Antigua and Barbuda

Antigua and Barbuda

Caribbean Sea
LAST UPDATED 01/07/2008
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Official site of Antigua and Barbuda

Level of surfing


Quality of surf


Call code


Net code





153 km


Tropical Maritime


Cyclones, Severe Storms

Best Months

July - October




East Caribbean Dollar (XCD) East Caribbean dollars per US dollar - 2.7 (2006)

Time Zone

Atlantic Standard time (AST) QUEBEC (UTC-4)

Special Requirements

Limited Surfing Supplies Available


Eugene Zelenko: Location map for the Antigua and Barbuda; 19 December 2004

Antigua (pronounced An-tee'ga) and Barbuda are located in the middle of the Leeward Islands in the Eastern Caribbean, roughly 17 degrees north of the equator. To the south are the islands of Montserrat and Guadaloupe, and to the north and west are Nevis, St. Kitts, St. Barts, and St. Martin. The islands of Antigua and Barbuda are part of the Lesser Antilles archipelago.

Antigua, the larger of the two main islands and the largest of the English-speaking Leeward Islands, is 108 sq mi (280 sq km). The island dependencies of Redonda (an uninhabited rocky islet, now a nature preserve) and Barbuda (a flat coral island formerly known as Dulcina) are 0.5 sq mi (1.30 sq km) and 62 sq mi (161 sq km), respectively. The highest point is Boggy Peak (1319 ft.), located in the southwestern corner of the Antigua. The current population for the nation is approximately 68,000 and its capital is St. John's on Antigua.



Calliopejen: St. John's Cathedral, St. John's, Antigua; 24 December 2005

Antigua was explored by Christopher Columbus in 1493 and named for the Church of Santa Maria de la Antigua in Seville. In 1632 Antigua was colonized by Britain and Barbuda was first colonized in 1678. The country joined the West Indies Federation in 1958. With the breakup of the federation, it became one of the West Indies Associated States in 1967, self-governing its internal affairs. Full independence was granted in 1981.

The Bird family has controlled the islands since Vere C. Bird founded the Antigua Labor Party in the mid-1940s. While tourism and financial services have turned the country into one of the more prosperous in the Caribbean, law enforcement officials have charged that Antigua and Barbuda is a major center of money laundering, drug trafficking, and arms smuggling. Several scandals tainted the Bird family, especially the 1995 conviction of Prime Minister Lester Bird's brother, Ivor, for cocaine smuggling. In 2000, Antigua and 35 other offshore banking centers agreed to reforms to prevent money laundering.

In March 2004, the Bird political dynasty came to an end when labor activist Baldwin Spencer defeated Lester Bird, who had been prime minister since 1994. In 2005, income tax, which had been eliminated in 1975, was reintroduced to help alleviate Antigua's deficit.


Calyponte: Antigua Beach; 2007

Lying to the east of the Caribbean, the islands of Antigua and Barbuda offer good access to Atlantic swells decending amongst the Antilles. The larger island of Antigua which is host to the capital of the nation, St John unfortunately offers a fairly steep and rocky series of cliffs to the eastern side which limits the opportunity of swells to produce rideable waves. There are a few reefs worthy of investigation however and the north and south points of the east coast can turn on excellent waves during the hurricane season.

Barbuda to the north has a far more appealing coastline for the surfer with fringing coral reefs offering several good setups, especially to the far north of the island where there is an interesting blend of reef and beach points. If you can time a visit here during the hurricane season you will not be disapointed


VerTego: Indian Empress; 6 April 2007

Because of the geografical location of the islands, there are just to options of getting there. You can eitehr fly or travel by boat. Flights are available from United States, Canada, Europe and other Caribbean islands. The mail international airport is located in north-east Antigua on the outskirts of St John's.

Travelling by boat can a wonderful experience, so if you have time, don't miss on thi opportunity as many cruise lines travel to Antigua. If you are looking for more options, then check Windward Islands, one of the worlds largest yacht charter companies, which can take care of all charter requirements, from bareboat to crewed in Antigua and Barbuda. It hsd 8 international offices (USA, UK, Germany, France, Spain, Switzerland, Caribbean, Monaco).

Getting around is not a problem as well: taxi, tour operators or buses (the cheapest option). And you can also catch a ferry from Antigua to barbuda and back.



what to pack

Rich Niewiroski Jr.: 62 mm ultra-violet, fluorescent, and polarizing lens filters. Camera used was a Canon 400D; April 9, 2007

A small backpack makes a good carryon bag and will be useful in daily life.  Women: remember to take a good flat pair of shoes.... And for everybody: pair of comfortable walking shoes will be great for walking. Beach clothing & sandals will be useful if you are going in the warm season.
Take a few light and casual things, Try to choose classics, and items that you can mix and match. Have at least one set of nicer clothing for more formal occasions. Cotton is the best.

Camera, adaptor, good books to read and music. Oh, yeah, booties, helmet and top will be useful on the reef break, as it can get quite shallow.

Take a very good sunscreen with high level of protection. It is absolutely essential, as well as sunnies, hats, long sleeved shirts and long skirts for ladies to cover legs. Don’t underestimate the strength of the sun; your skin won’t forgive you. Just in case you still ignore our advice, take a lot of Aloe Vera. Repellent might be useful as well. Medicines – as usual.


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