Unleash Your Adventurous Side
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A New Perspective on the Caribbean with Antigua’s Boat Tours
Are you ready to embark on a thrilling adventure amidst the turquoise waters and breathtaking landscapes of Antigua? Look no further! In this guide, we’ll unveil the top three boat tours in Antigua that are perfect for the adventurous spirit within you.
Whether you seek a hidden coves, captivating marine life, or just alternative these unique islands, these tours will leave you with unforgettable memories. If you’re wanting to experience all of the wonderful wildlife Antigua has to offer this is the best way to do it.
Each one of these Antigua boat tours offers something slightly different, but each takes your back to nature and is sure to bring out the explorer in everyone!
Arriving on a Cruise?
Antigua is well geared up for cruise visitors.
If you’re arriving on a cruise, both of these Antigua boat tours are designed to accommodate visitors arriving on ships and will finish on time to get you safely back on board.
Explore Nature with These Antigua Boat Tours
Eli’s Original Eco Tour- Adventure Antigua
Eli’s Original Eco Tour offers an island-hopping experience off the north coast of Antigua, featuring some walking, swimming, snorkelling and, importantly, a delicious lunch!
Most of the sights you’ll be heading out to see in Antigua sit along the south coast, so this tour will bring you a view of Antigua you likely won’t be getting elsewhere. They’ll come and collect you from your hotel/ cruise ship so there’s no need to worry if you’re down in the south!
What to Bring With You
You’ll be provided with all the food and drinks you need so you won’t need to bring much. Bear in mind, however, that you’ll be spending much of the day in the sun. Bring a light cover up, a well fitting hat and your trusty reef safe suncream (we recommend this one). You’ll also need to wade through water and climb over rocks, so we would also recommend packing reef shoes, like these.
All your snorkelling equipment is provided, but if you want to bring you’re own and you’re not sure what you should be packing, click here for our complete guide to snorkeling equipment for beginners.
Adventure Antigua will take you our to explore Hell’s Gate, past mangroves and luxury islands, offering commentary along the way. We were lucky enough to see Frigate birds mid-chase with some terns! Your walk over Hell’s Gate brings you vistas of the ocean you’ll get nowhere else.
You’ll be making a stop at Great Bird Island for lunch. We saw a turtle surfacing from the boat on the way, and with plenty of sea grass at the shore, this is a great place for an underwater sighting if you choose to swim/snorkel.
You’ll head to an offshore reef. This was easily the most spectacular reef we saw with incredible yellow brain corals in particular.
One last stop takes you to “Made Island”, so named because it was man made when they were dredging the area to make way for a shipping lane. The beach is bright white, covered in pieces of shell and broken coral.
This tour gave us the opportunity to see lots of wildlife and landscapes we wouldn’t have had the opportunity to see elsewhere. The commentary provided gives a fascinating insight into nature and culture on the islands.
Half Day Mangrove Kayak and Reef Snorkeling- South Coast Horizons
This kayaking and snorkeling tour gives you a really unique experience, exploring an ecosystem far more rarely traversed by visitors to the island- mangroves. It also gives you an opportunity to explore one of Antigua’s best snorkeling spots [link coming soon], Cade’s Reef.
The tour is provided by South Coast Horizons, a resort in the south of Antigua. However, you definitely don’t need to be staying here to grab a place on their tours (although it looks lovely if you fancy it).
You can request a pickup if you’re staying elsewhere. I actually really enjoyed this part of the day as it took us through an area of jungle and past some fields of famous black pineapple. We asked to stop and buy some at a road side stall on the journey back, and it really is delicious.
What To Bring
My advice remains the same here as for the previous tour! Hat, reef safe suncream, coverups, snorkeling equipment including a swimming costume, and some reef shoes won’t go amiss.
After collecting your snorkeling equipment, and observing a safety briefing, you’ll walk down to the lagoon. You’ll no doubt spot plenty of fiddler crabs with waving claws on the pathway down and learn more about the mangrove forest.
You’ll then kayak through the mangroves to small beach (maybe you’ll spot a blue crab here) and depart on a short boat ride to Cade’s Reef. The previous tour offered more corals, but the number of fish here was far greater.
We were lucky enough to have this part of the tour to ourselves, and we able to move at the pace we wanted for as long as we wanted.
After the boat ride back to shore, a short walk will take you up a hill to see some more beautiful views. Look out over the dark shadows of the reef you’ve just visited.
You’ll enjoy a delicious lunch before kayaking back to where you began!
Choose One… or Choose Both!
Both of these Antigua boat tours offer something different but you’ll find something for everyone among them, from wildlife to scenery to the rum punch you’re sure to be offered along the way!
Eli’s boat tour is much longer and takes in more sights. The reef was probably the more beautiful of the two. This is probably your better chance for spotting turtles.
Meanwhile, SoCoHo’s half day tour gave an experience in kayaking that wasn’t really available elsewhere. It was a far smaller group so we got a much more personalised experience and more chance to take to the guides. The fish life was more abundant on this reef.
I’d recommend going on both if you have the time and budget. The mere fact that Eli’s takes in the north and SoCoHo’s, the south, demonstrates the difference in experience you’ll receive from each.
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