Antigua & Barbuda are two stunning islands in the Caribbean. The island of Antigua is already tainted by tourism in a good way. Charming villages and monuments have a distinct English accent on them, making this classic Caribbean island a must- visit if you still want to soak in architecture and history during your vacation. When you crave for the flora and fauna near the coastal areas, Barbuda is your best bet. The islands had been used as a refuge by both pirates and sailors so you will find an interesting mix of life in this tiny paradise. When you crave for an ultimate beach getaway in the Caribbean with only a touch of civilization, Antigua and Barbuda should be on top of your list.
Important and Interesting Facts about Antigua and Barbuda
- Antigua is 9 by 12 miles across with a coastline peppered with numerous coves and bays, many with beautiful white sand beaches.
- Antigua and Saudi Arabia share the same feature that neither has any permanent rivers. Both countries rely heavily on desalination for their fresh water supplies.
- Great Bird Island is a small island which lies just off the coast of Antigua. It is home to the Antiguan Racer, a non-venomous snake.
- The highest point of Antigua was known as the Boggy Peak until 4 August 2009, when it was renamed after Barack Obama who has a birthday on this day.
- Zipline Adventure – Shore Excursion. Antigua Guatemala is the most outstanding and best-preserved colonial city in Latin America. Tourists visit Antigua Guatemala every year from around the world to enjoy its natural beauty and historic monuments.
- Those who stroll Barbuda’s 17 Mile Beach, will probably never see a more ravishing stretch of sand, nor another footprint. Lapped by pale aqua seas, this stunning stretch of pink-tinged sand separates the Barbuda lagoon from the Caribbean sea, and pleases even the most hardened beach connoisseurs.
- Barbuda’s Frigate Bird Sanctuary is a haven for birders. Accessible only by boat, the bird sanctuary lies in Barbuda’s northwest lagoon and is home to one of the Caribbean’s largest nesting colonies of frigate birds. These large sea birds are known for their bright red gullets and one-and-a-half meter wingspan.
- The Darby Sink Cave, caused by dissolution of the limestone, is one of Barbuda’s most intriguing natural features. Although it is often described as a cave, the site is actually a sinkhole more than 100 meters in diameter.
- Yellow Allamanda. This shrub with yellow flowers is named after Dr. Allamand, who sent the first seeds to Linnaeus, the Swedish botanist. It has been used as a laxative, hence the scientific name. There is also a purple variety. It is a very common Antiguan garden plant.
- D•Boat Antigua W.I. is a 1974 oil tanker which is steeped in history and accessible by a 5-minute ferry ride. Now, completely modernized, it sits dramatically atop stunning turquoise waters, its sight promising you nothing but a good time.
- With 73.02% of Antigua And Barbuda using the internet, Antigua And Barbuda is 45.61% ahead of the global average. This means that there are approximately 65,000 Antiguan, Barbudan internet users.
Cool, Funny, and Fun Facts about Antigua and Barbuda
- The words ‘hammock’, ‘hurricane’, ‘tobacco’, ‘barbecue’ and ‘canoe’ all are derived from the Taino language, spoken by people in the Caribbeans, of which Antigua and Barbuda are also a part.
- The Carnival is Antigua’s big annual festival which is held from the end of July and culminates in a parade on the first Tuesday in the month of August. Most of the activities take place in St John’s.
- Make sure to carry a mosquito repellent as well as a big supply of sunscreen even if you want to get a tan. Sunburn is very common on the beaches of Antigua and Barbuda. The mosquito repellent is for the tiny sand flies.
- Be careful of the tiny black sea urchins on the beach, as they tend to hide in sea grass. The spines of these creatures can prick you and at times can even enter your skin.
- Do not attempt to eat any of the little green apples, fruit of the ‘manchineel’ tree, because they are poisonous. Make sure not to take shelter under these trees as they give out poisonous sap which can cause blisters on your skin.
- Despite their small population, Antigua has given some of the best cricketers to the world including Sir Vivian Richards, Richie Richardson, Andy Roberts and Curtly Ambrose.
- Donkey races which are hilarious, is a part of the activities at the reactivated race track along with a fleet of
- Devil’s Bridge. Situated at Indian Town, this is a natural bridge at the head of Indian Creek with blow-holes and spouting surf. Legend says that if you throw two eggs into the water to boil, the devil (who is said to be down there) would keep one and return the other!
- The regatta, a boat race or a series of boat races, is considered #1 in the Caribbean and is among the top 10 in the world.
- Cricket- This is a national past time on the island, and the smallest child is involved in the sport. Games are played everywhere on the island. Visit the Antigua Barbuda Museum to see one of the greatest cricketers ever to play the game. Vivian Richards, the former captain of the West Indies team is one of these cricketers.
Historical and Cultural Facts about Antigua and Barbuda
- The first people that are known to have lived in Antigua are the SIBONEY or ‘stone people’ who were here in 1775 B.C. . They had stone and shell tools, and lived on whatever natural resources they could find. Traces of them are found at Jolly Beach, Deep Bay and North Sound.
- Sugar became the main crop from about 1674, when Christopher Codrington resettled at Betty’s Hope Estate. Betty’s Hope, Antigua’s first full-scale sugar plantation, was so successful that other planters turned from tobacco to sugar.
- One of the few musical instruments invented in the 20th century, steel bands consist of a number of “pans”—base pans, tenor pans, etc. They are made by pounding the basic notes out of the surface of steel drums used to transport oil.
- Antiguans have a conservative attitude towards dress. Casual attire should be worn as a minimum for visits to St. John’s or meetings
- The island’s carnival is always over the long Whit weekend and is five days full of pageantry, dance, calypso and fun.
- The game of Cricket in Antigua is more of a religion than a mere sport. A day of cricket is a brilliant way to view Antigua culture first hand – the excitement and energy that surround the game is fantastic fun and the whole island is literally bouncing when cricket is in town.
- Among the more established creole specialties of Antigua and Barbuda are rice pudding, salt fish and antrobers (eggplant; the national breakfast), bull foot soup, souse, maw, goat water, cockle (clam) water, conch water, and Dukuna. The salted cod used in making the national breakfast is not a local fish.
- Obeah, a collection of beliefs and practices from Africa, has followers in Antigua and Barbuda, even though it has been declared illegal. Believers say it can heal the sick, harm one’s enemies, and even be used for such common purposes as “fixing” a court case. Its features include a belief in spirits (of which the best-known are jumbies ) and the use of herbal potions.
- “Aunty” and “Uncle” are sometimes used as terms of respect in addressing anyone older than the person speaking. A woman may be addressed with “Mistress” before her last name. A handshake is a customary greeting among business associates.
- Antiguan artisans are known for the exceptional quality of their hand-thrown pottery. Striking items, both decorative and functional, are also crafted from hand-woven sea cotton adorned with dyes and embroidery. Other handicrafts include woodcarving and basketry.