Here you will find important information for travelling and staying in Antigua, as well as some useful links.
WEATHER & CLIMATE
Antigua & Barbuda enjoys a tropical climate throughout the year, cooled by trade winds and
south-easterly sea breezes.
Typically drier than a lot of the other Caribbean islands, temperatures range between 23 degrees
Celsius (74 degrees Fahrenheit) and 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit), although there can be exceptions
(as with all countries).
The hottest time of the year is between May and November, and annual rainfall is approximately 45
inches. The hurricane season generally runs from June until September.
Ideal clothing for Antigua and Barbuda's climate is lightweight cotton items or linen. It is a
good idea to pack some lightweight rainwear if travelling to the islands between September and December.
Please visit www.antiguamet.com for up to
date weather forecasts and information.
Money & Currency
The official currency of Antigua & Barbuda is the Eastern Caribbean dollar which is fixed to the US
dollar at a rate of US$1 to EC$2.65. Travellers checks and major credit cards are widely accepted.
Banking hours are Monday through Thursday from 8:00am to 1:00pm and again from 3:00pm to 5:00pm, and
Friday from 8:00am to 12:00pm, and 3:00pm to 5:00pm.
Main banks in Antigua & Barbuda are Bank of Antigua, First Caribbean International Bank, Antigua and
Barbuda Development Bank, Antigua and Barbuda Investment Bank, Antigua Commercial Bank, Bank of Nova Scotia, Royal Bank of Canada and Swiss American National Bank of Antigua.
For up-to-date exchange rates (Provided by XE.com) Click Here.
Telephones & Internet
It's easy to call home from Antigua & Barbuda. Most hotels offer a direct calling service, or can connect
you with an operator.
To call the United Kingdom from Antigua, dial 001 44, the area code, and then the number. To call the United
States from Antigua, dial 1, the area code, and then the number. To call Australia from Antigua, dial 00 61, the area code,
and then the number.
To save money on overseas call charges, consider purchasing an International phone card. These are available
to buy from several stores and locations throughout Antigua & Barbuda (look for the 'Phonecards Sold Here' sign).
Most tri-band mobile cell-phones work on the islands, and many will detect and operate on the most appropriate
network provider on arrival in Antigua. Alternatively, check with your local service provider to see if they have any agreements
with any of the Antiguan network providers. In any emergency, dial 999, 911, or 268-562-2433.
Most hotels and the Cable & Wireless building in St Johns provide Internet access. Internet phonecards are also
available for this use. Call your hotel in advance to find out whether they provide Internet access.
Most of the island operates on 220 volts, while most hotels operate on both 220 volts and 110 volts (they state
this clearly on signs near their outlets and sockets for plug-in appliances). The American two-pin sockets are standard, although
some hotels provide three-pin sockets.
If taking small appliances with you to Antigua, ensure that they allow for dual voltages. It is also advisable to
travel with adapters or converters, just in case.
It is also a good idea to call ahead to your hotel, as they may be able to provide small appliances for your use.
Antigua & Barbuda are Atlantic Standard Time, one hour ahead of Eastern Standard Time and the same as Eastern Daylight Time.
The islands are four hours behind Greenwich Mean Time, and five hours behind British Summer Time.
passport & Immigration
U.S, Canadian, U.K., Australian and E.U. nationals require a valid passport, a return or onward ticket, proof of intended
accommodation and proof of sufficient funds for the duration of the vacation in Antigua & Barbuda. A visitor may stay for 3-6 months without
special permission from the Antigua immigration authorities, if they are able to present all of the above items. Passports must be valid for
six months beyond the intended period of stay.
Nationals of Commonwealth countries (with the exception of Nigeria) and EC countries do not need a visa to travel to Antigua
and Barbuda. If you are visiting Antigua on a cruise ship, you do not need a Visa, provided you leave the island on the same day that you
The departure tax is payable by tourists when leaving Antigua. This is US$ 28.00 or EC$ 70.00, so remember to keep this back
for the end of your trip.
There are plenty of options for getting around the island.
Taxis can be recognised by their 'HA' or 'HB' number-plates. They are not metered, but carry a rate card, which you can view
before starting your journey. They are also a good way of getting a mini-guided tour.
Buses are an inexpensive way of navigating the island, but if you're not familiar with the bus system, you will find it very
complicated. Not all buses have destinations marked on them, and you may need to ask around or befriend a local to help you get around or
travel with you.
If you prefer your independence, you can rent a vehicle. Most of Antigua's car rental companies have an office within or
near to VC Bird International Airport, while some also have agents located within the hotels. To drive in Antigua, you must purchase a
temporary drivers' license. These can be obtained for around US$20 by presenting a full drivers' license at the local police station or car
rental agency. Remember - in Antigua we drive on the left!
Etiquette and Customs
In Antigua, it is customary to greet people by saying 'Good Morning', 'Good Afternoon', 'Good Evening' or 'Good Night' as
appropriate. Entering a shop, office, bar, restaurant or reception area without greeting those there is considered rude, and may result in a
slower service or response to your needs.
Tipping is generally accepted at 10-15%, depending on the level and quality of service. Tip hotel porters 50 cents per piece
of luggage, and taxi drivers 10-15% of the fare. Some restaurants and hotels will add a 10% gratuity automatically, so check this before leaving
an additional gratuity. There is also a 10.5% tax added to restaurant bills.
Antiguan attitudes towards attire are informal, yet conservative. This should be respected when visiting public areas and town
(see 'Appropriate Attire').
The style of dress in Antigua & Barbuda is relaxed and informal, but conservative.
Beach attire is appropriate for the beach but not town, shops or restaurants. Islanders' attitudes towards dress are quite
conservative, so wearing minimal clothing or skimpy bathing suits in town, shops and streets may be considered disrespectful.
Some hotels and restaurants require more formal attire in the evenings, such as jacket and tie for men and dresses for women.
Do check in advance and respect the rules.
Topless and nude sunbathing is generally unacceptable in Antigua, and may draw unnecessary attention. However, some hotels may
allow for this, but please check their rules before removing your clothes on the beach! There is only one official nudist beach in Antigua, at
the Hawksbill Hotel. It is the 4th beach away from the resort, and far from hotel rooms and very private.
There are several general practitioners and specialists on the island, a hospital and a private clinic.
Mount St Johns Medical Centre is located on Hospital Road in St Johns, and has a casualty department, intensive care unit,
surgery, radiology, pathology, maternity and childrens' ward. They can be contacted on Tel : 268-462-0251.
Adelin Clinic is a private facility located on Fort Road in St Johns, and provides emergency care, surgery, obstetrics and
gynaecology, family healthcare, reconstructive surgery and other services. They can be contacted on Tel : 268-462-0866.
In a medical emergency, dial 999, 911, or 268-562-2433.
No vaccinations are required unless the visitor is arriving from an endemic area. Pharmacies are located throughout the island,
with the popular Benjies Pharmacy on Redcliffe Street, St Johns, and Woods Pharmacy at the Woods Center in St Johns.
Don't let those cool sea breezes fool you - the most common ailments suffered by visitors to the islands are heat-stroke, sunburn
and dehydration. Therefore, take the correct measures for avoiding prolonged exposure to direct sun (especially from 11am onwards when the sun
is at its hottest), use the correct sun factor protection for your skin type, and drink plenty of water and non-alcoholic beverages.
Antigua is still a relatively crime free country, but as with any destination, do take normal precautions. Don't leave valuables on
display in rental cars, unattended on the beach, or on room balconies.
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