In 1784 Admiral Horatio Nelson established Great Britain’s Caribbean base on the island of Antigua & Barbuda due in part to its virtually impenetrable coral reef and trade winds. Over 200 years later, Antigua and Barbuda is still known for those magnificent trade winds which aid in the popularity of the annual event Antigua Sailing Week. Antigua and Barbuda is also still well known for their nearly unblemished coral reef, which is populated with colourful tropical fish and the perfect place for snorkelling and diving. The rugged coastline is perfect for hiking. The 365 beaches, many hidden are perfect for romantic getaways. Antigua and Barbuda have always had it all.
Antigua and Barbuda is located in the Eastern Caribbean, south of Saint Martin/Sint Maarten and St. Kitts. At 17 degrees north from the equator, the climate is always hot and beach worthy. The 108 square miles that make up this slice of heaven is full of things to do and see. Barbuda is home to a comprehensive bird sanctuary and little else, while Antigua hosts water sports, shopping, fine dining, and pristine beaches. Travellers are sure to find something they want to do on this lovely island. Indeed they can go at whatever pace they choose – fast or slow, there is something for everyone on Antigua.
A diver’s delight the coral reef is home to many species of fish. Travellers can envoy snorkelling, snuba, or scuba diving along the reef and elsewhere on the island. Because there are so many shipwrecks off the coast of Barbuda, experienced divers can explore the waters there in the hopes to catch a glimpse of an ancient ship. The shelves that surround both of the islands make it a great location to explore whether you are an old hat or a newbie.
Sightseeing, trekking, horseback riding on pink and white sand beaches, massages at sunset, fine dining – all these opportunities and more are available on this stunning island. Antigua is a gem and one that can be explored time and time again without ever getting old.
Size: Antigua: 108 square miles & Barbuda: 62 square miles
Population: Antigua: 86,500 & Barbuda: 1,250
Demonym: Antiguan and Barbudan
Government: Parliamentary Democracy under British Constitutional Monarchy
Currency: Eastern Caribbean dollars (EC$); plus US dollars (US$) widely accepted
Main City: Antigua: St John’s & Barbuda: Codrington
Main Airport: VC Bird International Airport (ANU)
Telephone Country Code: 268
Local Beer: Wadadli
Local Cuisine: Fungee (made from corn meal and resembles Italian polenta) and Salt Fish
Entry Visa: Travelers to Antigua and Barbuda must have a valid passport, a return or onward ticket, confirmation that they have a place to stay for the duration of their visit, and sufficient money for the length of their visit.
When To Go: Temperatures in Antigua and Barbuda generally range from the mid-seventies in the winter to the mid-eighties in the summer with low humidity. July and August are typically the hottest months. Antigua and Barbuda are considered the sunniest of all of the Eastern Caribbean islands because on only gets about 45 inches of rain every year. September to November is the wettest months and February to April are the driest periods, with an average of only three rainy days each month. Antigua Sailing Week in April is a great time to visit the island as it’s the largest regatta in the Caribbean. Also, Antigua’s 10-day Carnival which culminates with a massive parade on the first Tuesday in August is another splendid time to visit the island.
Marriage Requirements: Couples must visit the Ministry of Justice on lower Nevis Street in downtown St. John’s, the capital of Antigua with the necessary documents to obtain their marriage license.
Documents Required: In addition to the completed application for marriage, both the bride and groom will need their:
• birth certificates along with driver’s licences or other forms of identification
• certificates of no impediment or single status report
Also if applicable:
• divorce papers i.e. decree absolute and/or death certificate of spouse
• proof of parental consent if under 18, stamped and signed by a solicitor
• proof of name change by Deed Poll, stamped and signed by a solicitor
Residency Requirement: There are no residency requirements to get married in Antigua and Barbuda.
Fees: The special license required to married in Antigua and Barbuda costs US$150. Payment is expected in full at the time of application. There is also a US$40 registration fee.
Witnesses: Two witnesses must be present at the ceremony.
Marriage Procedure: The wedding ceremony is usually performed by the Registrar or Deputy Registrar in the Registrar’s Office, or by a Civil Marriage Officer at a pre-selected location. The wedding must take place between 6am and 8pm.