Barbuda is one of those very few islands in the Caribbean that will hopefully remain undeveloped, in fact it seems positively deserted at times. Apart from the visitors staying at one of the island's small number of guest houses, the population seems largely to consist of the graceful Fregata magnificens, or Frigate bird,(see ecology) which was my main reason for visiting this beautiful Island.
Below you can re-live our day visiting the wonderful colony of the bird they call the "Man O War" due to it's aggressive nature towards other sea birds, dive-bombing in order to make them drop food which it them takes in mid air.



There are huge caves to explore at Two Foot Bay and elsewhere on the island. Some contain ancient cave drawings and in others it is possible to climb right through to the top of the Highland and see for miles. Yet more shelve underground and underwater and require expert local knowledge to explore them. The Darby Cave Sinkhole is an amazing natural sinkhole. A 40 minute walk with a guide through the bush leads you to this natural hole in the ground, and it is a strange experience to see the tops of tall trees at eye level. In very dry weather the ponds dry out to reveal salt ponds sparkling with crystalline sea salt which is still harvested here. Activities on Barbuda are mainly relaxed, including beachcombing (on the north-eastern Atlantic coast), fishing and hunting and, at the island's resorts, golf, tennis, snorkelling, diving or simply soaking up the sun and the calm. Remember that most of the beaches on Barbuda are deserted so make sure you have adequate water supplies before you set out for the day.

The island 15 miles long and 8 miles wide, mostly very rocky and flat. Much of the island is covered in bush and there are unmarked roads and tracks to the beaches. The bush contains all kinds of wildlife, including deer and boar, land turtles and guinea fowl and the occasional wild cat. There are feral cattle, horses and donkeys wandering about and in the village sheep and goats roam freely
The European Fallow deer is the National animal and there are two varieties, the Black and the Common Deer


Some beaches can have dangerous currents at certain times of the year, so take advice, but there are lots of safe areas and rock pools for the children to play in.  Points of interest include the Frigate Bird Sanctuary, the truly noteworthy pink and white sand beaches, and an abundance of shipwrecks and beautiful reefs. Barbuda can be reached easily from Antigua, either by air (a 20-minute flight, twice daily) or by boat (in three hours). The island is home to the luxurious K-Club, Coco Point Lodge and Hotel Palmetto resorts, as well as to a number of other hotels and comfortable guest houses. We took a high speed boat from Dickinson Bay.


Our journey began with a pick up at the Rex Halcyon at Dickinson Bay

Many of the old buildings from the days of slavery remain untouched and easily accessible. The ruins of the house built by the Codringtons on the highest point of the island can be explored, and one can see almost the whole coastline from this point.
At various points on the coastline look-out towers were built and the River Fort is a superb example of this kind of building.
There are many AmerIndian sites where evidence of even earlier settlements remain. Local people have a wide knowledge of the areas and the history and will show visitors where to look and what to look for. Many of the local names of places have a fascinating history, for example, Two Foot Bay, a beautiful beach on the north of the island took it's name from an escaping slave who put his shoes on backwards to fool his followers and so a legend was born.
Throughout the village there are wells that date back many years and still provide water today. The old village walls built from stone are in evidence and the houses in the village reflect the variety of building styles over the years

Like most of the off shore entertainments, drink is an integral part of the journey, and our friendly staff made sure that we were constantly supplied. The day was brilliantly sunny, and with plenty of new people to meet and sunbathing to while away the crossing, we were soon in sight of Barbuda's fabulous beaches.




When you reach the Island there is time while waiting for the local boatmen to arrive across the lagoon to indulge in a refreshing dip. Of all the places that Carol and I have visited while making our films, this Island along with the Grenadines, is the closest to the mythical desert Island paradise that we have found. Certainly this is one place that we would love to return to in order to film much more of this delightful island.



Then an exciting high speed drive across the lagoon to the Frigate bird's nesting colony



Our approach to the colony was slow and deliberate so as not to disturb the birds, although nesting was almost over. The males having fulfilled their role had now departed, leaving the females to watch over and feed the youngsters perched in the mangroves waiting patiently for lunch.



A delicious lunch followed by a snorkelling adventure to a nearby reef completed our day to Barbuda.  We only saw a small part of this beautiful Island so our information is somewhat limited, but hopefully next time we will be able to spend longer looking around this Caribbean jewel.


Taxi and Car Hire on Barbuda

Jeeps and four wheel drive vehicles are available for hire on the island. It is essential to have transport to the beach as Codrington village is several miles from the sea. It is also possible to hire bikes from Barbuda Bike Tours or horses and there are many Barbudans who run taxi services.

Accommodation on Barbuda

K Club - Extremely expensive, very quiet with few wealthy or famous guests, film stars or supermodels. Fantastic location right on the beach next to Coco Point Lodge. Owned by Krizia, Italian fashion designer. Tel: (268) 4600300 Fax: (268) 4600305. From US $750 per night, low season.
Coco Point Lodge - Expensive and very private. Members only, they often return year after year. No casual visitors. Tel : (NY) 212 986 1416. From US $545 per night, low season.
Palmetto Hotel - Spectacular deserted beach location, large rooms, the only affordable hotel in Barbuda. Very friendly, Italian owned.
North Beach - Privately situated on the North coast, North Beach is only accessible by boat. Two Caribbean style cottages in total seclusion it is ideal for couples or families. Carol, the cook will look after you day and night. From US $250 per night, this includes the boat ride or transport to North Beach, food and drink are not included.

Guest Houses and Cottages

There are several guest houses and cottages available to rent in the village of Codrington.
Right on the beach at Palmetto, the stunningly beautiful natural beach that runs nearly the length of the island, a comfortable three bed roomed family cottage. A few minutes walk from Palmetto Hotel. From US $150 per night.
For a list of houses, helpful and impartial information contact:
ArtCafé - Tel: (268) 4600434 e mail -

Barbuda's history has been intimately tied to that of Antigua for centuries. The first early attempts to settle Barbuda (by both the British and French) were failures, and it wasn't until 1666 that the British established a colony strong enough to survive the ravages of both nature and the Caribs. In 1680, four years before he began cultivating sugar on Antigua, Christopher Codrington was granted (with his brother John) a lease to land in Barbuda. With subsequent leases that granted them additional rights to the substantial wreckage along Barbuda's reefs, they became the island's pre-eminent family. For much of the eighteenth century the Codrington land on Barbuda was used to produce food and to supply additional slave labour for the Codrington sugar plantations on Antigua, and so the Barbuda's fortunes rose and fell with those of its larger neighbour. Testament to the influence of the Codringtons remains today, both in the island's place names and in its architectural remains. On Barbuda's highest point (124 feet) are the ruins of the Codrington estate, Highland House, and on the island's south coast still sits the 56-foot high Martello castle and tower, a fortress that was used both for defence and as a vantage from which to spot valuable shipwrecks on the outlying reefs.

Details of Antigua's History and events pages are courtesy of the
Antigua and Barbuda department of tourism


Why not visit one of our other Holiday destinations