Discover – Antigua & Barbuda

Antigua & Barbuda has a service-based economy, dominated by international tourism from key markets such as London, Miami, New York, and Toronto.

Antigua is famous for its 365 beaches, one for every day of the year. Its rich history and spectacular topography provide a variety of popular sightseeing opportunities, which include Nelson Dockyard, a stunning example of a Georgian fort and is Antigua & Barbuda’s most renowned landmark. Other places of interest include English Harbour, a historical district of 15 square miles of Nelson’s Dockyard National Park; Shirley Heights, which has an array of military buildings overlooking English Harbour; and Betty’s Hope, which was built in 1674 and is the site of one of the first full-scale sugar plantations on Antigua. There are also several museums which tell the story of Antigua and Barbuda from its geological birth.

Island Facts

Location

  • The nation of Antigua & Barbuda is located in the middle of the Leeward Islands in the Eastern Caribbean
  • To the south are the islands of Montserrat and Guadeloupe, and to the north and west are Nevis, St. Kitts, St. Barts, and St. Maarten

Geography

  • The largest of the Leeward Islands, Antigua is a 108 square mile limestone and coral island recognized for its numerous coves, bays, 365 white sand beaches and clear turquoise-colored waters
  • The sister island of Barbuda lies 27 miles northeast of Antigua with a land area of 62 square miles
  • The current population is approximately 90,000 and its capital is St. John’s

Language

  • English

Climate

  • Sunny and warm all year with soothing trade winds, the average temperature ranges from the mid-70s in the winter to the mid-80s in the summer

Government

  • A parliamentary democracy; gained independence from Great Britain in 1981
  • Member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Organization of American States (OAS), the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS)
  • Permanent member of the United Nations

Currency

  • The Eastern Caribbean Dollar (XCD$) is pegged to the US Dollar at US$1.00 XCD = XCD$2.70
  • US bills are accepted by most stores and businesses and change is given in E.C. currency

Economy

  • No taxes on worldwide income
  • Main industries: Tourism, financial services, and construction
  • Served by major international banks

Culture

  • Carnival and cricket are two of the best ways to experience the rich culture of this twin island nation
  • During these two festivals, the entire country comes together to celebrate

Accessibility

Distinctions

  • Famous for its beautiful beaches and rich history, Antigua was named by Christopher Columbus in 1493 in homage to Santa Maria de la Antigua, the miracle-working saint of Seville, Spain
  • In 1632, Antigua was permanently settled as a colony by the British
  • In 1784, the legendary Admiral Horatio Nelson sailed to Antigua and established Great Britain’s most important Caribbean base

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