What makes Antigua and Barbuda a unique country to travel to?
Antigua and Barbuda is a two-island nation known for its beaches and is a favorite destination for yachtsmen. Tourist facilities are widely available, and English is the primary language. Banking facilities and ATMs are available throughout the island.
Violent crimes, including rape and murder, do occur, and reported cases appear to be rising in Antigua. Robberies and assaults have affected visitors as well as students studying in Antigua. Take precautions to ensure your safety when traveling around the island as well as in your residence or hotel. In November 2012, there were at least 10 tourists robbed within a week by armed men. Always avoid visiting isolated beaches alone and leaving valuables unattended. Be alert and maintain the same level of personal security used when visiting major U.S. cities.
Be especially vigilant when taking taxis in Antigua and Barbuda. Make certain that the taxi driver is licensed and is a member of the official taxi association. Unlicensed taxi operators have been known to extort money from passengers, despite having agreed to a fare beforehand. This can sometimes amount to double or triple the agreed-upon fare.
Don’t buy counterfeit and pirated goods, even if they are widely available. Not only are the bootlegs illegal in the United States, but you may also be breaking local law too.
Medical Facilities and Health Information
There are qualified doctors in Antigua and Barbuda, but medical facilities are limited to one public hospital and two private clinics. They do not meet U.S. standards. The principal medical facility in Antigua is Mount St. John, on Hospital Road, St. John's (telephone (268) 462-0251). There is no hyperbaric chamber; divers requiring treatment for decompression illness must be evacuated from the island to either Saba or Guadeloupe. Serious medical problems requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to the United States can cost thousands of dollars. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health services, and U.S. medical insurance is not always valid outside the United States. U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs do NOT provide payment for medical services outside the United States.
Traffic Safety and Road Conditions
While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Antigua and Barbuda is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.
Traffic in Antigua and Barbuda moves on the left. Major roads are in average to poor condition, and drivers may encounter wandering animals and slow-moving heavy equipment. Drivers often stop in the middle of the roadway without warning, so you should always maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you and watch for signs of sudden braking. There is relatively little police enforcement of traffic regulations. Buses and vans are frequently crowded and may travel at excessive speeds. Automobiles may lack working safety and signaling devices, such as brake lights.