North America / Antigua Barbuda
Capital: St. John
Antigua lies between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean at the center of Leeward Islands towards the north of Equator. Antigua is just a few nautical miles away from its twin-island nation Barbuda. The significant feature that describes Antigua and its life are its beaches. Life in Antigua starts and ends in its white and smooth sandy beaches with azure water of the sea. The popularity of Antiguan life can be guessed by the fact that this destination serves as the winter home of many popular celebrities across world. St. John, the capital of Antigua, is the largest city and port of the country.
With warm steady wind blowing throughout the year and a lovely coastline of long stretched and safe harbor, Antigua definitely enlists itself in the top tourist destination of the Caribbean.
Antigua is a federal parliamentary representative democratic monarchy since 1981. Earlier, from 1968 till 1981, Antigua remained as an associated state of Commonwealth.
The country’s politics was mainly dominated by the father and son duo Vere and Lester Bird of the Bird family, who acted as prime minister of Antigua for a very long time.
Vere C. Bird was the first prime minister of Antigua who was succeeded by Lester B. Bird, his son in 1993 until 2004. Being a constitutional Monarchy, Queen Elizabeth II has been acting as its reigning monarch since November 1, 1981. Queen Elizabeth II is the head of state of Antigua and Barbuda and is represented by a governor general who operates on the guidance of the prime minister and the cabinet of the country.
Antigua is a part of the Leeward Island chain situated at the eastern Caribbean. Antigua is spread in an area of 280 sq km and the geographical coordinates of Antigua is 17 03 N, 61 48 W. Antigua enjoys a tropical climate with little temperature differences. Being a low-lying limestone and coral island, Antigua possesses some higher volcanic areas. Antigua enjoys perfect sunshine and refreshing wind, which makes the weather here warm and pleasant. The temperature during the day remains between 27-31C. November to April is regarded as dry months here whereas May to October is the rainy season of the year.
Tourism in Antigua
Antigua is a beach destination where you can spend a lovely vacation in the beautiful hill resorts, cozy hideaways, and inns. The island offers innumerable activities and adventure options to keep the visitor busy throughout their stay. You can take an adventure trip amongst the rainforest, take a scenic day out with family, see the historical sights, or go for a helicopter journey to see Antigua and nearby areas from the sky. Moreover, the best thing is always to be near the sea and the beach that is full of all sorts of activities and water sports. Antigua is best enjoyed as a beach holiday by having all the fun and excitement associated with it. Moreover, there is another option of spending a day out in Barbuda where you can enjoy picnic with family while watching bird, hiking and sight seeing.
The best places to venture in Antigua & Barbuda include:
Nelson’s Dockyard: an 18th-century British naval base
Hawksbill Bay: popular for its four stunning beaches
Codrington Lagoon: largest rookery with innumerable frigate birds
Fig Tree Drive: dense canopy where you can see black pineapple
St John’s: a typical West Indian town with various flavors
Culture and people
Antiguans mainly follow the British traits of culture and traditions. However, you also get to see traces of American culture and fashion influencing the Antiguans. The natives of Antigua love two things; one is their family and the other their religion. They give lot of emphasis to these two important aspects in life. Music is another thing that is most loved here along with carnivals held every year. Calypso and soca music of Trinidad finds important position in Antigua.
Trade and commerce
The economy of Antigua is primarily dependent on tourism, which is the major originator of revenue in the state. However, any decline in tourism due to economic slowdown leads to a debacle in the economy.
Other than tourism, Investment banking and financial services account for contributing towards the Antiguan economy. Besides, agriculture is another sector that focuses on fulfilling the domestic needs of the country. However unlike tourism, manufacturing and construction sectors see a meager percentage of labor being associated. The major export items of Antigua include bedding, handicrafts and electronic components along with Garments, paint, and furniture.
The commencement of the American University of Antigua College of Medicine has opened a new avenue of generating revenue to the country. Investment in infrastructure is another avenue of income in Antigua.