Nevis and Antigua: Paradise Simplified

The geographic opulence of Antigua carries with it an implicit challenge: give the island a year of your life and it'll give you a new beach every day. The 2.5-mile slice of aquatic heaven in the underwater park in Cades Reef sweetens the deal for scuba enthusiasts while Nevis, Antigua's western neighbor, ups the ante even more: three-mile strips of dark-gold sand set against a backdrop of palm and coconut trees. The 36-square-mile island also has excellent sea kayaking, invigorating summit hikes up the island's 3,232-foot peak, and enough mountain bike routes on abandoned roads to keep you panting back to the hammock for weeks on end—provided, of course, you decide to leave the hammock in the first place. And, should you yearn for something other than absolute tropical paradise, a boat or helicopter jaunt from Nevis to Montserrat will provide perspective. A massive volcanic eruption in 1997 destroyed the island's tourist infrastructure, but you can still day-trip to the northwestern coast to bike or 4x4 across the otherworldly volcanic landscape or go cave swimming in Woodlands Bay before returning to Nevis, where that pearl-white sand awaits.

Published: 13 Feb 2002 | Last Updated: 14 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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