Top 10 things to do in Antigua and Barbuda

Antigua and Barbuda

Antigua is perhaps the island which most typifies the modern day view of a small Caribbean destination

Antigua and Barbuda is a country.

Antigua and Barbuda (Spanish for "ancient" and "bearded") is a twin-island nation lying between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. It consists of two major inhabited islands, Antigua and Barbuda, and a number of smaller islands (including Great Bird, Green, Guinea, Long, Maiden and York Islands and further south, the island of Redonda). The permanent population numbers about 81,800 (at the 2011 Census) and the capital and largest port and city is St. John's, on Antigua.

Separated by a few nautical miles, Antigua and Barbuda are in the middle of the Leeward Islands, part of the Lesser Antilles, roughly at 17°N of the equator. The country is nicknamed "Land of 365 Beaches" due to the many beaches surrounding the islands. Its governance, language, and culture have all been strongly influenced by the British Empire, of which the country was formerly a part.

With few other natural resources, tourism dominates the local economy of both islands. Stunning white sand beaches abound, and on Antigua there is no shortage of attendant high-end resorts. Barbuda still has the beaches but little tourism-based infrastructure.

Investment banking and financial services also make up an important part of the economy with many major foreign banks taking advantage of the nation's liberal banking laws. That may all change though after the 2009 arrest of Antigua-based Texan billionaire Allen Stanford who is accused of perpetrating an enormous fraud which may have bilked investors of some US$8 billion.

Cricket is a huge sport here and this tiny nation has produced several genuine all-time world greats of the game. Cricket fans will certainly not be short of locals to chat with.

The Siboney were the first to inhabit the islands of Antigua and Barbuda in 2400 B.C., but Arawak and Carib Indians populated the islands when Columbus landed on his second voyage in 1493. Early settlements by the Spanish and French were succeeded by the English who formed a colony in 1667. Slavery, established to run the sugar plantations on Antigua, was abolished in 1834. The islands became an independent state within the British Commonwealth of Nations in 1981.

Overall rating: 4.9
Country
Typical length of visit: 7 days

Top 10 things to do in Antigua and Barbuda

Barbuda

Barbuda
Barbuda is an island in the Eastern Caribbean, and forms part of the state of Antigua and Barbuda. It has a population of about 1,638 , most of whom live ...

Stingray City Antigua

Stingray City Antigua
Swim with the stingrays (they cuddle!)

Antigua

Antigua
Antigua, also known as Waladli or Wadadli by the native population, is an island in the West Indies, in the Leeward Islands in the Caribbean region, the main island of ...

Devil's Bridge

Devil's Bridge
A dramatic coast with a sad past

Potters Village

Potters Village
Potters Village is a township in Antigua. It is located in the north of the island, to the east of the capital, St. John's and southwest of Piggotts. ...

Shirley Heights

Shirley Heights
Stunning sunsets and steel drum dancing

Old Road

Old Road
Old Road is a town in Antigua. It is located in the southwest of the island, and is overlooked by Mount Obama , which lies to its northwest. ...

Piggotts

Piggotts
Piggotts, also known as St Mark's Village, is a small township in St George's Parish, Antigua. It is located in the north of the island, to the east of the ...

St John's

St John's
The capital is a chilled out city with a cool market

Liberta, Antigua

Liberta, Antigua
Liberta is the third-largest town in Antigua. It is located in the south of the island, inland from Falmouth Harbour and the port of Falmouth, to which it is connected ...