Barbuda Bike Tours offers bike, tent, hammock and canopy rentals, and guided mountain bike tours. Visit their Web site for more information, rates and photos.
Barbuda is one of the best beach destinations in the Caribbean, it has unspoiled beaches on all sides of the island. It is very rare to be on the beach with anyone else, even on the hotel beaches, and these are open to all visitors as long as you keep to the waterline and keep your distance from the rich and famous. Most of the beaches have no facilities so it is important to remember to take water and shade or find a place to keep out of the sun for some of the time. In some places when you have seen one beach you have seen them all, but in Barbuda each one is different, better than the last, and interesting enough to keep even the most cynical holidaymaker happy for hours.
The beaches can have dangerous currents at certain times of the year but there are also areas which are perfect for children or non-swimmers, with shallow water and rock pools filled with tiny fish and crabs. There are aerial displays provided by pelicans diving close to the beach and everywhere you swim you will see fish darting about in the water. On holiday weekends the beaches fill up with Barbudans who take picnics very seriously and bring loud music, food and truck loads of people to spend the day in the sea. In some of the cave areas people camp for several nights, catching and cooking fish, deer, and land turtle which can be shared by everyone, especially visitors.
At Two Foot Bay and in other areas of the island there are huge caves to explore, in some there are ancient cave drawings and in others it is possible to climb right through to the top of the Highland and see for miles. Others go underground and underwater and require more expert knowledge of how to explore them.
A few miles from Highland there is the Darby Cave Sinkhole, after an easy 40 minute trek with a guide through the bush you suddenly come across a huge hole in the ground, with the tops of tall trees at eye level it is an amazing natural sinkhole.
In very dry weather the salt ponds sparkle with crystalline sea salt which is still harvested here and a bush safari will delight bird watchers and nature lovers, stopping for a picnic in the shade and a swim in the sea.
Around the coast of Barbuda there are many wrecks from different periods of the islands history. There are experienced divers on the island who can guide visitors to the wrecks and it is possible to hire scuba diving equipment. The wrecks are often in dangerous water and it is important to seek local advice before attempting to explore them. As there are many fishermen and women on the island it is always possible to go fishing, either out at sea or in the calm lagoon water. Many people have boats and will take fishing trips out in them, bringing home barracuda, shark, tuna and other types of local fish. Catching lobster is also relatively easy as they are a speciality of the island and can be caught by hand or in specially crafted fish pots.
One of the main tourist attractions is the Magnificent Frigate Bird Sanctuary. Situated in the Codrington Lagoon, it is a forty minute boat ride across the water. It is a spectacular sight even for non-bird watchers. In the mating season from September to April this rare bird displays a huge red breast to attract a female mate and they lay one egg on a nest built precariously on the mangrove. These birds cannot walk or swim, they soar high in the clouds and live solely on fish which they often steal from other birds, giving them their local name Man'o'war. They have few predators here and this nesting site is one of the most important in the world for these endangered birds.
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 other 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. Two Foot Bay, a beautiful beach on the north of the island is an example. Here an escaping slave put his shoes on backwards to fool his followers and the name remains today.
Throughout the village there are wells that date back for many years and which still provide water today, the old village walls built from stone are in evidence and the houses in the village reflect the different styles of building over the years.