After being shown the best Antigua island highlights, and walking through historical architecture, taking amazing photo stops at natural sights, you'll also have time to relax on a beach. This Private Antigua Excursion from St. John's cruise port has it all. Just for your party, private transportation, and excursion guide!
Start this adventure by meeting with your private shore excursion guide outside your St. John's Antigua cruise ship pier. Hop onboard the comfortable, air-conditioned transportation and you're off for a 30-minute scenic drive to the English Harbor. This is Antigua's historic district going back to the time of Horatio Nelson and it has been meticulously restored.
With this private sightseeing shore excursion, it will just be you and your private guide, no others joining you. Once you arrive you'll walk about 5 minutes to see what's known as Shirley's Heights. Located at the most southerly tip of Antigua, the Lookout, part of the Shirley Heights military complex, commands a breathtaking view over the whole of English Harbor. Behind the catchment, where the land goes up to 490 ft (150 m) above sea level, was the Signal Station from which a system of flags was used by day and guns by night to convey messages to St, John's by way of Great Fort George on Monk's Hill. You'll spend about 10 minutes taking in the view and some photos. You will receive personalized service from your guide to get the most out of your private sightseeing cruise excursion in Antigua.
Just 5 minutes from there is Shirley's Guard House. The Shirley Heights military complex also included a guard house, magazine, and kitchen, officers' quarters, adjoining parade grounds, a 40-bed hospital, canteen, and a cemetery. An obelisk in the cemetery commemorates the officers and men of the 54th Regiment (2nd Battalion Dorsets) who died in service in the West Indies between 1840 and 1851.
Then you're off to Nelson's Dockyard, which has been fully restored and is only minutes away. You'll see 18th and 19th-century buildings that now house shops, hotels, and other businesses. Just outside the dockyard, you'll notice historic forts that dot the landscape. All are accessible by trails allowing visitors to enjoy the park. You'll have about 40 minutes to wander, shop, or walk the trails. The choice is yours.
After your time at the dockyard, you'll climb back onboard your private excursion transportation for the destination of Liberty Village. There is an interesting history here from the time of emancipation. A female estate owner was forced to sell off a part of her property. She sold small lots to the ex-slaves who immediately built homes and started gardens. Although many continued to work on plantations, they also earned income as mechanics at the dockyard. A generation later they were beginning to build work around tailoring and as shop owners. In 1842 a sign was put up that named their village Liberta, which means liberty. You will enjoy a 15-minute drive through the village. You can also stop at the village's St. Barnabas church for about 10 minutes for a photo op, or just to sightsee.
From there it will be time to take a 30-minute drive through Antigua's most picturesque area. You'll see the island's low central plains and go up into the ancient volcanic hills where you'll see the Parish of St. Mary in the island's southwest quarter. The rather rough and tumble road passes through an area of lush vegetation and rainforest and rises to the steep farmlands around Fig Tree Hill before descending to the coastline again. Along the way, you'll get to see banana, mango, and coconut groves, as well as a number of old sugar mills and pleasant little churches.
Now that you are back on the coastline it's time to stop at Valley Church Beach, which is located on the West coast of Antigua just south of Jolly Harbor. You'll find facilities, free wifi, and have the chance to relax on powdery sand for an hour. You can also purchase food and drinks if you'd like. There are water sports available as well such as banana boats, and jet skis in addition to the ability to get a professional massage while enjoying a gorgeous view.
After you've relaxed and are refreshed, it will be time to hop onboard your transportation to go to Betty's Hope. The drive is short, only about 15 minutes. This is a sugar plantation that has also restored the sugar mill towers, complete with the sails. Betty's Hope dates all the way back to 1651. Now Betty's Hope Trust continues to work with students of archaeology for further research. You'll have a chance to take some photos there for about 15 minutes.
Finally, last, but certainly not least, it will be time to visit the Devil's Bridge. It will take about 15 minutes to get there and you'll have the chance to see the ancient reef formations that include a natural arch, geysers, and blowholes. You'll have approximately 15 minutes to check out the area and snap a few shots. This is an incredible sight and demonstrates thousands of years of water vs. rock.
At this point, it will be time to go back to your cruise ship pier in St. John's Antigua cruise port, which will be about 20 minutes from the Devil's Bridge. Sit back and relax knowing you've seen the best this island has to offer with your private shore excursion guide and transportation.
Come with us and explore the famous sightseeing highlights of Antigua and St. John's. On this Private Antigua Sightseeing Excursion, you will enjoy comfortable transportation, a private, knowledgeable shore excursion guide, and plenty of sights to see that are both historical and picturesque!