Known as the land of 365 beaches, the twin islands of Antigua and Barbuda form one country as part of the larger Caribbean Islands. Lying on the south eastern edge of the Leeward Islands, these two islands are separated just by 25 kilometres. It was first explored by Christopher Colombus in 1493, and named after the Church of Santa Maria de la Antigua, in Seville.
5 Interesting Facts about Antigua and Barbuda:
1) The island’s highest pointis Mount Obama, at a height of402 meters(1319 feet). It was known as the Boggy Peak until 4 August 2009, when it was renamed after Barack Obama who’s birthday lies on this day.
2) Both islands don’t have any rivers or lakes. They have a few streams because of the rainfall!
3) The coastline has numerous beaches and therefore its also known as the land of 365 beaches, one beach for every day of the year, haha! These beautiful beaches attract a lot of tourists, almost 700,000 every year and this coupled with the nation’s offshore financial services makes it one of the most prosperous Caribbean nations.
4) In September 2017, most of Barbuda was devastated by Hurricane Irma, which brought winds with speeds as high as 295 km/hour (185 mph). The storm destroyed 95% of the island’s buildings and infrastructure, leaving Barbuda “barely habitable”. Almost everyone on the island was evacuated to Antigua
5) The national bird of this nation are the frigate birds. These birds are a beautiful sight and can often be seen hopping around beaches. Once they fly, the can soar in the wind for weeks without flapping their wings. They use their long tails to steer for direction. The male looks more striking with a bright red pouch on the throat that the female doesn’t have! It’s quite a scene, to watch a frigate take flight. These clever birds are also known as Pirates of the Sea as they steal food from other birds in midair.
Neeraj’s recommendations in Antigua-Barbuda
1. Shirley Heights – One of the best attractions in Antigua, the Sunday night parties at Shirley heights lookout are awesome and no trip to Antigua could be complete without witnessing the sunset, looking out over the historic English Harbour whilst dancing to the music of the drums, eating BBQ and drinking Cinnamon spiced rum.
If you want to avoid the crowds, consider heading to Shirley Heights for the quieter Thursday night event. There is still a barbecue, steel drum music, singing and rum punch topped with cinnamon – just a few fewer people!
2. Beaches – Antigua has so many beaches that you could go to different one every day of the year! Love Beach with its white sands, Pink Beach with the sun making the coral crushed sand look pink, Deep Bay and its hilltop ruins, Dickensons Bay, Half Moon Bay, and Turners Beach are all beaches that you will fall in love with!
3. Go scuba diving or snorkelling in the ocean – Lots of dive agencies, and you can go diving in the ocean as its teeming with marine life. Spot dolphins, whales, sting rays, and a host of other fish in the searches.
4. Mount Obama – Its the highest point on the island, and it will take you a three hour trek through lush jungles to get there. Totally worth it!