Off the Beaten Path in Antigua: Half Moon Bay

One of my biggest problems with solo travel is that I don’t have a driver’s license. Travelling solo? Doesn’t phase me. Put me behind the wheel, though, and I totally panic. This means I can’t rent a car (not that I’m old enough in most places) and explore some of the more far-flung destinations. Some places just seem meant for road trips – think Iceland, the US, etc. Antigua, my family has decided, is one of those places as well. Luckily, when I travel with my family, my very capable father can face the scarily skinny roads, aggressive drivers, and the whole ‘we drive on the other side of the road’ thing. Although we spent our fair share of days lounging on the beach and trying water sports, for two days we rented a car and headed out…to lounge on beaches. Different beaches, so it counts as exploring.

One of our favourite spots on the island is Half Moon Bay, so we decided to revisit it for an afternoon. This beach is basically impossible to find, and the difficult navigation combined with my very head-strong family being packed into a tiny car made us all rather irritable, but the instant you see this beautiful view your annoyance just melts away.

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Last time we visited this beach, my dad and sister found some awesome snorkelling. They tried to show me the spots, but I think the tide was too high or too low or something. Basically, we couldn’t really snorkel. Despite that, we swam a bit and then went back to our favourite family activity: all reading separately on the beach. Since we like to explore, we broke this up with some walking. What’s unique about Half Moon Bay is the fact that just outside the sheltered beach is the Atlantic Ocean. That means that compared to our home base, the unbelievably tranquil Jolly Beach, there are actual waves just off shore. If the swells are up, you might not be able to enjoy the swimming as much. The tide also has much more of an impact on the skinny, ungroomed beach – when we tried to walk back to our car, we kept getting cut off by the ocean. I also stepped on burrs and yelled for my mother until she came and got them out for me…I’m so brave and independent.

The best part of this place is the walk you can take around the cliffs. You just have to go to the end of the beach and clamber up some rocks to see the power of the Atlantic and these gorgeous views:

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This beach actually kind of reminds me of home: some of the waves are genuinely terrifying (if you’re scared of waves, that is) and the fact that the beach isn’t cleaned up makes it feel more natural and wild. If you’re looking to escape from the aggressive beach vendors and get off the beaten path in Antigua, rent a car and get lost on the way to Half Moon Bay! Because you will get lost.

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