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A Traveler's Guide to Hiking in Antigua

Antigua Hiking

Antigua is the major island of Antigua and Barbuda, a Caribbean republic located in the northeast. This 108-square-mile island is known for its exquisite white-sand beaches, with one for each day of the year. Do not mistake Antigua for a place where you can lie about and work on your tan. Beyond the beaches, Antigua offers a variety of exciting and daring hiking activities. The majority are somewhat difficult, while some will take you to remote locations. As always, exercise caution, but there isn't much in the way of animal life on the island that could harm you, and cell phone coverage is generally enough, making Hiking in Antigua safe for everyone. Paths and pathways get overgrown and faint after the rainy season, and they may vanish entirely, absorbed by the vegetation. Not only will your journey be more difficult, but you will also be more likely to get lost. Although you will never be far from a road, movement through an overgrown tropical jungle can be slow. In this article, we have detailed some of the most popular trails you can enjoy Hiking in Antigua.

Shirley heights

Hike from Galleon Beach in English Harbour to the summit of Shirley Heights in comfortable shoes. On a clear day, the panorama (placed about 492 feet above sea level) offers views of Guadeloupe's southern island and Montserrat's active volcano, which recent visitors described as "absolutely breathtaking." According to this site, the journey up to the overlook is difficult, and due to the Antiguan heat, the ideal time to go is early in the morning. If you are not up to it, you can take a taxi, which many previous guests have recommended. At the top of the hill is the famed Shirley Heights Lookout Restaurant & Bar. The cost of entrance to Nelson's Dockyard includes admission to Shirley Heights. A fee is charged for the Sunday evening party.

Middle ground trail

If walking among goats seems like your idea of a fun day, Middle Ground Trail is the place to go. While that is the official name, locals refer to it as "the goat trail" because of the many friendly creatures you will see along the way. Starting at Pigeon Point Beach and ending at Nelson's Dockyard, it is a one-mile walk, which takes around an hour to hike (or vice versa). It climbs sharply at first, then flattens out before descending to the dockyards and Fort Berkeley. You will be rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views of Falmouth Harbor and English Harbor once you reach the summit. The park is the island's center for sailing and heritage, stretching over 15 square kilometers along the coastline. It is a lovely spot for a stroll while daydreaming about life onboard a yacht.

Signal Hill

Hiking in Antigua is not fun without climbing to the top of Signal Hill. This walk leads up through the lush rainforest from Wallings Nature Reserve on Fig Tree Drive. Along the journey, you will pass past Walling's Dam, a historic Victorian-era dam with a diverse array of plant and animal life. Although the route is steep, you will be standing on Antigua's second-highest point in less than an hour. You will get a spectacular 360-degree panorama of the island from the summit, including Carlisle Bay, Rendezvous Bay, and St. John's, the capital city. Since the trail is one-way, allow at least two hours to complete it.

Mount Obama (Boggy Peak) Trail

The trail is located southwest of the Island in an area popularly known as the “Green Corridor.” The Island’s tallest peak resides in Mount Obama National Park. According to this site, the area was renamed from Boggy Peak in recognition of Barak Obama’s presidential election in 2019. If you enjoy nature, then this is the right trail for you. The 2.5-mile trail near Antigua and Barbuda is surrounded by heavily wooded forest. Although less than tropical than rain forest, the route has a 9.8-foot elevation increase and is rated as easy. There are various species of trees around, including cedars. It is a great nature trail with lots of twists and turns.

Pillars of Hercules

It is a beautiful loop with many fruit trees and breathtaking vistas. You will be able to tour past tombstones, cisterns, and even the guard house from the early seventeen hundreds (the 1700s) since we were recently elected into UNESCO (the world's best-kept heritage site). You will not only view these sites, but our tour guides are also well educated on the history of the area. The gentle force of flowing water, trickling between limestone rocks and producing small pools, created the Mermaid basin. The majestic columns, thick and wide, hold firm against the onslaught of the sea, defending the entrance to English Harbour and the lovely course line.

The hobbit village

Yes, Hobitenango is named after the Hobbit town from the Lord of the Rings films. Someone has erected Hobbiton on a hill just outside of Antigua! It's a humorous location with hobby huts (where you can sleep), a café, several overlooks, and a gigantic bungee jump swing. There are mostly Guatemalan tourists, but we didn't see any tourists from other countries. There are numerous options. You can take an Uber with the destination Hobbitenango to get there to this spectacular place. You will be dumped off in a small parking area where standard cars cannot go any higher. The trail to your destination will take you about 30 minutes to climb up. However, a 4X4 shuttle is also available. From Monday to Saturday, there is no admission fee.

Take a hike to the volcano

Around Antigua, there are numerous volcanoes, three of which are active (Fuego, Pacaya, and Santiaguito). Various volcanoes can be climbed as a day trip or overnight excursion from Antigua. You may climb the Pacaya volcano, which erupts every few minutes, or the Acatenango volcano, which has a great perspective of the Fuego volcano, which erupts every few minutes, in a day excursion. Hiking in Antigua is a fun way to spend time with friends and family, or even by yourself, exploring nature. Whether you choose to trek deep into the mountains or stay closer to town, there are plenty of options; many state and national parks, as well as national forest areas, have extensive trail networks. Consider how far you expect to hike, how remote the site is, and what the weather prediction has in store for you when planning a day hike. The more clothing, gear, food, and water you need, the longer and/or more remote the trip is, and the more adverse the weather is.

Liz Flynn

Written by Liz Flynn

Liz Flynn has worked as a full-time writer since 2010 after leaving a career in education. She finds almost all topics she writes about interesting, but her favorite subjects are travel and food. Liz loves the process of researching information, learning new things, and putting into words what others who share her interests might like to read. Although she spends most of her time writing, she also enjoys spending time with her husband and four children, watching films, cooking, dining out, reading, motorsports, gaming, and walking along the beach next to her house with her dog.

Read more posts by Liz Flynn

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