The islands of Antigua and Barbuda have 365 beaches for recreation all year round, surrounded by paradise nature. Divers are attracted by magnificent coral reefs, and romantics are attracted by fiery sunsets over the smooth surface of the Atlantic. Everything about Antigua and Barbuda from the Subtleties of tourism: tours, map, photos and hotels.
Antigua and Barbuda is a state in the West Indies, located on three islands: Antigua, Barbuda and Redonda. The nature of the country is a string of secluded bays protected from storms by coral reefs, snow-white beaches and mountain peaks overgrown with lush vegetation. The largest of the islands, Antigua is the main tourist center with 365 beaches (change at least every day of the year!) And modern infrastructure: hotels, nightclubs, entertainment complexes, casinos. The second largest, Barbuda is completely coral, with magnificent nature, preserved in its original form.
But the creations of human hands on Barbuda were much less fortunate: in 2017, the ruthless hurricane Irma destroyed 90% of the buildings on the island – only ruins remained of residential buildings, shops and family restaurants. Antigua did not suffer so much: power lines and several coastal hotels were restored almost immediately, the airport started working after 1.5 days. Barbuda is still coming to its senses, but new buildings are being built for centuries – so as to protect locals and tourists as much as possible from the elements.
Near Barbuda is the uninhabited island park Redonda with an area of only about 1.5 square meters. km – a self-proclaimed state, whose history is no less interesting than landscapes.
Regions and resorts of Antigua and Barbuda
The capital of the island state is St. John ‘s. All the details about the cities and resorts of Antigua and Barbuda are on the page “Subtleties of tourism”.
The beaches of Barbuda are so long that sometimes they go beyond the horizon.
Tropical trade winds, warm and dry all year round. Winds blow almost constantly on the islands, noticeably intensifying by September. Rains (short-term) occur only in September-November. The driest period is from February to April, when there are no more than three rainy days per month. See Citypopulationreview for weather information.
Average water temperature +24…+26 °C, average air temperature by months: January-March +28 °C, April +29 °C, May-June +30 °C, July +31 °C, November-December +29°C. See also: weather forecast for Antigua and Barbuda for the next week and 10 days.
- What’s the weather like in Antigua in October
Visa and customs
Citizens of Russia do not need to apply for a visa to enter the country for the purpose of tourism for up to 30 days. For your own peace of mind, you should take out medical insurance for the entire period of the trip in advance.
Import and export of national and foreign currencies is not limited. You can import up to 1.13 liters of wine or strong alcohol into the country, up to 200 cigarettes (as an option – 250 g of tobacco or 50 cigars). Pets are allowed in the presence of an international veterinary passport with marks of all necessary vaccinations, plants – with a phytosanitary certificate. Medicines that do not require special permission – in an amount sufficient for personal use.
Under the ban is the import of weapons and drugs, ammunition, ammunition, as well as the export without special permission of items of historical and artistic value.
The monetary unit of the country is the East Caribbean dollar (XCD), in 1 dollar 100 cents. Current exchange rate: 1 XCD = 21.32 RUB (1 USD = 2.7 XCD, 1 EUR = 2.84 XCD).
Credit cards and traveler’s checks are accepted for payment in major hotels, restaurants and shops. Outside resort centers, it is better to use cash: both local currency and US dollars are in use.
Banks are open from Monday to Thursday from 8:00 to 17:00, break – 13:00-15:00, on Fridays – with a break 12:00-15:00. The most favorable rate is in the branches of international banks in St. John’s.
Before paying with a credit card, it does not hurt to find out in which currency the payment is accepted: converting XCD can be a costly undertaking.
It is customary to give 10-15% for tea, depending on the level of service. A government tax of 7-8.5% is added to the cost of services, so it is better to clarify in advance what is included in the indicated price. Taxi drivers usually leave 10% of the amount on the counter, maids and doormen – 2-3 XCD, porters at the airport – 1.35 XCD for each bag or suitcase.
How to avoid problems
The crime rate is relatively low: by observing basic precautions, you can keep your health and property safe and sound. There are pickpockets at the airport, ports and other crowded places, so it is more reasonable to leave large sums and documents in a hotel safe.
The islanders are friendly, easy to get in touch with and are happy to offer help in any situation.
Local drivers drive extremely famously, so pedestrians and motorists should be on the lookout. The tropical sun is merciless to fair skin, which means you should have high SPF products, sunglasses and hats in your suitcase. It is not customary to sunbathe topless on the beaches, it is better to swim in specially designated areas where there are no sharks, underwater rocks and dangerous currents.
There is no mandatory vaccination before entering the country, but vaccinations against hepatitis A, tuberculosis, diphtheria and polio will not interfere. The most common health problems are conjunctivitis and stomach problems. You should not drink raw tap water, but meat and dairy products are quite safe.
Useful phone numbers
Department of Tourism: 462-04-80
Nearest Russian Embassy in Jamaica: 22 Norbrook Drive, Kingston, 8; tel.: +1 (876) 924-10-48.
Shopping and stores
In St. John’s, there are entire streets with duty-free shops offering a variety of goods: clothes and shoes of world brands, jewelry, precious stones (including the famous Colombian emeralds), watches at fairly competitive prices.
On Fridays and Saturdays, there is a farmers’ market in the capital with fresh seafood, meat, vegetables and fruits, so you can stock up on groceries and buy edible souvenirs like guava jam. Shops are open from 8:00 to 12:00 and from 13:00 to 17:00.
From alcohol it is worth grabbing high-class Caribbean rum Cavalier and English Harbor. An excellent addition to the gift is colognes and shaving products with a recognizable rum aroma.
Colorful souvenirs are sold all over Antigua: wooden masks, woven mats and baskets, jewelry made from mollusks and shells, handicrafts made from coconut. Fashionistas will love bohemian wide-brimmed hats, fans of original interior decorations will love porcelain and crystal clocks and exotic lamps of various shapes and sizes.
There are far fewer shops in Barbuda, but there is something interesting there too: for example, in the Art Cafe near Two Foot Bay, you can pick up hand-painted T-shirts, bright paintings on silk and whimsical accessories.
Entertainment and attractions of Antigua and Barbuda
The main wealth of Antigua and Barbuda is, of course, nature: amazing pink and white beaches, warm waters of the Caribbean Sea, colorful coral reefs, caves and rocks. But connoisseurs of architecture should take a walk around St. John ‘s, where old defensive buildings and colonial mansions have been preserved. For example, Fort James was built in the 18th century to protect against the French conquerors: today only cannons with monograms remind of their former greatness, but the view of the harbor exceeds expectations.
An even more impressive observation deck is Fort Barrington at an altitude of 90 m.
The naval base in English Harbor was once commanded by Admiral Nelson, and his home-museum is also located here – a magnificent example of British architecture with valuable, albeit shabby exhibits. The Museum of Antigua and Barbuda has been opened in the center of the capital (off. site in English), which tells about the history and culture from the time of the Arawak Indians to the present day. And near the walls of the Cathedral of St. John, there is an old cemetery – gloomy, but very bewitching.
The nature of Barbuda was less affected by the hurricane than the infrastructure, but so far tour operators bring guests here for a maximum of a day: on the beaches put in order, you can snorkel, fish and wander through the caves.
The most famous natural monuments have terrifying names: slaves jumped into the water from the sheer cliff of the Devil’s Bridge, gaining freedom at the cost of life, and Hell’s Gate is a giant stone arch towering above the sea northeast of Antigua. Families with children are recommended to go to a touching donkey shelter (off. site in English), party-goers – to noisy Sunday parties in Shirley Heights. The list of attractions is completed by helicopter flights, jeep safaris, swimming with dolphins in the Marina Bay lagoon and catamaran trips to the mysterious uninhabited islands.