General Info, Travel Info, & FAQs are provided to assist with your vacation.
ATMs Not all ATMs in the Caribbean operate like those in your home country. Some may only accept a four digit PIN number, so if yours is longer you may want to change it before your trip. Ensure you keep your travel money in your primary chequing account as some ATMs default to this account and will not allow you to choose another. Withdrawal fees are generally much higher outside your home country.
On Antigua the main banks are Bank of Antigua (tel 268/480-5300), FirstCaribbean International Bank (tel 268/562-2640), Royal Bank of Canada (tel 268/480-1150) and Scotiabank (tel 268/480-1585). Generally they accept major credit cards on the Cirrus/Maestro and Electron/Plus networks and dispense Eastern Caribbean dollars. The Scotiabank ATM at the cruise ship dock also dispenses US dollars.
In Barbuda you'll find a branch of the Antigua Commercial Bank (tel 268/481-4215) near Codrington Airport.
BANKING AND BUSINESS HOURS Banks Hours vary widely depending on the bank and the branch, but most close for a few hours during lunch. In general they are open Mon-Thurs 8/9am-2/3/5pm (some are closed 1-3pm), Fri 8/9am-4/5pm (some are closed 12 noon-2/3pm), and Sat 8/9am-12 noon (Bank of Antigua only).
CHURCHES/RELIGIONS Mostly Anglican. There are also some other Protestant churches, including Baptist, Lutheran, Methodist, Moravian, Pentecostal and Seventh-day Adventist. Roman Catholic is also represented.
CURRENCY AND CREDIT CARDS The local currency is the Eastern Caribbean dollar (EC$ or XCD), which is divided into 100 cents. Paper money runs in denominations of EC$5, EC$10, EC$20, EC$50 and EC$100 bills, and coins in 1¢, 2¢, 5¢, 10¢, 25¢ and EC$1 pieces.
To ensure hassle-free purchases during your trip, you may want to contact your credit card company and let them know you will be travelling abroad.
EMERGENCY PHONE NUMBERS American Express: lost or stolen card, 336/393-1111 (call collect); lost or stolen cheques or cheque cards, 800/790-7170 Discover Card: 801/902-3100 MasterCard: 800-1561 Visa: 410/902-8022 (call collect) Western Union: British American Insurance Co, 497-5585
ENTRY REQUIREMENTS All visitors must present a valid passport and must also have an onward or return ticket. Visitors may also be asked to provide confirmation of accommodation and proof of sufficient funds for the duration of their stay.
Citizens of Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States may use a valid passport or an original naturalization certificate and do not require a visa. Nationals of other countries may require a visa. For more information call the Permanent Mission of Antigua & Barbuda to the United Nations at 212/541-4117 (New York) or the Antigua & Barbuda Immigration Department at 268/562-1387/9.
Note: As of January 8, 2007, all persons travelling by air to the Caribbean, Mexico and Bermuda will require a valid passport, Air NEXUS card or US Coast Guard Merchant Mariner Document to enter and/or re-enter the United States in accordance with the US Government's Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative. For more information visit the US Government's Bureau of Consular Affairs website at www.travel.state.gov.
Some countries require single/lone parents or other adults travelling alone with children to provide documents showing evidence of parental/custodial and/or access rights, and/or documents authorizing consent from the parents, legal guardian and/or the court for the children to travel. Parents of adopted children, particularly those of a different nationality, should carry the proper documents.
NEAREST FOREIGN REPRESENTATION British High Commission: 268/462-0008 or 268/463-0010 (Antigua) High Commission of Canada: 246/429-3550 (Barbados), 888/949-9993 (toll free within Antigua & Barbuda), 800/387-3124 (toll free to Ottawa) US Consular Agent: 268/463-6531 or 268/726-6531 (Antigua), 246/431-0225 (US Embassy, Consular Section, Barbados)
As of October 26, 2006
British pound sterling
European Union euro
HEALTH STANDARDS Antigua & Barbuda has one hospital, Holberton Hospital (tel 462-0251; St John's), a private clinic and a number of health centres. The new Mount St John's Hospital and Medical Centre is due for completion in October 2006. The private Adelin Medical Centre (tel 462-0866; St John's) does not accept medical travel insurance for payment. They require a US$4000 deposit (as of August 2005) by credit card prior to treatment. Additional facilities include the Gambles Medical Centre (tel 462-3050; St John's), the Fiennes Institute (tel 462-0419), St John's Hospital Project Team (tel 562-1115; Cassada Garden) and the Complant Hospital Project Team (tel 562-1213).
Doctors and hospitals may require immediate cash payment for services, and serious medical problems may require air ambulance evacuation to the United States. The closest hyperbaric chambers are located in Guadeloupe, Saba and St Thomas in the US Virgin Islands. Your home medical program may not provide payment for medical services outside your home country. Obtaining adequate medical/travel insurance, including air ambulance coverage, and consulting a physician or travel medicine specialist six to eight weeks prior to your trip to determine health risks and necessary vaccinations is recommended.
Pharmacies are plentiful, particularly in St John's. Woods Pharmacy (tel 462-9287) on Friars Hill Rd is open Mon-Sat 9am-10pm and Sun 11am-6pm. Old Nox Pharmacy (tel 562-4721) in Jardines Ct on St Mary's St is open Mon-Sat 8am-9pm and Sun 11am-6pm.
For all emergencies dial 911 or 999.
ILLEGAL ITEMS There are harsh penalties for possession, use or trafficking in illegal drugs, and strict regulations for the temporary importation or export of firearms, medications and animals. It is illegal, even for children, to import or wear camouflage material and camouflage clothing.
For more information call Customs and Excise at 268/462-0026/8.
POSTAGE The main post office (tel 562-1928) is located on the corner of High and Long sts in Antigua. Additional branches are located in All Saints, Barbuda, the Dockyard, Woods Mall and at the airport. Airmail to North America can take one to two weeks and to the UK, two to three weeks.
PUBLIC HOLIDAYS Jan 1 New Year's Day Mar/Apr (varies) Good Friday Mar/Apr (varies) Easter Monday May (first Mon) Labour Day May/June (varies) Whit Monday Aug (first Mon) Carnival Monday Aug (first Tue) Carnival Tuesday Nov 1 Independence Day Dec 9 National Heroes Day Dec 25 Christmas Day Dec 26 Boxing Day
Note: When a designated holiday falls on a Sun, the public holiday is observed on the Mon.
SHOPPING HOURS Shops are generally open Mon-Sat 8am-5pm. Some may close 12 noon-1pm and some close in the early afternoon on Thurs and Sat.
TAXES Hotels add an 8.5% government room tax to bills.
TELECOMMUNICATIONS The phone system in Antigua & Barbuda is modern and cellular and Internet services are available.
The country code is 268. Local phone numbers have seven digits. Local phone numbers begin with a 4 or 5 and cellular phone numbers begin with a 7. For local directory enquiries dial 411 and for international operator assistance dial 0.
Telephone service is provided by the state-owned Antigua Public Utilities Authority (APUA) and Cable & Wireless. C&W sells prepaid Phonecards, for use in public card phones, at more than 100 retailers where you see the Phonecard sign and at C&W retail stores (Long St, St John's, tel 480-4236; Woods Retail Store, tel 480-2628; Yacht Club Marina, tel 480-4260 or 480-2626).
For calls to the US, Canada and the Caribbean (excluding Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, Guadeloupe, Guyana, Martinique, St Maarten, St Martin, Saba, St Barts and St Eustatius) dial 1 + area code + local number. For calls to other countries dial 011 + country code + area code + local number. After dialling there is a short delay before the ring tone or busy signal.
To make collect calls dial 111 and follow the voice prompts.
To use American Express, Discover, MasterCard or Visa dial 1-800-744-7777, or dial the following based on your language preference and follow the voice prompts: English, 333 French, 343 German, 353 Spanish, 363 Italian, 373
You can also dial 1-800 CALL USA to use US calling cards, major credit cards and to make collect calls.
For more information see the section in FAQs: Can I use my calling card from here?
Not all US toll-free numbers work in Antigua & Barbuda. If you don't mind paying the normal C&W rate substitute 880 for 800, 881 for 888 and 882 for 877.
APUA, AT&T Wireless, C&W and Digicel (tel 481-3444) provide cellular roaming services. Check with your service provider to see if they have a roaming agreement with one of these companies.
TEMPERATURES Temperatures vary between the mid 70s (°F) in winter to the mid 80s (°F) in summer with an average annual temperature of 75°F.
TIME ZONE The island is on Atlantic Standard Time year round, which is four hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). During the summer the time is the same as on the east coast of North America and during the winter it is one hour ahead.
Disclaimer: Information is provided as a service to visitors and is updated regularly. All
information should be verified prior to travel.