Antigua | Debbie's Caribbean Resort Reviews Forums

How do the beaches of Antigua compare to Varadero, Cuba or the Riviera Maya, Mexico. Is the ocean water clear and is the sand silky?

That’s a tough question. Generally, many of the islands have softer sand than Varadero. Antigua has gorgeous beaches but more commercialized. Varadero is great for walking and much of it is great for smaller children as the parts I’ve tried have a very gradual drop. Plus Varadero is free of motorized boats and seadoos which is a huge plus for me. Some beaches, such as Great Bay beach in St. Martin (speaking of St. Martin) can to be dangerous with undertow. At least when I was there. I was snorkelling and came up much farther away that I thought possible.Riviera Maya has some of the best beaches in the world and some that are not worth going to. A short distance can change it drastically since the beach faces the wind & current vs. almost parallel with Varadero. Hurricanes can change a beach pretty drastically. The beach at Tulum ruins is one of the prettiest anywhere but you have to go up & down a hundred steps to get to it. The beach at Akumal is world renowned for swimming with the turtles. You can sit right at the beach at a restaurant and have a ton of fun. In terms of sand, Akumal is OK but not awesome. Same thing at Playa del Carmen. Nice beach but probably not as good as Varadero. It’s more a matter of what you are wanting at a beach. We like walking without being pestered, which makes Varadero one of the best in the world. We also like sitting on the beach under palm trees at a beach grill with a drink with none else around and no noise. Varadero is not good for that. Anse Chastanet Beach in St. Lucia was one of the best we’ve been to for that.

I’ll let you know when we come back from our Antigua trip, we’ll be leaving next week!

Enjoy yourselves for sure. Which resort are you staying at?

we’re not staying at a resort, but we booked a studio instead

When we have stayed at many of the islands, we find renting an apt. is the only way it becomes affordable. We’ve been doing AI’s in Cuba & Mexico for a number of years and in our most recent trip to Mexico, we stayed in hotels due to moving around so much. In retrospect, we really enjoyed having the choice of what, where and when we want to eat. Good food means a lot to me. I’m thinking our AI days are over.

I’m thinking our AI days are over. Yup, ours too!Except for one 5 day all-inclusive to Los Cabos for my birthday last year, we’ve been going non all-inclusive for the past few years. Have to say we’re loving getting back to more adventure filled, independent vacations. Yes, it’s a bit more expensive but so worth it to us.
I’m not a big fan of AI’s myself, but for a quick last minute get-away I’d stay at one again. Not sure if it’s always cheaper to rent an apartment though. In St. Lucia we stayed at an apartment, that came with a rental car. If we added up what we’d spent on gas, groceries, eating out, renting beach chairs/umbrella’s etc., it may have been cheaper staying at an AI (it’s not a cheap country at all).But we prefer to do our own thing, meet locals, eat and shop at local restaurants and stores and just a feeling for the local culture. In fact we’ve only stayed at AI’s in Huatulco, Cuba and on the Mayan Riviera.
Not sure if it’s always cheaper to rent an apartment though. In St. Lucia we stayed at an apartment, that came with a rental car. If we added up what we’d spent on gas, groceries, eating out, renting beach chairs/umbrella’s etc., it may have been cheaper staying at an AI (it’s not a cheap country at all). We did St Lucia for 2 wks with the kids 20 yrs ago and it was expensive then. A Toronto lady had a house for rent and it was a good deal. We flew on points. I had a bunch of Amex points because I could buy business supplies using Amex (at the time, till they found out what it cost the supplier). Then I converted the points to Continental Air, then to BWIA and it went from 2 return tickets with Amex to 5. Zowie. The bonus was that we made it there & back on Beewee – alive .The house was in the semi countryside with goats and roosters next door and an outdoor bar 3 doors down. It was super hot with no a/c so not a lot of sleep but the days were lots of fun. I love to shop & cook, so that makes a big difference. We met a lady from Quebec that had a B&B there and we had one dinner but she was full for the night. The trip around the island back then was not so easy as the roads were under construction and it took two days to make it with sight seeing.
So, we’ve been here in Antigua for 8 days now (we’re leaving on Thursday) and I absolutely love the island. The beaches are great, the people are friendly and we’ve been touring around the island in our rental car. I think that it’s my favourite island so far!However, again….it’s not cheap being here. A Carib beer usually cost US $4 in a bar or restaurant, a Wadadli is $3 but the bottle is smaller. A rum punch is $6. If we have lunch at one of the many beach bars, it costs us about US $30 (two meals and two beers, but portions are pretty small here). We prefer just to pick up some stuff at the grocery store and actually the best lunch we’ve had was at the Roti King in St. Johns.

But hey, we’re on vacation and it’s at least 55 degrees Celcius warmer than back home!

Have a safe trip home!
I’m sure you won’t mind me picking your brain a bit when you return.

Have a safe trip home!
I’m sure you won’t mind me picking your brain a bit when you return.

No, not at all!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.