Rough Guide to Antigua & Barbuda

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Rough Guides feature some of the best writing of all the travel series, with extensive essays on history, arts, and culture included in each guidebook. These hip, lively guides also offer great coverage of nightlife and recreation but never neglect the all-important basics -- hotels, transportation, shopping, and more. The Rough Guides series covers the major destinations, as well as the less traveled spots, and are favorites among backpackers who appreciate the inclusion of budget options among the hotel and restaurant listings. The Rough Guides are reliable and accurate, and so well-written that they can provide hours of enjoyable reading -- even if you aren't planning a trip.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781858283463
  • Publisher: Rough Guides, Limited
  • Publication date: 12/1/1998
  • Series: Mini Rough Guide Series
  • Edition description: 1st Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 176
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 4.12 (h) x 0.51 (d)

Read an Excerpt

For many visitors, Antigua's leading attraction is its tropical climate: hot and sunny all year round. The weather is at its best during the high season, from mid-December to mid-April, with rainfall low and the heat tempered by cooling trade winds. Things can get noticeably hotter during the summer and, particularly in September and October, the humidity can become oppressive. September is also the most threatening month of the annual hurricane season, which runs officially from June 1 to October 31, though it's worth bearing in mind that, on average, the big blows only hit about once a decade.
As you'd expect, prices and crowds are at their peak during high season, when the main attractions and beaches can get pretty packed. Outside this period everywhere is a little quieter, flight and accommodation prices come down (often dramatically) and you'll find more scope for negotiation on other items.
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Table of Contents


Getting there from Britain and Ireland
Getting there from the USA and Canada
Getting there from Australia and New Zealand
Getting around
Visa and red tape
Health and insurance
Information and maps
Money and costs
Communications and the media
Festivals, events and public holidays
Drugs, trouble and harassment

1 St John's and around
2 From Runaway Bay to Half Moon Bay
3 Falmouth and around
4 The west coast
5 Barbuda

6 Accommodation
7 Eating and drinking
8 Music and nightlife
9 Sports
10 Directory

A brief history of Antigua and Barbuda
Map list

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Famous for its beaches and its cricket players, tiny Antigua is rapidly becoming one of the Caribbean¹s most popular destinations. Quiet, unvisited and little- known just a generation ago, the country has taken full advantage of the publicity gained from its independence in 1981 ­ and the remarkable success of its cricketers since then ­ to push its name into the big league of West Indian tourism alongside Barbados and Jamaica.
Antigua's early European settlers came from Britain in the sixteenth century. They brought African slaves to clear the native vegetation and plant sugarcane: for centuries, the island was little more than a giant sugar factory, producing sugar and rum to send home to an increasingly sweet-toothed mother country. Around Antigua, the tall brick chimneys of a hundred deserted and decaying sugar mills bear witness to that long colonial era. Today, though, it is tourism that drives the country's economy; dozens of hotels and restaurants have sprung up around the coastline, there¹s a smart new airport, and people offer boat and catamaran cruises and scuba diving and snorkelling trips to the island's fabulous coral reefs.
If all you want to do is crash out on a beach for a week or two, you'll find Antigua hard to beat. The island is dotted with superb patches of sand - look out for Dickenson Bay in the northwest, Half Moon Bay in the east and Rendezvous Beach in the south - and, while the nightlife is generally pretty quiet, there are plenty of great places to eat and drink. But however lazy you're feeling, it's worth making the effort to get out and see some of the country. The superbly restored naval dockyard and the crumbling forts around English Harbour and Shirley Heights are as impressive as any historic site in the West Indies, and there are lots of other little nuggets to explore, including the capital, St John's, with its tiny museum and colourful quayside, and the old sugar estate at Betty's Hope. And, if you're prepared to do a bit of walking, you'll find some superb hikes that will take you out to completely deserted parts of the island.
Antigua's sister island Barbuda feels a world apart from its increasingly developed neighbour, even though it¹s just fifteen minutes away by plane. Despite its spectacular beaches and coral reefs, tourism is very low-key; for the island's tiny population, the pace of life seems to have changed little over the generations, and fishing is still the main occupation. Even if you can only manage a day-trip, you'll find it thoroughly repays the effort involved in organizing a tour.
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