Antigua and Barbuda is an island sovereign state in the West Indies in the Americas, lying between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. It consists of two major islands, Antigua and Barbuda (separated by 39 miles), and a number of smaller islands (including Great Bird, Green, Guiana, Long, Maiden, Prickly Pear, York Islands and further south, the island of Redonda). The permanent population numbers about 95,900 (2018 est.), with 97% being resident on Antigua. The capital and largest port and city is St. John's on Antigua, with Codrington being the largest town on Barbuda. Lying near each other, Antigua and Barbuda are in the middle of the Leeward Islands, part of the Lesser Antilles, roughly at 17°N of the equator. The island of Antigua was explored by Christopher Columbus in 1493 and named for the Church of Santa María La Antigua. Antigua was colonized by Britain in 1632; Barbuda island was first colonised in 1678.