The Caribbean nation of Antigua and Barbuda consists of the two eponymous islands and a number of small desert islands nearby. Among them is the island of Redonda, a protected natural park only 1 km² in land area.
The islands were discovered by the Spanish, who gave them somewhat comical names. Antigua means “old”, “ancient”, and Barbuda is Spanish for “bearded”. From the mid-17th century, the islands were actively settled and exploited by the English. On the islands’ fertile soil, African slaves cultivated sugar, cotton, tobacco and coconut – until slavery was abolished in 1834. Antigua’s degree of autonomy from the British government gradually increased over time, and in November 1981 it became a sovereign parliamentary monarchy with the Queen of the United Kingdom as head of state.
The only reminders of the island’s colonial past are old mills, a handful of surviving buildings, a fortress dating back to Admiral Nelson’s lifetime and the famous wharf, which rendered all attempts to capture the island from the British unsuccessful. Present-day Antigua is a tourist paradise with excellent facilities. Around 70% of the population work in the tourism sector, which is one of the country’s main sources of revenue. Along the island’s entire coastline, tucked away in cosy coves and bays, there are over 300 splendid sandy beaches with modern hotels. At many of these beaches, coral reefs serve as natural barriers against strong waves and as a magnet for snorkelling and diving fans. Yet, the island has plenty to offer apart from traditional aquatic activities. You can enjoy golf, tennis, duty-free shopping and tours of the picturesque surroundings, and there is plenty to do at night, too, in local clubs, bars and casinos.
Barbuda, located 50 km north of Antigua, is a practically wild, completely flat island surrounded by coral reefs, with a population of 1650 . It is the home of rare exotic birds, lizards, tortoises and turtles. With its pristine white and pink sand beaches, exotic plants and coastal marine life, Barbuda attracts unban dwellers looking for some peace and quiet, surfers, divers and fishing addicts. The island’s principal town, Codrington, has plenty of cosy restaurants, souvenir shops, and stores.
Thanks to its warm tropical climate, Antigua and Barbuda is a year-round holiday destination, but the best time to visit is late November to early May. Russian citizens do not require a visitor visa. At the border, you need to present your passport, valid for at least 6 months from the date of entry, proof of your hotel reservation (tourist voucher) and a return flight confirmation.
Data and Facts:
Antigua and Barbuda is a nation in the Lesser Antilles and a Commonwealth realm.
Area: 442 km² (Antigua – 280 km², Barbuda – 161 km²)
Climate: tropical, average air temperature 28° C, average water temperature 25° C
Population: around 87,000
Capital: St. John’s
Official language: English
Currency: East Caribbean dollar
Local Time: Saturday 24th of June 2017 - 10:00:46 AM
Country code: 1 268