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  • Writer's pictureJude

The ultimate guide: 7 days of solo travel to Antigua's Dickenson Bay

Updated: 3 days ago


Dickenson Bay beach with red phone box and palm trees

Dickenson Bay is a great location for solo travel to Antigua. The mile long stretch of white sand with calm, turquoise hued water is an idyllic spot for relaxing on a lounger, taking part in water sports and indulging in a sundowner during golden hour. A selection of beachfront condos, all-inclusive and self-catering hotels frame the beach plus, a host of activities, restaurants and a supermarket are within walking distance. The vibrant capital of St Johns is just 10 minutes drive for duty free shopping, an interesting museum, rum tasting sessions and a wider choice of dining options. I recently spent a week at Buccaneer Beach Club, a compact, friendly, low-key resort directly on the beachfront with a private swimming pool. It is a great base to explore the local area.


I recommend booking a direct flight from London to Antigua with British Airways. Flights take less than 9 hours and they conveniently arrive around lunchtime, just in time to check into your accommodation by 3pm.


DAY 1 - Check in at Buccaneer Beach Club


Low rise accommodation - 1 bed suite at Buccaneer Beach Club

Check in with friendly staff and leave a small refundable deposit for a beach towel. Essential items such as coffee, milk, soft drinks, wine, snacks and a few pharmaceutical items can be purchased at reception.


1 bed suites at Buccaneer Beach Club


Kitchen area at Buccaneer Beach Club

The spacious, air-conditioned suites are located within colourful low rise buildings arranged around a private swimming pool. Enter into an open plan living space with a fully equipped kitchen comprising a two ring electric hob, fridge freezer, microwave, toaster and tea and coffee making facilities. A countertop seating area is convenient for casual meals at home or working from a laptop. The sitting area is furnished with a flat screen TV and a comfortable sofa. A door leads out onto a terrace or balcony complete with table and chairs for morning coffees, sundowners and alfresco dining. The bedroom benefits from an air-conditioning unit, ceiling fan, a king sized bed, wall mounted flat screen TV and a telephone with emergency out of hours contact numbers.


Bedroom at Buccaneer Beach Club

Click on the link to view a video of the 1 bed apartment at Buccaneer Beach Club on YouTube.


Dickenson Bay is within tripping distance of the accommodation so spend the next couple of hours taking a refreshing swim in the sea then relax under the hot sun on one of the loungers with parasols reserved for hotel guests. Refreshments can be purchased from beach bar, Starfish, next door. Choose a drink and settle while the sun begins its descent and watch the sky change through shades of gold to red.


Hammock on Dickenson Bay Beach

Salt Plage is a good choice for dinner on the first night. It is adjacent to Buccaneer Beach Club and a couple of times a week live music entertains diners. Dishes include grilled octopus salad, seafood fettuccini and coconut crusted mahi mahi. Tables by the waters edge are preferable so try to reserve one of these if possible. The restaurant is often frequented by other solo/business travellers and the counter-top bar area is a great place to sit with a drink, read a book or chat to others.


DAY 2 - Explore Dickenson Bay


Hammock on Dickenson Bay

Take an early morning walk to First Choice supermarket. There is no pavement but the road is wide. Alternatively book a taxi and stock up on essentials items for your apartment.


Take time to familiarise yourself with Dickenson Bay. Stroll along the powdery white sand while looking out for beachfront restaurant, Ana's, in readiness for tonight's evening meal. Another place to watch out for is Tony's water sports, further along the beach by Sandals. Its a great little bar with a pool table, amazing cocktails and local dishes to take away.


Terrace overlooking the pool area at Buccaneer Beach Club

Take breakfast on your terrace or perhaps at Salt Plage. They offer light bites such as fruit, toast or porridge but if you have a larger appetite I suggest the Antiguan breakfast. The plate consists of salted cod fish, tomato sauce, fried plantain, sautéed spinach and okra with local bread. Spend the rest of the morning enjoying the beach.


Sail on a BBQ Boat


Early afternoon I recommend pre-booking a private sail with BBQ Boat ANU. for a unique sailing experience that includes lunch. There are several different packages to choose from ranging from 30-90 minutes. The meeting point is beside Buccaneer Beach Club, where a complimentary shuttle boat will take you to Kon-tiki, a floating bar. Enjoy a pre-sail drink before hopping onto the circular boat complete with a built-in bbq. View Dickenson Bay from a different angle while your private captain navigates the bay and cooks a delicious home made burger for you. All you have to do is kick back, take in the view and listen to the music.


bbq boat Antigua


Spend a little time in the shad by the swimming pool before watching the evening sunset and getting ready for dinner. Wander along to Ana's for some excellent food in a casual setting with indoor and outdoor tables. Expect dishes such as veggie wellington, lobster ravioli and Creole style red snapper.


DAY 3 - Explore Antigua's capital, St Johns


rum tasting at Quin Farara

After breakfast take a 15 minute stroll to McKinnons salt pond and spot some interesting varieties of birds including pelicans and snowy egrets.


Snowy egret in flight

Relax at leisure for the remainder of the morning, perhaps have lunch on your balcony, or a light dish such as fish tacos from Starfish next door.


Mid afternoon, take a taxi to St Johns to a special family run rum shop that has existed in the same spot for 100 years. It began as a liquor store serving fresh lemonade to customers. Today this tradition continues, alongside an additional range of rum tasting and cocktail making sessions. Pre-book a class at Quin Farara and learn about the history of the store and Antiguan rum before tasting different varieties. Then, with guidance, make your very own old fashioned rum punch. Take it into the courtyard and enjoy before exploring the bustling town. Walk over to the museum and learn some interesting facts about Antigua's history, barter at the Vendor's market, browse the duty free shopping areas of Heritage and Redcliffe Quays and walk around the port to look at the imposing cruise ships.


Shopping areas in St Johns Antigua

Before returning to your temporary home, dinner could be at Hemingways, a long-standing restaurant within an historic wooden building built in the 1800s.  A large sweeping verandah overlooks the busy streets, giving you a bird's eye view and food on the extensive menu is exceptional. Expect International and local dishes of curries, conch fritters and creole fish with garlic mash and vegetables.


Creole fish with mashed potatoes and vegetables

Perhaps end the evening with a night cap at Salt Plage's counter-top bar or return to your apartment. Relax with a book or watch TV from the comfort of your sofa or bed, you choose.


DAY 4 - Hire a car for a day


You don't have to take a break from the beach but if you want to see a bit more of Antigua, hire a car for a day. Cars drive on the left and yes there are pot holes but no more than in England! There are plenty of places to visit throughout the island such as...

  • Nelson's Dockyard National Park - approximately 16 square miles bursting with scenic nature trails, historic buildings and fortifications, white sand beaches, natural pools and rock formations. It is also the world's last remaining working Georgian dockyard.


Nelson's Dockyard

  • Volunteer at a Donkey Sanctuary for a few hours

  • Witness the crashing waves and natural blowholes at Devil's Bridge, a natural limestone rock formation resembling a bridge where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Caribbean Sea.


Devil's Bridge, Antigua

For more ideas of activities, click on the 'Things to do in Antigua' link. For recommended places to eat while exploring the island click on the 'Antigua Restaurants' link. Perhaps you would like to visit a different beach, after all there are 365 of them. Click on the 'Beaches in Antigua' link for some ideas.


DAY 5 - Nicole's Table, Cookery School



Just 10 minutes drive from Dickenson Bay, head high into the hills of Antigua's Cedar Valley for an exciting Caribbean cookery class within a home setting.  Four hands-on classes are available to choose from:


  • All about Jerk

  • Co-ordinating Curry

  • Cooking with Rum

  • From the Sea'

Have fun and learn new skills with a group of like-minded, budding chefs, then take home some new recipes to impress family and friends. Click on the link to read more or to book a cookery class at Nicole's Table.



DAY 6 - Circumnavigate the island by power boat


Xtreme Circumnavigation hosts

Pick up the power boat from Dickenson Bay, by Tony's Water Sports and prepare for a day of exhilaration. Three, cheery, knowledgeable crew members dedicate their time and knowledge to share some real highlights of Antigua. Power through the waves passing spectacular natural limestone rock formations, watch out for turtles and snorkel with stingrays. A delicious beachfront lunch is prepared Robinson Crusoe style on an uninhabited offshore island. The speed boat continues around the curvy coastline to English Harbour for a further snorkelling session before a well deserved, home made rum punch on remote beach, Rendezvous Bay.  This is one of the 'must do's' while in Antigua. Click on the link to read more about the Xtreme Circumnavigation tour and to book.


Snorkelling with stingrays

For dinner pre-book a table at fine dining restaurant, Casa Roots on Runaway Bay. Either walk 15 minutes or ask reception to organise a taxi if it is dark. Enter via a pretty floral archway and enjoy tapas style dishes of tempura plantain and zucchini with a tamarind soy dip & cauliflower hummus with pitta served in coconut shells.  Larger plates include grilled beef rib eye, charred grilled octopus or grilled mahi mahi.   


Floral archway into Casa Roots Restaurant at Runaway Bay

DAY 7

Spend the last few hours relaxing by the beach or pool before taking a return flight home or move to a different location if you have booked a longer stay.


Other accommodation highly recommended for solo travel to Antigua


3 Short Term Holiday Rental Properties


Studio at Johnson's Point


Studio for rental at Johnson's Point

This brand new, eco-friendly studio with fully equipped kitchen and sumptuous four poster bed, has been carefully designed to create an environment to disconnect from the busyness of everyday life and rejuvenate. Tucked into a hillside on the south western coast of Antigua, its rural, elevated position offers uninterrupted sea views and a chance to reconnect with nature. Stroll along deserted white sand beaches and spend early evenings at a local restaurant or settle on the verandah with a glass of wine, watching a glorious sunset. Click on the link for details of the studio at Johnson's Point.


Studio at Crabbe Hill Village


Imagine escaping the stresses of everyday life at this rural retreat in the heart of Crabbe Hill Village on Antigua's South West coast. On waking, pick fruit for breakfast from plants and trees surrounding the property, perhaps watermelon, papaya, plums or banana. After, cross the road to Crabbe Hill beach, one of the best on the island. Wander along the long stretch of powdery white sand and swim in the turquoise hued water. Later relax on a beach lounger (complimentary for residents) or hire a paddleboard or windsurf from Crabbe Hill Beach Rentals at a discounted rate. Evenings can be spent watching a golden sunset from the terrace with your favourite tipple, cooking a delicious meal on the bbq and lighting the chiminea before cosying up on the day bed under the night sky. Click on the link for further details of the studio in Crabbe Hill Village.


1 bed cottage in Hodges Bay

Bedroom area of a 1 bed cottage for rent in Hodges Bay, Antigua

This upscale Caribbean style cottage is located within the gated village complex of Bay Gardens to the North of Antigua, with its cafes, arts and craft market and salon. Set amongst lush gardens, with a private pool and chef's kitchen, it oozes luxury. Click on the link for full details of the 1 bed cottage in Hodges Bay.


Self-catering Hotels


Copper & Lumber Store Georgian Suite


Room at Admiral's Inn, Antigua


Living area of South Point hotel, Antigua




Siboney Beach Club Hotel, Antigua

All-inclusive Hotels



Pineapple Beach Club Resort



St James's Club Resort, Antigua




Note: 


If you make any bookings based on my recommendations your contract will be directly with the airline/travel company/hotels/short term rental or activity providers you book through. I am acting as a referral point only based on information from my most recent visit which may be subject to change at any time.  


I will receive a small commission for booking some of the activities






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