Antigua and Barbuda is an island nation located on the three islands of Antigua, Barbuda and Redonda (uninhabited) in the heart of the Lesser Antilles. Known for its rainforests, serene bays, white sand beaches, crystal clear waters, amazing underwater world.
Christopher Columbus landed on the islands in 1493 and named “Sant Maria de la Antigua” after The Santa Maria de La Antigua church in Seville, Spain. In 1632 the British colonized the islands and brought slaves from Africa to work on the sugar plantations. By the end of the eighteenth century, Antigua had become an important British naval base in the Caribbean. Slavery was abolished in 1834. Like many neighboring states, Antigua and Barbuda, having gained independence in 1981, lives mainly on tourism.
The largest of the islands, Antigua, is the main tourist destination. Of the island’s beaches, the beaches around Runaway Bay and Dickenson Bay are considered the best. Divers from all over the world constantly gather in these places. Local coral reefs can delight the most sophisticated diver. In addition, the island of Antigua is known as the place where the most delicious black pineapples grow. And tourists really like ginger beer of local origin. Antigua has high-class hotels, cricket and golf tournaments, as well as annual carnivals and yachting competitions. Many famous people from all over the world have their own houses, such as Giorgio Armani, Eric Clapton, Oprah Winfrey and others.
Next to Antigua is the coral island of Barbuda, which has so far been little developed and has been preserved in its original form. On Barbuda, you can enjoy a quiet, secluded holiday, many beaches, see rare species of exotic birds, turtles, lizards, an abundance of fish, explore coral reefs. Especially good are the pink sand beaches of the River Fort and the longest beach of the island, Low Bay, 18 kilometers long!
The country is located in the West Indies. It includes the islands of Antigua, Barbuda and Redonda. Puerto Rico is located approximately 480 kilometers from the state. The western part of Antigua and Barbuda is washed by the Caribbean Sea, the eastern by the Atlantic Ocean. The country is bordered to the south and northwest by Guadeloupe, to the west by Saint Kitts and Nevis, and to the southwest by Montserrat.
Antigua– the largest (280 km²) and inhabited island. The island is the highest point of the country – Boggy Peak (403 m), located in the southwestern corner of the island. The coastline of the island is strongly dissected, replete with convenient harbors and is 153 km long. It is on this island that the capital of the entire state is located – the city of St. John’s. St. John’s is one of the oldest commercial ports in the Caribbean, it is also the point of entry for ships making cruise voyages in the Caribbean.
o.Barbuda, is the second largest (161 km²) and is a flat coral island and is located approximately 50 km north of Antigua.
The country also includes a tiny uninhabited volcanic island (350 m high)
Redonda, nature reserve. The total area of all the islands is 443 sq. km.
The islands of Antigua and Barbuda are dominated by a tropical, trade wind climate. The average temperature during the year is 26-32 C. The water temperature is approximately + 25 C. The average annual rainfall is 1000-1300 mm, the wet season is May-November. The rainy season accompanies Antigua and Barbuda during the hottest months of August-September. Tropical hurricanes are possible between June and November. The best time to visit the country are the months from December to May, when the temperature is 2-3 degrees lower.
The official language is English. A local Creole accent is common.
There are currently about 78,000 people living in the country, of which approximately 30,000 live in the capital, St. John’s. The population of Barbuda is approx. 2000 thousand people. Most of the population is of African descent 95%, the rest are residents of English, American, Portuguese, Lebanese and Syrian origin. The annual population growth is approximately 1.3%.
An independent state since November 1, 1981 as part of the Commonwealth, led by Great Britain. The 1981 constitution is in force. According to a2zgov, the head of state is the British monarch (currently Queen Elizabeth II), represented by the Governor General
The main religion is Christianity: Anglicans make up 50% of the population of the islands, Protestantism and Catholicism are also common.
East Caribbean dollar (XCD or EC$) equal to 100 cents. In circulation are banknotes in denominations of 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5 dollars and coins in denominations of 1 dollar, 50, 25, 10, 5, 2 and 1 cent. The US dollar circulates freely, many prices are quoted both in US dollars and in East Caribbean dollars.
Banks are open from Monday to Friday from 8.00 to 13.00 and from 15.00 to 17.00. Some banks, primarily the Bank of Antigua, are open on Saturdays from 08.00 to 12.00.
Currency can be exchanged at bank offices, hotels and large shops. The East Caribbean dollar is pegged to the US dollar and the exchange rate has not changed since 1976 EC$2.7 = US$1
The most stable exchange rate is in the offices of international banks in St. John’s, in tourist areas the exchange rate is often less favorable, although there you can freely pay with US dollars.
All types of credit cards are accepted for payment. If the price of a product or service, when paying by credit cards, was originally indicated in East Caribbean dollars, then the amount is debited from the card, taking into account the conversion at the exchange rate, therefore, in such cases, you should specify the conversion conditions in advance.
Traveler’s checks can be cashed at bank offices, hotels and large stores. To avoid additional conversion costs, it is recommended to use traveler’s checks in US dollars.
It is 8 hours behind Moscow time in summer and 7 hours in winter.