Antigua and Barbuda

Official name: Antigua and Barbuda

Area: 440 square kilometers (170 square miles) total area; Antigua, 280 square kilometers (108 square miles); Barbuda, 161 square kilometers (62 square miles); Redonda, 1.3 square kilometers(5 square miles)

Highest point on mainland : Boggy Peak (402 meters/1,319 feet)

Lowest point on land: Sea level

Hemispheres : Northern and Western

Time zone: 8 A.M. = noon GMT

Longest distances: 14.4 kilometers (9 miles) from east to west; 22.4 kilometers (14 miles) from north to south

Land boundaries : No international boundaries

Coastline: 153 kilometers (95 miles)

Territorial sea limits: 22 kilometers (12 nautical miles); exclusive economic zone: 370 kilometers (200 nautical miles)

1 LOCATION AND SIZE

Antigua and Barbuda, a dependency of the United Kingdom, is part of the Leeward Islands, in the eastern part of the Caribbean Sea. Its total area, which is nearly two-andone-half times that of Washington, D.C., includes the islands of Antigua (280 square kilometers/108 square miles) and Barbuda (161 square kilometers/62 square miles), and the uninhabited island of Redondo (1.3 square kilometers/5 square miles). The country is divided into six parishes.

2 TERRITORIES AND DEPENDENCIES

Antigua and Barbuda has no territories or dependencies.

3 CLIMATE

Temperatures average 29°C (84°F) in July and 24°C (75°F) in January, a result of the cooling trade winds from the east and northeast. Rainfall averages 117 centimeters (46 inches) per year, with September through November being the wettest months. The islands are subject to both the occasional summer drought and autumn hurricanes, although the low humidity gives them one of the most temperate climates in the world.

S EASON M ONTHS A VERAGE T EMPERATURE : °C (°F)
Summer April to October 24–30°C (75–86°F)
Winter November to March 22–27°C (72–81°F)

4 TOPOGRAPHIC REGIONS

Antigua, the largest of the British Leeward Islands, is partly volcanic and partly coral in makeup. Many islets line its northeastern coast, and its central area is a fertile plain. Barbuda is a coral island. Redonda is a rocky, low-lying islet.

5 OCEANS AND SEAS

Antigua and Barbuda is located in the eastern Caribbean Sea. The open Atlantic Ocean lies to the north and east. The island of Guadeloupe lies to the south, on the far side of the Guadeloupe Passage from Antigua.

Seacoast and Undersea Features

There are many coral reefs near Antigua and Barbuda. Antigua is surrounded by an almost continuous band of coral. Devil's Bridge, an unusual formation on Antigua's northeastern shore, is a natural arch created by the erosion of limestone over time.

Sea Inlets and Straits

The coastline of Antigua features many small bays.

Islands and Archipelagos

Redonda, a rocky outcropping less than two square kilometers (less than one square mile) in area, lies 40 kilometers (25 miles) southwest of Antigua. Redonda is uninhabited. Guiana Island, a tiny island off the northeast coast of Antigua, provides a forest habitat for a number of nesting bird species.

Coastal Features

Antigua and Barbuda is famous for its beaches, particularly those on Antigua itself. When advertising to attract vacationers, the country claims it has 365 beaches.

Antigua has deeply indented shores lined by shoals and reefs, with many natural harbors. Barbuda has large stretches of both white and pink sand beaches. Codrington Lagoon, enclosed by a narrow finger of land that stretches northward, lies in northwest Barbuda.

6 INLAND LAKES

Antigua and Barbuda lacks any lakes of significant size.

7 RIVERS AND WATERFALLS

Antigua and Barbuda lacks any large rivers.

8 DESERTS

There are no deserts on Antigua and Barbuda.

9 FLAT AND ROLLING TERRAIN

Antigua has a central plain that is relatively fertile due to the volcanic ash in the soil. Like other parts of the island with the same soil composition, it supports some agriculture, as well as tropical vegetation.

10 MOUNTAINS AND VOLCANOES

Antigua is a partly volcanic island, but there have been no eruptions in recent history. Its highest elevations are in the southwestern part of the island. This is where Boggy Peak (402 meters/1,319 feet), the tallest mountain on the island, is located. There are no significant elevations on either Barbuda or Redonda.

11 CANYONS AND CAVES

There are a number of large caves, both above and under ground, on Barbuda, including an underground cave that extends for 1.6 kilometers (1 mile) at Two Foot Bay.

12 PLATEAUS AND MONOLITHS

There are no plateaus or monoliths on Antigua and Barbuda.

13 MAN-MADE FEATURES

There are no significant man-made features affecting the geography of Antigua and Barbuda.

DID YOU KNOW?

The Frigate Bird Sanctuary, in Barbuda's Codrington Lagoon, is home to more than 170 bird species, including its namesake, the frigate bird ( fregata magnificens ).

14 FURTHER READING

Books

Corum, Robert. Caribbean Time Bomb; the United States' Complicity in the Corruption of Antigua . New York: Morrow, 1993.

Dyde, Brian. Antigua and Barbuda; the Heart of the Caribbean . Macmillan Caribbean Guides. London: Macmillan, 1993.

U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs. Background Notes . Antigua and Barbuda. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of State, 2001.

Vaitilingham, Adam. Antigua:The Mini Rough Guide . New York: Penguin Books, 1998.

Web Sites

Welcome to Antigua and Barbuda. http://www.Antigua-barbuda.org/ (accessed June 5, 2003).

Official Travel Guide. http://www.geographia.com/Antigua-barbuda/ (accessed June 5, 2003).

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