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.


Choose from hotels, real estate, villas & cottages


Get information on the island, medical facilities & other services


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


Annual events

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

Events in January

1-Jan-16 to 1-Jan-16
Minival - New Year's Day Cultural Parade (Antigua)

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Events in Feburary

22-Feb-16 to 22-Feb-16
Royal Ocean Racing Club Caribbean 600 Race (Antigua)

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Events in April

23-Apr-16 to 29-Apr-16
Antigua Sailing Week (Antigua)

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Events in June

6-Jun-16 to 24-Jun-16
RIDE Antigua – Kitesurfing Camp (Antigua)

Events in July

23-Jul-16 to 2-Aug-16
Antigua Carnival (Antigua)

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Events in August

23-Jul-16 to 2-Aug-16
Antigua Carnival (Antigua)

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Events in December

25-Dec-16 to 25-Dec-16
Nelson’s Dockyard Christmas Day Champagne Party (Antigua)

Events in November

Jolly Harbor Yacht Club Annual Regatta (Antigua)

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23-Oct-16 to 1-Nov-16
Antigua & Barbuda Independence Week (Antigua)

Events in October

23-Oct-16 to 1-Nov-16
Antigua & Barbuda Independence Week (Antigua)

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.