Antigua and Barbuda : Travel Information before you go!
London is at least 10 hrs and 45 mins from Antigua, with one stopover. St.John's
is 4,000 mi from London.
V.C. Bird International Airport, Antigua's Airport, is located in the North-East of the island, five miles from the capital. The official taxi rate is displayed at the airport. From the airport to St-John's, allow for around 6,40 £ per person.
The island of Antigua is safe, but experiencing a rise in crime. Local papers are reporting various extremely violent events... far from the idea generally held of a small Caribbean island. In particular, isolated beaches are to be avoided. Attacks on tourists have occurred on some of them. And as everywhere, pickpockets are drawn to tourists with full pockets. During cyclone periods, you will remain barricaded inside, like everyone else. And before putting a foot in the water, watch out for any sea urchins.
English is the official language.
Required travel documents for
Valid passport and purchased return ticket required. A visa is not required for stays of up to one month. Beyond that, applying for a resident's permit is necessary..
There are more than 100 churches on the island of Antigua. Different creeds are practiced: Anglican (majority), Catholic, Adventist and Methodist.
The currency is the East Caribbean Dollar (XCD).
Everything is calculated or paid in US dollars on the basis of 1 USD = 2.72 XCD. (£1 = approx. 4.12 XCD)
It is a good idea to exchange money at the bank rather than pay in USD because the bank will offer you a better rate. Be aware, though, that when you leave, the bank at the airport will not take back any XCD you may have left over. Visa and MasterCard credit cards are accepted.
Some shops prefer to be paid in cash or travellers cheques. Banks are open from 8.00 am to 1:00 pm and from 3:00 pm to 5.00 pm Monday to Thursday, and from 8.00 am to 12.00 pm and 3:00 pm to 5.00 pm on Fridays. Some local branches of the Bank of Antigua are open on Saturday mornings.
By plane: links with the other Caribbean islands, of which Martinique, Guadeloupe, Saint-Barthelémy and St Lucia are secured by local regular companies. There is also the possibility of chartering a small aircraft with 5 to 9 places from Carib Aviation. For the island of Barbuda, allow for a 15 minute flight and around USD 45 (22 £) for a return ticket.
By bus: not many buses on the island. On Independence Avenue, East Bus Station serves the North and East of Antigua. Opposite the Saint-John's market, West Bus Station serves the villages of the South and English Harbour.
By car: it is the best way of visiting the island. Hire offices can be found at the airport and at Saint-John. In order to hire a vehicle, it is necessary to show your driving licence and another licence (USD 20) that can be bought in police stations or at the airport. Driving is on the left, on roads that are not very wide and are often in bad condition. Always check the condition of the spare tyre and take a jerry can of petrol. Taking out all risks insurance is highly recommended. The tourist office publishes a map of the island that indicates the petrol stations. Do not hesitate to take a map, as it is easy to get lost. It is possible to hire jeeps and... horses on the island of Barbuda.
By boat: there are boats for all tastes. Daily excursions can be organised to the surrounding small islands (Bird Island, Prickly Pear Island) and Barbuda. It is also possible to go out on the coral reef in glass-bottomed boats at Dickinson Bay and to take mini-cocktail cruises. For keen fishermen, it is possible to join a big game fishing party at Falmouth Harbour.
No vaccine required. Good sanitary conditions.
Like in the United States, the voltage is 110 V in most of the island and in hotels. Adaptor and a voltage transformer are essential.
Antigua and Barbuda have welcomed 609,717 tourists in 2003.
Taxes and tips
Tips are not included anywhere, thus it is calculated on the American model which corresponds to 10 to 15 % of the bill.
To call Antigua and Barbuda from England, dial 00 + 1268 + the number of the other party.
To call England from Antigua and Barbuda, dial 00 + 44 followed by the number of the other party without the initial zero.
Antigua and Barbuda : Useful addresses in the country
Antigua and Barbuda tourist office
2nd Floor, 45 Crawford Place, LONDON W1H 4LP.
Tel.: 01 53 75 15 71.
Fax: (44) 0207 258 0070.
High Commission for Antigua and Barbuda
Tel.: 01 53 96 93 96.
Fax: 01 53 96 93 97.
44 71 486 7073/4/5.
At the destination
At Antigua and Barbuda, the High Commission agency is at St-John's.
Tel.: (00 1 268) 462 0008.
Antigua and Barbuda Department of Tourism
Queen Elizabeth Highway, Saint-John's.
Tel.: 268 462 0480.
Fax: 268 462 2483.