Antigua & Barbuda Travel Guide
Antigua, which means "Ancient" in Spanish, is a country in the Caribbean consisting of two main islands, Antigua and Barbuda. Self promoted as a luxury Caribbean destination, Antigua's economy relies heavily on the tourist trade.
The favourite sport in Antigua? Cricket! they even hosted the 2007 Cricket World Cup. Sailing is another popular sport on this Caribbean island. Yearly events such as the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta are considered elite in sailing competitions.
Anthem:Fair Antigua, We Salute Thee
Capital: St. John's
Time Zone: EST (UTC-5), Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Languages: English, and "Antigua Creole English"
Power Outlets: 230 V, 60 Hz, A/B (you will need an adapter if from North America)
Currency: East Caribbean Dollar (XCD)
Credit Cards: All major credit cards accepted.
Traveler Checks: Traveler checks accepted.
Side of road to drive on: Left
Every visitor must hold a valid passport to enter Antigua and/or Barbuda. Those travelling from Canada, United States of America, the United Kingdom, and many common wealth countries do not require a Visa in advance.
Visitors are not permitted to stay longer than six months, and must have a return ticket as proof of departure. They must also have their hotel confirmation, and evidence that they can maintain themselves economically for their stay in Antigua and/or Barbuda.
If a traveler is uncertain whether they need a Visa or not, they should verify with the Antigua and Barbada by calling 212-541-4119.
Cruise ship passengers visiting from countries that normally require a visa, do not need one so long as they arrive and depart on the cruise ship within the same day. This rule also applies to those who are stopping over in Antigua and/or Bermuda during flight travel.
Restricted/Prohibited Materials: All airports in Antigua and Barbuda follow and meet strict international security standards. All passengers are subject to these regulations.
Security Checkpoints: Departing passengers entering secure areas will be inspected, along with checked and carry-on bags. Restrictions on carry-on bags vary according to security alert level at time of travel, but it is generally advisable to pack everything in your checked bags except those items you must have for the flight, along with keys, jewellery & important documents. Be prepared to remove jackets, coats, belts and shoes, take laptop computer out of its case, place keys, cell phone and other electronic devices in inspection tray and remove resealable bag of lotions and medication for inspection. If you wish to lock your bags, you may do so after clearing all inspection points.These include guns, knives, explosives, lighters, compressed gas cylinders, flammable liquids such as paint thinner, turpentine or chlorine and other potentially dangerous household goods, including spray paint that could explode under pressure. Restricted items are subject to change.
Upon arriving in The Islands of the Antigua or Barbuda, everyone must fill out and sign an immigration form, keeping a portion of the card in hand until departing. Each adult visitor is allowed to bring 50 cigars, 200 cigarettes or one pound of tobacco, one quart of spirits, 6 ounces of perfume, and a variety of personal effects (personal radio headsets, bicycle, two still cameras, etc.).
Prohibited Materials Include; Pets and animals (special permission can be granted by contacting the Veterinary and Livestock Division in Antigua), meat and meat products, illegal drugs, knives (and any other deadly weapons), plants, plant products (ie. tea), counterfeit money, and pornographic material.
Note: Importing and/or wearing of any type of camouflage clothing is strictly prohibited in Antigua and Barbuda.
SALES TAX AND FEES
A sales tax rate of 15% is applied to consumer purchases.
A hotel room tax rate of 8.5% is applicable.
In some cases a Service Fee of 10% is applied in lieu of tipping, be sure to check your bill.
An airport departure fee of $28.00 USD is charged to each visitor when they leave.
Emergencies: The emergency numbers in the Antigua and Barbuda are 911 or 999.
Hospitals: Good medical facilities exist Antigua. Most recently St. John Medical Centre was built, which is a modern facility.
St. John Medical Centre
St. John's, Antigua
Tel: (268) 484-2700
Bringing in prescriptions: If you are required to take medication, you may carry only the amount you need for the flight in your carry-on bag. It should be in original packaging, along with the prescription.Vaccinations: Although no vaccinations are required at this time, it is always important to verify with your doctor six weeks before departure. If a frequent traveler it is highly recommended to obtain Hepatitis A and Typhoid vaccinations, while also having regular vaccines up to date (measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, polio vaccine)
Travelers over age one must provide a YELLOW FEVER VACCINATION CERTIFICATE, if they are coming from infected areas.
Although crime is not often reported by travelers, it has been known to occur. Terrorism is not considered a threat in Antigua.
Accused of a crime in Antigua or Barbuda: Persons violating laws in Antigua and/or Barbuda, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. If accused of a crime contact your embassy or consulate immediately.
Victims of Crime: If you are the victim of a crime in the Antigua and/or Barbuda you should contact the local police and your embassy for help. This includes the loss or theft of a passport. The embassy/consulate staff can, for example, help you find appropriate medical care, contact family members or friends, and explain how funds may be transferred. Although the investigation and prosecution of the crime are solely the responsibility of local Antigua authorities, consular officers can help you to understand the local criminal justice process and to find an attorney if needed.
Travelling to Antigua/Barbuda with a criminal record: Persons with criminal records or persons, who are on parole, should contact the government of Antigua directly, before purchasing any tickets.
Car Rental: You must be 18 or older with a valid drivers license, to rent a car. there may be restrictions on the type of car you can rent depending on your age.
Taxi: Taxi's are common in both Antigua and Barbuda. Government regulated rates are charged by car (1 to 4 passengers).
Public Transportation: Bus services are available in Antigua. Fares charged are per person. Several stops are found through the island. You can review a full schedule here.
Drivers License Info: You are required to obtain an Antigua drivers license to drive or rent a car in Antigua and Barbuda.
Motto: Each Endeavouring, All Achieving
Wardrobe: Informal and conservative best describe attire that should be worn in Antigua. beachwear is acceptable on the beach, but when shopping, dining, or out and about it is recommended to wear conservative clothing out of respect for the locals.
Smoking: Like in most of North America, Antigua and Barbuda's public buildings and spaces are smoke free. Smoking is allowed, but try not to do so in a crowd or right outside entrance doors.
Etiquette: Locals in Antigua are known to be hospitable and very polite. the culture of Antigua is deeply rooted in Christianity. Swearing, or disrespecting christianity is frowned upon. If you approach Antiguans respectfully, they will treat you with the same kindness. manners such as saying please and thank you are highly regarded.
Tipping: The usual tip is 10% to 15%; however, places include a 10% service fee on their bill, which is a tip, so be sure to verify before leaving anything.
TRAVEL AND SAFETY TIPS
- Always walk like you know where you are going, even if you don't. This
means keep your back upright and eyes straight ahead. When asking for
directions keep your voice low so others don't know you are lost.-Take
precautions. Do not wear a lot of jewelry or conspicuous clothing while
travelling to avoid being a target of crime.
- Be cautious when taking a taxi and always look for the appropriate documentation which should be posted in eyes view. Never take a cab from the airport that is off by itself.
- If your hotel or resort recommends staying on their property you should follow these precautions.
- Never leave valuables in a soft material. The seam can easily be cut. Often the crime takes place long before it is noticed. This applies to purses, bags and luggage.
- Do not invite strangers to your hotel room.
- Do not agree to meet strangers by yourself. Even those you consider new friends and fellow tourist's.
- Plan for the unexpected, this includes extra money and medication that is required should your stay be extended.
Health book/record of immunizations
Photocopy of all travel documents. (Do not keep this in the same place as your passport, visa, etc)
Fax, telex or letter stating that your visa will be available upon arrival for countries who do not issue visas outside their country. (I.e. UAE, Oman, etc.). Raveler checks
Major international credit cards (i.e. American Express, Diners, and VISA/MasterCard)
Airline frequent travel cards
Telephone numbers at destinations
Commercial invoice for laptop computers, etc. - check with the destination office on this
. Roof of travel/medical/car insurance
Prescription medicines in clearly labeled containers
Small first aid kit
Card listing allergies and medical conditions