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Antigua & Barbuda

Overview

    With over 365 beaches, there's a different beach for every day of the year!

It is no wonder that Horatio Nelson decided to base Great Britain's Caribbean fleet in Antigua. With the island boasting a coastline which varied from long stretches of beach to deep inlets, a coral reef which protected the island and trade winds that blew steadily. Include the white sandy beaches, warm sun and a relaxed mind-set there is no question as to why Antigua and its sister island Barbuda are one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Caribbean today!

Tourists visit in droves to enjoy the long stretches of beach throughout Antigua, the incredible protected nature reserve of Redonda, the superb bird sanctuary on Barbuda, and a diver's paradise where snorkellers and divers alike can explore shipwrecks along the coral reefs.

St. John's in Antigua, the capital and the largest city, is a popular cruise port. The city's important maritime history is visable throughout. St. John's also offers tourists a chance to shop, experience local cruising and relax on a nearby beach. On Barbuda, Codrington the main city and is the hub for exploring the many shipwrecks. For those that prefer dry land, the frigate bird population calls Codrington home. The number one attratcion however is the island's 365 sandy beaches and Eastern Caribbean flare.


General Information


Electricity

Electrical current is 220 and 110 volts, 60Hz, however the major resorts have both options availble in which case the American-style two-pin plugs are used.


Language

English is the official language, but most locals speak English Patois.


Health

There are no special health requirements for visitors to Antigua and Barbuda, except for yellow fever immunisation for those over one year of age arriving from an infected country. Hepatitis A vaccination is recommended but not mandatory. The Dengue Fever mosquito is found throughout the islands, and incidents of the disease are on the increase. Travellers should be aware that some types of tropical reef fish are poisonous, even when cooked. Health insurance with provision for medical evacuation is strongly recommended, as medical treatment is expensive. There is no hyperbaric chamber, therefore divers requiring treatment for decompression illness must be evacuated from the island. The private hospital, Adelin, requires a substantial credit card deposit before treating visitors, who then have to personally reclaim the cost from insurance on their return home.


Tipping

Tips of 10-15% are common in Antigua and Barbuda, depending on the service. Some restaurants and hotels will automatically add a 10% gratuity. Porters and bellhops expect 50 cents per bag, and taxi drivers 10-15% of the fare. The Sandals Grande Antiguan however prohibites tipping when staying at the resort.


Safety

Most tourists experience a trouble-free visit to Antigua and Barbuda but visitors should always stay aware of their surroundings. Visitors should take normal precautions by avoid isolated areas, including beaches after dark, and do not carry large amounts of cash or valuables.


Customs

Antiguans and Barbudans are primarily of African origin, descendants of slaves brought to the Island centuries ago to labour in the sugarcane fields. Away from the resorts the islands have a distinct West Indian flavour - calypso, steel bands and reggae are all popular. It is an offence to wear camouflage clothing as it is reserved for the military and beachwear should be confined to the beach.


Communications

The international access code for Antigua and Barbuda is +1, similar to that of Canada, the USA and most of the Caribbean, followed by 268. The outgoing code is 011 followed by the relevant country code. A GSM 900 mobile network covers Antigua, and GSM 1900 covers both Antigua and Barbuda. Internet cafes are available in tourist areas.


Duty Free

Travellers to Antigua over 18 years do not have to pay duty on 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 227g of tobacco. 170ml of perfume and 1 litre wine or spirits is also allowed.


Currency

The Eastern Caribbean Dollar (XCD) is the main form of currency in Antigua and Barbuda, and it is tied to the US Dollar. US currency can be used nearly everywhere. Major currencies and travellers cheques can be exchanged at the international banks in St John's and at many hotels. Credit and debit cards are widely accepted but there are very few ATMs in the area, so it is best to make arrangements prior to arriving.


Entry Requirements

Valid passports are required and we suggest that passports be valid for six months after departure. Visas are generally not required for stays less than one month. Visitors must hold confirmed onward or return tickets and sufficient funds to cover their period of intended stay or could be refused entry.

Please note that passport and visa requirements are subject to change with short notice. Please contact us for all up to date entry requirements for nationals of any country.


Tourist Board

Antigua and Barbuda Tourism

St John's, Antigua: +1 268 462 0480

www.antigua-barbuda.org






 

Antigua & Barbuda

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