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Geography of Antigua and Barbuda

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thumb260pxSatellite image of Antigua and Barbuda.
Antigua and Barbuda lie in the eastern arc of the Leeward Islands of the Lesser Antilles, separating the Atlantic Ocean from the Caribbean Sea. Antigua is southeast of Puerto Rico; Barbuda lies due north of Antigua, and the uninhabited island of Redonda is southwest of Antigua.
The largest island of Antigua, is 21 km (about a dozen miles) across and 281 km² (about a hundred square miles) in area. Barbuda covers while Redonda encompasses a . The capital of Antigua and Barbuda is St. John's, located at St. John's Harbour on the northwest coast of Antigua. The principal city of Barbuda is Codrington, located on Codrington Lagoon.


Antigua and Barbuda both are generally low-lying islands whose terrain has been influenced more by limestone formations than volcanic activity. The highest point on Antigua is Boggy Peak, the remnant of a volcanic crater rising 402 meters (1,319 ft). This mountain is located amid a bulge of hills of volcanic origin in the southwestern part of the island. Lake Estate is the third tallest recorded point on Antigua.
The limestone formations in the northeast and northwest are separated from the southwestern volcanic area by a central plain of clay formations. The map of northeastern Antigua features several small and tiny islands, some inhabited. Barbuda's highest elevation is 42 meters (146 ft), part of the highland plateau east of Codrington. The shorelines of both islands are greatly indented with beaches, lagoons, and natural harbors. The islands are rimmed by reefs and shoals. There are few streams as rainfall is slight. Both islands lack adequate amounts of fresh groundwater. Tiny Redonda rises to and has very little level ground, while Barbuda is very flat with few if any hills.


There are many coral reefs in the vicinity of Antigua and Barbuda. The island of Guadeloupe lies to the south, on the far side of the Guadeloupe Passage from Antigua. Due to the spread out islands it has an Exclusive Economic Zone of .
Antigua and Barbuda is famous for its beaches, estimated at 365, particularly those on Antigua itself. The most noteworthy feature of Barbuda’s coastline is the natural lagoon on the western side of the island.


{{div colcontent=
  • Antigua
    • Prickly Pear Island
    • Great Bird Island
    • Galley Island Major
    • Galley Island Minor
    • Exchange Island
    • Rabbit Island
    • Lobster Island
    • Long Island
    • Maiden Island
    • Rat Island
    • Little Bird Island
    • Hells Gate Island
    • Monocle Point Island
    • Red Head Island
    • Guiana Island
    • Crump Island
    • Nanny Island (Henry Island)
    • Laviscounts Island
    • Bird Island
    • Round Island
    • Hawes Island
    • Little Island
    • Green Island
    • Pelican Island
    • York Island
    • Codrington Island
    • Blake Island
    • Cinnamon Island
    • Hawksbill Rock
    • Johnson Island
    • Maiden Island
    • Moor Rock
    • Mouse Island
    • Neck of Land
    • Sandy Island
    • Smith Island
    • The Sisters
    • Vernon's Island
    • Wicked Will Island
  • Barbuda
    • Goat Island
    • Kid Island
    • Man of War Island
    • Rabbit Island
  • Redonda


The islands' climate is classified as Tropical Maritime and is moderated by fairly constant northeast tradewinds, with velocities ranging between . There is little precipitation because of the islands' low elevations. The pleasant climate fosters tourism.
Rainfall averages per year, with the amount varying widely from season to season. In general the wettest period is between September and November. The islands generally experience low humidity and recurrent droughts.
Hurricanes strike on an average of once a year between July and October. Temperatures average , with a range from in the winter to in the summer and autumn. The coolest period is between December and February. Its low humidity makes it one of the most temperate climates in the world.


thumb260pxAntigua beach view
The sandy soil on much of the islands has only scrub vegetation. Some parts of Antigua are more fertile–most notably the central plain–due to the volcanic ash in the soil. These areas support some tropical vegetation and agricultural uses. The planting of acacia, mahogany, and red and white cedar on Antigua has led to as much as 11% of the land becoming forested, helping to conserve the soil and water.

Environmental issues


; Location:
Antigua and Barbuda are Caribbean islands between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, east-southeast of Puerto Rico.
; Geographic coordinates:
; Area
* Total: (Antigua ; Barbuda )
*country comparison to the world: 205

* Land:
* Note: Includes Redonda, :
; Maritime claims:
* Territorial sea:
* Contiguous zone:
* Exclusive economic zone: and
* Continental shelf: or to the edge of the continental margin
; Terrain:Mostly low-lying limestone and coral islands, with some higher volcanic areas
; Land use
* Arable land: 20.5%
* Permanent crops: 2.3%
* Permanent pasture: 9.1%
* Forest: 22.3%
* Other: 57.2% (2011)
; Irrigated land: (2012)
; Total renewable water resources
; Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)
* Total: /yr (63%/21%/15%)
* Per capita: /yr (2005)
; Environment - current issues
Water management, a major concern because of limited natural fresh water resources, is further hampered by the clearing of trees to increase crop production, causing rainfall to run off quickly

; Environment:international agreements
* Party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
; Geography - note
Antigua has a deeply indented shoreline with many natural harbors and beaches. Antigua's southernmost point is Cape Shirley.
Barbuda has a large western harbor.

Extreme points


  • Northernmost point – Boon Point
  • Easternmost point - Man of War Point, Green Island
  • Easternmost point (mainland only) - Neck of Land
  • Southernmost point - Nanton Point
  • Southernmost point (including Redonda) - headland on southern coast of Redonda (also the southernmost point in Antigua and Barbuda)
  • Westernmost point - Five Islands
  • Westernmost point (including Redonda) - headland on Western coast of Redonda (also the westernmost point in Antigua and Barbuda)
  • Westernmost point (mainland only) - Pearns Point
  • Lowest point: Caribbean Sea: 0 m
  • Highest point: Boggy Peak:


  • Northernmost point – Goat Point (also the northernmost point in Antigua and Barbuda)
  • Easternmost point - unnamed headland on eastern coast (also the easternmost point in Antigua and Barbuda)
  • Southernmost point - Coco Point
  • Westernmost point - Cedar Tree Point


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