Antigua and Barbuda
Antigua and Barbuda is an independent state on the islands Antigua, Barbuda and several smaller islands. This is the state within the United Kingdom Commonwealth of Nations. The country is washed by the waters of the Caribbean Sea on the west and the Atlantic Ocean on the east. The capital city is St. John's.
The islands Antigua, Barbuda and Redonda are the part of the Lesser Antilles. The climate on the islands is subtropical. The average yearly temperature is +26℃ - +30℃. During the period from September to November, short-term rainstorms are typical. The touristic season in this country lasts all the year round.
The official language is English. The majority of the population are the Christians (82%). Most of the Christians are the members of the Anglican Church.
Good beaches you can find on Dickenson Bay and Carlisle Bay. A lot of sunken ships attract the divers from all over the world. Some other interesting places for diving are located near the Antigua island. The motor boats set off the Jolly Beach and bring the tourists to the dive site. On the islands, there is also everything you need for kayaking and boat trip to the mangroves.
A trip to Barbuda suits those tourists who like secluded beaches and hiking. The island attracts the tourists with its isolated bays surrounded by the untouched tropical islands. On the island, the tourists will see many tropical birds and the largest in the region breeding site of frigate birds.
Antigua and Barbuda holds an annual Carnival. The Carnival is ten days of musical festivals, performances and the Caribbean Queen contest.
Those who like boat trips can hire a motor boat with an experienced instructor. The tourists can go fishing in the Atlantic Ocean or go reindeer or wild bore hunting.
The tourists from CIS countries can travel to Antigua and Barbuda only by a transit flight as there are no direct flights to this country. There are regular flights from the airports of London, Frankfurt and Paris. All the planes land at the international airport VC Bird in Antigua. There are a lot of flights to the country from the United States of America. Such transit flight with a stop in the USA is convenient for the European tourists.
One can travel to Antigua and Barbuda by one of the cruise liners which regularly arrive at the ports of the country. It can be convenient for the tourists who would like to combine a transfer with relaxation and who have a lot of free time. You can also come to Antigua and Barbuda by your own or a rented yacht.
The citizens of EU can travel to Antigua and Barbuda and stay in the country without a visa for 90 days. The exception are the citizens of Great Britain who stay in the country visa-free for six months. The citizens of Ireland and Lichtenstein can stay in Antigua and Barbuda without obtaining a visa for a month. The same rule applies for the citizens of CIS countries. The tourists will need a valid international passport.
The tourists can import and export foreign and national currency without any restrictions. Large sums of money must be declared. The tourists can export the currency from Antigua and Barbuda in the amount they stated in the declaration.
The tourists can import in Antigua and Barbuda the following goods duty-free:
- a small amount of alcohol and tobacco;
- perfume for personal use;
- personal belongings.
It is prohibited to import in Antigua and Barbuda:
- camouflage uniform;
- meat and meat products;
- art objects and items with a historical value (they require a special permit).
If the tourists want to bring from Antigua and Barbuda art objects or items with a historical value, they must obtain a special permit.
The cuisine of Antigua and Barbuda is a combination of African, European and Caribbean cooking traditions. The staple food is seafood. The tourists will like the great variety of seafood dishes.
The foodies should try dishes from lamb or game and for breakfast, they can have spicy pork and beef dish with flour flatbread Fungee and Pepperpot. Those who do not like to experiment with new foods can have beefsteaks and other dishes they used to eat.
A dish for true gourmets is a roast chicken with vegetables grilled over charcoals and chicken kebab made according to a special local recipe.
Cream soups, bean soups and noodle soups are very popular on the islands.
There is a great variety of dishes from seafood: grilled seafood, fish and mussels grilled over charcoals, lobsters and shrimps. In Antigua and Barbuda, you can try shrimps in a creamy sauce and local mussels Sudons and Lambi.
Those who have a sweet tooth can treat themselves to various fruit pies and dried exotic fruits. The favorite dessert among the locals is a peanut brittle.
When it comes to non-alcoholic drinks, the locals prefer fruit juices. The drink with the Colubrina tree bark Maubi and a drink with sea kale, cinnamon and milk are very popular here.
The traditional alcoholic drink here is rum, especially Cavalier. This is also the main ingredient for cocktails and a punch.
The official currency is the East Caribbean Dollar (XCD) which is equal to 100 cents. The bank notes from 5 to 100 dollars and coins from 1 to 50 cents and 1 dollar are in circulation.
US dollars are accepted all over the country. The East Caribbean Dollar is a non-convertible currency and it cannot be exchanged outside the country. At the end of the trip, the tourists should not forget to exchange all the national currency in Antigua and Barbuda.
The travelers can exchange foreign currency at banks, in exchange offices, large stores and hotels.
The credit cards are accepted almost everywhere so you do not need to use have cash.
The tourists can cash the traveler's checks at banks, in large stores and hotels.
There are many ATMs on the islands.
Details of interest
Sightseeing in Antigua and Barbuda
Antigua and Barbuda is not only the country with amazing exotic nature but also a country with rich cultural and historical heritage.
- Saint John's Cathedral built in the 19th century from stone and wood in the Neo-Baroque style. This is a historical place which was used for building religious buildings since 1683.
- The Museum of Antigua and Barbuda is a must-visit place for those who like history and architecture. Th Museum is located in the old Court House built in the 18th century and contains a large collection of historical and ethnographic valuable objects.
- Dickenson Bay is an ideal place for beach holidays.
- The sugar plantation Hope Manor Bettiz is an example of a slave-owing enterprise. The plantation was founded in 1650 and now this is an open-air museum.
- The Indian Town National Park which is a home for many rare birds and animals.
- The Nelson's Dockyard National Park offers a treasure trove of historical buildings. In the 17th and 18th centuries, it was a strategic object of the English Navy. On the territory of the park, you will see the dockyard, the Governor's House and the English harbor. It is one of the main sights in Antigua. It was in the English harbor where was located the British Navy three centuries ago. This is a must-see in Antigua and Barbuda.
- The Shirley heights Fort is located virtually over the English harbor. This complex of military installations was very important for the island's defense. Today, there is a military museum.
- The Devils Bridge is a very picturesque rock on the eastern coast of Antigua. As a legend says, the runaway slaves were jumping into the sea from this rock.
- The Indian cave with amazing stalactites and stalagmites. In the cave, you can find petroglyphs left by the ancient Arawak Indians.
- The Obama Mountain is the highest point in Antigua (it is 409 m high). Climbing up the mount, the travelers can see the neighboring islands Montserrat and Guadalupe. The mountain received its name in 2009 after the US President.
Souvenirs in Antigua and Barbuda
The travelers usually buy in Antigua and Barbuda local products:
- Susie's Hot Sauce;
- local pottery.