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Country Guides for Caribbean

Antigua & Barbuda

Antigua & Barbuda

Antigua & Barbuda claims a total of 365 beaches - one for each day of the year. These gorgeous, white and pink sandy beaches are surrounded by warm water, coral reefs and abundant sea life - perfect for divers and sun-worshippers alike. And there are lots of things to see and do on dry land too! St John's has a terrific Saturday morning market, bursting with handicrafts, flowers, fruit, and color, a good museum, and the lovely St John's Cathedral. Nearby English Harbour offers a glimpse into the 16th and 17th centuries, when Admiral Nelson was stationed there and pirates and privateers were frequent visitors, and the 20-mile Fig Tree Drive offers a wonderful tour through lush, tropical rainforest and tiny, thatched fishing villages. Birders will be delighted with Codrington Lagoon, home to the Caribbean's largest frigate bird colony, and Guiana Island where an abundance of exotic and endangered birds nest.

Language: English (official), local dialects

Major International Airport:

City

Airport
Airport
Code
Distance
From City
St John'sAntigua AirportANU4 miles SW

The preventive measures you need to take while traveling in the Caribbean depend on the areas you visit and the length of time you stay. You should observe the precautions listed in this document in most areas of this region.

Diseases found in the Caribbean (risk can vary by country and region within a country; quality of in-country surveillance also varies)

Food and Waterborne Diseases
Make sure your food and drinking water are safe. Food and waterborne diseases are the primary cause of illness in travelers. Travelers' diarrhea can be caused by viruses, bacteria, or parasites, which are found throughout the Caribbean and can contaminate food or water. Infections may cause diarrhea and vomiting (E. coli, Salmonella, cholera, and parasites), fever (typhoid fever and toxoplasmosis), or liver damage ( hepatitis). Illness caused by a parasitic worm (Angiostrongylus cantonensis) can occur in this region. People can get infected by eating raw or undercooked snails or slugs that are infected with the parasite.

Malaria
Malaria is always a serious disease and may be a deadly illness.

Humans get malaria from the bite of a mosquito infected with the parasite. Prevent this serious disease by seeing your health care provider for a prescription antimalarial drug and by protecting yourself against mosquito bites (see below). All travelers to malaria-risk areas in Haiti and the Dominican Republic, including infants, children, and former residents of these islands, are at risk for malaria. All travelers to Haiti are at risk for malaria, except no risk in the cruise port of Labadee (Labadie). Travelers to rural areas of the Dominican Republic, especially in the provinces bordering Haiti, are at risk for malaria. No risk in resorts in the Dominican Republic. Travelers to Haiti and rural Dominican Republic should take chloroquine to prevent malaria.

There is no risk for malaria in: Anguilla (U.K.), Antigua & Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda (U.K.), Cayman Islands (U.K.), Cuba, Dominica, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Jamaica, Martinique (France), Montserrat (U.K.), Netherlands Antilles, Puerto Rico (U.S.), St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks & Caicos (U.K.), Virgin Islands (U.K., U.S.).

Yellow Fever
Yellow fever is present only in Trinidad & Tobago in this region. A certificate of yellow fever vaccination may be required for entry into certain countries in the region if you have visited Trinidad & Tobago or an endemic area in South America or sub-Saharan Africa. For detailed information, see Comprehensive Yellow Fever Vaccination Requirements. Also, find the nearest authorized U.S. yellow fever vaccine center.

Other Disease Risks
Dengue is transmitted by mosquitoes in this region. Protecting yourself against insect bites (see below) will help to prevent this disease.

Cutaneous larval migrans is a risk for travelers with exposures on beaches and leptospirosis is present. Eosinophilic meningitis caused by Angiostongylus cantonensis occurred in travelers to Jamaica. Anthrax occurs in Haiti. Other infections that tend to occur more often in longer-term travelers (or immigrants from this region) include lymphatic filariasis (Dominican Republic and Haiti), cutaneous leishmaniais (Dominican Republic), tuberculosis (Haiti), HIV (Haiti), and hepatitis B (Haiti and the Dominican Republic). There remains very limited risk of schistosomiasis in few areas. Other hazards for travelers include toxic fish poisoning.

Other Health Risks

Injuries
Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of injury among travelers. Protect yourself from motor vehicle injuries: avoid drinking and driving; wear your safety belt and place children in age-appropriate restraints in the back seat; follow the local customs and laws regarding pedestrian safety and vehicle speed; obey the rules of the road; and use helmets on bikes, motorcycles, and motor bikes. Avoid boarding an overloaded bus or mini-bus. Where possible, hire a local driver.

Vaccinations

Routine Vaccinations
Check with your healthcare provider: you and your family may need routine as well as recommended vaccinations.

Before travel, be sure you and your children are up to date on all routine immunizations according to schedules approved by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practice (ACIP). See the schedule for adults and the schedule for infants and children. Some schedules can be accelerated for travel.

See your doctor at least 4-6 weeks before your trip to allow time for shots to take effect. If it is less than 4 weeks before you leave, you should still see your doctor. It might not be too late to get your shots or medications as well as other information about how to protect yourself from illness and injury while traveling.

Recommended Vaccinations The following vaccines may be recommended for your travel to The Caribbean. Discuss your travel plans and personal health with a health-care provider to determine which vaccines you will need.

  • hepatitis A or immune globulin (IG).Transmission of hepatitis A virus can occur through direct person-to-person contact; through exposure to contaminated water, ice, or shellfish harvested in contaminated water; or from fruits, vegetables, or other foods that are eaten uncooked and that were contaminated during harvesting or subsequent handling.
  • hepatitis B, especially if you might be exposed to blood or body fluids (for example, health-care workers), have sexual contact with the local population, or be exposed through medical treatment. hepatitis B vaccine is now recommended for all infants and for children ages 11-12 years who did not receive the series as infants.
  • rabies, if you might have extensive unprotected outdoor exposure in rural areas, such as might occur during camping, hiking, or bicycling, or engaging in certain occupational activities.
  • typhoid, particularly if you are visiting developing countries in this region. typhoid fever can be contracted through contaminated drinking water or food, or by eating food or drinking beverages that have been handled by a person who is infected. Large outbreaks are most often related to fecal contamination of water supplies or foods sold by street vendors
  • Yellow Fever, for travelers to Trinidad and Tobago
  • As needed, booster doses for tetanus-diphtheria and measles.

Required Vaccinations

  • None.

Staying Healthy

All travelers should take the following precautions, no matter the destination:

  • When using repellent on a child, apply it to your own hands and then rub them on your child. Avoid children's eyes and mouth and use it sparingly around their ears.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or, if hands are not visibly soiled, use a waterless, alcohol-based hand rub to remove potentially infectious materials from your skin and help prevent disease transmission.
  • In developing countries, drink only bottled or boiled water, or carbonated (bubbly) drinks in cans or bottles. Avoid tap water, fountain drinks, and ice cubes. If this is not possible, learn how to make water safer to drink.
  • Take your malaria prevention medication before, during, and after travel, as directed. (See your health care provider for a prescription.)
  • To prevent fungal and parasitic infections, keep feet clean and dry, and do not go barefoot, even on beaches.
  • Always use latex condoms to reduce the risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito and insect bites.
  • Do not eat food purchased from street vendors or food that is not well cooked to reduce risk of infection (i.e., hepatitis A and typhoid fever).
  • Do not drink beverages with ice.
  • Avoid dairy products, unless you know they have been pasteurized.
  • Do not swim in fresh water to avoid exposure to certain water-borne diseases such as schistosomiasis.
  • Do not handle animals, especially monkeys, dogs, and cats, to avoid bites and serious diseases (including rabies and plague). Consider pre-exposure rabies vaccination if you might have extensive unprotected outdoor exposure in rural areas.
  • Do not share needles for tattoos, body piercing or injections to prevent infections such as HIV and hepatitis B.

After You Return Home

If you have visited a malaria-risk area in Haiti or the Dominican Republic, continue taking your chloroquine for 4 weeks after leaving the risk area.

Malaria is always a serious disease and may be a deadly illness. If you become ill with a fever or flu-like illness either while traveling in a malaria-risk area or after you return home (for up to1 year), you should seek immediate medical attention and should tell the physician your travel history.



Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Those traveling to Antigua & Barbuda are at risk from dengue fever transmitted by mosquito bites. Travelers should use topical insect repellent and wear insecticide-treated clothing.

Download Magellan's Chart of Insect Protection and Water Purification Needs by CountryDownload Magellan's Chart of Insect Protection and Water Purification Needs by Country

The municipal water supplies in urban areas of Antigua & Barbuda are generally safe, but a moderate risk of parasitic contamination exists elsewhere. Travelers to rural areas are advised to treat water before drinking.

Download Magellan's Chart of Insect Protection and Water Purification Needs by CountryDownload Magellan's Chart of Insect Protection and Water Purification Needs by Country

CRIME: Petty street crime does occur, and valuables left unattended on beaches or in hotel rooms are vulnerable to theft. Violent crime takes place, but tends not to be directed towards tourists. As everywhere, visitors to Antigua and Barbuda are advised to be alert and maintain the same level of personal security used when visiting major U.S. cities.

The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the local police and the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. If you are the victim of a crime while overseas, in addition to reporting to local police, please contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for assistance. The Embassy/Consulate staff can, for example, assist you to find appropriate medical care, to contact family members or friends and explain how funds could be transferred. Although the investigation and prosecution of the crime is solely the responsibility of local authorities, consular officers can help you to understand the local criminal justice process and to find an attorney if needed.

U.S. citizens may refer to the Department of State's pamphlet, A Safe Trip Abroad, for ways to promote a trouble-free journey. The pamphlet is available by mail from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402, via the Internet at http://www.gpoaccess.gov, or via the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page at http://travel.state.gov.



Source: U.S. Department of State

The climate of Antigua & Barbuda is tropical, with warm conditions throughout the year. The heaviest rainfall is typically experienced between August and November, and at the higher elevations, although precipitation can be expected year round. The tropical storm/hurricane season is from May through October.


City
Annual
Precip. Days
Annual
Precip. Totals
St John's12841.5"

Antigua's electrical current is 230/50 and 110/60 (volts/hz) and uses the plug adaptors listed to the right under Related Items. Many North American appliances are designed to operate only within the 100-125 volt range. These appliances will suffer damage if plugged into 220-250 volts without the proper transformer or converter.

To determine which plug adaptors you'll need and if you'll require a transformer or converter, use our Electrical Connection Wizard.

For a detailed discussion of international electrical standards, see our related article on Electrical and Phone Adaptation.

Download Magellan's Guide to World Electrical ConnectionsDownload Magellan's Guide to World Electrical Connections

ENTRY/EXIT REQUIREMENTS: Valid or expired U.S. passports are accepted. Otherwise, a certified birth certificate and picture identification, i.e., a driver's license, are required of U.S. citizens. Immigration officials are strict about getting exact information about where visitors are staying, and will sometimes request to see a return ticket. There is no fee for entering the country, but there is a departure tax. U.S. citizens entering with documents other than U.S. passports should take special care in securing those documents while traveling. Travelers will not be allowed to return to the United States without sufficient evidence of identification and U.S. citizenship, and it can be time-consuming and difficult to acquire new proof of citizenship to facilitate return travel.

In an effort to prevent international child abduction, many governments have initiated procedures at entry/exit points. These often include requiring documentary evidence of relationship and permission for the child's travel from the parent(s) or legal guardian not present. Having such documentation on hand, even if not required, may facilitate entry/departure.

For further information on entry requirements, travelers can contact the Embassy of Antigua and Barbuda, 3216 New Mexico Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20016, telephone (202)362-5122, or consulates in Miami or New York. Additional information may be found on the Internet on the home page of the Antigua and Barbuda Department of Tourism at http://www.antigua-barbuda.org, or, the Antigua and Barbuda Permanent Mission to the UN at http://www.un.int/antigua/.



Source: U.S. Department of State

The time zone for Antigua is -4 hours offset from GMT, which means that if it is 12:00 noon in New York, the time in Antigua would be 1:00 pm

The unit of currency in Antigua is the East Caribbean dollar (XCD).

Look up the current exchange rate using XE.com's Universal Currency Converter

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