Tourist facilities are widely available, and English is the primary language. At 108 square mi (280 square km), Antigua is the largest of the British Leeward Islands. It’s much smaller sister island Barbuda, is 26 mi (42 km) to the north. Together, they are an independent nation and part of the British Commonwealth. The island was under British control from 1667 until it achieved independence in 1981.
Antigua (pronounced An-tee’ga) and Barbuda are located in the middle of the Leeward Islands in the Eastern Caribbean, roughly 17 degrees north of the equator. To the south are the islands of Montserrat and Guadaloupe and to the north and west are Nevis, St. Kitts, St. Barts, and St. Martin.
Temperatures generally range from the mid-seventies in the winter to the mid-eighties in the summer. Annual rainfall averages only 45 inches, making it the sunniest of the Eastern Caribbean Islands and the northeast trade winds are nearly constant, flagging only in September.
Antigua has 365 beaches. That’s right, “one beach for each day of the year” as the locals like to say. Though when the island was first developed for tourism, the unofficial count was 53 (one for every weekend).
V.C Bird International Airport
All of our resorts are 40 minutes or less from the airport by cab.
Direct Flights from the U.S.A
– American Airlines flies direct from JFK and from Miami on a daily basis.
– United Airlines flies direct from Newark (EWR) every Saturday and Sunday. Flights are also available on other days depending on the time of year.
– Delta Airlines flies direct from Atlanta (ATL) and from JFK every Saturday.
– U.S. Airways flies direct from Charlotte NC (CTL) every Saturday.
– JetBlue flies direct from JFK every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.
Boat and Ferry Travel
Barbuda Express- Barbuda Express runs five days a week (generally Tuesday-Saturday, but call for the changing schedules) from Antigua’s Heritage Quay Ferry Dock. Fare is EC$110 one-way, EC$220 round-trip (day tour costs US$159); children 12 and under receive discounts. (268) 560-7989.
The main roads are mostly in good condition, with some bumpy dirt stretches at remote locations and a few hilly areas that flood easily and become impassable for a day. Driving is on the left hand side. To rent a car, you need a valid license and a temporary permit ($20), available through the rental agent. Costs start about $50 per day in season, with unlimited mileage, though multi-day discounts are standard. Most agencies offer automatic, stick-shift, and right-and left-hand drive. Four-wheel-drive vehicles ($55 per day) will get you more places and are useful because so many roads are over rough terrain.
Cruise Ship Travel
Though some ships dock, at the deep water harbor in downtown St. John’s, most use Heritage Quay. Most St. John’s attractions are an easy walk from Heritage Quay; the older part of the city is eight blocks away. A tourist information booth is in the main docking building.
If you intend to explore beyond St. John’s, consider hiring a taxi driver-guide. Taxis meet every cruise ship. They’re unmetered; fares are fixed and drivers are required to carry a rate card. Agree on the fare before setting off (make sure you know the price quoted is one-way or round-trip) and plan to tip drivers 10%. Some cabbies may take you from St. John’s to English Harbour and wait for a “reasonable” amount of time (about a half-hour) while you look around, for about $50; you can usually arrange an island tour for around $25 per hour. Renting your own car isn’t usually practical, since you must purchase a $20 temporary driving permit in addition to the car-rental fee, which is usually about $50 per day in the high season.
St. John’s taxi stand: You can always call a cab from the St. John’s taxi stand. (268) 462-5190, (268) 460-5353 for 24-hr service.
Passports and Immigration
It is strongly recommended that all members of your party travel with a passport with a valid date of at least six months past the date of your departure ‘’from’’ the island. For information on obtaining or renewing a US passport you can visit the US Department of State. For information on UK passports, visit the Identity and Passport Service of the Home Office. Valid Passports are required for entry to Antigua. In our current times, passports are the most expeditious and reliable form of identification when traveling domestically or internationally.
Similar to USA, 10-15% depending on the service. We suggest $2.00 per bag for porters and bellhops, and taxi drivers 10-15% of the fare.
Calling the US is easy ‘’from’’ Antigua. Our resorts offer US Direct calling service or can connect you with a US operator for calling home.
Antigua has a US $75.00 airport departure tax that will be included in the airline ticket.
Resorts predominantly use 110V, the same as in the United States.
Elegant casual. Beach attire is appropriate for the beach but not town, shops or restaurants. Most restaurants stipulate collared shirts and long pants for men and pant suits or dresses for women in the evening.
Antigua is in the Atlantic Standard Time zone, one hour ahead of Eastern Standard Time and the same as Eastern Daylight Time. Atlantic Standard Time is four hours behind GMT.
The official currency of Antigua is the Eastern Caribbean dollar which is fixed to the US dollar. A recent exchange rate was US$1.00 = EC$2.70. US currency, traveler’s checks and major credit cards are welcome everywhere.