A secret paradise surrounded by warm turquoise waters at the hearth of the Caribbean awaits for you. Meet Barbuda – an unspoiled sister island of Antigua, located between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, just about 28 miles to the north of Antigua.
View of the blue waters and white sand
WHY TO VISIT BARBUDA
With the population of over 1500 people (before destructive Hurricane Irma), one of the least visited islands in the Caribbean, is an eco-lovers dream. Long pink and white powdery sand beaches protected by coral barrier reef are without a doubt the perfect getaway from the more cosmopolitan Antigua.
BEST TIME TO VISIT BARBUDA
While Antigua and Barbuda are warm basically all year around, the best time to visit islands is in the winter season (between mid-December and mid-April). The hurricane season runs from June to November (August – October is peak season for hurricanes and is also very muggy and hot during these months).
If you are willing to take a risk and planning a trip during Caribbean hurrican season, accommodation rates and airfare are generally lower, beaches are less crowded and with a bit of luck you can end up with a sunny and affordable tropical holiday.
THINGS TO DO IN BARBUDA
1. FRIGATE BIRD SANCTUARY
Barbuda is home to the largest frigate bird colony in the western hemisphere. With an estimated population of 100, 000 birds is this unspoiled island a birder’s paradise. A visit to the bird sanctuary is the highlight of a visit to Barbuda.
- The Frigate bird sanctuary, located at the Codrington lagoon, can be only visited by licensed sea taxi with a knowledgeable tour guide (must be book at least a day in advance through hotel or the tourist office).
- The most popular time to visit is during the mating seasons (from September to April, December is peak time)
Barbuda is blessed with beautiful pink & powdery white sand beaches and spectacular blue sea, drawing day trippers from Antigua. It is an ideal destination for relaxing and soaking up the sun.
3. SNORKELLING AND SWIMMING
Caribbean sea with is sparkling turquoise waters and crystal clear visibility are ideal for snorkelling and swimming.
HOW TO GET THERE
After catastrophic environmental damage caused by one of the strongest Atlantic Hurricanes in September 2017, Barbuda can no longer be reached by a charter plane. Nowadays, one of the most untouched islands in the Caribbean with abundant wildlife can be visited only by the public ferry (the cheaper option) or on the Excellence (a double decker power catamaran that offers day tours for locals and visitors of Antigua). The crossing takes approximately 90 minutes (depending on the weather conditions).
- The Excellence
If you would love to spend the day on a luxury power catamaran sailing and drinking, there is no better way than on The Excellence. 86 ft long double decker power catamaran handles well in rough seas (some days are rougher than others; The Atlantic Ocean can be very rough, more than the Caribbean Sea). The crew were excellent, very professional and made the trip a delight. It is great way to see the island. The Excellence can be boarded at the ferry dock in St. John`s Harbour in Antigua. The ferry dock is located at the bottom of High Street.
- Barbuda Express
Barbuda Express ferry can be boarded at the ferry dock in St. John`s Harbour in Antigua. The return ticket costs approximately $90 per person (USD), one way $45 per person (USD). This public ferry runs 7 days a week between the twin islands (effective January 2017). The company also offers a day tour to Barbuda (The Princess Diana & Bird Sanctuary tour US $159).
- Currency: The Eastern Caribbean Dollar (EC), fixed to the US dollar. Credit cards are not commonly accepted on the island, vendors prefer EC dollars.
- Language: English is the official language spoken on Antigua & Barbuda
- 90 percent of Barbuda was destroyed by one of the most powerful hurricane in the Caribbean (Irma`s Category 5 Hurricane in November 2017). All of its inhabitants were evacuated and relocated to the sister island of Antigua. The island is slowly getting back on its feet.
If Barbuda is on your bucket list and you would love to experience this pristine piece of paradise in the Caribbean, do go ASAP. The massive new developments will completely transform this stunning island.
Have you been to Barbuda before? Or is it somewhere you`d love to go? We would love to hear all your thoughts in the comments!
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