One day during the late afternoon hours, a few friends and I drove to Hawksbill Beach to watch the sun set on the horizon. Located on the Western side of Antigua, Hawksbill Beach is mainly visited by villagers from the small community of Five Islands, as well as a number of tourists from the Rex Halcyon Resort nearby.
Hawksbill Beach received its name from a large rock offshore, whose features stongly resemble the head of a large sea turtle. The Hawksbill turtle is the most common type of turtle found in Antiguan waters, and it's actually an endangered species. The small rocky island is completely uninhabited, and most visitors are only able to see it from the beach or a bit closer during a circumnavigation boat cruise with a local operator or a chartered yacht.
Unlike the vast majority of the beaches in Antigua which have a wide variety of seaside vegetation along the shore, there's only a handful of coconut trees at Hawksbill Beach. The few that exist there are nicely accentuated with large whitewashed boulders at their base, but the number is insufficient for providing beachgoers with adequate shade during the sunny hours. Future visitors should take note, and bring along a portable beach umbrella if visiting during the Summer months. Fortunately for me, I arrived in the late afternoon, so the heat of the sun wasn't really an issue.
The overall atmosphere at the beach was relaxed and mostly quiet, apart from the soft lapping sounds as the tide rolled in. My friends and I spread a large towel on the soft, white sand and settled down to observe one of Mother Nature's most spectacular shows. Due to the large deposit of sand on the beach, my makeshift seat was exceedingly comfortable and the entire shore was devoid of litter so beach shoes weren't necessary.
Before I realized it, the sky started to change. It slowly transitioned from blue to gold, with scattered sections of light pink in between. The sky was patially blocked by clouds, whose linings appeared to glow an impressive hue of silver as the sun gradually inched towards the horizon. Shadows lengthed along the beach and the daylight started to fade as the sun dipped behind the clouds and hid from our view.
Everyone was quiet, as this beautiful scene unfolded before us. Birds chirped overhead as they nested for the night, and the tide flowed further inland, surging and eddying in it's effort to touch our feet. Soon came the moment I was waiting for. The sky transformed into a soft blend of pinks, yellows and oranges with a bit of the blue sky still battling to hold onto its colour. Within moments, the firey orb seeminly dropped below the surface of the sea, and the show came to an end.
The sunset at Hawksbill beach is incredible and the tranquility of the surroundings only add to the experience. If you're in the area with time to spare in the late afternoon, it's a great way to end the day on a high note. It costs absolutely nothing, but makes you that much richer inside.