Antigua and Barbuda Travel Information

Photo The Siboney were the first to inhabit the islands of Antigua and Barbuda in 2400 B.C., but Arawak and Carib Indians populated the islands when Columbus landed on his second voyage in 1493. Early settlements by the Spanish and French were succeeded by the English who formed a colony in 1667. Slavery, established to run the sugar plantations on Antigua, was abolished in 1834. The islands became an independent state within the British Commonwealth of Nations in 1981.

Antigua was first inhabited by the Siboney ("stone people") whose settlements date at least to 2400 BC. The Arawaks who originated in Venezuela and gradually migrated up the chain of islands now called the Lesser Antilles succeeded the Siboney. The warlike Carib people drove the Arawaks from neighboring islands but apparently did not settle on either Antigua or Barbuda.

Antigua and Barbuda's economy is service-based, with tourism, financial and government services representing the key sources of employment and income. Tourism also is the principal earner of foreign exchange in Antigua and Barbuda. However, a series of violent hurricanes since 1995 resulted in serious damage to tourist infrastructure and periods of sharp reductions in visitor numbers.

The United States has maintained friendly relations with Antigua and Barbuda since its independence. The United States has supported the Government of Antigua and Barbuda's effort to expand its economic base and to improve its citizens' standard of living. However, concerns over the lack of adequate regulation of the financial services sector prompted the U.S.

Important: Travel to Antigua and Barbuda may require a travel visa. Whether a visa is required for travel depends on citizenship and purpose of journey. Please be sure to review Travisa's Antigua and Barbuda visa instructions for details. Visa instructions for other countries are available on our do I need a visa page.

Country Statistics

Full country name: none
Capital city: Saint John's
Area: 442.6 sq km
Population: 89,018
Ethnic groups: black 91%, mixed 4.4%, white 1.7%, other 2.9%
Languages: English
Religions: Protestant 76.4%
Government: constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of government and a Commonwealth realm
Chief of State: Queen ELIZABETH II
Head of Government: Prime Minister Winston Baldwin SPENCER
GDP: 1.495 billion
GDP per captia: 17,100
Annual growth rate: 5.5%
Inflation: 3.3%
Agriculture: cotton, fruits, vegetables, bananas, coconuts, cucumbers, mangoes, sugarcane
Major industries: tourism, construction, light manufacturing
Natural resources: NEGL
Location: Caribbean, islands between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, east-southeast of Puerto Rico