I did lot of research for my kiteboarding trip to Antigua. And it was worth it. I found affordable cottages directly at the beach and it’s really nice to kite over there. In addition to your place to stay just rent a car and you are ready to go. I was in Antigua in February 2016 and the Wind statistic for this time is really good. It’s not very strong wind, but decent and good for 12-14m kites. I really enjoy kiting in less wind, i like it more then 35-40knots. Normally you have constant trade winds that time. In June/July the wind probability is higher and actually better for kiting but it’s hurricane season. There were no Hurricanes in Antigua the last years but who knows, I think i will go in June next time… It’s off season so you will be even more of your own that time.
Alltogether I had till now my best kiting hollidays in the carribean in Antigua. The combination of the possibility to see things on the island (discover lot’s of beautiful beaches) and kiting in front of my accomodation for an affordable price for the carribean was great. And the weather of course awesome considering I left Vienna when it had -10°C.
Accomodation in Antigua for kitesurfers
You can basically take any accomodation in Antigua you like for your trip. You can browse here the available hotels. If you like Hotel Style more than Self-Catering I recommend one of these 2 hotels I found which are affordable too:
Hodges Bay Resort & Spa
Nearest possible place to the main Kitebeach Jabberwock Beach. Luxurious cool Carribean Hotel. Bit more expensive.
>> Open Hotel Page
Ocean Point Resort & Spa Adults Only
Hotel with good price value ratio near to Jabberwock Beach. Breakfast included. Hotelstyle as you would expect in in the carribean.
>> Open Hotel Page
If money is not so much an issue for you, have a look at this place. This is the most awesome resort I saw on the island (on the beach of the Resort you can go for free. although almost nobody does because of the dirt road going there… however this is much about my Budget but maybe for you? >> Hermitage Bay Resort
You can try The Northshore Aparthotel – quite near to Jabberwock Beach. Something between Hotel and Apartment. No Breakfast. Or the next one at Dutchmans Bay where I stayed. >> Open Hotel Page
Dutchmans Bay Cottages
This place I really found by coincidence. Here I stayed. Dutchmans Bay Cottages are 7 cottages located directly at the north of Dutchmans Bay. They are simple & modern and have everything I want as a kiter there. A terrace with hammock with sea-view. A big fridge, kitchen, nice bed, and a bathroom with a shower with warm water and good water pressure :) If you like 5* Luxury Hotels this is not your place. If you are happy with a nice “down to earth” accomodation an family atmosphere around – this is your place!
See yourself on the pictures. You see the cottages and the view from the terrace where I stayed. Perfect sea view although it’s in the second row. The kites pumped up just 20 steps ahead from my house. For my 2 weeks kite-holiday this was just so perfect it couldn’t be better. If you are experienced kiter it’s perfect to kite directly at the venues beach. If you want to make a course it’s also great because to Jabberwock School and the school located there it’s just a 3min drive.,
They are self-catering appartements of course. Bathroom towels are provided. A Maid comes 3 times a week. Tip Top. The owner David is also a nice guy and is welcoming kitesurfers. Tip: I talked to him and he said I can offer a 3% Discount for his place when you tell at your booking that you found his place over welovetokite.com!
Yes and directly next to the cottages there is a great Restaurant / Bar called „Garden Grill“. The food is delicious and they also have a pool that is free to use for cottage guests. And also an italian Restaurant ist there.
In this Video Jake Kelsick talks about the local kite spots. Most featured on this page and some only reachable by boat.
Travel / Flight
Take the plane to Antiguas St. John’s V. C. Bird International Airport (ANU). Rent a car from there and drive to your accomodation.
Wind, weather & waves
I would say the main season is from December to March /April for kiting. This is also high season on the island. Even though the Wind statistics looks better in June/July you may get a hurricane this time (which did not happen in Antigua the last years). When i was there in February i really had constant trade winds. Most of the time good for my 12m kite (70kg). So it was about 15-17knots then. So I would suggest rather take your bigger kites also with you and if you lack space in your bag leave the small kite at thome (but of course the best is you are prepared and always take all kites :).
Waves: Antigua is not a Wave-Kite Spot. Although on some spots you can kite to the reef and get some waves – I would not suggest this as kite-tourist as the reef is really often very shallow. If you really want to do this talk to the locals who can tell you exactly what to care about.
The spot with the „most waves“ is Half Moon Bay. Be careful there – the Waves break quickly and are very powerful. But as this spot only works with a SE wind, and need stronger wind, and is not a main kitespot this I see only as a „ok some times we go there“-spot – but not the spot where you take a flight from another continent to go wave-kiting if you know what is mean…
Check out the wind statistic below and direct Windfinder and Windguru Links.
Here you find the latest forecasts and a Wind-Archive
Jabberwock Beach is a national park so there are no permanent structures on the premises. Kitesurf Antigua brings their trailer down each day and sets up in the parking lot which is just a few steps away from the beach. They have a tent for shade and the surrounding trees provide extra shade and a little shelter from the winds so you can easily pump your kites.
Jabberwock Beach is big. So I guess there is always enough space for everybody on the beach and also on the water. The spot works with all Eastlery wind directions. When I was there we had ESE to E and it was all good although less gusty with E. But for me the gustier ESE still felt pretty constant and good. Apparently the more S in the wind the flatter the water in the bay usually gets.
Reefs: When you first arrive at the beach talk to the local guys from the kite-school. They will tell you where it’s safe to ride. There are white bouys in the water that mark a reef where you should not kite. Also you should try to stay within the bay because if you go past the point on the very north end of the beach it can be difficult to ride back upwind if you’re not fully powered up, in which case you will have to hitch hike back to Jabberwock.
Basically I consider Jabberwock Beach as a really good allround-kitespot. If you are not living at Duchtmans Bay Cottages then this will be the place where you go kiting most often.
Dutchmans Bay is the next beach south from Jabberwock-Beach. It is a bit smaller but still enough for kiting. I think it works best with slight south-east or north-east direction. Because with full east direction the wind will be complete onshore which some one may not like. For me it was still fun and good kiteable.
Why Kiting in Dutchmans Bay is great: On this beach is the only affordable place to stay on the island I found, that is directly at the Beach and you can also kite directly in front of your door. So this will be the main kitebeach for those who like to kite directly in front of their door. After kite-sessions leave your kite on the beach and enjoy a beer on your terrace watching the other kiters: And this is also a thing: watching the other kiters – if there are any! On the site there are 7 cottages and at the moment more of the people living there are non-kiters. So when I was there I was always the only one kiting on the water. So there is high probability this beach will be your kitebeach. How often do you find something in the carribean for an affordable price? Ok so i definitely became a fanboy of this place and will come again.
On the left of the beach (north) you see stones which i consider the one end of the beach. The other end is at Cecilia’s Restaurant. Huuuge space for one or two kiters :) Water is pretty flat (light choppy) because 2miles away is Long Island. I think thats why the water here is a bit flatter than at Jabberwock Beach. Below find the pics of the beach. You can also see the cottages at the back. Also check the Video on this page to get an impression about the place (which will take some weeks still available).
Green Island – Starting with boat trip from Nonsuch Bay
Green Island is a small island on the east-side of Antigua. You need a boat getting to the spot. If you don’t have one, then the Kiteschool situated at Nonsuch Bay Resort offers you a lift to the island for 40 USD per Person. (35USD if you buy 5 Lifts, 30USD if you buy 10 Lifts when you want to go more often or stay at an accomodation in that area). The boat from the Resort starts 8:30 am and 11am. You can get a ride back at 11am or 16:30. If you want to go call the 40knots Kiteschool and reserve a place. The Beach is a 5min boat ride from the school. As you can see on the pictures it is a beautiful spot. It is really flat as the reef blocks all the waves from the atlantic.
The beach to launch and land is pretty small but the guys from the kiteschool are really friendly and it seems there is launch and land service included in the lift-price :) and also if something happens they give you a rescues with their boats. When you ride there you ride basically between the beach where you launch and Bird island which you see is the little island near green siland (see pictures). If you go a bit upwind you have a huge super-turquoise laggon which is great to try every trick you ever wanted to try. There is basically no excuse not to try here :) What you should not do is ride over the reef – it’s really shallow and from below kind of sparrows stand up. So if you fall it could end bad, end the boat can’t go there because they can’t go through – so you would be on your own.
It’s also not allowed to go downwind back from Green Island to Nonsuchbay where you started which would else look pretty welcoming. Only if you rent an instructor / boat for yourself. Then you could go downwind and right before the Resort you land in the water and they pack the kite in the water and return with you to the resort.
So I really recommend for everyboday to do in his kite holiday on Antigua at least one day a Green Island trip. If I would knew how it is before my trip I would have done it once a week. Not more because you are not so flexible when you go over there, but this everybody has to decide himself :)
Halfmoon Bay Beach
Halfmoon Bay is not only the best place to watch the sun rising in the morning but also the kitespot with the most waves. When I was there they where not really big, but still something to play around with. It seems it needs a bit more wind then the other spots. When I was there I felt on other beaches there was like 15knots and in Halfmoon Bay it felt like 8knots. I think because how the bay is situated it needs stronger wind to come through.
Be careful in the Bay. The waves are slow and break one time very strong. Even if they are small they are very powerfull. Also there are stones at the left where you should not kite.
On the beach is also a really nice beach bar where you can enjoy a beer after you session.
Kiteboarding on Barbuda
For one day I went to Barbuda with the Ferry (www.barbudaexpress.com). I also recommend doing this at least one day – better two. First I thought this place will also be great to kite but then I realised without a boat it will be difficult. There are great spots on the Island like Cocoa Point. Superflat and beautiful but all offshore. So I think most people who kite here come by boat or rent one. So not the normal touri-kite-trip.
So unfortunately for Barbuda I can not provide detailed kite-infos – only that without a boat you most probably don’t need to give it a try.
If you want to do a 2 day trip to Barbuda I may have a special tip for you: I met a guy over there called Freeston Thomas. Nice local guy, building his Restaurant/Bar and one cottage directly on a huuuge beach. He offers a 2 day kind of all-inclusive package for guests for USD 600 which is nothing compared to Resort prices. His place is basic, so if you need luxury don’t go. But if you like to have a huge beach for yourself alone whatching the stars in the night with your partner – then this may be something for you :) I describe his offer a bit more detailed below in the „Other things to do“ section.
I am sure there are many other spots where it is possible to kite as there are lots of resorts and beaches on the east coast of the island. But the ones mentioned above are the best ones to kite, so why go someone else? But if you are living at one of the resorts at the east coast it’s most probably possible to kite there.
If you have a boate you will also have more possibilities to explore the islands around – here i am also sure there are plenty of nice and flatwater places – but for me as a normal kite tourist that was kind of not accessible :)
You may also see a “secret spot” sometimes mentioned in social networks around the local Pro-Kiter Andre Philipp: I also did some research regarding this and it seems it is more a “private spot” than “secret spot”. It’s located at a private house and is therefore not really accessible for others. So if you don’t know Andre Philipp personally this will be not available to you (and me :).
Kitesurfing schools in Antigua
They are situated at Jabberwock Beach with their Trailer. They offer courses, rent gear and I think also sell stuff.
40knots Kiteboarding School
They are situated at Nonsuch Bay Resort. They offer courses, rent gear, sell gear and offer you lifts to green Island where they teach. Directly at Nonsuch Bay where the school is there is no beach to kite. So here for riding you have to go out with a boat. The course prices you find on their website. Regarding the lift for experienced kiters see the description of the „Green Island“ Spot in the Spots section of this page. I met the team, very nice and friendly people. I also bought a board there :) (A Shinn Monkette for my wife. Great board by the way :)
I talked to some people of both schools. Both were friendly and welcoming :) So for choosing the right school for you I think you should consider where you want to learn. At Jabberwock beach your are on the Main Island and maybe more flexible – whatever this means during a kitecourse :) – and on Green Island you are on a spot where you go by boat but the water is flatter and the spot a bit nice I would say. All the teachers will be certified teachers so they all should be able to teach you…
There is no extra kite-shop on the Island but the schools sell gear. Myself I bought a board at 40knots kiteschool. Which means if something breaks, you need a pump, screw, etc.: There are people on the island who can help you.
Normal Surf-Shop: If you want to buy some surf-clothes: I found a normal Surf-Shop in the Marina Part of Fallmouth Harbour (see pictures). The rent SUP Boards and have Boardshorts, Flip-Flops etc.
I asked my host at my accomodation if he can recommend some cars from local more private car rentals regarding price or style, but he told me the best way is still to rent a car at the airport. So I suggest using RentalCars.com’s comparison of available prices. I always book with them.
The carribean is basically pretty expensive. Beer in a bar is about 3USD which I find ok (1,5USD in the Supermarket). Nice Restaurants I consider very expensive (Main course around 20 USD). If you want to live with low budget then self-catering places are the ones you have to go. You can also buy cooked-food at boothes on the street or in one of the two big supermarkets on the island (“Epicurean” or “FirstChoice”). There you get a meal for about 15XCD which is around 5,5 USD. Hotel and Resorts i find super expensice with mostly prices around 500-1500USD per night a room. That’s why I recommend a place like Dutchmans Bay Cottage with their prices as this beachfront property has unbeatable relation for price and what you get for that – or the 2 venues I mention above too.
So well, altogether a more expensive holiday destination but it’s in your hand what you spend and you can as self-caterer survive without haveing to spend all your money for resorts and restaurants.
A typical day in Antigua for Kiteboarders
For your kite holidays: Stand up, kite in front of your house, have a beer, and relax :) And if you are bored explore the island with your car. I did nothing else :)
Nightlife, Bars, Restaurants, etc.
Most party as far as i know is in English Harbour. But ask locals if you are there. I didn’t party so much but kite ;). As restaurants I know that Cecilia’s is very nice – it’s on the southest point of Dutchmans Bay. Delicious food but very expensive. Also very good are the two restaurants directly at Dutchmansbay Cottages: La Busola – an italian restaurant. And the Garden Grill – French-carribean cuisine. If you are there and have later on other tipps for me let me know please!
Crime & Security
I didn’t see or meet or find any area where i didn’t feel safe. I also talked about this to my host and he confirmed this. So not really a safety issue there. Just stick to normal safety rules you would use anywhere in the world :)
General travel information
You don’t need an extra VISA or something like that for Antigua. If you fly through the USA don’t forget your ESTA you need for the transit.
Local Internet in Barbados
In some hotels you will have WiFi, some for free, some with paid subscriptions. I personally recommend buying a DigiCell or LIME Simcard which are the both cell-providers in Antigua. I bought a sim-card with 5GB Data Package valid for 30 days for 75XCD which is around 28 USD. If you don’t have free hotel-wifi this is probably the cheapest solution and you have Internet wether you are at your accomodation, Jabberwock Beach or even Green Island :) I also enjoy discovering the island with Google Maps Satellite view. So also for this you are prepared as well as for Spotify, etc. music in your car.
Things to do
See the „Spots“ Section of this Article regarding Kiteboarding in Barbuda. For you sightseeing trip I have a special contact for you. I met a guy called Freeston Thomas by accident while walking over the beach. He has a simple restaurant/bar and a cottage. So see on the pictures they are really simple. But I would say they have flair. So don’t expect Resort Luxury but local environment. But see also the beach that is in front of his place. Huge white/pink sand area. And there will be NOBODY over night. Which means you have this peace of beach alone for you for a night. Nobody around! I thinks this is worth more than every resort can offer you with their 100% perfectionism.
So I talked to Freeston (you see him on one picture below) to make me an offer/package I can offer on this page to support him as I really liked him and his place. He gave me the following offer:
- 1 night / 2 days (you arrive on day 1 with the ferry and leave next day with the ferry in the afternoon)
- 1 Breakfast on day 2
- 2 Lunches
- 1 Dinner on day 1 (He said with good fish or Lobster :)
- incl. Tours on day 1+2 to places he recommends or you want to see
for 600 USD for 2 persons together.
If you are interested contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or +1268 783 8624 or +1268 783 4702 and tell him you come from welovetokite.com.
Disclaimer: I have myself not used his offer as i stayed only 1 day on barbuda and just met him. So talk to him by mail and ask him all you need to know – he may also send you some pictures of his cottage which i didn’t see from the inside.
I am also looking forward to your review you can send me (some sentences would be great in the forum :) about his place and offer so I can include it later on this page for other readers and to support Freeston :) and get a real review from you and see if it is as good as it sounds!
Taxi in Barbuda: for a cool Taxi Driver in Barbuda go for Claude Burton. Tel: +1268 721 3552 or +1268 771 4345. E-Mail: email@example.com
For more information about Barbuda check out the Barbuda Website at barbudaful.net
Beaches to see
So beneath the beaches i described for kiting I also visited almost all accessible beaches (so those which are not only accessible through resorts.). Basically all beaches are public but in reality you can not access all because the road is privat…
But these are worth visiting:
This is of all beaches my most „secret“ tip. Bush Bay in the north of the island is really a very private beach. This is because from where you have to park you car you have to walk 30min to get there. But I really recommend it at it is beautiful and really untouched.
Nice, big long Public Beach near St. Johns. It is on the „not-windy“ side of the island so just for beaching and calm water.
Fort James Beach
Another nice, big long Public Beach near St. Johns. I prefer this to Runaway Beach as at the souther end of the beach there is a bar / restaurant. It is also on the „not-windy“ side of the island so just for beaching.
This Beach is boooooaaaah beautiful. You also have to take a pretty long dirt road to get here but it’s worth. In this bay is also Hermitage Bay Resort which I consider the most awesome Resort on the island as the Houses are basically built into the rainforest – you can see it on the venue/accomodation pictures. The beach is beautiful. Worth visiting. Maybe interesting for some girls: Lots of small shells there :)
Another nice beach worth visiting. Medium Specialness :) Very touristic Restaurant in the north which I didn’t like so much, but plenty of space in the south.
This I consider the must visit while you stay. From here you have the most beautiful view over the island. Mainly English Harbour and Fallmouth Harbour. Breathtakingly Beautiful. You will have to go by car there – expect like 8USD entry per Person. This also includes the entry to Nelsons Dockyard. At Shirley Heights you can also have a look at a 15 min digital presentation over the islands history (It’s more for school classes i think and looks a bit weird :) but also ok for unknowing tourists like me – and 15min are over fast.)
English Harbour & Nelson‘s Dockyards / Fallmouth Harbour
Fallmouth Harbour is the big Marina where all the Super-Yachts and normal Yachts are. There is a nice Marina part with a nice cafe. I enjoyed a coffee there twice. I Like the Marina atmosphere :)
English Harbour is a smaller historic Part (see on Google Maps to get an orientation between English Harbour and Fallmouth Harbour). In English Harbour is the historic Nelsons Dockyard which you can also visit (Included with the Shirley Heights Entry Ticket). Nice visiting this.
I skipped this one but it is also mentioned as one of the places one should see. It seems it’s the oldes Windmill of the island or so. If you are interested in this kind of stuff google it up.
Also considered one of the places to see for tourists. It’s a special rock-formation-bridge. Well i was medium impressed but if there is no wind, this may be an option too :)
Fig Tree Drive
Just drive through with your car. Beautiful trees and rainforest style around. Just nice driving through – nothing special to stop etc.
St. Johns, Heritage Quay, Redcliff Cay.
St. Johns is the Capital of Antigua. I recommend visiting Heritage Quay and checking out the huge cruise ships and if you are interested the tourist shopping around. Or Redcliff Quay for having a good coffee. The V.C. Bird Monument is medium monumental but if you are there check it out :)
If you want a good Coffee I recomend Java2Go Coffee or Nelsons Coffeehouse in Redcliff Quay.
Antigua Kitebeach Webcams
I searched a lot for them but didn’t find any. If you know one let me know and i include it here.
Q&A – Antigua Kiteboarding Forum
Do you want to ask any question about Kitesurfing in Antigua? Do it here, i will help as soon as possible.
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Written by mathias …
… and thanks to Halina Lesyk for making lots of pictures of this review page.