Getting around Antigua and Barbuda

Antigua and Barbuda

Travelling in Antigua is diametrically opposed to travelling in the much more sparsely populated Barbuda. While Antigua has all the major multinational car rental companies and a basic bus network, Barbuda has none of these and you will always arrange transport through local private operators.

By car - Antigua

We definitely recommend travelling around Antigua by car. It's the only way to get to all the beaches and you won't be dependent on buses that have no schedules. Virtually the entire eastern and much of the northern coast of Antigua is accessible only by car.

Book a car at Antigua airport

Rental companies operate right at the airport in St. John's.

How much does it cost to rent a car in Antigua and Barbuda? What is the quality of the roads? What are the regulations here and how do I get petrol at the pump? Read the detailed chapter Car rental in Antigua and Barbuda.

Taxi - Antigua

Taxis are a very common mode of transport in Antigua, even outside the capital. In fact, taxis are the only way to get to many beaches if you don't want or can't rent a car.

Most taxis are larger cars or even large vans. All official taxis have special yellow license plates with black letters "TX" and numbers.

There are no taxi meters in Antigua, however there are government set maximum prices on routes between specific locations. Payment is always in US and East Caribbean dollars and is cash only.

Prices are calculated per car for a maximum of 4 people. So the price is the same whether you are traveling 1 or 4 people. Examples of prices are shown (current as of 2024):

  • St. John's - Jolly Harbour: 20 USD / 54 XCD
  • St. John's - English Harbour (and surrounding beaches): 25 USD / 67 XCD
  • St. John's - Long Bay: 27 USD / 72 XCD
  • St. John's - Dickenson Bay: 13 USD / 35 XCD
  • English Harbour - Half Moon Bay: 15 USD / 40 XCD
  • English Harbour - Galleon Beach: 7 USD / 18 XCD
  • English Harbour - Jolly Harbour: 25 USD / 67 XCD

Prices from the airport and the main harbour in St. John's (Deep Water Harbour) are always about 2 to 4 usd higher.

A half hour wait works out at 5 usd / 12 xcd.

If you're heading to the beach by taxi, it's a good idea to agree with the taxi driver on an exact return time and a reduced price for the wait.

Buses - Antigua

Antigua has a fairly extensive network of bus routes. To be precise, the vast majority of services are operated by smaller vans and minivans, you won't really encounter conventional large buses on public transport here.

Antigua - 10 cheapest hotels on

All services depart from St. John's, where there are 2 dedicated bus stations:

  • West Bus Station - Jolly Harbour, English Harbour, Falmouth, Nelson's Dockyard, All Saints, Old Road, Dickenson Bay and more (generally the whole west and south coast + centre of the island)
  • East Bus Station - Willikies, Bethesda, Freetown, Airport (generally north east coast)

The private but reliable website provides route maps, indicative prices and other practical information.

How often do the buses run?

Bus lines in Antigua do not have a schedule. They leave St. John's when the van fills up. On the busy routes, the minivan doesn't really start until the last seat fills up.

On the way back to St. John's, the buses from the opposite end run at the interval at which they arrived from St. John's.

On the busiest routes, buses run roughly every 5 to 15 minutes during the day (between approximately 7:00 am and 7:00 pm), while less frequent routes offer 1 to 2 services per hour.

The frequency decreases significantly after dark and between approximately 19:30 and 23:00 there are only 1, maximum 2 services per hour.

The busiest lines are:

  • Line 17 from St. John's to English Harbour
  • Lines 20 and 22 from St. John's to Jolly Harbour (Line 22 continues on to Old Road, Line 20 terminates at Jolly Harbour)

How much do tickets cost and how do I pay?

Fares are relatively cheap and fixed by the Government Transport Authority. A special surcharge (roughly 1.75 times the daytime fares) is payable for travel at night between 10pm and 5am.

Examples of prices:

  • St. John's - English Harbour: 3,75 xcd
  • St. John's - Jolly Harbour: 2,75 xcd
  • St. John's - Dickenson Bay: 2.25 XD
  • St. John's - Willikies: 3,25 xcd
  • St. John's - Airport Road: 2,25 xcd
  • St. John's - Darkwood Beach: 3 xcd

Fares are payable in cash and in Eastern Caribbean dollars only.

Always pay the bus driver. When travelling from St. John's, the driver collects the fare before the journey when he/she bypasses all passengers, you pay according to your destination.

On the other hand, on the way to St. John's, you pay after you get off, when it is again a good idea to remind the driver where you are coming from. The driver will give you change if you pay a reasonable amount.

Where do the buses stop?

Officially, buses stop at stops marked with a simple red and white sign that says "No parking - Bus Stop". Very often, however, the bus operates more like a shared taxi that follows a fixed route. This means that you can flag down a bus anywhere outside the marked stop.

If you want to get off, just shout "Bus Stop" loudly in the direction of the driver and he will stop at the nearest suitable place.

How to recognize a public bus?

All vans are marked with the number of the line they are on. The marking is easy to miss because it is just a small round sticker with a number on the right side of the windscreen.

You can easily tell a public bus from a private van or taxi even without a line number. In fact, all buses have yellow number plates with the word "BUS" and numbers in black.

Which beaches can I get to by bus?

Are you in Antigua without a car? Stay in the capital city of St. John's and see which beaches are easily accessible by bus.

The most accessible beaches are those on the southwest coast, which can be reached by bus line 22 from the West Bus Station (about 2-3 times per hour).

A significantly busier service runs from West Bus Station to Jolly Beach, which is served by line 20 in addition to line 22 (usually 5-6 connections per hour). However, the bus stop is not right by the beach, but just at the junction by the main road, so you have to walk about 1 km to the beach.

Very often from St. John's you can also get to English Harbour in the south, from where you can walk 1 km to the beautiful Pigeon Point Beach or Windward Beach. Line 17 connecting these towns runs approximately every 10 minutes during the day.

The last easily accessible beach by bus is Dickenson Bay in the northwest, which can be reached from the West Bus Station on average 2-3 times per hour by line 50.

Connections Antigua - Barbuda

Antigua and Barbuda consists of two main islands. The significantly smaller Barbuda is 55 km from Antigua and can be reached by air and regular ferries.

View available accommodation - Barbuda

Ferries to Barbuda

Public ferries are operated by two companies. The cruise always takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes. Online booking is currently only possible with Barbuda Express.

Barbuda Express sails once a day throughout the week. Monday to Saturday sailings are in the morning from St. John's, and Sunday sailings are not until noon. Return sailings from Barbuda are Monday mornings at 09:00, other days not until 15:45. For the current schedule, visit

A one-way ticket costs 55 usd / 150 xcd, a return ticket costs 100 usd / 270 xcd. Buy your ticket online at the official website.

Barbuda Express also offers an organized guided day trip that includes a program in Barbuda and a return ticket. Pay in total at 174 usd and for details visit

Island Escape Ferry It sails 3 times a week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings from Antigua and afternoons from Barbuda. For a schedule and more information, visit

One-way fares are 50 usd / 135 xcd, and return fares are 90 usd / 240 xcd.

The dock on Antigua can be found in the main harbor in St. John's, where there is a dedicated small pier with a ticket office. Both companies currently sail from the pier. Island Escape Ferry used to operate from a dock in the north of Antigua but have now moved to the main harbour.

Barbuda's harbour is located on the south coast approximately 6 km from the only town of Codrington.

Ferries are the preferred means of transport if you want to visit Pink Sand Beach in Barbuda, which is located right next to the harbour.

By air to Barbuda

Faster and busier connections are provided by local airline BMN Airways with small propeller planes for 8 people.

The schedule includes a minimum of 1 flight per day in the low season, and 2 to 3 flights per day in the peak winter season.

The flight takes 20 minutes. Departs from the old international terminal V. C. Bird ANU. In Barbuda, the airport is located right in the centre of Codrington.

A one-way ticket costs 81 usd and a return ticket is simply double that. Prices do not change over time and are the same when purchased six months before departure and 2 days before departure. However, we still recommend early booking (ideally at least a month) due to availability. Planes are small and it often happens that a flight will be sold out.

Purchase tickets online at the airline's website

Transportation in Barbuda

Travelling around the island of Barbuda is vastly different from Antigua. There is no official public transport and no conventional car rental companies operate here.

However, you can rent a car or even a bicycle in Barbuda, but you should always make an appointment by phone. No one responds to email communications and online booking forms never work.

A list of contacts can be found on the island's tourism website If renting a car, you need to call at least 1 to 2 months in advance.

Official taxis do not operate on the island. Any moving vehicle you can try to hitch a ride in can serve as a taxi. However, we generally do not recommend going to Barbuda on your own without arranging transportation in advance.

Travelling by car is hassle-free. Traffic here is very sparse indeed, and there is virtually only one paved road (with large potholes) connecting the south coast port to the town of Codrington. You can also drive to the photogenic east coast to Foot Bay Cave.

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