A hike up the hilly trails of Antigua and Barbuda is rewarded with the most amazing vistas in the Caribbean
Our common understanding of good health and “wellness” has evolved to reach beyond just the absence of disease to include complete physical, mental and social well-being. The twin-island paradise of Antigua and Barbuda has centered Wellness as one of its destination’s four focus areas, and even declared January Wellness Month to ensure that travellers are attaining better physical and mental health outcomes through their visits.
Hotels now hosts special wellness-themed vacations throughout the year
Photo caption: Yoga Pavilion at Carlisle Bay Resort
At the Carlisle Bay Antigua resort, guests can participate in sunrise Pilates or sunset yoga, with high energy dance-based workouts in between. Their wellness retreats take place in February and May. The resort comes with a well-equipped fitness centre and the yoga pavilion is located in a peaceful corner of the tropical gardens. Their organic spa is guided by a holistic philosophy, caring for the wellbeing of the whole body. Carlisle Bay provides seven high-quality tennis courts and two pickle ball courts for the resort guests to stay physical active. All equipment is provided, and they also run complimentary tennis clinics as part of the weekly activities programme
Curtain Bluff hosted two wellness weeks in April 2023, and more are planned for 2024. Guests enjoyed low impact aqua aerobics, sunrise yoga and morning Pilates beside the sea. In their extensive beach side spa, carefully sequestered from the rest of the resort, a variety of treatments are offered, including herbal aromatherapy wraps. A luxurious cliffside soaking tub allows the mind to relax and the body to decompress.
At The Admiral’s Inn in Nelson’s Dockyard, the Powder Room Spa offers rejuvenating and revitalizing massages. Their newest facials combine the benefits of fresh fruits, such as papaya, pineapple and banana, in a special mask to increase the antioxidants that protect the skin.
Restaurants already understand the benefits of wellness, with healthy dining options and fresh farm-to-table cuisine.
One of the newest restaurants, Bush Bungalow Creations, is actually sited on a local farm for the ultimate plant-based experience. Island-born chef Jermain Jonas, who has honed his craft in New York and Los Angeles, brings a vegetarian take to old favourites like shepherd’s pie and a gluten-free sweet potato crust pizza with cashew mozzarella.
Nobu, the world-wide restaurant chain, offers a beach club in Barbuda, where day guests can catch their own spiny lobster, eat healthy curated sushi creations and relax with a beach massage.
Sustainable and locally owned wellness experiences can be arranged through tour companies.
Amenta Wellness Journeys introduce participants to the importance of a balanced plant-based diet, yoga and meditation through a trinity of life-giving experiences. A yoga session relieves the stress of daily life, hiking trails reveal breath taking vistas, everyone joins in a vegan beach picnic and ends the tour with a refreshing dip in the turquoise waters.
Photo caption: Guests on a tour of the Humble and Free Wadadli experience
Humble and Free Wadadli gives guests exactly what their name says, Wadadli, which is derived from the indigenous name for Antigua, meaning ‘our own.’ On Ras Freeman, a former plantation, a Rastafari-based tour invites everyone to live humble and free, while learning about local crops intended to make Antigua a more food-secure nation.
Photo caption: A handstand at the Mermaid Gardens with Pillars of Hercules in the background
Trek Tours aims to take visitors off the beaten path to discover the unusual and beautiful on the island, with adventure trails from easy to challenging. On certain routes trekkers climb the slopes of Boggy Peak, also known as Mount Obama, and discover the Antiguan black pineapple, or stand on historic Fort Charlotte and marvel at the curious Pillars of Hercules or navigate Signal Hill in the centre of the island’s rainforest.
Each May, the Run in Paradise is hosted by the Antigua Yacht Club Marina and Resort. In 2024, a half marathon, 10K and 5K will be open to runners from around the world and local athletes for the ultimate wellness experience. Walkers who complete the course within six hours also receive the beautiful completion medal.
For more information on Wellness: Antigua and Barbuda.