits finding me and perching on the edge of my glass to steal a sip! Along with tiny birds the island is home to many different kinds of wildlife. In the morning I would ride a bike down from the villa to the common area, and along the sun soaked ride I would see sheep lazily grazing in the large open pastures that stretch for acres.

Getting from one place to the next on the island was surprisingly apart of the relaxation the resort promises. You can ride a bike (my morning favorite) or take a golf cart, either chauffeured or on your own. Some guests even chose just to walk. Where I was staying was a long enough distance that I never did feel like walking, but I can see that would have been a peaceful commute to breakfast too. Notice that I didn’t mention cars? That’s right, no cars on the whole island! No loud engines or smelly exhausts, no seat belts, no worries!

 

 

Jumby bay really nailed it on the peaceful side of things, with their full spa as well. Its located right next to the ocean so your massage can come with real ocean sounds, not the white noise sound machine most spas have to pass off as the ocean. If you’re an up early active kind of person the island has a great sun rise yoga class that you can chat with the concierge about. I never was able to convince myself to participate in that early of an activity but the idea of it sounded nice, maybe next time…

Along with yoga they have lots of other athletic activities if you’re wanting to stay fit, and work off those vacation calories before they catch up with you (I stand by my previous statement though, and argue that they in fact do not count) there is a great gym on site, tennis courts, and a fresh water lap pool. Be warned though, the lap pool is not heated. Depending on the time of year you choose to visit that may or may not affect your choice to jump in.  If you’re wanting to get active in the ocean they have you covered! There are paddle boards available, snorkeling gear, and you can even go out on a boat for some tubing action.

On my second to last day on the beautiful long island of the West Indies I went out for a day of boating. The resort arranged the whole thing and even packed lunches for those of us on board. We sailed out where the captain was able to point out unique rock formations and tell us all about the history of the crystal clear waters that surrounded us. One that I thought to be interesting was a rock formation that when you lined up just right with it, the hole in the middle created the exact shape of Africa!

 

 

Eventually we arrived at a still spot in a bay where we jumped out to snorkel. I think my favorite part about snorkeling in the Caribbean is that the water is warm! Praise the lord is the water warm! You can probably tell that I am not a fan of cold water, and honestly neither are all of the coolest fish. Tropical fish that thrive in the warm waters are always the most colorful and unique fish. (In my humble opinion) I had my heart set on seeing some sea turtles while out snorkeling that day, but sadly I didn’t spot any.

Our guide said they appear in the bay we were stopped, but they come and go depending on feeding times. Since it was not a feeding time, I missed out on those beautiful creatures. There were a lot of lobsters though! I was told later that the lobsters love the area for the type of seaweed that grows there. They didn’t seem to mind me much, as I swam circles around them watching them mill about in the shallow water. I was soon distracted by a couple of vibrant yellow fish that I chased off into the deeper part of the water.

These fish lead me over to a rocky area filled with pink and red corals, each of them more interesting than the next. There were dozens of starfish hanging out on the rocks and many other little fish scurried around them. I’d gotten so carried away staring at all these sea creatures I hadn’t realized how far I’d gone from the boat. When I pulled my head up I realized everyone was back on the boat waiting for me. I honestly could have stayed out there all day, floating in that salt water.

All my other days in Antigua were spent relaxing by the ocean, soaking up the warm sunshine, and you know, working on that vacation tan so I could brag after returning to the states. The resort provides chairs, hammocks and umbrellas along the beach so it’s pretty easy to just walk up and plop yourself anywhere close to the water. Personally I loved the full service from my beach chair, you could order drinks, snacks and full meals with out moving a sun soaked muscle.

 

 

Although leaving the island was hard emotionally, the resort made it an easy stress free experience. All I had to do was shove my sandy clothes back into my bag and try to zip it… which ok that wasn’t very easy… but they took care of the rest! Again they loaded my luggage and helped me step back on to the catamaran. And off we went, back to the airport. I waved goodbye to the green luscious island as the waves rippled behind the boat.

Until next time, Antigua!


Article by Simply Madeline

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