Antigua, an island situated in the West Indies, is often underrated and very few people know about the massive multiplicity it has to offer. Antigua is a Caribbean nation. Here are some of the things you must know before planning to visit the country.
- Capital St John’s
- Population 90,800
- Area 442 sq. km (170 sq. miles)
- Major language English
- Major religion Christianity
- Currency East Caribbean dollar
- Time zone Eastern Caribbean Time zone UTC 4:00. The timezone is based on Atlantic Standard Time and there’s a time difference of -9:30 hours between India and Antigua which means if it is 8 am in Saint John’s, Antigua; it’s 5:30 pm in New Delhi, India.
Best time to Visit Antigua
Antigua enjoys a warm, tropical climate throughout the year. Most of the Caribbean islands have humidity on its peak but it is drier and less humid than all of them.
January to April are the driest months. Hence, this is the most demanding time of the year. Hotels get packed quickly during this time. May to August are the months with small bursts of rain, visitors often get attractive hotel deals. September to November are the wettest in Antigua, there is a risk of hurricane and storms at this point in time so favor other months for a vacation.
Major Festivals and Events
Antigua has a variety of festivals/events to offer- seasonal, regional and international. The events and festivals offer an insight into the cultural and historical values of the place. Here are some of the most popular happenings in Antigua throughout the year.
- International Kite Festival
- Antigua Sailing Week
- Classic Yacht Regatta
- Antigua and Barbuda Sports Fishing Tournament
- Annual Carnival
- Mango and Pineapple Festival
- Round the Island Race
- Miss Antigua
Cost of living in Antigua
Living in Antigua is pretty expensive and similar in terms of living in major urban areas in Europe and US. Living on an island doesn’t come cheaper, as simple as that. One would need the least amount of US $1000/month to live a reasonable life. As far as a relaxed and decent lifestyle is concerned the cost goes up to the US $4000+.
Food- $140/month – $500/month. Buying local products is best as they are available at a pretty decent price.
Rent- As low as $300; Prices goes up to $1500+ for a 2 bedroom house with an overwhelming view.
Transport- Taking Taxis and public transport is recommended for a budget of $400/month and $50/month respectively. Buying a car would need at least $4000. So there’s that.
Entertainment- Going to restaurants and clubbing is as expensive as in the major cities of US.
Visiting a country and not trying out its local food isn’t really a vacation. It calls for a variety of local dishes and drinks. Here are the places which offer the best of Antigua.
- Fort James
The Antiguan breakfast always involves salt fish—salt-cured, dried white fish (often ling fish, in the cod family and imported from Trinidad or Guyana) flaked into pieces and sautéd with onions and peppers. This place is popular for its traditional dishes. The national dish is fungie which is mainly made of cornmeal and has a resemblance to the Italian dish polenta.
- Radcliffe St., St. John’s
Here the ducana is served with salt fish (cod), plantains, and steamed vegetables. It is surprisingly filling and delicious, a wonderful balancing act of sweet and salty flavors and dense and chewy textures.
- Fort James Beach, Russell’s Bar & Seafood Restaurant
Popular around the Caribbean, souse is a light dish, served cold, of pickled pig trotters (and often other parts of the pig) in a clear broth, flavourful with hot peppers, lime, onion, garlic, and other seasonings.
- Heritage Quay, Lower High St., St. John’s
Popular non-alcoholic West Indian drinks include those made with sea moss and sorrel. Sea moss shake—particularly popular in Trinidad, where it’s believed to increase virility—is a type of seaweed; for the drink, it is dried, then boiled and blended with milk, ice, and sweeteners like cinnamon, sugar, vanilla, and/or nutmeg.