Cruise and Beach Destinations
in the Caribbean, Mexico & Beyond

Antigua Car Rental Guide for Island Touring

Shirley Heights is a major attraction; credit: Wikimedia Creative Commons license
Shirley Heights is a major attraction; credit: Wikimedia Creative Commons license
Antigua car and jeep rentals make sense for anyone who wants to see some of the many beaches and attractions on the island.

Cruise visitors can tour the island's best beaches and attractions in a day. They may even save some money over shore excursions. Hotel and resort visitors have plenty of time to see much more.

The cruise port and island capital of St. John's is on the northwest side of the island. V.C. Bird International Airport is in the northeast. Major resorts are found to the north and south of St. John's.

For anyone staying a week or longer, a car rental is a wise choice for getting around Antigua. Anyone visiting by cruise for a long enough stopover may choose a car rental rather than an expensive taxi or stuffy excursion bus.

Touring the Island By Car


The starting point for an Antigua island tour is the St. John's cruise port. It has the most points of interest including shopping, restaurants and cultural attractions.

A good starting point in the city itself is the towering white St. John's Cathedral on Newgate Street (GPS: 17.123007, -61.841983). It was built in 1845. Another major attraction for culture and history buffs is the Museum of Antigua & Barbuda on Long Street (17.122494, -61.844015).

Heritage Quay near the cruise port (17.121713, -61.845668) has plenty of duty-free shopping for anyone with some money to spend.

But the best points of interest in Antigua require some driving. They include English Harbour on the southeast coast and a handful of easy-to-reach beaches out of 365 on the island.

Anyone renting a car will find Fort James Beach (17.133719, -61.861970) only 2.5 miles northwest of the cruise port. It is both an easy beach to visit and right by the ruins of Fort James, which was built in the early 1700s.

Five Islands Village, Deep Bay Beach (17.124857, -61.884956) and the small ruins of Fort Barrington are about four miles or 17 minutes west of the cruise port.


English Harbour is one of the best historical attractions in the Caribbean. It is 11 miles southeast or about 35 minutes by car from the cruise port.

The British built this major naval base in the 1700s and used it until 1889. The base is now part of Nelson's Dockyard National Park. Shirley Heights, a military outpost, is part of the park and offers panoramic views of the area.

Visitors can combine a tour of English Harbour with one of the better beaches in the area. Windward Bay Beach (17.005530, -61.774833) is two miles or about 10 minutes west of English Harbour.

Animal lovers can drive six miles or about 15 minutes north of the harbor to the Antigua Donkey Sanctuary (17.049116, -61.760432). The sanctuary is run by the Antigua Humane Society and takes care of about 150 animals.


The western coast has two attractions that may attract anyone touring the island.

The first is Antigua's own Stingray City (17.097112, -61.724614), where visitors climb into shallow waters and snorkel with stingrays that have become comfortable with human contact.

The other is Devil's Bridge (17.100580, -61.678655), a natural bridge rock formation. It is 4.6 miles or about 16 minutes east of Stingray City.

Car Rental Locations

Although few agencies have offices at the cruise terminal, many of them will deliver and pick up cars there. Check rates and availability from all agencies on the listings below under Cruise Port, Airport and Other Locations.

Cruise Port Rentals

Address: Cruise Ship Pier Duty Free Area
Phone: (268) 481-4440

Airport Rentals

The following agencies are at the V.C. Bird International Airport.

Phone: (268) 770-6935

Carters Rent A Car
Phone: (268) 463-0675

Phone: (268) 462-0362

Phone: (268) 481-4440

Oakland Rent a Car
Phone: (268) 462-3021

Thrifty Car Rental
Phone: (268) 462-9532

Other Locations

Tropical Rentals
Phone: (268) 562-5180
Scott S. Bateman is a professional journalist who has traveled widely throughout the Caribbean and the Americas.

 > Category: Car Rentals   

September 03, 2019
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