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Getting to Antigua
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In the capital city St. John's, there are main branches of the international commercial banking establishments - Bank of Nova Scotia, Barclays Bank PLC and Royal Bank of Canada. Several indigenous and offshore banks have grown over the years and have resulted in increased banking services available on the island.
Mostly informal. A few hotels require jackets for dinner. It is preferable, as a gesture to the host country not to wear swimsuits or scanty clothing in the towns and villages.
Acceptable in most hotels and some restaurants and stores - please check beforehand. Travellers' cheques are always acceptable.
The Eastern Caribbean (EC) Dollar is fixed to the US$1.00. U.S. currency is accepted almost everywhere. U.S., Canadian and U.K. currency notes are freely exchangeable at banks. Some hotels will also change these currencies.
Antiguans enjoy a prosperity unusual in the Caribbean with an economy that has progressed steadily over the last thirty years. The major industry is tourism and there is a small active industrial sector producing clothing and assembling electronic equipment among other things.
Either 110 or 220 volts. Always check with your hotel management. In any event, conversion plugs can be arranged through the hotel.
Antigua is the largest of the Leeward islands being 108 square miles.
The coast is rugged and contains many bays with many fine white sand beaches. Elsewhere, especially on the west coats, there are small areas of mangrove swamp. The island is also surrounded by coral reefs. While the island is generally flat, the landscape is dotted with gently rolling hills with the highest point in the south-west, Boggy Peak, reaching 1,360 ft. The island is divided into seven parishes, with St. John's the capital city located in the parish bearing the same name.
The official language is English. A colourful variation is spoken in the villages, for example: "Ah fuh me ting dat" meaning "that thing belongs to me".
The dialling code to Antigua is 268 followed by seven digits. Direct dialling is available to and from most countries of the world. Calls can be made from hotels or from the office of Cable and Wireless in St. John's. Cellular phones are available for short and long term rentals from Boatphone. Local phone cards are available for use in special telephones placed around the island.
Tourist Board Offices
In the US:
Antigua & Barbuda Department of Tourism
In the U.K.:
Representing Germany, Australia, Switzerland, Italy & Northern Europe:
Antigua Hotels & Tourists Association
Though a scheduled public transporation system is not available, buses run on some routes. Travelling on a local bus is a great way to experience the local way of life and to see village communities. The local riders make visitors very welcome and ensure their well-being. Taxis are available everywhere on the with standard rates. Taxi tours can also be arranged. Car rentals are available from a number of reputable companies. Driving is on the left hand side of the road. You need to secure a local driving permit, easily obtainable from the Police Station or the Inland Revenue Department at a cost of US$20.
The water is generally safe to drink although some visitors prefer to buy bottled water which is readily available throughout the island.
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