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About Antigua & Barbuda

Situated at 17°5’N 61°48’W (650 km) southeast of Puerto Rico, Antigua is the largest of the Leeward Islands. It has two tiny satellites – Barbuda and the uninhabited Redonda. The island's circumference is approximately 54mi/87km and its area is 108mi²/281km. The highest point of a mostly flat terrain is Mount Obama, formerly known as Boggy Peak (1,319 ft/402m), the remnant of a volcanic crater. Rainfall is slight and there is no groundwater to speak of. Antigua is known as the island of 365 beaches, one for each day of the year! Indeed there are many inlets and bays and as such provides the sailing community with sheltered anchorage.

Fun things to do: rainforest canopy tours, diving, off-road tours as well as its fascinating and central place in recent Caribbean history through visits to the National Parks such as at English Harbour & Nelson’s Dockyard.

Local businesses

Visiting Antigua and Barbuda and wondering where to stay, what to do, where to eat and how to get around? We’ve got you covered with our list of hotels, restaurants, activities, car hire, shopping & more. Browse through for more details.

Accommodation

Choose from hotels, real estate, villas & cottages

Services

Get information on the island, medical facilities & other services

Transport

Hire a car, jeep, bicycle or scooter to travel around the island

Events

Annual events

  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec

Events in January

30-Jan-18 to 14-Feb-18
Super50 Cricket Festival (Antigua)

The premier 50 overs cricket tournament in the Caribbean features a party atmosphere, local cuisine and some of the hottest cricket action in the West Indies.

31-Jan-18 to 4-Feb-18
Superyacht Challenge Antigua (Antigua)

Yachts in excess of 80 feet are invited to participate in this exciting, friendly challenge held at the end of January.
More information

Events in Feburary

30-Jan-18 to 14-Feb-18
Super50 Cricket Festival (Antigua)

The premier 50 overs cricket tournament in the Caribbean features a party atmosphere, local cuisine and some of the hottest cricket action in the West Indies.

31-Jan-18 to 4-Feb-18
Superyacht Challenge Antigua (Antigua)

Yachts in excess of 80 feet are invited to participate in this exciting, friendly challenge held at the end of January.
More information

17-Feb-18 to 17-Feb-18
The Rohrman Triathlon (Antigua)

The Rohrman Triathlon is a modern-day race dedicated to the original spirit of the sport where competitors of all levels come together in a close-knit friendly atmosphere to participate in the inspirational challenge.
More information

9-Feb-18 to 11-Feb-18
Jolly Harbour Valentines Regatta (Antigua)


More information

19-Feb-18 to 23-Feb-18
RORC Caribbean 600 Race (Antigua)

Unique 600 mile race course circumnavigating 11 islands
More information

Events in March

3-Mar-18 to 3-Mar-18
Antigua & Barbuda Horticultural Society Flower & Garden Show (Antigua)

12-Mar-18 to 19-Mar-18
Russian Sailing Week (Antigua)

30-Mar-18 to 30-Mar-18
Good Friday (Antigua)

Public Holiday  A day of church services for all denominations throughout the island

30-Mar-18 to 30-Mar-18
Good Friday (Barbuda)

Public Holiday  A day of church services for all denominations throughout the island

Events in April

1-Apr-18 to 1-Apr-18
Easter Monday (Antigua)

Public Holiday

1-Apr-18 to 1-Apr-18
Easter Monday (Barbuda)

Public Holiday

2-Apr-18 to 2-Apr-18
Antigua and Barbuda International Kite Festival (Antigua)

This festival will see the skies filled with colorful and home-made kites, as the young and the young at heart participate in this Easter Monday tradition.

28-Apr-18 to 4-May-18
Antigua Sailing Week (Antigua)

The ‘Sailing Capital of the Caribbean’, Antigua hosts one of the most prestigious sailing regattas in the world.
More information

Events in May

28-Apr-18 to 4-May-18
Antigua Sailing Week (Antigua)

The ‘Sailing Capital of the Caribbean’, Antigua hosts one of the most prestigious sailing regattas in the world.
More information

19-May-18 to 20-May-18
Antigua and Barbuda Sport Fishing Tournament (Antigua)

27-May-18 to 27-May-18
Run In Paradise (Antigua)

Runners from around the world will descend on the third annual Run in Paradise, offering one of the most scenic courses in the world.
More information

17-May-18 to 21-May-18
Barbuda's Caribana (Barbuda)

Five days of festivities in Barbuda, including the Caribana queen show, calypso competition, dancing in the streets and lots of action.
More information

18-May-18 to 18-May-18
Mike Pigott Jr Memorial Classic Fishing Tournament (Antigua)


More information

19-May-18 to 20-May-18
Antigua and Barbuda Sport Fishing Tournament (Antigua)


More information

Events in June

17-Jun-17 to 17-Jun-17
Miss Antigua Pageant (Antigua)

29-Jun-18 to 1-Jul-18
Antigua and Barbuda Mango Culinary Competition (Antigua)

Professional chefs are tested as they are asked to create savory dishes and desserts using a variety of mangoes from Christian Valley and the famous ‘Antigua Black’ Pineapples from Cades Bay.

Events in July

27-Jul-18 to 7-Aug-18
Antigua Carnival (Antigua)

For a cultural explosion, called by many the Caribbean’s Greatest Summer Festival, Antigua’s Carnival provides a colorful insight into the culture of the country.
More information

29-Jun-18 to 1-Jul-18
Antigua and Barbuda Mango Culinary Competition (Antigua)

Professional chefs are tested as they are asked to create savory dishes and desserts using a variety of mangoes from Christian Valley and the famous ‘Antigua Black’ Pineapples from Cades Bay.

8-Jul-18 to 9-Jul-18
Antigua Mango Festival (Antigua)

Held at the Botanical Gardens, the main aim of the Mango Festival is to promote the utilization of mangoes and other fruits as well as to support the rejuvenation of the station.

Events in August

27-Jul-18 to 7-Aug-18
Antigua Carnival (Antigua)

For a cultural explosion, called by many the Caribbean’s Greatest Summer Festival, Antigua’s Carnival provides a colorful insight into the culture of the country.
More information

12-Aug-18 to 12-Aug-18
Urlings Seafood Festival (Antigua)

9-Aug-18 to 9-Aug-18
Ounces Seafood Fiesta (Antigua)

Events in September

27-Sep-18 to 27-Sep-18
World Tourism Day (Antigua)

27-Sep-18 to 28-Sep-18
Francis Nunes Jr. Memorial Fishing Tournament & Seafood Festival (Antigua)

Events in October

26-Oct-18 to 26-Oct-18
National Heroes Day (Antigua)

Public Holiday in the honour of our past and present heroes and heroines

26-Oct-18 to 31-Oct-18
Gospel Fest Antigua & Barbuda (Antigua)

Events in November

1-Nov-18 to 1-Nov-18
37th Antigua and Barbuda Celebration of Independence (Antigua)

Public Holiday

1-Nov-18 to 1-Nov-18
Antigua and Barbuda Independence Food Fair (Antigua)

Public Holiday The largest food fair in Antigua and Barbuda, takes place during the country’s Annual Independence Celebrations on November 1.

17-Nov-18 to 18-Nov-18
Jolly Harbor Yacht Club Annual Regatta (Antigua)


More information

24-Nov-18 to 25-Nov-18
Gemonites’ Steel Orchestra Moods of Pan Festival (Antigua)

Events in December

4-Dec-18 to 10-Dec-18
Antigua Charter Yacht Show (Antigua)

Yacht Viewing for the Islands Finest Yachts and a Beach fun day, beach activities for Crew, Brokers, Press and Marine Vendors.
More information

9-Dec-18 to 9-Dec-18
V.C Bird Snr. Day (National Holiday) (Antigua)

Public Holiday

9-Dec-18 to 9-Dec-18
V.C Bird Day Horseracing Meet (Antigua)

25-Dec-18 to 25-Dec-18
CHRISTMAS DAY (Antigua)

Public Holiday

25-Dec-18 to 25-Dec-18
Nelson’s Dockyard Christmas Day Champagne Party (Antigua)

26-Dec-18 to 26-Dec-18
BOXING DAY (Antigua)

Public Holiday

26-Dec-18 to 26-Dec-18
Boxing Day Horseracing Meet (Barbuda)

Public Holiday

31-Dec-18 to 31-Dec-18
Nelson's Dockyard Old Year's Night Party (Antigua)


More information

31-Dec-18 to 31-Dec-18
Nelson's Pursuit Race (Antigua)


More information

History and Culture

When sighting the island in 1493, Columbus named it Antigua after the miracle-working saint, Virgen De La Antigua (Virgin Of The Old Cathedral), whose icon resides in Seville Cathedral in Spain. However, before Columbus wandered to its shores, it was known as Waladli or Wadadli, meaning ‘ours’ or ‘our own’, a likely inheritance from the indigenous people who inhabited the island some 3,000 years ago. These may have been the Ciboney Indians, who were later replaced by the Arawak and then driven out by the Carib around 1100 AD.

In 1632, a group of colonists from St. Christopher (St. Kitts) settled the island, braving the fierce Caribs and lack of spring water. 1674 brought Sir Christopher Codrington from Barbados, who revolutionised the island’s fortunes by creating the lucrative sugar trade. One such legacy is Betty’s Hope, named after his daughter. In the late 18th Century Admiral Horatio Nelson was posted there to defend the profitable Caribbean shipping routes. It was at this time that slaves were brought from Africa to work the plantations. At its height, about 37,500 slaves were in forced labour and living in wretched conditions. Happily, the slave trade was abolished in 1807 and by 1834, all slaves were emancipated.

A New Era

Unlike many of the other islands, Antigua has had a fairly stable recent past and in the 1960’s, Antigua and Barbuda pushed for greater autonomy from Britain. In 1967 Antigua became an Associated State, with an entirely independent internal affairs administration, culminating on 1 November 1981 with the twin islands becoming fully independent with its own Prime Minister.