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Antigua

Travel Guide Caribbean Antigua and Barbuda Antigua

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Introduction

Palms

Palms

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Antigua is the main island of the nation of Antigua and Barbuda and almost all people of the country live here, most of them in the capital Saint John's. While Barbuda is quiet and one of the least visited islands in the region, Antigua boasts incredible beaches, culture and a lively carnaval. Many people come here to relax, but the island has great diving, snorkelling and hiking as well as some thrilling adventurous activities.

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Cities

Saint John's, the capital

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Sights and Activities

Stingrays

Although there are many places on earth where you can come up close with stingrays, there are options of very enjoyable trips from Antigua as well. You will feed them when possible and even go swimming with them. Although they can sting, usually they are not agressive at all if not threatened and should always be approached with respect and care. For more information try the Stingray City Antigua website.

Betty's Hope

Betty's Hope!

Betty's Hope!

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Betty's Hope was the first sugar plantation in Antigua. It was built by Christopher Codrington in 1674, and named in after his daughter Betty. Ruins of the two stone windmills and a distillery can still be seen on the site and there is a small visitors centre. One of the windmills has been restored. There are informative tours with historical insights about this the sugar plantations in Antigua.

Antigua Carnival

Competitors

Competitors

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Go and celebrate one of the best Carnivals in the Caribbean at the island of Antigua. It is probably the biggest event that takes place on both islands and although it is not as impressive as a Rio Carnival, the people here sure know how to get dressed up, party, drink and have fun. And all without the problems of Rio. It should be noted, Carnival on Antigua is a 10-day event which ends the first Tuesday in August. Unlike most carnival celebrations which usher in Lent, Antigua's carnival celebrates the people's emancipation from slavery which took place August 1, 1834. Participants in the festivities hail from almost every Caribbean island, including Jamaica, St. Vincent, Trinidad/Tobago, St. Kitts and Anguilla, among others. More information on Antigua Carnival.

Other sights and activities

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Weather

Antigua has a pleasantly warm and tropical climate with generally hot and humid weather. From June to October is both the hot and wet season with temperatures around or above 30 degrees Celcius during the day and still above 25 degrees at night. The cooler but drier period of December to May averages around 27 degrees during the day and just above 20 degrees at night. Most rain falls from July onwards, but even in the dry season showers are possible. Hurricanes can strike from August onwards.

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Getting There

By Plane

Leeward Islands Air Transport (LIAT) is the national airline of Antigua and Barbuda based in Saint John's. It serves many islands in the Caribbean from the V.C. Bird International Airport (ANU). Destinations include Anguilla, Barbados, Dominica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia and Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. Several airlines fly directly from Toronto, New York, London and Frankfurt.

By Boat

The MV Fjortof is operated by Twin Islands Ferry Service Ltd (TIFS) and commenced regular ferry services to Montserrat from Antigua in December 2009, with a one-way trip time of approximately 90 minutes. The fares for the ferry service are EC$125.00 for a one-way-trip, EC$250.00 for an adult return trip and children under 12 pay EC$120 (US$1 = EC$2.65). Each passenger is allowed 2 pieces of baggage free of charge and any additional baggage is charged at EC $50.00 per piece.
No advance ticketing is required, as travelers can purchase their tickets upon check-in. To facilitate ticketing, check-in and other clearances at the point of sale at the ports, passengers are asked to check in 90 minutes in advance when travelling from Antigua and 60 minutes before the scheduled time for departure in Montserrat. In order to ensure continuity of service during the busy upcoming winter season, TIFS will have a backup ferry available to provide cover as may be required.
Travellers coming to Montserrat for the winter 2010-2011 period will benefit significantly from an expanded ferry service to the island from Antigua. From December 1st, 2010, the MV Fjortof ferry will operate the following schedule:

  • Monday: two departures from Antigua (8:00am and 4:30pm) and one from Montserrat (3:00pm)
  • Tuesday: two departures from Montserrat (6:30am and 7:15pm) and one from Antigua (5:30pm)
  • Wednesday: one departures from Antigua (5:30pm)
  • Thursday: two departures from Montserrat (6:30am and 2:30pm) and one from Antigua (8:30am)
  • Friday: two departures from Antigua (8:00am and 5:30pm) and one from Montserrat (3:00pm)
  • Saturday: two departures from Montserrat (7:00am and 7:15pm) and one from Antigua (5:30pm)
  • Sunday: no services.

For further information on the service contact Twin Islands Ferry Service Ltd by phone at (268) 464 8474 or email tifs.antigua@gmail.com. Additional information on the ferry service, updates, as well as general tourism information can be found at Visit Montserrat.

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Getting Around

By Car

There are numerous car rental agencies, both international and local, on the island of Antigua. Most of them can be found at the airport and some in smaller resort areas or in St. John's. Driving is on the left side of the road and you need to buy a temporary driving permit, valid for 90 days which you can buy for 20 USD at the rental agencies or nearest police station.

By Bus

The bus system is not really extensive and most services are erratic. Still, buses from St John's to Falmouth and English Harbour are plentiful, cheap, and take about 30 minutes. There are no buses to and from Dickenson Bay and the northern coastline but taxis are plentiful, albeit much more expensive of course. Still, prices are fixed by law and tips are not expected.

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Sleep

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This is version 7. Last edited at 11:58 on May 13, 13 by Peter. 29 articles link to this page.

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