Getting Around Antigua and Barbuda

  • Transportation
    by cjg1
  • 2013; going home.
    2013; going home.
    by cjg1
  • Transportation
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Most Viewed Transportation in Antigua and Barbuda

  • mazzap's Profile Photo

    Local Taxi Guided Tours

    by mazzap Updated Dec 21, 2010

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    We soon discovered that all the locals know exactly when & which cruise ships are arriving. Therefore it is relatively easy to find a local 'taxi driver' who will show you the highlights of his island for a very moderate sum as they turn up in droves at the port to welcome the ships! Sometimes you have to wait a while until they have filled their mini-bus making it more lucrative for them, but if you are fortunate enough, you will get the guide all to yourselves, as we did!

    In Antigua, we were soon approached by Sean John - a local minister & family man with his own taxi! He was a lovely friendly man & kept us well informed throughout our trip. He knew the island inside out & took us on a whistle-stop tour cramming in as much of the island in 1 day as is possible! He knew we wanted to spend some time on a nice beach & left us at his recommended choice of beach relaxing while he went off to collect his daughter from school!

    Based on trust, he returned to us in good time to ensure we were back to the ship for the specified departure time. We paid him accordingly at the end of the great journey! Thank you Sean John for a lovely day!

    Hubby, Son & guide Sean John
    Related to:
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    • Cruise

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    Taxis and Tours

    by grandmaR Updated Feb 11, 2010

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    We took a taxi from the cruise ship dock to the heliport, but it was part of the excursion. On our first visit in 2007, we saw a list of approved fares for taxi tours and there was also an hourly rate. There were folks hanging around the cruise ship dock waiting to take people on tours. Taxi license plates are yellow with black letters (photos 3, & 5)

    A tour to Nelson's Dockyard was $72.00 (US) or $18/person.

    Hourly rates for not less than 2 hours are $24.00 U.S./hour
    Each additional person over 4 people is – 25% of full fare or U.S. $6.00
    Waiting time $5.00 U.S. per ½ hour
    N.B. Baggage 1 – 4 pieces free - $2.50 E.C. each additional piece

    You can also book a tour like we did from the cruise ship (photo 4) with a tour operator such as:

    Scenic Tours Antigua
    Tours and Transportation
    P.O.Box W1639, St. John's
    Phone: 1 (268) 764 3060/720 4020

    NOTE: I have not used this tour company and cannot vouch for them. They were listed on the Antigua & Barbuda website

    From inside a taxi with window stickers Taxi tour booth at the dock Taxi license plate Our tour van in 2007 Taxi license plate in 2010
    Related to:
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    • Cruise
    • Family Travel

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    Local Taxi Drivers

    by fitbod Written Jan 17, 2005

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    It is a good idea to hire a local cab driver. Negotiate your price up front, telling him where you wish to go, sights you want to see and how long you want to be gone. They are very knowledgable and friendly, will take you to off-touristy places and share many interesting facts, tips and customs about their home. Ask them anything and you will be pleased with the answer. It is a great way to see the island and learn to appreciate it and it's people all at teh same time.
    If you wish to go to a beach, let them know. They will drop you off and pick you up again when you ask them to....honestly.

    One of Antigua's many coves
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    Getting Around on the Ground

    by grandmaR Written Feb 11, 2010

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    There is some local bus service; schedules and routes can be obtained through the hotels. You can rent a scooter at the cruise ship docks (photo 5).

    You can also rent a car which will cost about US$40-50 per day. A permit to drive in Antigua is required. The rental agency can assist you in getting this temporary license, which costs approximately US$20 and is valid for three months. Don't forget that driving here is on the left side of the road! Rental car license plates are white with red letters.

    Here is a listing of rental agencies:

    Budget Rent A Car
    Tel: 268-462-3009
    Tel: 268-462-6702

    Capital Car Rentals and Tours
    Tel: 268- 462-0863/461-2165

    Carters Rent A Car
    VC. Bird Int Airport
    Tel: 268-463-0675

    Dions Rent A Car & Taxi Service
    VC Bird Int Airport Coolidge
    Tel: 268-462-3466/461-3267

    Dollar Rent A Car
    Tel: 268-462-0362
    Tel: (268)-0123/460-7699
    VC. Bird Int Airport
    Tel: (268) 462-8802

    Hertz Rent A Car
    Tel: (268)481-4440
    Airport Branch (268)481-4455
    Royal Antiguan Branch 268-481-4457
    Jolly Harbour (268)2481-4456

    Huntley Car Rental
    Tel: (268)462-1575

    Hyatt Rent-A-Car
    English Harbour Branch (268)460-6551
    Lunar Park Branch (268)463-2012

    Ivor's Car Rental & Taxi Service
    Tel: (268)460-1241
    Tel: (268)460-3357

    Jacob's Rent -A-Car
    VC.Bird Int'l Airport
    Tel: (268)462-0576

    Jeeps R US Rentals
    Tel: (268)462-9099

    Jonas Rent-A-Car
    Tel: (268)462-3760
    VC.Bird Int'l Airport Branch (268)462-9296
    Jolly Harbour(268)462-9418

    Lion's Car Rental
    English Harbour Branch (268)460-1400
    Tel: (268)463-7100
    Airport Road Branch (268)562-2708

    National Car Rental
    Tel: (268)462-2113

    Oakland Rent-A-Car
    VC.Bird Int'l Airport Coolidge
    Tel: (268)462-3021

    Paradise Car Rental
    Tel: (268)462-9780

    Prince's Rent-A-Car
    Tel: (268)462-0766

    Rawlins Supreme Car Rental
    Tel: (268)461-0110/1878

    Stead's Rent-A-Car
    Airport Road (268)462-9970

    Slane's Supreme Car Rental
    Tel: (268)462-8789
    Tel: 268)461-6171
    Tel: (268)460-5836

    Thrifty Car Rental
    Airport Road St. John's
    Tel: (268)462-9532
    VC.Bird Int'l Airport Branch (268)462-8803

    Village Car Rental

    Bus shelter Driving on the left One way street in St. John's Police Station at the Dockyard Scooter rental and taxi/tour drivers
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    • Family Travel

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  • grandmaR's Profile Photo

    Cruise Ships

    by grandmaR Updated Apr 10, 2010

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    A lot of tourists come to Antigua for the day by cruise ship

    In 2010, our ship (Celebrity Mercury) backed in to the dock. Next to us - bow in- was Ocean Village, and on the next pier over was NCL Gem. The photos taken from the helicopter show all three of them. In 2007 when we came on the NCL Pearl, there were three other ships in port with us. One was the Astoria.

    According to BBC News, "Antigua and Barbuda is one of the Caribbean's most prosperous nations, thanks to its tourism industry and offshore financial services." Local vendors complain that different cruise ships bring different passengers and different types of spenders. Some days the beach can be full and only a hand full of sales are made. Other days there can be just 50 persons and you make more on that day than the rest of the week.

    Returning to the ship 2007 Cruise ships from a helicopter Cruise ships from a helicopter Returning to the ship 2010 Celebrity Mercury at the dock
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  • Assenczo's Profile Photo

    Simply efficient

    by Assenczo Written Mar 2, 2013

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    The minibus system in Antigua is perfect. Small vans ply the island from one end to the other on regular intervals. The only down side is that St. John’s is the hub and sometimes one has to make a detour to reach a place that seems much closer on the map. Even with this deficiency the minibuses are worth every penny for their flexibility and helpful staff. Some chauffeurs would even flag down a bus that goes towards your destination but is moving in the incoming traffic lane!
    Taxis to and from the airport are regulated and prices are set according to distance. Halleluiah! Finally a government in the Caribbean is doing its job! There is a web site that quotes the price list so one can be well informed in advance. For example, the trip from the airport to the Five Islands area costs 20USD.

    Related to:
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  • Flem2002's Profile Photo

    Hire a taxi for the day!

    by Flem2002 Written Jan 9, 2007

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    There are plenty of tours and trips on offer through your travel companies, but we found one of the best ways of seeing the island (which is small, after all) was to join up with another couple and hire out a taxi for the day. We negotiated a private deal with the guy who had driven us to Shirley Heights and he was very happy with a hundred dollars for the day (split four ways made it cheaper than a tour!)

    He picked us up early and drove us into St Johns and let us do an hour's shopping, then he took us to the English harbour and left us there for a couple of hours, we then had a tour of the middle of the island, looking at old windmills, before heading over to Devil's Bridge. He would answer all our questions, point out interesting things, stop to let us take photos whenever we said and was chuffed to be earning a lot more than he normally would in a day!

    You don't always get off the beaten track on tours
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    Antigua's bus system

    by Airpunk Written Mar 27, 2008

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    The most remarkable fact about Antigua’s bus system is the lack of a system. Well, it’s not that bad, but surely not comparable with european/north american standards. If you have travelled on mini-buses in Africa or South America, you may surely find it easier to get used to the buses in Antigua. There are several bus-lines running across the island, although there is no place to find something like a line grid or a schedule. Watch out for the few signs on the two main stations in St. John’s or ask the drivers. Then hop onto the bus, take a seat and pay your fare (you may pay your fare also when leaving, but it is more usual to pay when you get in). As there’s no schedule, the bus usually leaves when it’s full. The line number of the bus can be found on the upper left corner (from the driver’s perspective) of the window. Believe me, it is not that easy to find at first. Prices start from 2.00 EC$, depending on route - US$ are not accepted. Before you get out, yell out the place where you want to be left (usually: “BUS STOP”). Please note that buses stop almost everywhere to drop out passengers, but you are only allowed to step in at the bus stops.

    There are two bus stations in St. John’s, East and West. For tourists, the most important rroutes are 17 (St. John’s West station to English Harbour) and 33 (St. John’s East station to Willikies/Devil’s Bridge). Of course, depending on where you stay, other routes might be important too…

    In Antigua, tourists are rarely seen on public buses, so it is a way to get in touch with locals. Especially when you are sitting in the rear and have to ask the people sitting in the alley to stand up for you to get out of the bus.

    West Bus Station minibus - note the tiny line number on the window
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  • cjg1's Profile Photo

    American Airlines to Antigua

    by cjg1 Updated Oct 29, 2013

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    Our choice of airlines for flying to Antigua was American Airlines. In 2012; we had a non stop flight at 6:40am out of JFK. We did leave two hours late from the airport due to a mechanical issue but we arrived safetly in Antigua..even though it was in the middle of Tropical Storm Raphael.

    Our trip in 2013; was a non-stop out of JFK. We enjoyed a nice flight in business class and arrived to beautiful weather in Antigua unlike the year before.

    Ready for Antigua!

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    by Airpunk Written Apr 3, 2008

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    Taxis are associated with day-tours around the island in Antigua. But of course, there are also taxis driving you from one point of the island to another. These are the same vehicles, so it may be harder for you to find a taxi when one of the cruise ships is arriving and all taxis are tyring to get some of the lucrative day-tourists. But it is not impossible, as on other islands like Guadeloupe, for example. A taxi drive from St. John’s to the airport takes you around 9 US$ or 30 EC$. Higher fares are expected for longer routes or at night.

    Taxis close to King's Casino
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    by nyceagle1633 Written Sep 23, 2006

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    Buses cost minimum 1 USD or 2.50 EC. They do run most everywhere on the Island, but not on any time schedules of course. The West Bus Station in St. Johns is the central location where buses arrive and depart throughout the island.

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  • cjg1's Profile Photo

    Arrival Via Cruise Ship

    by cjg1 Updated Jan 11, 2012

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    St. John's, Antigua is a very popular cruise port in the Caribbean. My wife I took a 12 night Caribbean cruise on the Celebrity Silhouette and St. John's was one of our cruise ports.

    I know many people look down on "cruising" but I enjoy it. It's a way to relax on the sea days and get a taste of each island you visit. Many time we have visited an island in port and have decided to return for a full vacation due to what we experienced.

    The ship we sailed on was brand new; it first set sail in July 2011. It was spectacular both inside and out. We had an Aft balcony and loved the views we had especially at sea.

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    by cjg1 Written Jan 13, 2012

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    Taxi's are plentiful especially in the downtown area. Even if you don't need one; you'll be asked 100 times if you need a Taxi.

    Make sure to negotiate the price ahead of time before heading off to your destination.

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    Barbuda Express

    by cjg1 Written Jan 17, 2012

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    The Barbuda Express is the way to go when travelling between ST. John and Barbuda. The 90 minute ferry ride leaves from St. John five days a week.

    Ferry schedule can depend on weather conditions so check ahead of time before travelling.

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    Your chance to drive on the wrong side of the road

    by FlyingBrad Written Jan 21, 2005

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    When I was in Antigua I was a passenger in a car driving around the island. The problem was in Antigua you drive on the right hand side of the road (same as in USA). But strangely, most of the cars in Antigua also have the steering wheel on the right hand side (same as in Australia). This meant that I, the passenger, faced the oncoming traffic with little regard from the driver (himself new in Antigua) as he veered over the road. A scary & hairy experience.

    Related to:
    • Beaches
    • Historical Travel

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