The Antiguan Experience
St. John's is the capital and largest city of Antigua and Barbuda, a country located in the West Indies in the Caribbean Sea, it is the commercial center of the nation and the chief port of the island of Antigua. As you approach St. John's, the skyline is dominated by the magnificently evocative white baroque towers of St. John's Cathedral. Built in 1845, the church is now in its third incarnation, as earthquakes in 1683 and in 1745 destroyed the previous structures.
Depart the pier area and set off through the villages of Antigua discovering their individual and interesting qualities.
Your first destination is a private home with an amazing and wonderful history. Be provided a history lesson about this property and the stories that accompany it. When you arrive you will find yourself on the top of a panoramic vista overlooking a valley that is dotted with cows and sheep. The home may look modest from the outside but you will be astounded upon stepping inside. Artifacts from the original settlers who bought the land in the 16th century surround you. The owner, who is also a direct descendant of the original family, will graciously walk you through the areas of her home that are open to you and will answer questions about her prized collections. Endemic trees and medicinal herbs are grown in the backyard and not only will your guide provide knowledge on the healing powers of these plants, but you will also enjoy a freshly brewed cup of herbal tea.
Continue on to a local pineapple farm where you will get to see the production of this important crop. You will see the fruit in all of its stages of growth, and even get to enjoy it later on when you are at the beach, but next you are headed to Fryes Estate.
At the estate you will see two of the island's oldest sugar mills, now in ruins and immensely picturesque. We can't let you forget that you're on a Caribbean island and, therefore, your next stop will be a beautiful beachfront setting.
Whether you prefer to lounge on a chair in the shade of an umbrella and gaze at the azure blue water or jump into it, you'll love this refreshing time on a private beach of white sand. Families will enjoy the beach games or water sports activities while building up hearty appetites. Luckily, this free time is followed by a delicious and typical West Indian lunch. The food is tantalizing and the staff are very welcoming as you dine in the midst of the music of steel pans and a local artist reciting poetry.
Reviewer: Judy kraft
My husband and two other couples took this excursion, and it was the highlight of our trip. Jackie, our tour guide, was wonderful and so full of personality! She is engaging with the group on the tour, and is very knowledgeable about the island's history and it's people. She took us to some interesting places, and ended the tour with a great lunch on the beach including rum punches and local entertainment! Jackie is also a very talented musician/artist which was an extra special treat to witness during the tour. We highly recommend this tour with Jackie when visiting Antigua! You won't be disappointed!
Reviewer: Lisa Blackburn
You MUST pray you get Jackie as your tour guide !!! She is unbelievable !!! The best tour guide I ever had !! The buffet BBQ chicken lunch was delicious, music and entertainment was excellent! I even got a free private lesson on the steel drum!! The people on Antigua are genuine. I don't want to tell to much about this tour or I will spoil it for you! Plus I only have a 1000 characters and it would be too long of a review !!! You must do this one !! Lots to do and see on this one !!
Reviewer: Tanya C.
The tour was different to the traditional tours that you go to. We first started off at a private residence; the house had a lot of different artifacts from various locations. There was a tea demo, where they talked about how soursop was a cure for cancer. A bit unconventional in my opinion. We also went to a pineapple farm and had a nice light lunch on a beach. Overall it was a nice tour.
Reviewer: Maureen Somerville
This tour was satisfying, except for the long stop at a beach, which none of the tourists were interested in. I was served a meal which the rest of the group was not entitled to for some reason. The guide was competent and knew the information.
Reviewer: Brenda McKoy
Both the driver and the guide were very personable, knowledgeble and intertaining. The first private home was filled with too many things. We could barely walk around. I enjoyed tour of the second home and grounds. The beach trip and lunch was a highlight of the the day.