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General Information on Antigua and Barbuda

Antigua Banks: Antigua and Barbuda Development Bank, Antigua and Barbuda Investment, Bank Antigua Commercial Bank, Bank of Antigua, Bank of Nova Scotia, Barclays Bank PLC, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Caribbean Corporation Bank, Royal Bank of Canada, Swiss American National Bank of Antigua. Banking hours are Monday through Thursday from 8:00am to 1:00pm and again from 3:00pm to 5:00pm; Friday from 8:00am to 12:00pm, and 3:00pm to 5:00pm.

Antigua Cell Phones:  Many tri-band phones work in Antigua – check before coming if your cell operator has an agreement with any of the providers in Antigua – Cable and Wireless, A.P.U.A., P.C.S. or Cingular.  If you plan to make a lot of local calls or spend a significant amount of time in Antigua it may be worth getting a pay-as-you-go deal here.  As long as your phone is unlocked (ED$50locally) you will be able to get a SIM card and local telephone number. You can then buy phone cards locally to top up your phone.

Antigua currency: Antigua uses the Eastern Caribbean dollar (EC$), whose fixed rate is fixed to the US dollar at an average of US$1 to EC$2.65.  It is advisable to verify exchange rates prior to your trip. US dollars, major credit cards and travellers cheques are also welcome everywhere.

Antigua Driving: Cars drive on the left-hand side of the road in Antigua.

Antigua Emergency numbers : For police, fire and ambulance - 911 or 999

Antigua Language: The official language of Antigua is English.

Antigua Medical Facilities: There are several general practitioners and specialists on the island, a hospital and a private clinic. No vaccinations are required unless the visitor is arriving from an endemic area. Recompression chambers are available by air ambulance at nearby Saba and in St. Thomas. Pharmaceutical services are widely available. Health concerns are few in Antigua, and are almost all completely avoidable. Unfortunately some people visiting the island tend to stay out in the sun too long without realising the intensity of the suns rays.  The sun that beats down on the Leeward islands is very powerful; if you lounge on your pool deck or on the beach unprotected you are very likely to end up with bad sunburn, if not sunstroke. Antiguan health authorities advise everyone visiting the islands, especially those who are fair-skinned, to apply sunscreen frequently. Pharmacies are widespread on the island, usually only a short distance from wherever you are staying, and are ideal for treating mild medical issues like sunburn and stomach upset.

Antigua Newspaper:  The Antigua Sun is the island's major daily publication. The online edition of the Antigua Sun is refreshed each day to correspond to its printed version. In both, you'll find all of the latest local news, including political, entertainment, and sports features. The Antigua Sun also publishes a community calendar for the island, featuring upcoming events on the island. The Antigua Sun releases a weekend edition of its newspaper as well, which is also put online and updated weekly.

Antigua Passport requirements : Entry requirements vary for each destination; it is your responsibility to verify you have the correct documents prior to travel. July 1, 2005 - a valid passport is required for travel to Antigua. January 1, 2006 - a valid passport is required for travel to all the Caribbean and Mexico. Nationals of the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth countries (except Bangladesh, Cameroon, Gambia, Ghana, India, Mozambique, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sierra Leone and Sri Lanka), Other EU Countries (except nationals of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Latvia and the Slovak Republic), USA, Canada, Australia & Japan do not require visas for stays of up to 6 months. Transit passengers continuing their journey within 24 hours, by the same or next connecting aircraft, provided they are holding valid onward or return documentation and not leaving the airport, also do not require visas.
Note: Cruise ship passengers do not require a visa provided that they arrive in Antigua and Barbuda in the morning and depart the same evening.

Travellers need to ensure that passports are valid for at least six months beyond period of stay.

Types of Visas: Single-entry (US$45. Valid for 3 months from date of issue); Multiple-entry (US$45. Valid for 6 months from date of issue).

It is advisable to check this information with your relevant embassy prior to travel.

Antigua Personal Safety Advice:  Antigua and Barbuda are relatively crime free, but normal precautions should be exercised, so please do not leave valuables unattended in rental cars or on the beach.

Antigua Security and Health: Antigua is generally a very safe island, but that does not mean that you should not take basic precautions when holidaying in Antigua. If you are renting a villa do not leave valuables unattended when touring the island, remember to close doors. Please also avoid displaying wealth, especially in the evenings and on deserted streets. With common sense precautions such as these you should feel nothing but safe and secure during your holiday on Antigua.

Antigua Shopping: Standard shopping hours are Monday to Saturday 8:00am to noon and 1:00pm-5:00pm.

Antigua Taxes:Antigua and Barbuda has a US$20.00 airport departure tax, a room tax of 8.5% and service charge of 10% (in lieu of tipping).

Antigua Telecommunications: Antigua and Barbuda are controlled by a division of the company that operates the systems of most islands in the Caribbean, Cable and Wireless. They sell prepaid phone cards (in different denominations) for local, regional, and international calling, while personal phone cards that connect to your long-distance provider will also work on the island. Additionally, there are several specialized "CALL USA" phones located across the island from which direct credit-card calls can be made to the US. Telephones in Antigua are the same as those in North America, using a three-digit area code (268) for long distance calling into and out of the island in addition to the seven-digit local number. The international dialling code for Antigua & Barbuda is +268. To dial overseas from within the islands, dial 011 followed by the relevant country code and phone number.

Antigua Time Zone: Antigua is on Atlantic Standard Time, one hour ahead of the Eastern time zone when it observes Daylight Savings (Antigua does not).

Antigua Tipping/Gratuities:
Some restaurants and hotels will automatically add a 10% gratuity. If in doubt, just ask. Give porters and bellhops 50 cents per bag, taxi drivers 10-15% of the fare.

Antigua Tourist Information:

Antigua and Barbuda
Department of Tourism
Corner of Nevis Street &
Friendly Alley
P.O. Box 363
St John's, Antigua W.I.
Tel: 268-462-0480
Fax: 268-462-2483

Antigua Voltage : Parts of Antigua use 110 volts and some 220 volts. Many accommodations have both available.

Antigua Weather:   Being situated in the Caribbean, the islands experience the typical climate of the tropics. This means that temperatures are usually quite warm and rainfall is to a minimum for most of the year. Average temperatures range, year round, between 80F/26C (February) to 85F/28C (August) allowing light summer attire suitable wear at all times (with wet weather gear recommended from October-December). There is just enough rainfall to maintain the cool greenery while the gentle trade winds help create an ideal climate throughout the year. November is by far the wettest month, with approximately 25cm of rain. Humidity remains at around 80% throughout the year. Tropical storms and hurricanes can occur between June-November.

The Definitive Guide to planning your Antigua vacation:
Learn traveler's basics, how to get there, how to get around once you're there, where to stay, and what to see and do.
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