Antigua Travel Tips


Antigua yachts in port

Antigua yachts in port; credit Antigua & Barbuda Tourism

Antigua Travel Tips

Antigua Facts

Official Language: English
Currency: Eastern Caribbean Dollar
Time Zone: Atlantic Standard Time
Est. Population: 69,000
Cruise Port City: St. John’s

Antigua Travel Tips

Passports are required for U.S. citizens.

Unless you plan to go “Off The Grid”, confirm that your selected hotel has WiFi before booking.

Antigua (An-tee’ga) located in the North Eastern Caribbean is a 108-square-mile island. The sister island of Barbuda (Bar-byew’ da) lies 27 miles north of Antigua with a land area of 62 square miles.

Other than eco-travel on Barbuda, most tourists visit Antigua for its attractions and 365 white sand beaches.

Unfortunately in 2017, Hurricane Irma destroyed most buildings in Barbuda. Its citizens were relocated to Antigua. Many Eco-travel sites have recovered though — nature finds a way.

An 12.5% government tax is added to hotel rates. Most hotels and restaurants also add a 10% service charge in lieu of tipping. If no service charge is added, porters and bellboys should receive US$1 per bag and taxi drivers expect 10-15% tip of the fare.

There is no departure tax payable for Antigua & Barbuda.

Antgua’s tropical climate averages 80 degrees Fahrenheit year round. As a result, the “dress code” is always “island casual.” Anytime is a great time of the year to travel here. Drink bottled water when available. Bring sunglasses, a hat and plenty of sunscreen lotion.

If you want to avoid crowds and high prices of peak tourist season, don’t visit from December to April. Hurricane season is from June to November.

If you don’t have international call capability on your smartphone, you can make phone calls near the cruise port. Purchase a local phone card for the best rates.

The post office is located on High Street in St. Johns. Post office hours are 9am-4pm Monday-Saturday.

Banks are open from 8am-2pm Monday-Thursday and 8am-4pm Friday. ATMs are located at banks.

Most stores are open 9am-5pm (Monday-Saturday). Some stores close for lunch.

Most electric outlets are British type, so bring or purchase a converter locally.

Usually 10-15% tip is left, depending on the level of service, while some restaurants and hotels will automatically add a 10% gratuity.

Medical services are provided by the Mount St. John Medical Centre (268.484.2700), as well as several general practitioners and specialists on the island operating privately. There are also community clinics.

The crime rate is less than a metropolitan city, but visitors should use common sense when out and about. Avoid walking alone at night. Do not flash expensive jewelry. Do not accept anything from strangers, not even car rides.

Avoid this Casino Scam. While in St. John’s, Keno Palace Casino on St. James street runs a variation on the “Razzle Dazzle” game in which a woman will try to lure you in to the Casino with the promise of free bets. The game they bring you to involves pulling balls out of a hopper, with the goal being to tally a score over 100. You’ll appear to be doing quite well at first, and will be enticed to bet real money to chase the cash pot. Before you know it, you may be out hundreds of dollars.

The major holidays in Antigua are New Year’s Day, Good Friday, Easter, Easter Monday, Labour Day, Whit Monday, Carnival Monday, Carnival Tuesday, Independence Day, Christmas Day, and Boxing Day.

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