Endless Caribbean_ Antigua and Barbuda Travel Guide - Updated

The Antigua and Barbuda Travel Guide

The sister islands Antigua and Barbuda are located in the north of the Lesser Antilles. Visitors choose these islands because of their beaches, climate, clean waters and range of attractions and activities. Antigua and Barbuda are a mere 39 miles apart. Their close proximity allows for island hopping excursions in the form of day trips by ferry or helicopter.

About the Antigua and Barbuda Travel Guide

Welcome to the Antigua and Barbuda Travel Guide. Find helpful travel tips about these sister islands in the middle of the Leeward Islands. Also read about airlines and ocean vessels that service Antigua and Barbuda; entry and visa requirements; accommodation; things to do in Antigua and Barbuda; customs and immigration regulations; transportation, and general tips about the island.

Best Time to Visit Antigua and Barbuda

Many people visit Antigua and Barbuda during the peak season between December and April to escape cold climates. During this time, more people travel to the islands and thus airfares and accommodation rates are higher. However, for a less crowded experience, it is best to visit the islands during the off season between May to November. The off season is also the hurricane season, so there are more chances for rain and tropical weather.

Travelling to Antigua and Barbuda

Several airlines and ocean vessels make regular scheduled stops in the islands.

Flying to Antigua and Barbuda

Flight services to Antigua and Barbuda are available from the following airlines: American Airlines, Caribbean Airlines, United Air, Delta, Air Canada, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Condor, Blue Panorama, LIAT and SVG Air.

Airports in Antigua and Barbuda

There are three airports in Antigua and Barbuda. The first is the main airport in Antigua. It is the V.C. Bird International Airport (IATA: TAPA; ICAO) which is located five miles from the capital St. John’s. V.C. Bird features currency exchange services, car-rental companies, a post office, porter services, a café, and a bookstore. The second is the Barbuda Codrington Airport in Barbuda. It is a small airport and has a very short runway that can only accommodate small aircraft. The third is the Coco Point Lodge Airstrip, which is a private airport and runway.

Sailing to to Antigua and Barbuda

Antigua and Barbuda receive commercial and private ocean vessels. There are also two ferry services that travel from Antigua to Barbuda.

Seaports in Antigua and Barbuda

Visitors arriving in Antigua and Barbuda by ocean vessel, must sail into one of the following ports of entry: Heritage Quay, Nelson’s Dockyard, Falmouth Harbour or into Barbuda. Heritage Quay has a duty-free shopping centre and is located on the outskirts of St. John’s. There is a daily ferry service between Antigua and Barbuda.

Antigua and Barbuda Entry/Visa Requirements

Before you travel to Antigua and Barbuda, there are a few entry and visa requirements to note.

Passports

All visitors to Antigua and Barbuda must possess a valid passport with at least six months before expiration.

Visas

Nationals of specific countries require a visa to enter Anguilla. Please check Visit Antigua and Barbuda to see if your country of nationality is on the list.

Entry Conditions

Visitors must possess a return ticket; confirmation of accommodation; and evidence of their ability to support themselves whilst on the islands.

Special Cases

Cruise ship visitors and in-transit passengers who are spending less than one day on either island, do not normally require a visa. However, visitors must provide proof that they will not be staying on Antigua and Barbuda for more than one day.

Antigua and Barbuda Customs and Immigration Regulations

All visitors (including infants) to Antigua and Barbuda must clear Customs and Immigration at the ports of entry to gain legal entry to the country.

All arriving passengers must complete the necessary immigration forms and submit to the the receiving officer. Passengers are required by law to declare to Customs, items purchased outside of Antigua and Barbuda.

All departing passengers must provide a completed departure record to the officer.

Where to Stay in Antigua and Barbuda

There is an impressive range of accommodation on Antigua and Barbuda. There are many hotels and resorts, cottages, villas, inns, guest houses and apartments. However, to guarantee your space at your desired location, you should make reservation before you visit the island. On arrival, Customs and Immigration will require this information.

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10 Hotels and Resorts in Antigua and Barbuda

Here are some of the hotels and resorts in Antigua and Barbuda:

10 Villas in Antigua and Barbuda

Here are some of the villas in Antigua and Barbuda:

10 Guest Houses in Antigua and Barbuda

Here are some of the guest houses in Antigua and Barbuda:

10 Apartments in Antigua and Barbuda

Here are some of the apartments in Antigua and Barbuda:

10 Airbnbs in Antigua and Barbuda

Here are some of the Airbnbs in Antigua and Barbuda:

Getting Around in Antigua and Barbuda

There are several transportation options available including local bus and train services. Other options include rental cars and taxis. To hire a car, you must have a valid driver’s license from your resident country and a temporary Antigua and Barbuda driver’s license. The temporary license is available through most car rental agencies.

Antigua and Barbuda Highlights

The islands are known for their relaxing trade winds, however it has developed specialties in new areas such as: Bird Watching; Charity Tourism; Culinary Tourism; Culture/ Heritage; Cycling; Diving; Festivals; Fishing; Golf; Health; Wellness and Spa; Business (Meetings, Conferences etc.); Sailing; Soft Adventures; Sports; as well as Weddings and Honeymoons.

10 Events in Antigua and Barbuda

Here are some of the events in Antigua and Barbuda:

  • Jan: Antigua Yacht Club Round the Race Island Tour
  • Feb: Jolly Harbour Valentines Regatta:
  • April: Antigua and Barbuda International Kite Festival:
  • May: Antigua and Barbuda Restaurant Week:
  • May: Barbuda’s Caribana
  • July: Antigua’s Carnival Celebrations:
  • August: Urlings Seafood Festival
  • September: Francis Nines Jr. Memorial Fishing Tournament & Seafood Festival
  • November: Independence Food Fair
  • December: Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Week

10 Landmarks in Antigua and Barbuda

Here are some of the landmarks in Antigua and Barbuda:

  • Fort Barrington: Protective fort built in the 1700s to protect St. John’s Harbour
  • Fort Berkeley: Fort on the peninsula that forms part of the entrance to English Harbour
  • Government House: 17th Century colonial architecture that is the official residence of the Governor General
  • Martello Tower: Barbudan defense base built in the early 1800s
  • Montpelier Sugar Factory: Ruins of 19th century sugar factory with intact equipment
  • Monk’s Hill: Site of Fort George, which once defended Falmouth, Antigua’s first town
  • Nelson’s Dockyard: UNESCO site that was home to the British Naval Dockyard
  • Newgate Street Commemorative Stone: Commemoration of the 1918 riots
  • Redonda: Small, volcanic island off the coasts of Antigua and Barbuda
  • St. John’s Cathedral: Historic Anglican church that was built in 1845

10 Places to Visit in Antigua and Barbuda

Here are some of the places to visit in Antigua and Barbuda:

  • Barbuda Caves: Sea cliff caves with petroglyphs made by Arawaks
  • Cades Bay Agricultural Station: Interesting agricultural hub that produces Antiguan Black Pineapple
  • Devil’s Bridge: Natural limestone bridge formed over the sea
  • Greencastle Hill: Ruins of an ancient observatory with Stonehenge vibes
  • Hell’s Gate: Small island close to Antigua
  • Museum of Antigua and Barbuda: Exhibition of Antigua and Barbuda’s geography, history and culture
  • Pillars of Hercules: Geological formations carved into the cliffs at English Harbour
  • Sir Vivian Richards Stadium: Entertainment hub, cricket venue and National Stadium of Antigua and Barbuda
  • Stony Hill Gully: Site of the planned uprising of 1736
  • Shirley Heights Lookout: Restored military lookout and gun battery with views of two harbours

10 Things to Do in Antigua and Barbuda

Here are some things to do in Antigua and Barbuda:

  • Learn about the culture and heritage of Antigua and Rastafari with a Rastafari Experience Antigua scenic tour
  • Explore the west coast of Antigua and Cades Reed on an inflatable watercraft
  • Visit Two Foot Bay and tour Indian Cave which has Arawak petroglyphs
  • Take a day trip to Barbuda and visit the largest Frigate Bird colony in the west
  • Prepare local cuisine with a Caribbean cooking class with Nicole’s Table
  • Spend a day at sea on a bottom sea or deep-sea fishing excursion
  • Book a private charter for a day of sailing, snorkelling, and swimming
  • Check off your Caribbean beaches bucket list by visiting at least ten of Antigua’s 365 beaches
  • Indulge in a luxurious wellness experience with a spa treatment
  • Volunteer with the Barbuda Sea Turtle Program and save the islands’ sea turtle populations

10 Foods to Try in Antigua and Barbuda

Here are some foods to try in Antigua and Barbuda:

  • Fungee and Pepperpot: National dish of Antigua and Barbuda made with cornmeal and okra and a flavourful meat stew
  • Antiguan Bread Pudding: Bread pudding with a spicy rum sauce
  • Saltfish and Chop-Up: Salted cod sauteed with herbs, onions and garlic and paired with vegetables
  • Ducana: Savoury sweet potato and coconut dumpling wrapped in a banana leaf
  • Antigua Black Pineapple: Locally grown pineapples that are tender and sweet
  • Tamarind Balls: Sweet snack made from tamarind pulp, spices, and sugar
  • Raisin Bun and Cheese: Sweet, spiced buns with butter and cheese
  • Roast Corn: Fresh ears of corn roasted on an open fire and slathered in butter, marinades or sauces
  • Grilled Barbudan Lobster: Fresh spiny lobster seasoned with lemon-garlic butter and grilled
  • Conch Water: Flavourful and well-seasoned conch broth

Weather in Antigua and Barbuda

Temperatures vary between 24 and 30 degrees Celcius during the day. The hurricane season is June 1st to November 30th. Annual rainfall averages 45 inches.

National Holidays in Antigua and Barbuda

The public holidays in Antigua and Barbuda are:

  • New Year’s Day: 01 January
  • Good Friday: March/ April
  • Easter Monday: March/ April
  • Labour Day: 01 May
  • Whit Monday: 50 days after Easter
  • Carnival Monday: First Monday in August
  • Carnival Tuesday: First Tuesday in August
  • Independence Day: 01 November
  • V.C Bird Day: 09 December
  • Christmas Day: 25 December
  • Boxing Day: 26 December

Antigua and Barbuda Travel Facts

Here are a few other tips to note before you travel to Antigua and Barbuda.

  • Official Language: English
  • Government: Parliamentary democracy under constitutional monarchy
  • Capital City: St. John’s
  • Area Code: 268
  • Time Zone: Atlantic Standard Time (GMT-4)
  • Size: Antigua is 108 square miles; Barbuda is 62 square miles
  • Population: 91,000
  • Location: Eastern arc of the Leeward Islands
  • Electricity: A combination of 110 Volts AC and 220 Volts AC.
  • Currency: Eastern Caribbean Dollar, but the US dollar is widely accepted.
  • Legal Drinking Age: 18
  • Closest Islands: St. Kitts, Nevis, Montserrat, Guadeloupe
  • Time Zone: Atlantic Standard Time. GMT -4
  • Driving: Left side of the road.
  • Dress Code: Informal / Casual, but conservative (Beach wear is not allowed in public places; nude and topless swimming and/or sunbathing are not permitted). Camouflage clothing is illegal and will be confiscated.
  • Beaches: All 365 beaches are public.

FAQs About Antigua and Barbuda

Here are some popular FAQs about travelling to Antigua and Barbuda:

Is Anguilla a safe country to visit?

Crime is relatively low in Antigua and Barbuda, however there are instances of petty crimes and theft. Secure your personal belongings, avoid carrying large sums of money and avoid deserted beaches and streets after dark.

What are the loud chirping sounds heard at night in Antigua and Barbuda?

The loud chirping sounds heard throughout the islands are from tree frogs and crickets.

Do I need a visa to travel from the United Kingdom to Antigua and Barbuda?

No. British passport holders do not need a visa to travel to Antigua and Barbuda. Your passport must be valid for at least six months after the date of arrival in the islands.

Can I wear camouflage clothing in Antigua and Barbuda?

No. It is an offence to wear or possess any items of camouflage clothing.

What is the best way to pay in Antigua and Barbuda?

Major credit cards and cash are acceptable in Antigua and Barbuda. The local currency is the Eastern Caribbean Dollar (ECD) and it can be purchased from commercial banks.

Is Barbuda still uninhabited?

No. After Hurricane Irma in 2017, Barbudans returned to the island in February 2019. The current population is approximately 2,000.

Can you travel between Antigua and Barbuda?

Yes, it is possible to travel from Antigua and Barbuda by ferry or helicopter. There are two ferry services – Codrington Express Ferry Service and the Barbuda Express. The helicopter service is operated by CalvinAir Helicopters. Additionally, there are also companies that offer private charters between the islands.

Where are the foreign embassies in Antigua and Barbuda?

The foreign embassies, high commissions and consulates in Antigua and Barbuda are:

  • Australia: Consulate of Australia, Caribseas Building, North Street, St. Johns, Antigua and Barbuda | Phone: 268-462-5915/ 5914/ 5913
  • Austria: Consulate of Austria, Coconut Beach Club in Five Islands, P.O. Box 1448, St. John’s, Antigua and Barbuda | Phone: 268-463-8698
  • Barbados: Barbados Consulate, Goddard Catering Group (Antigua Ltd), P. O. Box 585, St. Johns, Antigua and Barbuda | Phone: 268-462-3122, 268-727-7433
  • China: Chinese Embassy, Cedar Valley, St. John’s, Antigua and Barbuda , P.O. Box 1446 | Phone: 268-462-1125
  • Czech Republic: Honorary Consulate of the Czech Republic, Lower Factory Road, West Indies, St. John’s, Antigua and Barbuda | Phone: 268-460-5860/5861
  • Denmark: Royal Danish Consulate, 54 High Street, St. John’s, Antigua and Barbuda | Phone: 268-4620183
  • Dominican Republic: Dominican Republic Consulate, Suite #2, Stapleton House Stapleton Lane, Saint John’s, Antigua and Barbuda | Phone: 268-562-6570
  • Germany: Honorary Consulate Office of Germany, Monks Hill 13St. Paul’s, English Harbour, Antigua and Barbuda | Phone: 268-720-5452
  • Guyana: Honorary Consulate of Guyana, First Avenue , Lower Gambles , P.O. Box 1159 , St. John’s Antigua & Barbuda | Phone: 268-562-5314/ 5315
  • Italy: Embassy of Italy, Falmouth Harbour, Antigua and Barbuda | Phone: 268-460-543
  • Italy: Honorary Consulate of Italy, Falmouth Harbour, Antigua and Barbuda | Phone: 268-460-543
  • Jamaica: Jamaican Consulate, 6 Temple Street, P.O. Box 2372, Saint John’s, Antigua and Barbuda | Phone: 268-460-6184
  • Netherlands: Consulate of Netherlands, c/o Kenneth A. Gomez and Sons,, High Street P.O. Box 195 St. John’s, Antigua & Barbuda | Phone: 268-462-0308
  • Norway: Royal Norwegian Consulate, Francis Trading Agency Ltd,, Rioa Building, High Street St. John’s, Antigua & Barbuda | Phone: 268-462-4555
  • Portugal: Consulate of Portugal, Friar’s Hill Road, P.O Box 13, St. John’s, Antigua & Barbuda | Phone: 268-480-3200/ 268-461-3122
  • United States: Consular Agency of the United States of America, Jasmine Court, Suite #2, Friars Hill Rd., St. John’s, Antigua & Barbuda | Phone: 268-463-6531/ 268-463-6531
  • Venezuela: Embassy of Venezuela, Old Parham Road, P.O. Box 1201 St. Johns, Antigua and Barbuda | Phone: 268-462-1574/ 268-462-8923

Are Antigua and Barbuda expensive islands?

Antigua and Barbuda may be some of the more expensive islands in the Caribbean. This is partially due to the country’s high import bill and a high demand for the islands. However, travellers can find some excellent travel deals throughout the year, which are comparable to what would be spent on a vacation.

Where can I find more tourist information about Antigua and Barbuda?

To find travel information about Antigua and Barbuda, visit the Antigua Barbuda Tourism Authority’s official website. The site is a useful tourism portal for the islands and includes helpful tips for planning a trip.

Antigua and Barbuda Travel Inspiration

Planning a trip to Antigua and Barbuda? Read these Antigua and Barbuda travel articles to help plan your visit:

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