We visited the Verandah Resort and Spa in 2010. Antigua was my first visit to the Caribbean and now that I’ve been to a few other locations, I can truly appreciate my first experience. As far as I know, the Verandah is locally owned and operated, that is one of many things to appreciate about this resort.
They have a small beach cove at the resort with a really nice beach area, and a ton of non-motorized beach toys that anyone can use at anytime, it’s included with your stay! We snorkeled, Kayaked, and swam at least half of our stay. The resort actually has two beach areas. One is a “lovers beach” it was pretty empty, but there was a wedding there during our stay and it looked lovely.
The people of Antigua take a little warming up to, but everyone is very sweet. This is a small island so it was really surprising how much there is to do and unlike other islands in the Carribiean, here the prices for everything are pretty fair.
Our activities outside of the hotel included zip lining, snorkeling, a visit to stingray city, and a night out to a reggae concert.
The highlight of the trip was probably our visit to stingray city. We were taken by small power boat about 30 miles off the coast to a sand dune where we all jumped into the water in full snorkel gear and proceeded to feed a large school of stingray. The females were probably 4-5ft wide and there were at least 50 of them? This is just a guess, but everyone on the tour was surrounded the entire time. I’m vertically impaired, so I did struggle a bit during this part as the water must be about 5.5 ft. deep and this is just enough to cover my head. They ask you to shuffle so you don’t risk stepping on a stingray, but I opted to jump on my husbands back and skip the risk.
The snorkel tour included taking kayaks through mangroves full if tiny black crabs, and around mounds and mounds of conchs. One of the first tourist traps I fell for during this trip was at a stand where a woman told me divers had to dive 25 ft. to pick up the conchs she was selling. This became an ongoing joke after kayaking through the mountains of conchs in the mangroves. Now, every time we see hear something sketchy while on vacation we just say, “they probably dove 25ft to get it.” Once we got from the mangroves to the shore, we took a boat off shore for the snorkel portion of the tour. The snorkeling wasn’t amazing and to be quiet honest, they’re not taking very good care of the reef around that area. We weren’t given any special instruction for how to navigate around the reef, and I accidentally bumped into the reef a few times. The trip included lunch and booze. The mangroves are probably the best part of this tour, but it is worth the money.
Zip lining was so so and if you have been somewhere amazing you probably won’t think much of their few lines. If this is your first opportunity to zip line, you should go for it! The guys running the place are a lot of fun and they really make you feel at ease while you’re going through the process.
There are a couple of things we didn’t get to do while we were on the trip, and we have talked about going back in the next few years. For example, we didn’t get to visit the pink sand beach or the donkey sanctuary!
The pictures included in this post are unedited and taken from a point and shoot!