Antigua & Barbuda Travel Guide

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Everything you need to know before you fly to Antigua & Barbuda

Average Trip Cost

NA

When To Go

December to April

Currency

Eastern Caribbean Dollar

Ideal length Of Stay

7 to 14 days

About Antigua & Barbuda

The islands of Antigua & Barbuda have always been the right place.  In 1784 Admiral Horatio Nelson established Great Britain’s Caribbean base on the island due in part to its virtually impenetrable coral reef and trade winds.  Over 200 years later, Antigua & Barbuda is still known for those magnificent trade winds, which aid in the popularity of the annual event Antigua Sailing Week.  Antigua & Barbuda is also still well known for its nearly flawless coral reef, which is populated with colorful tropical fish and the perfect place for snorkeling and diving.  The rugged coastline is ideal for hiking.  The 365 beaches, many hidden, are perfect for romantic getaways.  Antigua & Barbuda have always had it all.

Antigua & Barbuda is located in the Eastern Caribbean, south of Saint Martin/Sint Maarten and Saint Kitts.  At 17 degrees north from the equator, the climate is always hot and beach-worthy.  The 108 square miles that make up this slice of heaven is full of things to do and see.  Barbuda is home to the Frigate Bird Sanctuary and Princess Diana Beach.  Antigua is known for Nelson’s Dockyard National Park, which also contains Clarence House and Shirley Heights, and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Antigua is also known for its cultural sites like Betty’s Hope and its wide range of water sports, shopping, fine dining, and pristine beaches.   

Travelers are sure to find something they want to do on this lovely island.  Indeed they can go at whatever pace they choose – fast or slow; there is something for everyone on Antigua.  A diver’s delight the coral reef is home to many species of fish.  Travelers can enjoy snorkeling, snuba, or scuba diving along the reef and elsewhere on the island.  Because there are so many shipwrecks off the coast of Barbuda, experienced divers can explore the waters there in the hopes of catching a glimpse of an ancient ship.  The shelves that surround both of the islands make it a great location to explore whether you are an old hat or a newbie.

Sightseeing, trekking, horseback riding on pink and white sand beaches, massages at sunset, fine dining – all these opportunities and more are available on this stunning island.  Antigua is a gem and one that can be explored time and time again without ever getting old.

Where To Stay In Antigua & Barbuda

Visitors to Antigua & Barbuda stay in a wide variety of accommodations, including private rental, guesthouses, and luxurious all-inclusive hotels. Some of the best hotels in Antigua & Barbuda include:

  • The Admiral’s Inn & Gunpower Suites
  • Blue Waters Resort & Spa
  • Galley Bay Resort & Spa
  • Hermitage Bay Antigua
  • Keyonna Beach Resort
  • Jumby Bay Island Antigua
  • Royalton Antigua Spa & Resort
  • Sandals Grande Antigua
  • The Verandah Resort & Spa

Activities In Antigua & Barbuda

Major tourist activities in Antigua & Barbuda include:

  • Exploring historic capital city of St John’s stopping at the Museums of Antigua & Barbuda, 
  • Relaxing at one of Antigua & Barbuda’s 365 beaches, including Dickenson Bay one of the best on the island 
  • Exploring Nelson’s Dockyard National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site 
  • Swimming with stingrays at Stingray Antigua 
  • Taking a day trip to Barbuda spending time relaxing at Princess Diana Beach and also checking out the Frigate Bird Sanctuary

Facts About Antigua & Barbuda

Size:

Antigua: 108 square miles & Barbuda: 62 square miles 

Population:

Antigua: 86,500 & Barbuda: 1,250 

Official Language:

English

Demonym:

Antiguan and Barbudan

Capital City:

Antigua: St John’s & Barbuda: Codrington 

Government:

Parliamentary Democracy under British Constitutional Monarchy

Telephone Country Code:

268

Driving:

left side of the road

Local Beer:

Wadadli

National Dish:

Fungee (made from cornmeal and resembles Italian polenta) and Salt Fish

Main Airport:

VC Bird International Airport (ANU)

Electricity:

230v / 60Hz – plugs are US standard two and three-prong 

Visa Information For Antigua & Barbuda

Visitors from the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, along with Commonwealth and European countries in the Schengen Area, do not require a visa to enter Antigua & Barbuda.  Visitors from most other countries will require a visa.   

All visitors to Antigua & Barbuda must have a valid passport, a return or onward ticket, confirmation that they have a place to stay for the duration of their visit, and sufficient money for the length of their visit. 

How Long Does It Take To Get A Visa For Antigua & Barbuda

With a valid passport and supporting documents, it typically takes ten business days to process a visa application for Antigua & Barbuda. Visitors from the United States with a green card or H-1 visa can pay an additional US$20.00 for two days express service.

Is It Safe In Antigua & Barbuda

In comparison to major American and European cities, Antigua & Barbuda is relatively safe, and crime is low.  It is though recommended that visitors be vigilant at all times, especially when away from the major hotels and tourist areas.

How To Get To Antigua & Barbuda

Most visitors to Antigua & Barbuda arrive via the V. C. Bird International Airport (IATA: ANU, ICAO: TAPA) located 5 miles northeast of the capital city of St John’s. 

From Canada, book flights to Antigua & Barbuda via:

  • Air Canada:Toronto–Pearson
  • Sunwing Airlines: Montréal–Trudeau, Toronto–Pearson
  • WestJet: Toronto–Pearson

From the United States, book flights to Antigua & Barbuda via:

  • American Airlines: Miami, New York–JFK (Seasonal: Charlotte) 
  • Delta Air Lines: New York–JFK (Seasonal: Atlanta) 
  • JetBlue: New York–JFK
  • United Airlines: Newark

From the United Kingdom, book flights to Antigua & Barbuda via:

  • British Airways: London–Gatwick
  • Virgin Atlantic: London Heathrow 

From Europe, book flights to Antigua & Barbuda via:

  • Blue Panorama Airlines: Seasonal charter: Milan–Malpensa

Within the Caribbean region, book flights to Antigua & Barbuda via:

  • ABM Air: Barbuda, Montserrat
  • British Airways: Providenciales, St. Kitts, Tobago
  • Caribbean Airlines: Barbados, Kingston–Norman Manley, Port of Spain
  • Caribbean Helicopters: Barbuda, Dominica–Canefield, Montserrat, Nevis, Saint Kitts
  • Fly Montserrat: Barbuda, Montserrat, Nevis
  • InterCaribbean Airways: Tortola
  • Seaborne Airlines: San Juan
  • Sky High Aviation Services: Santo Domingo–Las Americas
  • St Barth Commuter: Saint Barthelemy
  • Tradewind Aviation: Saint Barthelemy
  • VI Airlink: Tortola
  • Winair: Sint Maarten, St. Barthelemy

When To Go To Antigua & Barbuda

High Season for Antigua & Barbuda is December through mid-April. With the weather warm and sunny, hotels are booked far in advance, and everything is open.  The low season for Antigua & Barbuda is from August to late October when the weather is muggy, and there is an increased risk of tropical storms.  

Major events attracting visitors to Aruba include:

  • January: Aruba Carnival
  • May: Aruba Soul Beach Music Festival 
  • July: Aruba Hi-Winds Kitesurfing Windsurfing Tournament
  • August: Aruba International Regatta
  • September: Casibari Jazz Festival Aruba
  • October: KLM Aruba Marathon

Weather In Antigua & Barbuda

Temperatures in Antigua & Barbuda generally range from the mid-seventies in the winter to the mid-eighties in the summer with low humidity. July and August are typically the hottest months. Antigua & Barbuda are considered the sunniest of all of the Eastern Caribbean islands because on only gets about 45 inches of rain every year.  September to November is the wettest months, and February to April are the driest periods, with an average of only three rainy days each month.

Getting Married In Antigua & Barbuda

Marriage Requirements:

Couples must visit the Ministry of Justice on lower Nevis Street in downtown St. John’s, the capital of Antigua, with the necessary documents to obtain their marriage license.  

Documents required

In addition to the completed application for marriage, both the bride and groom will need their:

  • passports 
  • birth certificates along with driver’s licenses or other forms of identification
  • certificates of no impediment or single status report

Also, if applicable: 

    • divorce papers i.e., decree absolute and/or death certificate of spouse
    • proof of parental consent if under 18, stamped and signed by a solicitor
    • proof of name change by Deed Poll stamped and signed by a solicitor

Residency Requirement:

There are no residency requirements to get married in Antigua and Barbuda.

Fees:

The special license required to marry in Antigua and Barbuda costs US$150. Payment is expected in full at the time of application. There is also a US$40 registration fee.

Witnesses: 

Two witnesses must be present at the ceremony.

Marriage Procedure:

The wedding ceremony is usually performed by the Registrar or Deputy Registrar in the Registrar’s Office or by a Civil Marriage Officer at a pre-selected location. The wedding must take place between 6 am and 8 pm. 

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