Antigua and Barbuda, Saint John’s, 18 – 21 April 2023

Santo Domingo to St.John’s, Antigua was on a 30 seat Embraer 120 with a stop at Tortola, British Virgin Islands, uneventful with a few bumps, to be expected of a small aircraft. I used Uber to get to the airport and it came to US$21 vs the US$40 using an Airport taxi when I arrived. The Santo Domingo airport is modern with restaurants and money changers. The Antigua airport is small, taxi fare to the town is regulated and US$25, a 10 minute drive, no Uber here. I tried a few ATM’s and they were limited to dispensing a maximum of EC$500 which is less than US$200 until I found the East Caribbean Amalgamated Bank which allowed me to take out EC$2000. It is located on the corner of High Street and Market Street in the heart of the town. The East Caribbean dollar is used by Antigua & Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Kitts & Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent & the Grenadines, Anguilla and Montserrat. These states are all members of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union. Credit cards are widely accepted. I bought a Digicel SIM card for 3 days 5GB plus calls and sms for EC$20.

This is a small island similar to Nassau but is not as popular with the Cruise ships, I only saw two in the four days I was there. Peak season in the Caribbean is between Christmas and New Year when all the Islands have Carnivals. The port and the area surrounding it has all the shops and restaurants, the rest of the town is well worn. Weather is around 30c and very humid. This island was used to grow sugarcane, no pirates here and English Harbour was Nelson’s port of choice.

There is also a magnificent Cathedral whose exterior is in poor condition but the interior is completely panelled in wood, quite extraordinary.

I went on a day trip to Barbuda on the ferry 90 minutes each way and the fare is US$107 return. It regularly gets demolished by hurricanes, the population is around 1,600 people. It is best known for the Frigate Bird Sanctuary. When you arrive at the Pier in Barbuda there are only a few taxis waiting nothing else. You have to negotiate with them to take you where you want to go on the island. Lucky for me a group of three people saw me looking around and invited me to join them. They had already agreed to pay US$160 and the driver said I could come along for an additional $20. At the end of the trip I wanted to share the cost between the four of us but they refused and I only finished up paying $20. Thank you for inviting me and for your kindness. Having company is always a bonus.




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