Antigua is one of the two major islands that make up the Caribbean nation of Antigua and Barbuda. It is a very popular destination for honeymooners. Antigua is famous for having 365 beaches, so you could visit a different one every day for a year! If you’re a beach lover, this is the perfect Caribbean island for you. Antigua also has a vibrant cultural scene and historic sites as well, so there’s plenty to do off the beach.
If you’re thinking about visiting here, you may be wondering, is Antigua safe to travel to? In this blog post, we will answer that question and give you some great tips for keeping yourself safe on your vacation to Antigua!
Is Antigua safe to visit?
Yes, you can visit Antigua safely. Antigua is one of the safest Caribbean islands, but there are some parts of it that are less so. Certain areas of St. John’s can be dicey; if you feel uncomfortable anywhere, simply leave that area. But for the most part, you can have a safe vacation in Antigua, especially if you follow our tips below.
Is Antigua LGBTQ+ friendly?
While the locals can be conservative, they are also focused on providing hospitality to tourists, and most LGBTQ+ travelers to Antigua report no issues here.
Top Tips for Safe Travel in Antigua
Here are some tips to ensure a safe trip to Antigua. First, research the area where you’ll be staying and anywhere you want to visit. If you’re not sure about the safety of a particular place, it’s always best to ask someone who knows the area well. Locals are usually the best people to ask about safety tips and which areas to avoid.
If you’re going to take a taxi in Antigua, let your hotel or all-inclusive resort, call the taxi or recommend a company; they will know which companies are safest to use. It’s easy to call down to the front desk and have them arrange a ride for you, to ensure safety. Also, be sure to agree on the fare total before you get in the taxi.
Crimes of opportunity like pickpocketing and purse snatching can happen, especially at beaches, hotel lobbies, or cars. Keep your valuables out of sight and in a safe place, such as a hotel safe or locked suitcase. Stay aware of your surroundings. Don’t carry a lot of cash on you, and keep what money you do have (along with credit cards and passport) in a zipped purse or travel pouch concealed under your clothes. Make sure you have a copy of your passport, driver’s license, and credit cards in a safe location in case any of these are stolen. And if you happen to be confronted by a mugger, just hand over whatever they want, then report it to the police as soon as you’re safe.
Car theft can also occur, so if you’ve rented a car, make sure not to leave any valuables in view and lock the doors whenever you leave it. Choose parking lots that have security features like gates or attendants. Remember that Antiguans drive on the left! And the roads here can be hilly and bumpy, so drive carefully.
Buses on Antigua are unreliable so are not recommended for tourists.
Be careful when visiting more isolated areas of the island, such as natural areas, remote beaches, and small or informal parking areas used by divers. Pay attention, and if you feel uncomfortable, leave. A good way to stay safe while on vacation is to travel in groups. There’s strength in numbers, so if you can travel with a group of friends or family members, you’ll be a much less likely target for crime. If you aren’t traveling with a group, go places with at least one other person.
Make sure you know what a Manchineel tree looks like and avoid it. Each part of it is highly poisonous; touching it can cause blistering and burns, the sap can cause blindness, and ingesting the fruit can cause swelling and burning of the mouth and throat, sometimes leading to death.
If you go out to bars or nightclubs, take the usual precautions: don’t go alone—always in pairs or groups; stick to main streets and brightly lit areas, and always keep your eyes on your drink. If you consume alcohol, do so responsibly so you can stay alert.
Dengue fever, an insect-borne illness, is common here. To protect yourself from insect bites, use repellent and wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants plus closed-toe shoes at dawn, dusk, or near stagnant water.
By following these simple tips, you can help ensure a fun and memorable trip to Antigua! Have any other safety suggestions for Antigua, or questions about traveling there? Share them with us in the comments below!