Antigua and Barbuda form a tiny nation with a population approaching 80,000. The Island is located in the northern part of the eastern Caribbean and is one of the Leeward Islands. The Island descended largely from African slaves and a mix of Europeans. This former British Colony is a popular tourist destination and is accessible on direct flight from the UK. Visitors flock to enjoy the stretches of beach and miles of excellent hikes on Antigua, the protected nature reserve of Redonda, the exclusive resorts and superb bird sanctuary on Barbuda, and world-class snorkelling and scuba diving among wrecks along the nation's coral reefs. The warm winds that Nelson relied on to bring his ships safely into harbour now contribute to one of the world's biggest maritime events, Sailing Week.
The nation's largest city is the popular cruise destination of St John's, situated on Antigua. With a strong maritime history, the city is filled with related attractions and also offers visitors a chance to shop, dine and unwind. Codrington (named after sugar plantation Christopher Codrington) is Barbuda's main city and acts as a base for explorations of the many coastal shipwrecks, as well as the island's frigate bird population. Ultimately, however, visitors to this island nation come to enjoy the expanse of impressive, sandy and secluded beaches and the unique atmosphere of the Eastern Caribbean.
Electrical current is 220 and 110 volts, 60Hz. Most hotels have both voltages available. American-style two-pin plugs are used.
English is the official language, but most locals speak English patois (jargon or dialect).
There are no special health requirements for visitors to Antigua and Barbuda, except for yellow fever immunisation for those over one year of age arriving from an infected country. Hepatitis A vaccination is recommended but not mandatory. MMR, Diphtheria, Tetanus and Polio vaccines are also recommended. The Dengue Fever mosquito is found throughout the islands, and incidents of the disease are on the increase; care should be taken to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. There is also a moderate risk of Zika virus. Pregnant women are asked to postpone non essential travel until after the pregnancy. Schistosomiais is a parasitic infection that comes from the larvae of freshwater snails. This can intact human skin if in contaminated waters. There is no vaccination, avoid swimming or bathing in freshwater where possible. Travellers should be aware that some types of tropical reef fish are poisonous, even when cooked. Chikungunya and West Nile Virus are in some parts of the Caribbean, transmitted through mosquito and tick bites. Health insurance with provision for medical evacuation is strongly recommended, as medical treatment is expensive. There is no hyperbaric chamber; divers requiring treatment for decompression illness must be evacuated from the island. The private hospital, Adelin, requires a substantial credit card deposit before treating visitors, who then have to personally reclaim the cost from insurance on their return home. Please contact the foreign office site for updated information. https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/antigua-and-barbuda/health
Tips of 10-15% are common, depending on the service. Some restaurants and hotels will automatically add a 10% gratuity. Porters and bellhops expect $1 per bag, and taxi drivers 10-15% of the fare. There is an additional room tax of 8.5%.