Antigua

The tropical islands of Antigua and Barbuda are located in the heart of the Caribbean about a thousand miles to the east of Jamaica and half that distance from Trinidad on the coast of South America. We are at 17- N latitude, about the same as the Cape Verde Islands and Bombay and 61- W longitude.

The island of Antigua was born out of the sea by a volcano about 30 million years ago. A young island in geologic time. On the northern flank of this volcano, reefs were formed, hence the greater part of Antigua is low lying and is composed of limestone rock.

The highest point of Antigua is 1,319 ft in the south-west and is called Boggy Peak, but the limestone Highlands of Barbuda rise to only 125 ft. The area of Antigua is 108 square miles, while Barbuda is 62 square miles. The population of the former is approaching 80,000, but the latter is relatively unpopulated at 1,300. Days and nights are refreshingly cooled by the gentle trade winds.

Barbuda became separated from Antigua by about 28 miles, when the sea-levels of the world rose considerably at about 10,000 BC. Today parts of Barbuda are geologically flooded to form interesting lagoons. Here may be seen the largest breeding and nesting colony of the Magnificent Frigate Bird in the world. Barbuda supports a tremendous diversity of native habitats, as yet unthreatened by development. Reef-fringed Barbuda may be one of the best kept ecological secrets in the West Indies. Her rugged scenery, beautiful beaches, (one at least 12 miles long), lagoons and abundant wildlife may be a resource as valuable as its fisheries.