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Public Transportation in Jolly Harbour

Mastering the public transportation system in Jolly Harbour is a crucial aspect of adapting to life there. This article provides a detailed overview of the available local transit options.

Jolly Harbour, is a picturesque marina community known for its beautiful beaches, clear waters, and laid-back Caribbean lifestyle. When it comes to public transportation, the options are somewhat limited compared to large metropolitan areas. The primary modes of transport include minibuses, taxis, and car rentals. There is no formal subway or train system in Jolly Harbour, and the minibus routes are the closest equivalent to a public transit system. For expats living in Jolly Harbour, while it is possible to rely on these forms of transportation and walking, many find that having a car can significantly enhance convenience and mobility, especially for exploring more remote parts of the island or when traveling outside of standard minibus operating hours.


Minibuses are the backbone of public transportation in Jolly Harbour and the wider Antigua region. These privately operated vehicles run along the main roads and provide an affordable way to travel. They are identified by their “Bus” license plates and usually have a specific route with designated stops, although they are known for their flexibility in picking up and dropping off passengers along the way. The cost of a minibus ride is relatively low, making it an economical choice for residents and tourists alike. However, the schedules can be irregular, and service typically diminishes in the evening and on Sundays. While minibuses are generally safe, it’s advisable for travelers to be mindful of their surroundings, especially when traveling alone or at night. Anecdotal evidence suggests that expats find the minibus system reliable for day-to-day errands but less so for time-sensitive appointments due to the lack of a strict timetable.


Taxis in Jolly Harbour offer a more personalized and direct form of transportation. They are readily available and can be hailed from the roadside, called by phone, or arranged through hotels and restaurants. Taxi fares are government-regulated, and while they are higher than minibus fares, they provide the convenience of door-to-door service. Taxis are considered safe, and many drivers take pride in their role as informal ambassadors for the island, often sharing local knowledge and recommendations with passengers. For expats, taxis are a reliable option for getting around, especially when traveling to areas not serviced by minibuses or when carrying groceries and other heavy items. Some expats develop ongoing arrangements with taxi drivers for regular trips, such as weekly shopping or airport transfers.

Car Rentals

For those who prefer the freedom to explore at their own pace, car rentals are a popular choice in Jolly Harbour. Numerous rental agencies offer a range of vehicles, from compact cars to SUVs suitable for the island’s varied terrain. While driving in Antigua & Barbuda is on the left-hand side of the road, most expats find it easy to adapt. Having a rental car allows for spontaneous trips to secluded beaches, historical sites, and other attractions without the constraints of public transportation schedules. The cost of renting a car can vary, but many expats consider it a worthwhile investment for the convenience it provides. It’s worth noting that a local driving permit is required to rent a car, which can be obtained easily with a valid driver’s license from one’s home country.


Jolly Harbour is designed with a network of paths and walkways that make it pedestrian-friendly, particularly within the gated community itself. Many of the amenities, such as the supermarket, restaurants, and shops, are within walking distance for residents. The area is generally safe for pedestrians, and walking is a pleasant way to enjoy the local scenery and warm climate. However, for trips outside of Jolly Harbour or for carrying heavy items, walking may not always be practical. Expats who enjoy walking can do so for leisure and short errands, but for greater flexibility and to access the full range of what Antigua & Barbuda has to offer, other forms of transportation are often necessary.

In conclusion, while Jolly Harbour does not boast an extensive public transportation system like larger cities, its minibuses, taxis, and car rental options provide a range of choices for residents and visitors. Expats can live in Jolly Harbour without a car, relying on minibuses and taxis for most needs and walking for local errands. However, for those who value convenience, spontaneity, and the ability to explore beyond the immediate area, having access to a car is highly recommended.

Joshua WoodJoshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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