Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Antigua and Barbuda - Paradise on Earth

All the signs pointed towards Antigua. The island had warm, steady winds, a complex coastline of safe harbors, and a protective, nearly unbroken wall of coral reef. It would make a perfect place to hide a fleet. And so in 1784 the legendary Admiral Horatio Nelson sailed to Antigua and established Great Britain's most important Caribbean base. Little did he know that over 200 years later the same unique characteristics that attracted the Royal Navy would transform Antigua and Barbuda in one of the Caribbean's premier tourist destinations.

The signs are still there, they just point to different things. The Trade Winds that once blew British men-of-war safely into English Harbour now fuel one of the world's foremost maritime events, Sailing Week. The expansive, winding coastline that made Antigua difficult for outsiders to navigate is where today's trekkers encounter a tremendous wealth of secluded, powdery soft beaches. The coral reefs, once the bane of marauding enemy ships, now attract snorkelers and scuba divers from all over the world. And the fascinating little island of Barbuda -- once a scavenger's paradise because so many ships wrecked on its reefs -- is now home to one of the region's most significant bird sanctuaries.

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.

Antigua, the largest of the English-speaking Leeward Islands, is about 14 miles long and 11 miles wide, encompassing 108 square miles. Its highest point is Boggy Peak (1319 ft.), located in the southwestern corner of the island. Barbuda, a flat coral island with an area of only 68 square miles, lies approximately 30 miles due north. The nation also includes the tiny (0.6 square mile) uninhabited island of Redonda, now a nature preserve. The current population for the nation is approximately 68,000 and its capital is St. John's on Antigua.

Temperatures generally range from the mid-seventies in the winter to the mid-eighties in the summer. Annual rainfall averages only 45 inches, making it the sunniest of the Eastern Caribbean Islands, and the northeast trade winds are nearly constant, flagging only in September. Low humidity year-round.

credited to flickr users: negro, frannybanny, andreamaccioni, xstevex1, hihot, andre_m_pipa, arojass_

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

I was there on a cruise, didnt get off because the island smelled like a sewer. Go to Tortola instead!!

Anonymous said...

Nigger Frys!!!

Anonymous said...

I've been to Bermuda. It really is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. Pictures cannot do the island justice...it has so much culture and history, and unrivaled beauty.

Anonymous said...

I was Born and raised there and it was terrible go to minnesota instead

Caribbean Cruise said...

Very nice tropic pictures. My friend was in Barbuda when he traveled before a year thorough ECT with his family. They got beautiful vacation, I saw them very happy on their photos.

Chanelle said...

Paradise indeed. You've got some amazing tropical pictures.

Chanelle said...

Would love to visit, by the look of these pics...

Cruise Deals said...

Amazing Place. I was there on cruise last year. It was fantastic experience. Picture can't express the whole beauty of this island. IT is very very beautiful place having natural beauty.

Truck Rental said...

Very beautiful pictures !! This place is looking very romantic. I have always seen such type of beautiful places only on photos. I wish one day I will go there. Have you went there? I am feeling jealous from you..:-)

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I was in Barbuda the last summer I went with my wife and we had a great time. We wanted to go to Antigua too, but we could not, we had to go back to work...maybe next time!

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I have never been to berbuda or antigua. But after reading your experience I am really excited to go and discover this place. Me and my wife can take time out and go there on our anniversary next month. Should be fun.

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The coral reefs, once the bane of marauding enemy ships, now attract snorkelers and scuba divers from all over the world.

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Little did he know that over 200 years later the same unique characteristics that attracted the Royal Navy would transform Antigua and Barbuda in one of the Caribbean's premier tourist destinations.

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The nation also includes the tiny (0.6 square mile) uninhabited island of Redonda, now a nature preserve. The current population for the nation is approximately 68,000 and its capital is St. John's on Antigua.

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Anonymous said...

Such a beautiful place indeed what they're saying about how beautiful is Antigua is true. It would be great to have curtain bluff antigua holidays.

jerusalem hostel said...

Lovely! What a beautiful place! I was there in the last summer. We had a great time. Me and my family enjoyed lot. We wanted to go to Jerusalem too, but we could not, we had to go back to work...maybe next time!