It’s Gemini season! This not only means that summer is vastly approaching, but it also means it’s time for my birthday celebration. I am an early Gemini. Last month I had the fabulous opportunity to finally escape the US and travel internationally for my 38th birthday. After doing some research and planning I decided to celebrate my Mamba year in the amazing Caribbean island of Antigua. I have gotten several questions from different people on where and why I chose Antigua as my first destination out of the country since COVID. I thought I would provide more information in my travel guide to clear up any questions that may still be floating around. Keep reading for all the details on Antigua.
COVID requirements: Antigua only requires a negative CPR COVID test within 7 days of arrival to the country. Antigua does NOT require any self-isolation or quarantine upon arrival. As far as COVID within Antigua, they take it very seriously as far as precautions. You MUST wear a mask at all times in public places. While visiting the town all stores required proper hand sanitization before entering their facilities. The main grocery store in St. John has a hand washing station outside the store. There is also still a curfew in place of 11pm in Antigua.
At the resort where I stayed required wearing masks at all times unless eating or relaxing on the beach. My resort was fortunate enough as well to provide a departure COVID test for entering back into the US. The rapid test was performed at the cost of $69 and was completed within 72 hours of my departure.
Where: I stayed at the unforgettable Hammock Cove Resort located in St. John’s area of Antigua. To get to the resort from the airport took a $48 taxi drive (one way) which lasted about 40 minutes. The resort is conveniently located directly across from Devil’s Bridge National Park. This amazing resort is one of the most recent constructed resorts on the island and completed construction in 2019.
What I love most about the resort is the amazing staff! Everyone was absolutely so kind and personable. Upon arrival at the resort, after checking in, you are assigned a personal concierge team. You are also given a personal phone for direct contact to your concierge team 24/7. I had the pleasure of having Sheldon and Mark as my concierges. They were super generous and amazing at providing anything needed within minutes.
The resort is set up with approximately 40 private individual villas. The resort is adults only which I thoroughly enjoyed. . Each villa comes with privacy, an infinity pool, and patio with a mini bar. The resort also has its own beach, a huge community infinity pool, gym and very nice spa. I definitely took advantage of the full gym with a wide array of weights, exercise and cardio equipment. The resort has two main restaurants but no nightly entertainment. I would say that this resort is definitely catered more for couples, but I enjoyed my solo vacation to the fullest! I will most hopefully be returning to Hammock Cove soon for a baecation.
Food: Hammock Cove Resort is an all inclusive resort. I loved the cuisine that was served from the main restaurants. I can honestly say that I was served a different type of fish every night I was there and they were all delicious.
Antigua is known for its local rum so I would recommend you sample as much as you can. Hammock Cove actually has a rum bar for said occasion.
There are some local restaurants that were recommended to me during my stay as well;
- Roti King (Roti/ Caribbean fast food)
- Fred’s Belgian Waffles and Ice Cream (Belgian waffles/ dessert)
- Sandra Beach Shop Bar and Grill (Seafood)
- Cutie’s Bar & Restaurant (Carribean food)
- The Larder (International)
I highly recommend doing a boat tour and a separate land tour to enjoy all the great spots on the island. Below I listed some places I highly recommend visiting during your visit to Antigua.
- Devil’s Bridge National Park- This place is located in the Willikies area of Antigua. This limestone arch is a gorgeous overlook of the Atlantic Ocean. It has the unfortunate history of being the place where enslaved Africans would commit suicide to prevent continuing life in the sugarcane fields.
- Great Bird Island- This spot is a great place to snorkel, take photos and swim but there is not much else around. Make sure to bring plenty of water and sunscreen. This island is only reachable via boat tour. Hammock Cove had its own boat tour I was able to purchase. (You can purchase other recommended boat tour here.)
- Fort James- British fort built in the 17th century to protect the entrance of St. John’s harbor. This is a must see historical site. There are also some nice beaches and places to picnic nearby. I’m blessed to actually have friends on the island of Antigua who served as my personal tour guide. (Here is a recommended tour guide you can purchase here.)
Please see my video for other activities available on the island of Antigua.
To summarize my week in Antigua, I had an absolutely amazing time relaxing, reflecting and living my best life! I am very glad that I did my research before deciding on this West Indian paradise. This place was everything I needed: colors, calmness and culture. I was able to recharge my batteries to the fullest and simultaneously live my life to the fullest. I can’t wait to return to Antigua because I definitely will be coming back.