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Banks and Exchange Services
The local currency is the Eastern Caribbean dollar (EC$); at this writing US$1 is worth approximately EC$2.70. American dollars are readily accepted, although change is often in EC dollars. Exchanging currency really isn't necessary, especially if you are staying in an all-inclusive resort. Most hotels, restaurants, and duty-free shops take major credit cards. ATMs (dispensing EC$) are available at the island's banks and at the airport.
110 volts, 50 cycles.
Ambulance (268/462-0251 or 999.)
Fire (268/462-0044 or 911.)
Police assistance (268/462-0125.)
There are some small Internet cafés in St. John's and English Harbour; ask at the tourist information booth at the cruise-ship pier.
Mail and Shipping
Airmail letters to North America cost EC$1.50; postcards EC75¢. The main post office is at the foot of High Street in St. John's. Note that there are no postal codes; when addressing letters to the island, you need only indicate the address and "Antigua, West Indies."
GSM tri-band mobile phones from the United States and United Kingdom usually work on Antigua; you can also rent one from LIME (formerly Cable & Wireless) and APUA (Antigua Public Utilities Authority). Basic rental costs range between EC$25 and EC$50 per day. You can use the LIME Phone Card (available in $5, $10, and $20 denominations in most hotels and post offices) for local and long-distance calls.
APUA (Long St., St. John's. 268/480-7000 or 268/727-2782. www.apua.ag.)
LIME (Clare Hall, St. John's. 268/480-4000. www.time4lime.com.)
All visitors must carry a valid passport and must have a return or ongoing ticket.
Taxes and Service Charges
The departure tax is $28, payable in cash only—either U.S. or EC currency. Hotels collect an 8½%-10½% government room tax; some restaurants will add a 7% tax. Hotels and restaurants also usually add a 10% service charge to your bill.
Restaurants, 5% beyond the regular service charge added to your bill; taxi drivers 10%; porters and bellmen about $1 per bag; maids $2 to $3 per night. Staff at all-inclusives aren't supposed to be tipped unless they've truly gone out of their way.
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