A map of Antigua and Barbuda This island nation is made up of two main islands, Antigua and Barbuda, separated by about 40 kilometres (25 miles) of the Caribbean Sea. It also includes several tiny uninhabited islands such as Redonda, to the south. The island of Antigua is mostly low-lying; hills rise in the southwest. Barbuda is flatter. Both islands are covered by tropical trees, sandy soil and ringed by white beaches and lagoons. The islands have a warm, breezy climate and are mostly dry. Between September and November they are wetter, and sometimes at risk from hurricanes. For nearly 350 years, the islands were part of the British Empire.
Almost all the inhabitants are descended from Africans who worked on the islands’ tobacco and sugar plantations in the 17th and 18th centuries. They speak English; many people also speak Antiguan Creole, a mixture of English and African languages which has some slight variations across the two islands.
On 4th August 2009 the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda officially renamed the islands’ highest mountain, changing its name from Boggy Peak to Mount Obama after the US President.
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