Antigua and Barbuda Transportation
Reviews from VirtualTourist Members
American Airlines to Antigua
Our choice of airlines for flying to Antigua was American Airlines. 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.
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.
V.C. Bird International Airport
V.C. Bird International Airport is located in the Northeast part of the island and was only a 15 minute drive from our resort. We arrived via American Airlines on a direct flight out of JFK.The airport is a decent sized island airport and is currently undergoinging some big renovations and additions. Hopefully by our next visit we will see the new runways and terminals they have planned. Inside the terminal are several duty free shops sellings jewelry, liquor, perfume and other souvenir items.Arrival is easy but getting through customs and immigration can be lengthy. We arrived and it took at least 45 minutes from bag claim to our resort transport and we were one of the first offf the plane. We did arrive on their busiest day; Saturday which sees many flight from the US, Eurpoe and other Caribbean islands.
My wife and I were staying at Sandals Grande Antigua and they provided transport via shuttle van to the resort from the airport. The transport was clean and comfortable air conditioned. The fifteen minute ride to the resort provided a nice tour of some of the small island roads and rural areas.
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.
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.
Arrival Via Cruise Ship
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.
Local Taxi Guided Tours
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...
Danger of Driving Motorcycles on Antigua
I would avoid renting a scooter or motor bike. The roads on Antigua are very poor, to say they are littered with potholes is an understatement they are more like craters.If you hit one of these on a scooter of motor bike you are going to have an accident, in a car it will probably only result in a puncture.Also be very wary about visiting remote beaches, there has been a big increase in crime on Antigua and recently a girl from a cruise ship was murdered on a remote beach, so be warned.
A lot of tourists come to Antigua for the day by cruise shipIn 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.
Top 3 Hotels in Antigua and Barbuda
Reviews and photos of Antigua and Barbuda transportation posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Antigua and Barbuda sightseeing.