Are you planning to treat yourself to a sun-soaked vacation? The island of Antigua awaits you. With its powder-like white beaches, friendly locals, and breathtaking ocean views, this Caribbean paradise will surely blow your mind.
With 365 beaches to choose from, Antigua is a paradise for ocean lovers. Whether you’re a sun worshiper, a water baby, or someone who loves to relax by the shore, there’s a beach for you.
Antigua is also a haven for snorkelers and divers who want to explore the ocean’s colorful and vibrant world and adrenaline junkies who love surfing and kitesurfing. Antigua’s cuisine offers a diverse mix of local, Creole, and international flavors.
Whether you want to feast on the freshest seafood on the island, or you’d rather taste a local specialty like Jerk chicken, Antigua’s culinary scene will get you salivating.
But as with other destinations, your safety should be your priority. You may be wondering, is Antigua safe? To help you, we’ve gathered everything you need to know about the safety in Antigua and some tips to help you make the most out of your trip.
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Is Antigua Safe to Visit?
Antigua is a safe place to visit, although some governments warn tourists of crime in some areas, such as pickpocketing, sexual assault, and murder. As with other vacation spots, be aware of your surroundings when visiting Antigua.
But aside from that, if you’re looking for a fun and great experience, you’re in for a treat here. Regarding the most common crime with tourists involved, pickpocketing comes first.
It is a problem in the country, especially in tourist areas. However, it’s worth noting that most tourists who visit Antigua do not experience any crime.
Crime in Antigua
Every tourist should be cautious whenever they are visiting somewhere new. To help you get a picture of the common crimes in Antigua and whether or not you should be worried about them, we’ve compiled everything you need to know about crimes in Antigua below.
Most tourists who visit this tropical paradise never face any incidents of physical assault. However, petty crimes are still present.
Most of the crime incidents in Antigua occur in the streets, especially robbery, the most reported crime in the area, followed by burglary and theft. Meanwhile, rape and indecent assault account for 20% of the country’s violent crimes.
Pickpocketing is common in crowded areas such as markets and the cruise port. Tourists should always keep their bags, phones, and other personal belongings close.
If you’re unfamiliar with your surroundings, ask around, or always hire a guide to help you. Typically, hotels and resorts can recommend reliable guides for tourists.
If you’re not used to huge crowds, you may get easily overwhelmed in Antigua, especially when there are street events. During this time, people are packed tight in the streets. Considering this, always be wary.
Ensure you’re not making yourself an easy target. Do this by staying aware of your surroundings and not wearing flashy valuables or expensive items such as:
- Luxury bags
It is also not recommended to have too much money in your wallet. Only carry enough cash to cover your expenses over the day. The placement of your wallet is also crucial. As much as you can, don’t put your wallet in the back pocket of your pants.
If possible, consider placing it in your bag. When exploring Antigua, always be cautious. While walking alone is safe, it’s a good idea to walk in groups, especially when you’re in unfamiliar territory.
Sexual assault and harassment can also be an issue since these cases are becoming increasingly common, although it is mostly among locals. Though these are not that frequent, tourists need to be vigilant.
Tourists should watch out for crimes in tourist places, particularly on cruise ships and in bars. If you see someone on the street looking at you in a threatening way, don’t be afraid to call for help.
Tourists should not be worried about homicides in Antigua as they have not been involved in any crimes recently. However, you still need to remain vigilant when visiting Antigua.
Avoiding Bad Neighborhoods
Antigua is a relatively small island, so almost everywhere you visit won’t be far from a tourist destination or hotel. But even if there are a lot of tourists in an area, crimes can still occur.
St. John’s is a safe place to visit, but parts of town are considered dangerous. These areas tend to have more crime, especially among locals. As with everywhere, some parts of the city are better than others. If you’re choosing a hotel, pick a place close to the center.
These areas tend to be safer. It is also essential to be aware of your surroundings. Keep watch of the people around you and the cars driving around. If anything seems suspicious, get away from the area as soon as possible.
Are Scams Common in Antigua?
In the past, there have been cases of scammers trying to lure tourists into giving them money. Criminals use situations that make people think they are helping someone in need.
This scam may involve a person acting sick or injured or acting like they need hospitalization. The perpetrators also like to make you think you can’t leave until you have done something for them.
Whether it’s giving them a ride to the hospital or handing them money to help with their car, they’ll refuse to let you go until you give up money. It is crucial not to fall into their trap. Scammers don’t usually just go away once you’ve given them what they wanted.
If you can’t see people close by, don’t stop to help. Aside from that, police scams are also common in the area. This scam usually involves criminals impersonating police officers to get money from you.
They may drive up to you and tell you that you have been reported for something, and if you do not pay them, you will be arrested. They’ll threaten you that you should pay with cash on the spot.
Tourists should avoid giving anyone any money. If you have been pulled over by the police, remember that they will have a badge and/or ID to show you. If police officers require you to pay any fine, you should only pay at the police station.
Is Violent Theft in Antigua Serious?
Theft with violence is rare in Antigua. However, there have been some cases where the attacker was armed, and tourists were injured. If you’ve just been robbed, try to get a good look at the criminal — especially their face and mode of transportation.
Call the police immediately to report the crime and keep track of the police report. Also, this step may be needed when applying for your travel insurance.
Things to Consider
If you’re still worried about safety in Antigua, there are a few things you should consider.
In Antigua, there are 24.9 private car theft cases per 100,000 people. Considering this, always park your car in well-lit areas. If possible, choose a dedicated parking lot with an armed security guard.
If you’re renting a car from a rental company, always pay for comprehensive insurance. This option will protect you if any damage is done to your car while in the country.
Before you leave your car, check the backseat, trunk, and under the hood. To avoid having your car broken into, keep your valuable items with you and in your line of sight.
If you’re a victim of car theft, make sure to report it to the police. Remember to keep your police report so you can show your travel insurance provider.
Memorize Important Contact Numbers
When you visit a new country, you should memorize important phone numbers. Before leaving your hotel, you should know how to call the emergency lines.
You should also know how to call your hotel and embassy and how to reach the local tourist police if you need to. If you’re a crime victim, make sure to report it to the police immediately. There is no risk of reporting any crime here.
Police officers also speak English, so there wouldn’t be any misunderstanding. If someone who doesn’t speak English is involved, the police will contact his/her embassy to provide a reliable interpreter.
Know Where You Are
Before you get out of the car, make sure you’re aware of the area you’re in. It may be a good idea to ask the hotel concierge or the rental car rental provider where the best place to park your vehicle is in the area you’re visiting.
Be Wary of Parties
Many beachside establishments and restaurants organize parties, which are an amazing place to meet new locals and fellow tourists. As a result, these parties can also attract muggers and thieves.
It is vital to stay with a group of people, or if you’re alone, to watch out for the people around you. When it comes to alcohol, be aware of your limits. It’s not uncommon for people to black out while they’re drinking.
Sometimes, they can’t recall what happened the whole day. If you’re driving, also be aware that alcohol can make you tired and affect your judgment.
When you’re intoxicated, you become more susceptible to dangers. When going home from late-night parties, only use licensed taxis. Moreover, decline any invitation to private parties if you just met the person who invited you.
In Antigua, marijuana is decriminalized for up to 15g. However, drug use and abuse are things that the government is trying to prevent. The most common drugs in Antigua include cocaine, hallucinogens, and heroin. Never accept such substances from anyone.
Don’t Appear Scared
If you’re walking in the street and you feel threatened, try not to act afraid. Criminals like to prey on people who look scared or weak.
If you appear strong and confident, you’re less likely to be robbed. But if you ever get pickpocketed, simply give up your possessions. Do not fight back. This reaction may invite more danger.
Don’t Fall for Scams
Just like in other places, there are also scammers in Antigua who trick or overcharge tourists. As much as you can, book tours with your hotel or with a reputable tour company.
If you’re going to book a tour not recommended by your hotel, make sure that you’re choosing a trusted company. Read reviews and do research first. If the deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are other questions tourists commonly ask about Antigua.
Is Antigua safe for tourists?
Antigua is a safe place to visit. There is less crime than in other areas in the region. Tourists are not normally targeted by criminals. If you’re aware of your surroundings and keep your common sense, you’ll be fine.
Are burglaries common?
When it comes to burglaries, they usually occur inside apartments, especially when they are left unlocked. So, if you’re not renting a room in a hotel, take the essential things you have, and remember to lock up. To be safer, choose lodging with an equipped security system.
Is Antigua safe at night?
Antigua is a relatively vibrant city during the day. However, some areas can be a bit rowdy at night. Try to avoid these areas, and if you ever feel threatened or uncomfortable, get away from them as soon as you can.
Is it safe to walk around in Antigua?
Yes, it is safe to walk around Antigua. However, some areas can be dangerous. It is better to stay on well-lit roads.
Are the people of Antigua friendly?
Yes, Antigua’s people are generally friendly. There are a lot of people who are willing to help tourists.
Is there a lot of crime in Antigua?
Antigua has the lowest crime rate in the Caribbean. However, it only takes one incident for your Antigua trip to be ruined. Don’t let yourself be the victim of a crime. Be careful, watch your things, and choose a decent hotel to stay in.
Are Antigua resorts safe?
Yes, Antigua’s resorts are generally safe. Make sure your chosen resort is reliable, and it offers security measures.
Is Antigua safe for solo female travelers?
Antigua is a safe place for female solo travelers. If you’re traveling alone, it’s highly recommended that you stay in a decent hotel.
Can tourists rent cars in Antigua?
Yes, tourists can rent cars in Antigua. Always check your rental contract since some companies may not cover damage caused by car theft.
Are taxis safe in Antigua?
Taxis are generally safe, especially if you’re riding with a reputable company. Avoid riding in taxis that are not from an established company. Those are likely to be driven by unlicensed drivers, who can be dangerous. It is always best to let your hotel arrange your taxi.
So, Is Antigua Safe to Visit in 2022?
If you follow common sense, the odds are that your Antigua trip will be incredible. However, there are some things to watch out for, especially if you’re a tourist.
If you follow all the tips listed above, there isn’t much to worry about. You’ll surely have the safest, most secure, and fun Antigua vacation possible.