Antigua and Barbuda is one of the five Caribbean countries that run citizenship-by-investment programs. Thus, it is possible to become a citizen of Antigua and Barbuda for money. Three investment options are available to foreign nationals who want to ‘buy’ citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda:
- Purchase real estate that is worth at least US$ 400,000; the property can be sold in a few years.
- Make a non-returnable donation of US$ 200,000 to the state fund.
- Invest at least US$ 1.5 million into an existing business company in the country or create a new one.
As far as the last investment option is concerned, the quoted amount will suffice if the foreign national is putting money into a separate investment project. If it is a joint project with two or more investors, the total amount of investments has to be at least 5 million US dollars. You can read more about the Antiguan economic citizenship program if you follow the link.
The Antiguan citizenship-by-investment program is the only such program in the Caribbean that requires that the foreign applicant for citizenship visit the country at least once and spend at least 5 days there. Therefore, you will have to go to Antigua and Barbuda if you want to ‘purchase’ a passport of the country, which is not the case with the other four Caribbean countries offering similar opportunities. What can you find in Antigua and Barbuda?
Basic facts about Antigua and Barbuda and reasons for visiting the country
Antigua and Barbuda is a country for beach lovers and divers. You will not find many tourist attractions on the islands and the choice of recreational activities is not wide either. However, if you plan to lie on the beach, splash in the sea, and live in a comfortable hotel, Antigua and Barbuda will suit you perfectly well. After all, you can go to a neighboring country for a day or two if you become bored.
Main facts about Antigua and Barbuda
The island of Antigua is an extinct volcano surrounded by a ring of limestone coral sediments that form a plain. Barbuda is a coral island with flat topography but it is surrounded by multiple reefs.
The official language is English in the country but you will also hear some people speaking Spanish. In everyday communication, Antiguans often use the Creole language that is a mixture of English, Spanish, Portuguese, and local languages.
The average temperature on the islands is +27 centigrade and it fluctuates insignificantly over the year.
Locals are friendly to foreign tourists. Antiguans are considerably more reserved in comparison to most other Caribbean nations.
When to visit Antigua and Barbuda
The rainy season lasts from December to August in the country. The temperature can reach +40 degrees in that season and coupled with a high humidity, the weather may not be very comfortable. There is one advantage, however: few tourists.
The likelihood of hurricanes is high from June through November with a peak in September. Hurricanes can hit the islands during other parts of the year too but this seldom happens.
The high season is between December and April in Antigua and Barbuda. If you would like to visit the country in this period, you have to book a hotel well in advance. If you want to keep away from the crowds of tourists, you might consider booking a hotel on the eastern coast of Antigua because it is less popular than the western coast. One more option is to reside on the island of Barbuda that is much quieter. However, no recreational activities are available on the island except for lying on the beach, of course.
Currency in Antigua and Barbuda
The official currency in the country is the East Caribbean dollar (XCD). It has been pegged to the American dollar since 1976. You can buy 2.7 XCD for 1 USD. Traveler’s checks and international pay cards are readily accepted in Antigua and Barbuda. Besides, you can always pay in American dollars when you are in the country.
Beaches in Antigua and Barbuda
You will find hundreds of beaches if you go to Antigua and Barbuda. The sand is white on Antigua and rosy on Barbuda because of shellfish. Shallow areas and shelf plates are perfect for snorkeling and diving.
Long Beach is an 8-kilometer long beach on Barbuda that is considered one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Surfers appreciate Half-Moon Bay on Antigua.
Tourist attractions in Antigua and Barbuda
In the capital city of St John’s, you can find old Caribbean architecture. St John Cathedral and the Court House built in 1747 are of particular interest. Today, the Court House hosts a history museum. Its displays tell the early history and colonial period of the island’s life.
Forts James and Barrington guarded St. John’s harbor on both sides of the bay. There is a museum in Fort James today and a tourist agency office in Fort Barrington.
The main tourist attraction on Barbuda sits in English Bay in the south of the island. This is Nelson’s Dockyard, the only marine base in the world surviving since the XVII century without reconstruction. Nelson’s museum is not going to impress you, we are afraid.
Fort Berkley and Great Fort George guarded the harbor in the old times. St Paul Cathedral located nearby is the oldest church in the country. It was built in 1676. You should also see Clarence House, the summer residence of the Governor General’s dating back to the XVIII century.
Other places to see on Antigua:
- Betty’s Hope, the first plantation on the island built in 1650;
- Devil’s Bridge, a rock of an unusual shape breaking the tidal waves in a curious way;
- Indian Town national park;
- Donkey asylum where you can communicate with donkeys, feed them, and pet them.
There are few points of interest on the island of Barbuda. It was devastated by hurricanes in 1995 and 2017. The only town there is Cardington. The Government House in the center of the town was built in the XVII century and it is one of the few buildings that have survived after the hurricanes.
There are a few caves on the island and Indian Cave is probably the most interesting of them. There you can find petroglyphs created by the Arawak people.
Redonda national park can be reached from any of the two islands. It is located on an uninhabited island of volcanic origin and the nature there is truly pristine.
Entertainment in Antigua and Barbuda
You can engage in all sorts of beachfront activities in Antigua and Barbuda: only underwater hunting with a harpoon gun is prohibited. Besides, there are numerous carnivals in the country, calypso music concerts, crafts fairs, kite festivals, seafood feasts, regattas, anglers’ competitions, and so on. You will certainly find a lot of entertainment in Antigua and Barbuda.
Personal security in Antigua and Barbuda
Pocket picking is the only danger that you may face in the country. Locals abide by the law and they are extremely friendly to foreigners. If you visit Antigua and Barbuda, we are almost sure that you will want to become a citizen of the country. It’s beautiful indeed!