Antigua and Barbuda lure hundreds of thousands of tourists to their powdery white beaches. The tiny island chain is home to some of the Caribbeans most stunning landscapes and delicious local cuisine. This combined the long and colourful history to the friendly locals; you’d be hard-pressed to find a reason not to visit. Here are some interesting facts about Antigua and Barbuda.
7 of the Most Interesting Facts About Antigua and Barbuda
1. It’s Actually Three Islands
While the official name is Antigua and Barbuda, the territory actually includes three islands. The third island, Redonda, is a rugged and uninhabited volcanic rock of just .5 square miles (1.3 square km) rising 1,000 feet (305 m) above the Caribbean Sea. Despite its size, this tiny island actually has its own kingdom. You can read more about that here.
2. Antigua’s Official Language is English
Due to the island’s long history as a British colony, Antigua’s official language is English. Locals have their own dialect of English called Patois, which is similar to the Jamaican Creole. There’s also a sizable Spanish speaking community there as a result of sizable immigration from the Dominican Republic in the early 80s.
3. Antigua Has a Peak Named After President Obama
The island’s highest peak is affectionately named Mount Obama and is the remnant of a volcanic crater rising 1319 feet (402 metres). Formerly titled Boggy Peak, the island opted to change the name after his historic win of the presidency.
4. Barbuda is Home to the Largest Frigate Bird Colony in the Western Hemisphere
Head to Barbuda’s Codrington Lagoon, and you’ll find the most abundant frigate bird colony in the western hemisphere. The red and blackbirds are characterized by their large puffed chests and draw bird watcher from all corners of the earth for observation. Thanks to their stature, they are often nicknamed “man o’ war” birds.
5. Antigua and Barbuda’s National Dish is Fungie
Fungie, pronounced foon-jee is the island’s national dish. Similar to Italian polenta, the dish comes together with cornmeal with a hearty vegetable mash and sauce. It’s essentially a zesty toss-up between porridge and pasta and typically made with saltfish.
6. In Antigua There are No Rivers
That’s right, throughout the entire island there are no rivers and no lakes. Ther are also no snakes save for the Antiguan racer which happens to be one of the rarest snakes in the world, and has only been found on Antigua’s Bird Island. The lack of mountains and forests also distinguishes Antigua and Barbuda from the other Leeward Islands.
7. Antigua Has More Beaches Than You Can Imagine
Antigua is famous as “the land of 365 beaches,” and it’s not without reason – the island is home to some of the most stunning beaches in the Caribbean. From the intimate crescent beaches like Hawskill Bay to the endless stretch of white sands at Darkwood, there are plenty of beaches to explore.