The island of Antigua is a tourist's dream, with more than 365 beautiful beaches and numerous sights and attractions. But in order to explore the island, visitors must find transportation suited to their needs.
Those traveling by air plane or cruise ship to Antigua can get right to shopping, eating, or exploring the beach near St. John's, while visitors arriving by yacht will be treated to a taste of history by entering port in the charming English Harbour.
Major airlines such as V.C. Bird International Airport from destinations in North America, Europe, and the Caribbean., , , , and provide service to Antigua's
As the hub for regional and International traffic to the island, the steady increase of tourism in Antigua has been most noticeable at V.C. Bird, and the airport has struggled to keep up with increased traffic. Luckily, in 2011, the Ministry of Tourism decided to approve a budget to increase the airport’s size so that it can accommodate the high volume comings and goings of tourists. Renovations are underway and were scheduled to be completed at the end of 2013.
Be sure to click here and learn more about flying to Antigua.
...Sailing and yachting are especially popular...
Sailing and yachting are especially popular in Antigua as the island boasts challenging water ways on its eastern shore for the sailing elite. The historic English Harbour is a fabled destination among sailors and a major reason why sailing and yachting is such a popular means of traveling to or around Antigua. Antigua also hosts a popular Sailing Week and regatta each April, which is a major draw for yachters each year.
If you’re planning to sail to Antigua, you must enter at an official port of entry, and be prepared to pay post dues, harbor fees, and entry fees, as well as provide a list of crew and passengers and all of their official documents. If handling these types of details sounds overwhelming to you, you may consider sailing as a passenger aboard a chartered and crewed yacht, rather than sailing on your own. Click here to learn more.
One of the great things about cruising is that is allows you to visit several islands in one vacation. This option appeals to travelers who want to get a small flavor of more than one island in the Caribbean. But it can also be a great way to determine which places you’d like to return to in the future for an extended stay.
Whether you fly, cruise, or sail, getting to Antigua is part of the adventure. Whichever way you choose to make your arrival, Antigua offers beaches and culture for those traveling to its shores. You can read more information on cruising when you click here.
Antigua's public transportation system lets vacationers leave the driving to someone else. Public transportation vehicles can be recognized by their license plates, which feature the letters "HA" or "HB."
Rental cars provide a more independent way to see the island. Most of the rental car agencies in Antigua are located at the airport or in St. Johns, but outlets are also located in English Harbour and at some of the larger hotels. In order to operate a vehicle on the island, you must purchase a temporary local driver's license, which is good for up to six months and can be obtained at a local police station or rental agency for around $20(USD). Some resorts even have rental agencies on site that are able to issue temporary licenses. If you plan on staying at a resort in Antigua, ask the front desk if this is an option for you.
Renting a car and driving around the island can be a little tricky at first. Be sure to read our Antigua Rental Car Guide to get an idea of what to expect.
If you want to avoid the hassle of finding parking and the added cost of gas, then renting a bicycle might be your best transportation choice. Most people choose to rent a bicycle because the enjoy the physicality of using one as their main form of transportation rather than to make room for costly expenses in the budget. Still, with the cost of a bicycle rental often being only $10 less than that of a scooter or moped rental, many opt to go with the motorized one- and two-seaters. Scooters and mopeds are also a cost-efficient because less gas than cars.
Taxis are a popular way for travelers to get around the island's 15 miles of surfaced roads. Taxi fares are regulated by the government, and cabs do not contain meters. Your driver should have a rate card, but you should negotiate your fare before embarking on your journey. If you'd like to arrange a taxi-driven tour of the island, you can often do so via the concierge desk of your accommodations for about $24(USD) an hour, with a minimum of two hours allotted for the trip. Click here for more information.
If you choose to ride one of the buses in Antigua, be warned that you might find this method of transportation a little tricky to navigate. Buses are plentiful and they provide an inexpensive means of travel in Antigua, but deciphering the system can be difficult. The easiest solution is to allow plenty of extra time, and ask plenty of questions. Most people are happy to help, so you'll eventually get where you're going.
To help you get started on your own, a tip is to look for mini-vans with routes posted in the front window. That's right, the bus system in Antigua very rarely uses actual buses, and the "buses" that operate are almost all privately owned. Still, they are inexpensive and a great option for getting from here to there once you get the hang of them. More information on buses in Antigua can be found here.
Tourists who are intrigued by the notion of visiting Antigua's smaller sister Barbuda can do so aboard the Barbuda Express. This is a fast ferry service offering transportation between the two islands five days a week for about EC$110 each way for an adult. The trip last 90 minutes and in that time you'll feel as though you've been transported from a tourism-driven island to one that has a quieter, more serene nature about it. Learn more about this fun option by reading our Antigua Ferry Guide.
The transportation options available for getting around Antigua are so varied that everyone visiting the island will certainly find one that is the perfect fit for them. Whether you prefer to take the reins by driving your own rental vehicle, or you feel more comfortable allowing a cab or bus driver to navigate, there are plenty of opportunities to drive from here to there on the island.
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