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Antigua & Barbuda Geography


Antigua & Barbuda, part of the Leeward Islands chain in the eastern Caribbean, is approximately 420 km (261 mi) southeast of the US Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and 180 km (110 mi) north of the French overseas department of Guadeloupe. The total land area of 440 km² (170 mi²) includes Antigua (280 km²/108 mi²); Barbuda (161 km²/62 mi²); and uninhabited Redonda (1.3 km²/5 mi²), located 40 km (25 mi) to the southwest. This total area comprises slightly less than 2.5 times the size of Washington DC. The total coastline is 153 km (95 mi).

Antigua & Barbuda's capital city, St John's, is located on the northwestern edge of the island 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. Antigua has deeply indented shores lined by reefs and shoals; there are many natural harbours and beaches. Mount Obama (399 m/1,309 ft), in southwestern Antigua, is the nation's highest point. Antigua's northeastern coastline is dotted by numerous tiny islets; the central area is a fertile plain. Barbuda, a coral island with a large harbour on the west side, rises to only 44 m (144 ft) at its highest point. Redonda is a low-lying rocky islet.

The islands' tropical climate is moderated by fairly constant northeast tradewinds, with velocities ranging between 30 and 48 km/h (19 and 30 mph). There is little precipitation, however, because of the islands' low elevations.

Rainfall averages 990 mm (39 in) per year, but the amount varies 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. Temperatures average 27°C (80.6°F), with a range from 23°C (73.4°F) in the winter to 30°C (86°F) 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.


Location :
Caribbean, islands between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, east-southeast of Puerto Rico

Geographic coordinates :
17 03 N, 61 48 W

Map references :
Central America and the Caribbean

Area :
total: 442.6 sq km (Antigua 280 sq km; Barbuda 161 sq km)
land: 442.6 sq km
water: 0 sq km
note: includes Redonda, 1.6 sq km

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