Five of the best offshore islands to visit in Antigua and Barbuda
Tropical beaches and blue skies invite you and your family to spend your winter in the welcoming destination of Antigua and Barbuda.
Rich in culture, music, and excitement, these sister islands offer a relaxing vibe and the promise of an amazing vacation for both adults and children.
Antigua and Barbuda is home to some of the most exquisite beaches, delectable cuisine, inspiring scenery and unique wildlife, as well as smaller islets that are packed with fun activities. Spend your day in the sun, experiencing thrilling adventures on the outlying islands of Antigua and Barbuda.
Not sure where to begin? Read on for a few of our favourite offshore excursions in Antigua and Barbuda and jumpstart your winter itinerary.
Prickly Pear Island
Just a short boat ride away from Antigua’s northern coast lies Prickly Pear Island. This is an ideal place to get away from the (comparative) hustle of Antigua. It is quiet and reserved yet boasts its own open bar! The bar serves both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, making it ideal for groups of any age. The island also has an exquisite West Indian Seafood menu. You can find fresh seafood lunch options that include lobster or the local fish of the day.
There is something for everyone on Prickly Pear. Guests can enjoy the snorkelling activity along its ivory shores. You’ll have to rent your own equipment, but the instruction is free! Soak in the experience of engaging with the abundant marine life of the islands: you might even bump into some sea turtles while you’re there! Picnics are an essential part of every vacation. There are many picnic spots along the beach where you can enjoy the island’s cuisine and sample the famous rum punch.
If you get tired from all the swimming, there are sunbeds and chairs thoughtfully laid out all over the island. Take a quick nap in the cool breeze before continuing your adventure on Prickly Pear.
Laviscount Island is a small, uninhabited island located off the coast of Antigua, which is part of the twin-island nation of Antigua and Barbuda in the Caribbean. A private island getaway, Laviscount Island, offers island stand-alone tours and combination tours with the Stingrays. Our refuge is home to more than 50 of these prehistoric animals, which have barely changed since the time of the dinosaurs. The island is surrounded by clear, turquoise waters that are popular with snorkelers and divers which is a spectacle to witness.
Home to the largest Aldabra Giant Tortoise sanctuary in the Western Hemisphere, Laviscount Island is where nature goes to relax. These pleasant and intelligent creatures, native to the Indian Ocean, may reach weights of over 600 pounds and have life expectancies of up to 200 years.
This island provides the first and only private Island Nature tour. This amazing new tour is like nothing that we have ever seen in Antigua and Barbuda with themes of ecology, history, and adventure all while maintaining a desire to be off the beaten track.
Whether you are interested in hiking, snorkelling, or just taking in the natural beauty of this remote island, a nature tour to Laviscount Island is sure to be a memorable experience.
Great Bird Island
As you may have guessed, this small 20-acre island is a bird watching paradise. This island was named by sailors who were amazed at the amount of birds that reside on its shores. Great Bird Island is also home to a number of endangered species of birds such as exotic, red-billed tropic birds and the brown pelican.
Critically endangered, the Antiguan Racer snake can be found here. EAG (Environmental Awareness Group) is working diligently to increase the population of this endangered species. Climb the new staircase for a panoramic view of the surrounding islands in the North Sound area.
There are large numbers of young coral reefs which are a natural habitat for various sponges, oysters, clams, and many species of colourful fish. Great Bird Island is regarded as a mini-paradise by both locals and tourists. Together with the attractiveness of swimming in the gorgeous blue ocean water, the white sand beaches are a standout draw to the area.
This island located off the west coast of Antigua, is surrounded by coral reefs and crystal-clear waters, making it a popular destination both sailing and mega-yachts to anchorage.
In addition, Green Island is perfect for snorkelling and diving. Kitesurfing enthusiasts love this offshore island because the area is protected by an outer reef that guarantees flat water – this experience as well as standup paddle-boarding and wing foiling can be arranged through 40Knots.
The snorkelling excursions typically include snorkelling gear, a guided tour of the coral reefs around Green Island, and time to relax and swim at the island’s beaches. Hikes are focused on exploring the natural beauty of Green Island, including its mangrove forests, and hiking trails. For those who prefer a more personalised experience, a private boat tour can be arranged. Enjoy a delicious dinner on the boat as the sun sets over the Caribbean Sea.
Hell's Gate Island
Located close to Bird Island, Hell’s Gate Island is only accessible by boat. This rocky island is surrounded by crystal-clear waters and offers excellent opportunities for snorkelling. Like Devil’s Bridge on the east coast of Antigua, Hell’s Gate also has a natural limestone arch that was formed by the ocean waves crashing against the island’s rocky shores. Visitors are able to hike across this bridge.
Antigua and Barbuda’s islands offer visitors a unique blend of stunning natural beauty, rich history and culture, and a relaxed island lifestyle. The islands of Antigua and Barbuda offer a wide range of luxury resorts and accommodations, with world-class amenities and breath taking views. This sunny paradise offers smiles and memories that last a lifetime. Life is always better on a tropical island!