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Barbuda Island
Barbuda Island


In the eastern Caribbean just north of Antigua, Barbuda is one of the Leeward Islands. On one side of the island the Atlantic Ocean ravages the wild beaches, strewing them with driftwood and shells, while on the other the calm Caribbean Sea creates endless stretches of perfect white and pink sandy beaches. The island 1s much less developed than many of its Caribbean neighbors, offering the perfect place to unwind. Popular activities include swimming and snorkelling, as the clear waters abound with turtles and tropical fish, as well as some interesting shipwrecks that lie undisturbed in the turquoise water.

At just 24 km long and 13 km wide, Barbuda is largely rocky and flat. Most of the island is covered in bush, home to deer and boar, land turtles and guinea fowl as well as the occasional wild cat. The island is famous for its colony of more than 5,000 frigate birds which gather on the north-western lagoon at the bird sanctuary.

There are many caves on the island. One of them, Indian Cave, contains ancient Amerindian petroglyphs carved into the rock. In In others it is possible to climb right through to the top of the Highlands from where you can see for miles. Other caves go underground and underwater and should only be explored by experienced cavers.

The Ciboney were the first to inhabit the island in 2400 BC, but when Christopher Columbus landed on Barbuda in 1493, Arawak and Carib Indians were living here. Early settlements by the Spanish and French were succeeded by the English, who formed a colony in 1666. In 1685, the island was leased to brothers Christopher and John Codrington. The Codrington family produced Sugar on their land in Barbuda, and also transported slaves as labour for their sugar plantation on Antigua. For much of the 18th century, the sugar plantation proved a successful and prosperous industry.

The Codrington family influence can still be seen in the Street names and architectural remains on the island. The ruins of the Codringtons’ Highland House stand on the highest point of the island,  and on the south coast can be found the enormous Martello tower a fort built both for defence of the island and as a vantage point from which to spot valuable shipwrecks on the outlying reefs.