Antigua (pronounced An-tee'ga) has warm, steady winds, a complex coastline of safe harbours, and a protective, nearly unbroken wall of coral reef. In 1784 the legendary Admiral Horatio Nelson sailed to Antigua and established Great Britain's most important Caribbean base. The Brit's still visit this charming island but most come to its golden shores by plane direct from the UK. The islands beaches and its year-round warm weather are its main attraction but if you visit try to find time to wander away from the beach and explore the lush vegetation and rainforest that rises to the steep farmlands around Fig Tree Hill (figs are what Antiguans call bananas) before descending to the coastline again. Along the way are banana, mango, and coconut groves, as well as a number of old sugar mills and pleasant little churches.
Vaccinations and health
There are not many health requirements for travelers to come into the country, but yellow fever immunization for those coming from an infected area is mandatory. Typhoid and Hepatitis A vaccination is optional. The dengue fever mosquito is found all through the islands. Travelers should be conscious that some types of tropical reef fish are poisonous, even when cooked. Health insurance with provision for medical evacuation is strongly suggested, as medical treatment is expensive. We advise that you always check with your local GP regarding to vaccinations. Do not leave it to the last minute. Some vaccinations can take a length of time to start working properly. Allow at the latest 8 weeks before departing.
The cold season in Antigua is when the weather is most enjoyable, with humidity being at its lowest (around 75%). The months between June and October are classed as the hot season for Antigua and are when the island experiences its highest temperatures, although they’re only a few degrees higher than the coldest temperatures. The months from June to November form the hurricane season, so be very careful if you’re looking to holiday on the island at this time of year.
In both Antigua and Barbuda the standard voltage is 230 V. The standard frequency is 60 Hz. American-style two and three-pin (blade) plugs are used. You will need an adaptor if looking to charge your computer or phone.
The currency in Antigua is the Eastern Caribbean Dollar (EC$). US$ are also accepted along with credit cards.
The dialling code in Antigua is 00 1 268 from UK.
The time difference is -4 hours (-5 hours in the summer). This means they are behind us by 4 hours.
The official language is English, especially around the main tourist areas. Some parts of Antigua speak Antiguan Creole.
Visa and passport
Currently British holiday makers do not require a visa but it is always worth checking as rules can change. You must have a passport with at least 6 months validity.
Getting to St. Lucia
There are only two airports within the UK that fly to Antigua. These are London Gatwick and sometimes Manchester. The flight time for direct flights is between 8 and 9 hours.
Taxis are available everywhere with standardised rates. Taxis are identified by ‘TX’ on licence plates. There is also a bus service which is very cheap albeit the journey time can vary. You can also hire a car and there have been recent improvements to the road network. To hire a car you need to be over 25 years of age, been driving longer than 2 years and hold a full license.