Get to Know Antigua and Barbuda

Antigua and Barbuda form one nation with unique histories, cultures, and cuisine. Here are just five of the distinct features of the island for travellers to enjoy.


Most of us are familiar with Antigua and Barbuda. But what you may not know is there are other tiny islands in the family including Great Bird, Maiden, Long, Green, Guinea, York Islands and Redonda. 

Each island has unique characteristics. For example Great Bird Island is tiny, measuring just 20 acres (81,000 square meters2). Great Bird is a private island that is open to the public.


Fungee and Pepper Pot is the national dish of Antigua and Barbuda. Pepper Pot is a combination of a variety of meats especially salted beef, pigtail, and vegetables such as spinach, eggplant, and okra. Fungee is cornmeal with okra that is cooked in salted water. Other island favorites include sugar cake, tamarind and saltfish.


Antigua and Barbuda share an interesting feature with Saudi Arabia. You will not find a river in either country.

While there are no rivers in Antigua and Barbuda there is no shortage of wonderful ways for you to get wet in these islands that dot the Caribbean Sea. The shorelines of both islands are indented with beaches, reefs, lagoons, and natural harbors. Visitors enjoy snorkeling, scuba diving, boat tours, kayaking, fishing, and paddling.S


The Fallow deer (Dama dama) is the national animal for Antigua and Barbuda. The Magnificent frigatebird (Fregata magnificens) is the national bird and the Hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricate) is the national sea creature.

The national flower of Antigua and Barbuda is Agave karatto, also known as “dagger log” or “batta log”.S

With so many species of plant and wildlife in Antigua and Barbuda visitors can expect to see an island teeming with colorful life. Lizards and several different bird species abound. Donkeys are common. Tropical fish inhabit the waters, including freshwater fish that are common in streams and small lakes. One national favorite is the Antiguan Racer, a snake that for a long time was believed to be extinct.  


There’s a lot of history – and variety — behind Antigua and Barbuda’s names. Did you know that Antigua is Spanish for “ancient” and Barbuda is Spanish for “bearded”? 

Want another interesting fact about the names? While sailing by in 1493 Christopher Columbus may have named the island for the Church of Santa Maria de la Antigua after an icon in the Spanish Seville Cathedral. 

Indigenous peoples have their own name for the country. The island of Antigua was originally called Wa’ladli by the Arawaks and is often referred to as Wadadli by locals. Caribs (the Indigenous people of the Lesser Antilles island chain) possibly used the name Wa’omoni for what is now known as Antigua. 

While this history lesson is interesting our favorite name for Antigua and Barbuda will always be the Land of 365 Beaches because the country literally has that many beaches. That’s one beach for every day of the year.