There is a place on Earth where beaches with white sand stretch out, the clear azure waters of the Caribbean splash, the breeze plays with palm branches and the islanders smile good-naturedly. There is almost always excellent weather, well-developed infrastructure, plenty of opportunities for recreation for every taste and such an alluring, such attractive exotic. That's what it is, Antigua and Barbuda. Where is this small state like paradise located? How and how do people live there? What impressions does this paradise leave for tourists?
The state with the unusual and slightly exotic name of Antigua and Barbuda on the map can be found in the northeast region of the Caribbean Sea, where the group of the Lesser Antilles Islands is located, just 480 kilometers from Puerto Rico. Geographically, it occupies three islands - the largest Antigua, a little smaller than Barbuda and very tiny, plus a completely deserted island of Redonda. You can get there by water and by air. Antigua has both marinas and an international airport. Barbuda also has a small airport and a marina for communication with its neighbor Antigua. You can fly from island to island in 20 minutes by plane. The ferry journey takes an hour and a half. The flight time from the mainland to Antigua depends on the departure point. It takes almost 16 hours to get from Moscow there. It should be remembered that the islands are in a different time zone. Local time differs from Moscow by 8 hours.
History of the state
The indigenous people of Antigua and Barbuda call their country Wadadli, which translates as "our property." The name is associated with historical events that occurred here over more than 5 centuries. From the 2nd century BC, the Siboneans lived on these islands, mainly engaged in fishing and hunting. Later, Arawak specializing in agriculture moved here from the continent. In the 13th century, both were replaced by the Caribbean - a brave and warlike people. In 1493, Christopher Columbus, during another expedition, came across this heavenly corner of the globe. He named the larger island Antigua in honor of St. Mary, the patron saint of Seville. Little received the name Redonda, which means round. The middle island received the name Barbuda, that is, a beard. The lands discovered by Columbus became a colony of Spain. In 1632, the Spaniards were pushed back by the British. On conquered lands, they organized farms for the cultivation of tobacco, coconuts, sugar cane. The Negro slaves brought by them worked on the plantations. Slavery on the islands lasted 200 years and 2 years. The country fought for its independence for a long time and finally, in 1981, it achieved it.
Flag of Antigua and Barbuda
The deer is chosen as the animal symbol of the country, and the national symbols are the coat of arms, anthem and flag. Antigua and Barbuda flag have, unlike any other in the world. It is a rectangular panel, which depicts the rising sun, symbolizing the beginning of a new free life, as well as the sand of beaches - the country's public domain. The black background is the skin color of the indigenous population, because it is mainly represented by the descendants of former slaves. Blue and white stripes are waves of the sea, as well as colors of hope and purity. The red color on the flag means the energy of the people, and the V-shaped figure symbolizes victory.
Coat of arms
The coat of arms of the country of Antigua and Barbuda was created in 1966 by Gordon Christopher. His drawing is very complex, but numerous details give almost complete information about this state. The coat of arms image is a shield supported by two deer - animal symbols. In the upper part of the shield are pineapple and some plant species prevailing on the islands. On the shield are the same as on the flag, the sun shining on a black background and white-blue stripes of the sea. At the bottom of the shield is a sugar factory. All this is crowned with a ribbon with the inscription "Through the efforts of everyone, the common is accomplished." This is the motto of the country. Here is such a wonderful coat of arms.
The state of Antigua and Barbuda, whose capital is St. John's, is very small in population. It has a little less than 87 thousand people, and 31 thousand of them are concentrated in the capital. It is located on the island of Antigua. An international airport is located at a distance of almost 8 km from the city, but, unfortunately, there is no communication with Russia. Russian tourists can get to the island from America, Canada, Germany and England. You can only get to the city by taxi or by a car rented here at the airport. This will require only rights and money. But in the city you can ride on buses. They ply almost the entire territory of the island, except for its northern part and Dickenson's Bay. Tickets are very inexpensive, however, on weekends the number of buses is sharply reduced.
The city has a well-developed tourism business, many hotels have been built, there are wonderful beaches, shops, restaurants, night clubs and casinos.
Antigua is a large island of the country. Its area is 281 km square. The climate of the island is very favorable. The temperature in winter does not fall below +25 degrees, and in the summer is in the range of 30-33 degrees. It rains only from September to November. Usually they are very powerful, but short-lived. Sometimes there are severe hurricanes on the island. The relief of Antigua is flat. Only in the southwest are there hills, the highest of which is Boggy Hill, recently renamed Obama Hill. Its height is 402 meters. Forests and wildlife are poorly preserved, but there are many exotic birds, and coastal waters abound with amazingly beautiful marine life.
Barbuda is 48 kilometers away. This island is so flat that even with small waves it is difficult to see from a distance of a mile. Its area is only 161 km square, and the only town - Codrington - looks like a village. Less than a thousand people live on the island, there are almost no asphalt roads, but the beaches are as good as on Antigua, only more deserted. The nature on this island has been preserved much better. There are several noteworthy caves here. Flocks of frigates are also of interest.
Antigua and Barbuda - this photo perfectly demonstrates - is composed mainly of coral reefs, forming numerous amazingly beautiful bays and lagoons. The disadvantage of these places is the lack of fresh water. It is taken from wells or desalinated sea.
Redonta is a small volcanic island 40 km from the central island of Antigua. Its area is about 1.6 km square. There are no people here, only animals and birds, which is especially appreciated by lovers of nature and secluded relaxation.
Antigua and Barbuda strives to reach the world level in the quality of medical services and education. There are medical schools in the country where qualified medical personnel are trained, and a medical university, and a modern hospital is under construction, which will be equipped with modern instruments and equipment. Currently, there are 10 excellent hospitals in the islands where they can provide almost any medical service. For the convenience of tourists, English-speaking doctors work at the hotels. Nevertheless, it is extremely undesirable to get sick while resting in this country, since many medical institutions require a contribution of $ 4 thousand before treatment.
Antigua and Barbuda has its own currency - East Caribbean dollars issued by the East Caribbean Bank. Banknotes exist with a nomination from 1 to 100 dollars. All bills depict the Queen of Great Britain. 1 dollar is equal to 100 cents. Coins Antigua and Barbuda uses minted from aluminum and copper-nickel alloys. They differ in diameter and weight. The denomination is indicated on one side of the coins, and on the other, Queen Elizabeth II or Francis Drake's sailboat .
In addition to national currencies in the country, you can pay by credit cards and American dollars, the import of which is allowed in unlimited quantities. Change is always given in local currency.
According to an unwritten law, when paying for the services of a porter, taxi driver, maids and waiters, you are supposed to leave a tip, so a trifle in your pocket can always come in handy.
Citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda
As part of the investment program, the laws of Antigua and Barbuda allow dual citizenship to be granted to anyone who can make investments in the country's economy under one of the three programs envisaged.
- Investments are made in the amount of 400 thousand US dollars.
- A charity amount of 200 thousand US dollars is contributed to the state economic fund.
- An amount of one and a half million US dollars is deposited in one’s own or any existing business in the country.
In addition, those wishing to become citizens of Antigua and Barbuda are required to pay a special fee for each adult family member and each child over 18 years old for 50 thousand dollars, and for children under 18 years of age 25 thousand.
The second collection is called Due Diligence Fee. It provides for various amounts, depending on age and status in the family.
Citizenship gives the right to enter many countries without a visa.
Holidays and festivals
Antigua and Barbuda is very fond of cricket. There were even 8 matches held during the World Championships in this sport. The islanders are also big fans of football, diving, surfing and sailing. Almost every month a sporting tournament or celebration takes place in the country. In January, the Big Regatta and volleyball and cricket tournaments will start, in February the second regatta and dog and horse exhibitions, in March Easter celebrations, in April the traditional Yacht Week, the water model sport tournament, in May fisheries and tennis competitions, in June badminton competitions and bodybuilding. But the most significant and striking is the carnival dedicated to the independence of the country of Antigua and Barbuda. In the Carnival week, the capital blooms with hundreds of colors. There are various musical performances, a masquerade, a fair, and the Queen’s choice at the end of the curtain.
Tourism is the main source of income in Antigua and Barbuda. Therefore, everything related to the tourism business is quite well developed. Many modern hotels, designed for a different wallet and working on the BB system, 365 amazing beaches with clean white sand and clear water, lots of excursions, amazing cuisine, fun and excitement of discos and the romance of remote quiet corners, Antigua and Barbuda offers its guests. The overwhelming majority of tourists confirm the high level of service at relatively low prices. Those who have ever visited Antigua or Barbuda will forever leave in their hearts the memories of this wonderful country and a delightful vacation.
Sights and excursions
Any country has its own attractions. Antigua and Barbuda boasts the Cathedral of St. John and the English Harbor, where there are the largest number of historical monuments of the country. The main one is Nelson's Shipyard, associated with the name of the famous Nelson. Now there is a National Park. Of interest is the Clarence House mansion and the old cemetery. Popular among tourists is the Dose Hill Center, where theatrical performances are organized. Another attraction is Fort Berkeley, which once protected the harbor entrance and was later destroyed. It is currently being restored. In Barbuda, in addition to natural beauties, you can admire the Martello Tower, considered the country's historical value, and the remains of the once-large Willy-Bob estate. Of great interest are the caves of the island with huge stalactites and stalagmites. Petroglyphs of the ancient Indians were preserved in the Indian cave. And in the cave of Derby Cave there is a huge underground lake.
Tourists will not be bored. For them, safaris are organized on the far corners of the islands, swimming with dolphins in Marina Bay, sailing to uninhabited islands on a catamaran, flying over an active volcano by helicopter, a cruise on a real pirate ship with a stop in a quiet remote bay and much more.
Antigua and Barbuda is considered a relatively prosperous country in the sense of crime. However, pickpocketing does happen here. Therefore, in crowded places, you need to be careful. It is also not recommended to walk alone in the remote corners of the islands and at night.
A visa to enter the country is not needed, and a tax of $ 20 is paid upon departure.
The islands have a huge number of beaches. There are special places for nudists. You can be topless on public beaches, but not accepted. And in the city and even in some hotels the appearance in bathing suits is not welcome. In public places, it is advisable for women to be in dresses, and men in trousers and shirts.
Photographing indigenous people is possible, but only if they agreed to it.
You can import into the country everything except drugs and weapons, and items of national interest are forbidden to be exported.