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North or south Jolly Beach

Ontario Canada
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North or south Jolly Beach

Next January will be our first visit to Antigua. We are going to rent a condo and two have caught our eye. One is on the south arm and one on the north. Is one better than the other?

Also, we are taking our dog. This lucky guy has been to Mexico a couple of times and he is a good traveler. Any other folks with advice on taking a dog to Antigua? He is not good with other dogs. He is a miniature daschund who thinks he is a Rottweiler. Are there dogs loose on the beach/street? Are dogs allowed on the beach?

Many thanks in advance.

P.S. Right now, it's +25 in Antigua and -16 in my backyard.

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St. John's, Antigua
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for St. John's, Antigua
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1. Re: North or south Jolly Beach


The south area is where most of the action is - it's in walking distance of the commercial centre which includes shops, restuarants, bars, and a bank. There's also the major supermarket, Epicurean, which is right next to the commercial centre. The south finger is also closer to the entrance, which means that you are close to the bus stop that runs to many beaches or to the main town St. John's. The South Finger is located close to/along the "main" Jolly Beach, which is a long stretch of white and well kept sand, which is also shared with Jolly Beach Resort and Tranquility Bay. Thankfully, the size of the beach means that it's practically impossible to be crowded.

The North Finger, on the other hand, is much further away from the action. You'll definitely need some sort of transport if you're staying there, whether it be a golf cart (which can be rented relatively cheaply) or a rental car. There are no shops, bars, or anything commercial in the area. The closest would be Al Portos, which is just about halfway between the North and South Fingers, right around the the golf course.

There's a separate, much quieter and more private beach on the North Finger. It's also smaller, but it's a very nice beach if you don't want to be bothered by too many people.

Personally I prefer the South Finger area, since everything is accessible in walking distance, and saves having to worry about gas after a hard night out.

With regard to your pet, while I've never actually travelled with a pet, I've heard that the entire process can be a bit difficult, and many don't recommend it. Here's a webpage with SOME of the guidelines - http://www.antiguaanimals.org/regulations.htm - and perhaps some of the other travellers can give more detailed advice. If you are taking him, the North Beach would be a much better atmosphere as it's certainly less crowded and gives him more room to run around. In certain areas of Antigua there are stray dogs, but can't really think seeing any in Jolly Harbour. There are a few families of stray cats in the commercial area however.

Vancouver, Canada
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2. Re: North or south Jolly Beach

We have stayed in both North and South. Go South.

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3. Re: North or south Jolly Beach

I'd also recommend South, for all the reasons given above.

I'd recommend not bringing your dog. The legal requirements are complex and full of red tape because it's a rabies free island. Dogs are allowed on beaches, all of which are public. Locals bring theirs down to bathe, and there are strays on most beaches, but they are not popular with many other vacationers, especially those with children. Most villa owners do not allow pets for short term rentals.

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4. Re: North or south Jolly Beach

I've just returned from the south side and stayed at jolly beach. On this particular beach they're are a lot of locals selling excursions and I did see a few of them with dogs which were loose there are a lot of stray dogs in antigua from what I saw the two weeks I was there obviously free to roam one came into the hotel complex while I was there. I'd recommend South side theres a lot more to do and see the North side is extremely quiet and from what our travel agent said there isn't really anywhere to go out which can make staying in a villa a bit less fun having to cook every day and night hope this helps

San Diego...
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5. Re: North or south Jolly Beach

We chose the north finger due to the condos being more nicely furnished for the price point. The extra time to get to the market and shops was no big deal since having a car on this island is a MUST-HAVE and the nicest beaches are a short drive away- along with better, larger grocery stores and restaurants. Being on the north finger meant more quiet, a peaceful beach rather than one with an overpriced beer bar, and a condo with granite countertops, extended deck and balconies on both mountain and dockside bedrooms. There is also an additional security checkpoint, meaning no one hanging around that doesn't belong there.

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6. Re: North or south Jolly Beach

I am partial to the North Side, having stayed there twice. It was a short walk for us to get to the quiet North Beach to spend the day with some sandwiches and beers brought from home. Of course we had a golf cart for awhile & then a car to explore the island also. That being said, this year we are opting for the South Finger because we are taking another couple who really want to to in the thick of things. Nothing is very far away; everything is accessible - they just liked the idea of being able to walk to Castaways!

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7. Re: North or south Jolly Beach

We love the north Finger though had lovely holidays in the South.North is nice and quiet mostly owned by localsYou do need transport ie golf cart.The beach is so peaceful but you do need your own chairs.We are looking forward to our 16 th visit in January!

8. Re: North or south Jolly Beach

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La Trinite, France
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9. Re: North or south Jolly Beach

North finger is a long way to the Harbour / commercial centre. South Finger is much more convenient and is more vibrant.

Dogs are not normally allowed in Jolly Harbour but appear to be tolerated if on a lead. They are not however allowed on the beaches.

10. Re: North or south Jolly Beach

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